Friday, January 29, 2010

one last thing before i quit

Off on holiday tomorrow. We're staying this hotel for the first couple of days and apart from a necessary pilgrimage to Howarth I intend to do nothing at all. Then off to Leeds and Derby for ink!

So Radio Silence until Thursday, when I will be back with an interview with Fiona Robyn in celebration of her New Book (go on, buy it, you know you want to!)

Namaste Bloggers :D

Thursday, January 28, 2010

things i love thursday (4)

*cycling to and from work - I'm finding myself really looking forward to this each day now. I love being able to incorporate my exercise into my routine - it gives me extra "me" time in the evening. Plus the cycle home really clears my head of work troubles.
*gin and tonic on a weeknight - I don't know what prompted this but Himself poured me a G&T last night. I never drink in the week so it felt naughty in a good way!
*my hair is getting so long!
*I have a week's holiday next week. We're going to Yorkshire, staying in a gorgeous hotel and getting tattooed :D
*slow but good progress on that novel I'm writing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Misguided Bus: An Odyssey

If you read the comments to yesterday’s post you may have seen mention of the Guided Bus. This innovative method of public transport has become quite infamous in Cambridgeshire, mostly because of the fact that after years of planning it is still not up and running.

This Wiki article says that plans for this have been going on since 2001 but I first remember talk of the Guided Bus (or the Misguided Bus as the local press have “hilariously” nicknamed it) back in the days when the Brontosaurus roamed the earth, Kurt Cobain was still alive and I was doing my A Levels. I have people working for me who weren’t born then. Eighteen years later and it is still not built.

But what on earth is it? When I first heard of it I had visions of a bus travelling slowly down the middle of the road, guided by a man waving a flag like in the days of the early car. The Guided Bus however is basically a cross between a tram and a bus. It runs on special concrete tracks, allegedly zipping through the traffic most of the time. Then, when it needs to, it can also run on the road. It has two special sets of wheels for this purpose, which is a bit Inspector Gadget. The main point of all this is to connect areas of Cambridgeshire that have had no public transport for many years since our local railways were closed down. Currently many of the buses are just travelling around on the normal bus routes displaying signs that say "I'll be on the Busway soon, will you?". Surely, at this rate their "road wheels" will be worn away before they get on the busway.

The best thing about the Guided Bus is that cycle paths have been built along the sides of the tracks, which means that I can get to work without having to go on the road at all. However, I still don’t have a plan B for getting to work on rainy days, so for my part I hope it’s not much longer before the Guided Bus starts running.

The delays have been so great, and so many deadlines have come and gone that the Council is no longer even bothering to tell us a proposed opening date. Until then I guess I’ll just have to wear my sexy red waterproofs when it rains (which I’ve just noticed it is currently doing!).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the time has come, the walrus said

The time has come to stop being a hypocrite. The universe has decreed it.

(bikes in Cambridge -

Himself and I are pretty passionate about the planet we live on (and I have to be honest here, Himself does all the hard work and research, I just do what I'm told). From what we eat, to where we shop, to where we go on holiday we try our very best to keep our carbon footprints and our plastic bags as minimal as possible.

Except I have one great weakness. My car (Himself doesn't drive so he can continue to polish his halo). I know, I know. It's not even a new car, with low pollution, let alone a hybrid or electric car. It's a 14 year old heaving rustbucket. But I love it. I use all sort of excuses for driving places from "you try carrying 15 yoga blocks around with you on the bus" to "I've got fibromyalgia *whine whine*". Yeah, quite. I really don't use it that much, there's just times, like going to work, when it's just more....convenient.

But really these days I have no excuses. I live in Cambridge, the City of the Bicycle, I no longer need to carry 15 yoga blocks anywhere and honestly, my health is under control.

And then yesterday, a message from the gods. My car went in for a service and came out a write off. The work it needs will cost about twice as much as the car is worth.

I was so upset. Himself worked out how much money I'd spent on the damn car in the last year and I had a minor heart attack. He then pointed out that I could get a lot of taxis/pairs of shoes/glittery eyeliners for that money. I smiled.

So this morning I cycled to work. It's a 6 mile (about 10km) round trip. The 3 miles to work takes me about 25 minutes at the moment but I'm hoping to get that down to 20 minutes over the next few weeks. It felt good to be cycling, I felt I could be in a much more mindful place on my bike than in my car and oh but how good it felt cycling past the queues of traffic that I usually sit in!

So for now, we'll see how things go. We're going up to Yorkshire at the weekend so I will be hiring a car for that. it does mean I will have to cancel the teaching opportunites that I had lined up as I physically will not be able to get to the venue, but everything happens for a reason. Maybe the universe is telling me to focus my energies elsewhere.

I'd like to think I could live without a car. I'm taking it one day at a time.

In the meantime I would like this panier set!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


He sees her flesh - pale and untouched
Like alabaster and lotus petals.
She shivers – not with cold but
Anticipation at what is to come.
He will touch her - change her forever.

She smells disinfectant and hears
The needle’s buzz. She feels
His hand on her buttock, gently
Wiping her skin. Then the pain starts,
Sudden at first. A necessary pain.

Afterwards he’s pleased with himself,
With his art, with his tenderness.
He looks again at alabaster and lotus petals,
Sullied with ink and blood.
He hopes she has No regrets. So many regret the first time.

R.Hawes 2009


After various cancellations due to life and snow getting in the way, I am sitting for the first part of a new backpiece the week after next. It will be the beginnings of tattoo number 7. Each tattoo means something to me, tells a story of its own. Each one is a piece of art that I carry with me wherever I go.

I am always interested in thoughts on bodyart. Do you have a tattoo dear reader? Why or why not?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

thank you!!

Thank you to everyone who posted such lovely comments on my post yesterday. It means so much to me. It's great to "meet" a few more of my readers and be assured I will be checking out your blogs over the next few days. Audrey Hepburn eh? *grins*

A little slow on the uptake I've started a yoga related Twitter stream. You can follow it here if you like.

My Saturday has so far consisted of a six mile bike ride, hot soup, a long nap and chocolate biscuits. No yoga, Saturday is my day off! And you dear reader?

Enjoy your Saturdays, whatever you are doing :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

wicked warrior and sassy statistics

One of the (many) things I love about yoga is the many many different approaches to asana practice. Some of them work with my body, some of them don't, but there really is something for everyone.

Take Virabhadrasana 1 for example (this pose came up in my twenty minute sequence the other day). This is a relatively modern posture, it certainly doesn't pop up in any of the classical texts and as such there are many different approaches to it. This Yoga Journal article runs through five of the main ones. I tend to teach this posture in the Viniyoga tradition, like Gary Kraftsow in this article, but give them all a try and see which one works for you. I'd be interested to know!

There is also a potted history of the story behind the name of this posture.


According to my blog statistics an average of 70 people a day read this blog. Who are you? Where do you come from? Are you spam bots or real people? Say hello, I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

things i love thursday (3)

It is another grey and cold fenland day, one of those days when being mindful reminds you that right now this minute everything is a bit.... well grey! So forgive my list for some of its trivialities today. A girl finds joy where she can. :)

* Finishing Chapter Six of that novel I'm writing! This is exciting for me because it's a strange and pivotal chapter that I had been putting off for about a year.
* Australian organics hair products.
* The sense of contentment and perspective I get when I talk things through with Himself. He really is "Don't Panic" personified!
* Hummus and avocado wraps.
* Dave Grohl being discussed on Home and Away - it's like a fangirl party in my television....;-)

I am sad that my spring bulbs haven't come up yet. I suspect those furry feline fiends of digging them up.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

yoga at your desk

Make sure you’re sitting comfortably, both feet on the floor about hip width apart and nice straight spine. Relax the shoulders away from the ears and take a couple of full breaths.

1. Head and shoulder circles – rotate the shoulders a few times in each direction, working with the rhythm of the breath and role the head slowly in semi circles (ear to shoulder – chin to chest – other ear to other shoulder and back again) a few times.

2. Stretch the arms out to the sides and up interlocking the fingers and pushing the palms up towards the ceiling. On an exhale, keeping both sitting bones on your chair, stretch over to the right. Inhale back to centre and exhale to the left. Repeat twice more to each side and then release the arms down.

3. Take the right hand onto the left side of your chair and the left hand on to the back of your chair and twist to the left on an exhale. Hold for 5 breaths and release. Repeat to the other side.

4. Hold on to the back of your chair at about waist height. Open the chest and roll the shoulders back and down. Bring the focus to the heart centre and breathe. Take at least 5 breaths here.

5. Exhale and fold forward, abdomen on your thighs, release the head and neck and allow the lower back to release. Stay here for about 5 breaths (if colleagues are looking at you in a peculiar fashion you can always pretend you’ve dropped something on the floor!)

Try and do this at least once a day when you are at your desk all day. Take breaks from your computer whenever you can and if you have time, try to take a short walk on your lunch hour.

And don’t forget to breathe!

Namaste :) x

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Is it just wishful thinking or, despite the damp, is there a smell of spring in the air?
(or is this just nature lulling us into a false sense of security, before hitting us with blizzards in March?!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

twenty minutes of yoga

Angela over at Just Waffling asked me if I could give her a short yoga sequence that she could do regularly at home. Like so many of us she is time poor and so I thought I'd share it with you all!

So many people want to practice yoga more often, but don't have the time or the money to go to regular classes. One thing I always emphasise about home yoga practices is that they don't have to take huge amounts of your time. Little and often. A 15-20 minute sequence five times a week will do is much more useful than 90 minutes once a fortnight. And 15 minutes is doable right? I'm sure we can all find 15 minutes in our hectic lives to practice some yoga!

So you've found the time but then you have the big question of which asana to do, and in what order. So here's a little taster for you to try. This is an all-rounder sequence, it moves and stretches the body in it's four main directions (forwards, backwards, side and twist) and shouldn't have contraindications to any health issues. If you've got a question or want a modification please feel free to ask in a comment or email me (address in my profile).

So without further ado, let's get on with the practice!

Begin lying down; knees bent, feet on the floor with the heels in line with the sit bones. Observe the breath for a few moments. You can then hug the knees to the chest and rock on the back in any way that feels good for you. Then come into any sort of supine twist that is approriate for you. Roll onto the right hand side and come to sitting back on the heels towards the back of the mat.

Kneeling Salutations - As you inhale stand up on the knees and reach the arms high, exhale into child's pose with the arms stretched infront, inhale to all fours and exhale into downward facing dog. Then come back again, inhaling to all fours, exhaling to child, inhaling to standing on the knees stretching the arms up and then exhale to sitting back on the heels lowering the arms. This is one round.Take 3-5 rounds, moving slowly with the rhythm of the breath. Finish sitting back on the heels and take a couple of conscious breaths before coming to standing.

Virabadrasna 1
Virabadrasna 2

Practice each of these to the right first holding each pose for 5 breaths and then repeat to the left.

Standing forward bend with knees slightly bent to release the lower back for at least 10 breaths.

Come to lying on the stomach and focus on the breath once again then choose between Cobra Pose, Locust Pose or Bow Pose. Whichever you choose try to do three repetitions holding for 5 breaths. Or you could try one of each!

Press back into Downward Dog for 5 breaths and then into Child's Pose for as long as you need.

When you are ready, just roll onto your back and relax for a few minutes.

(NB - I've created links to some of the poses in case you don't know them. Don't let the pictures of bendy yogis put you off. I don't look like that in these postures either!)

I hope you enjoy it. Let me know. And remember, you can practice yoga any time, any place even when you can't get on your mat. There are a few postures you can do at your desk that will just wake the body up and even just a few moments breathing mindfully, connecting with your breath rhythms is yoga.

I will try to post a "Yoga at Your Desk Sequence" later in the week.

Happy Monday all :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

this weekend i....

*ate the best vegan burrito I've had this side of the Atlantic in a plastic-chaired cafe behind Oxford Street (see above).
*had my wardrobe overhauled by a style advisor at Top Shop, which was awesome. Basically I got to sit around on a sofa drinking tea while the woman brought a million outfits for me to try on. It was like being a rich person. Sadly I do not have a rich person's budget so I had to choose only a few of the clothes. Came back with a pretty fantastic haul though AND I came in under budget. I tried on a ton of stuff that I wouldn't have even thought of looking twice at if I'd been shopping on my own, some didn't work, but a couple of things really looked good on me so that was an eye opener. If you adore clothes but hate shopping and can get to one of the big Top Shops fairly easily, I highly recommend this. You'll come out feeling like a princess, or a rock star depending on your style. :)
*met a dear friend for Russian Caravan Tea and vegan almond cake.
* waited forever for a train home.
*realised once again how wonderful Himself is when he paid for my taxis and had Chinese takeaway waiting for me when I got home.

Awesome weekend (and totally yoga/writing unrelated, sorry about that)!

Friday, January 15, 2010

a break from yoga?

(today’s post inspiration brought to you by babs)

It came as quite a shock to me to realise I have been practicing yoga pretty much consistently for nearly 20 years! I may still think I’m 17 in my head but it turns out I’m not. (I currently have a 17 year old work experience girl working with me and she is a constant reminder that I am getting OLD!!!)

I digress!

I practiced yoga with my mum as a child, not continually but certainly on and off. But apart from a three year break where I defected to Pilates, I have been practicing regularly since I was 16. At first it was just a good balance to all the dance classes I was doing. Then it was just a good balance for my head whilst I wrote my thesis (both of them!). It started to become a basic daily necessity of my life about 10 years ago when I first started living and working in London. A girl has to find that bit of peace where she can!

That natural progression from all this was, of course, to train to teach. The training was primarily to develop my own understanding of yoga. Ending up being a full time yoga teacher for two years was just one of those things that happened almost by mistake.

So what has all this to do with breaks from yoga?

I haven’t taken a substantial break from my own practice for a long time, other than the odd week here and there when I’ve been on holiday or sick. When I do take these short breaks I feel it. I come back to my mat refreshed and raring to go, but I do miss it while I’m away. I never feel I need to take substantial breaks away from my mat.

The break I’m talking about here is with teaching. After two years of teaching full time I’m sorry to say it really started to feel like a job. All jobs, no matter how much you love them, have elements of dull plodding routine. All jobs have at least one aspect that isn’t fun. I loved teaching yoga. What I didn’t love was marketing, finances, doing my tax return. Everything became a bit too much and that joy of yoga, that I have spoken about before started to disappear.

Apart from the odd cover class I haven’t taught yoga since last September. The break ahs been good. I have been able to re-evaluate my own practice and I’m working with a great teacher again. I have great teaching opportunities coming up and after my break I’m ready for them.

But this time I’m grabbing them with balance and mindfulness. I do, after all, have a terrible habit of doing too much which is probably another post for another time!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

things i love thursday (2)

Johnny Park
(pictures of the gruesome twosome because we haven't had any in a while and also in honour of Dave Grohl's birthday, as my cats are named after Foo Fighters songs!)
1. I started the creative writing course that Ma and Pa Yogini bought me for Christmas on Monday night. It made me remember why I write, how I write, when I write best and that actually, maybe I’m quite good at this. But more than anything it was so nice to be back in a university seminar room with like minded (and fabulously eccentric) people again. You don’t realise how much you miss things until you get them back. And you forget how there are some things that you just need to keep you going.
2. All my lovely potential clients booking onto this yoga course.
3. Sending off two pieces of writing this week. Just getting stuff out there feels fantastic, regardless of the results.
4. The new single from Laura Marling.
5. Home & Away is back after its Christmas break (I know, lame. But I'm hopelessly addicted and it makes me happy).
Your turn!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

on cats & tatts

I read an article this morning about Mickey, a hairless Sphynx cat in Russia who was anethetised for three hours to have an ornamental tattoo inked on his back and chest.

My initial reaction, as yours might be, was WTF! Seriously?

Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of bodyart. I have several tattoos and am about to begin sitting for a new backpiece. However, I have made a conscious choice about all of my tattoos, a lot of thought went into each of them and they each mean something important to me. There are many theories as to why some of us human beans decide to get tattooed, none of which I think can be applied to cats.

A cat is incapable of making this sort of decision. But then, my cats had no choice when it came to them being neutered. Is this really any different? Whilst there is a reason for neutering a domestic moggie, a part of that reason is so that living with the cat is easier for the human. Is it hypocritical as the caretaker of neutered cats for me to take umbrage at somebody tattoing their cat? I can justify my cats being neutered but I cannot justify this. Then there is the argument of whether or not we should interbreed cats to have characteristics that are not really conducive to the cats survival - in this case having no fur.

Is anethetising a cat for a procedure that is purely aesthetic morally right? Is it Ok to be somewhat hypocritical sometimes?

On the other hand, on a person that would be a beautiful tattoo......

I'd be interested to know what you think, dear readers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

the joy of yoga!

Today I am a guest blogger over on The Joy of Yoga. Go take a look!

I love Emma's Joy of Yoga blog. She posts so many interesting and inspirational sequences and is always looking for guest bloggers so if you have something to share drop her a line!

The thing I love most about Emma's blog is the title. The JOY of Yoga. That sums yoga up for me. Yes some days my practice is frustrating. Some days I find myself bogged down by ego and my own limitations. But always, whether I'm teaching, practicing at home or practicing in a class, always somewhere deep inside I feel that innate joy of living. That joy doesn't come from other people or things or places or beauty. It comes from me. Just me. And that's why however terrible I may feel I drag myself onto my mat 6 days a week. :)


Kelly McGonigal, who guest posted for me last week, has sent through a copy of her book. I havne't finished reading it yet but it is wonderful so far.

Inside the front cover Kelly wrote a message for me:-

"No-one is more deserving of your own care and compassion than you yourself."

How true. How true. And how easy that is to forget. The last few years of my life have been hectic and rushed beyond measure and my own health has come second place to my career, my yoga teaching and the health of my clients. This year is about me. Surrounding myself with the things and people I love and begin to move in a different direction, slowly and mindfully.

Thanks Kelly for yet another reminder of my need to do this!

Friday, January 8, 2010

things i love thursday (1)

(image from

A little slow on the uptake here as most of the internet have been doing Things I Love Thursdays for weeks but I thought it would tie in well with my Project Mindfulness 2010!

So herewith every Thursday for one year five things I love right now to remind me of the beauty of the present moment.

(I am aware it is Friday - I have no excuses).

1. The sun shining on snow.
2. Finally rejoining the Poetry Society after years away.
3. Golden syrup on my morning porridge
4. Kitty cat shaped bumps under the duvet (clearly their fur does not keep these spoiled creatures warm enough).
5. Midwinter Sun Salutations.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

blogspash update!

As the regular reader will already know, Fiona Robyn is going to be blogging her next novel Thaw.

Bloggers across the web will be publishing the first page of the novel on the 1st of March. The entire novel will be available to read for free online, and this 'Blogsplash' is a way to let as many readers as possible know about it.

I also have an ulterior motive, as if you, yes you dear reader, sign up, I'm in for a chance of winning a signed book and a special gift.

If you sign up and ask one of your blogging friends to sign up, you'll be in with a chance too!

There's more information here and when you do email Fiona, make sure you mention my name.

Do join in. Fiona is an awesome writer, her blogs are totally worth reading regularly, she has the most gorgeous red hair and seriously, who can possibly resist a surprise gift!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

twelfth night - much love

(old christmas cards cut into hearts and packed away for gift tags for next year - inspired by this post)

When taking down the Christmas decorations
Instead of feeling sad,
I fill the box with love, with hope, with joy
And seal it tight.

This way I know that in December
When I open it again,
I will be surrounded by the love
Of Christmas past.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Yoga for Pain Relief

A week or so before Christmas I was approached by Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and yoga teacher at Stanford University, and the editor in chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. She is also a former chronic pain sufferer who wanted to get the message out about how yoga can improve your health and happiness on as many blogs as possible in celebration of the publication of her book Yoga for Pain Relief: Simple Practices to Calm Your Mind and Heal Your Chronic Pain. Of course as a fibromyalgic yogini I jumped at the chance for some wise words on a subject so close to my heart.

Kelly is kindly sending me a copy of the book - which I will review when I have read it. Unfortunately it is not available in the UK yet but you can pre-order it here or order from the US here.

So without further ado let's hear from Kelly about Fibromyalgia and Yoga.

Most people think that yoga is about standing on your head, reaching your toes, and getting twisted into pretzel poses. But the healing practices of yoga go far beyond the postures. The breathing, meditation and relaxation practices of yoga may have the most powerto help people with chronic pain, including fibromyalgia. Below, some of the science and promise behind how yoga can help:

1. People with fibromyalgia appear to process pain differently than people with other forms of chronic pain, including musculoskeletalpain and headaches. As anyone with fibromyalgia knows, they are more sensitive to physical stimulation. The pain detectors of the nervous system can become so sensitive that they react to any sign of increased pressure, tension, or inflammation in the body. But research suggests they are also more affected by negative emotions. For people with fibromyalgia, emotional distress increases the nervous system’s sensitivity to pain more than it does for people with other types of chronic pain.

This may sound like bad news, but it also means that learning how to handle negative emotions can have a significant positive effect on your pain. Many meditation techniques teach you how to accept and then move through negative emotions, and how to consciously choose to feel positive emotions like gratitude and joy.

2. Catastrophizing, telling yourself that your pain is unbearable, uncontrollable, and likely to get worse, makes the brain more sensitive to both the physical sensations and emotion suffering components of pain. This has been shown specifically in people with fibromyalgia, as well as other forms of chronic pain. Strengthening your belief that you can handle your symptoms can make your pain more manageable.

This may be one reason that guided imagery and relaxation can reduce pain in people with fibromyalgia. Research supports three types of imagery: imagining yourself in a favorite, safe place; body awareness and conscious muscle relaxation; imagining yourself engaged in an activity that pain/fatigue have made difficult. Imagery and relaxation may help make the brain less reactive to pain, which can make sensations more tolerable and reduce the anxiety, sadness, and anger that can go along with pain. Other yoga practices may have a similar effect, for example, research shows that simply paying attention to the sensations of breathing can reduce stress, increase a sense ofcontrol, and make pain more tolerable.

3. Physical pain and social pain, such as loneliness or rejection, are detected by the same pain systems of the brain. The experience of either one can make you more sensitive to the other. This may be why a pain episode makes you feel more socially isolated or why you crave social support when you are in pain. It also may explain why loneliness makes physical pain worse, but having a loved one present can reduce pain. Research shows that social support decreases pain sensitivity in people with fibromyalgia specifically. It’s not possible to have round-the-clock closeness with others, but a yoga meditation on social connection can have a similar effect. For example, one study showed that daily loving kindness meditation practice significantly reduced chronic pain.

4. In one unusual study, researchers in Japan tested a master yogi who claimed to be able to block all pain during meditation. The researchers used a laser to create a pain response in the yogi, both before and during meditation. Brain imaging revealed normal pain processing when the yogi was not meditating. During meditation, however, there was dramatically reduced activity in all the areas associated with a pain response, including the areas that produce pain sensations, thoughts and emotions about pain, and the stress response. Although most of us will never become master yogis, this study demonstrates the full potential of meditation for changing your experience of pain.

5. The yoga tradition has long recognized that your breathing reflects the state of your mind and body. When the body and mind are disturbed by fear, anger, sadness, illness, or pain, the breath becomes disturbed. But the road goes both ways: how you breathe can also influence how you feel. This was elegantly demonstrated in a study that observed how the breath naturally changes during joy, anger,sadness, and fear. The researchers induced these emotions in participants and measured changes in breathing rate, depth, movement,and tension. Joy, for example, was associated with steady, smooth, slow, deep, and relaxed breathing. Sadness, in contrast, was associated with irregular, shallow, and tense breathing interrupted with sighs and tremors.

In a second study, the researchers turned the observations for each emotion into breathing instructions. They had participants change their breathing according to those instructions, with no hint that the breathing patterns were connected to specific emotions. The breathing patterns reliably created the emotions they were associated with,without any other emotion cue or trigger.

Yoga can teach you to breathe in a way that supports feelings of comfort, safety, and joy.

Thank you so much Kelly, there is a lot there I can empathise with. I could wax lyrical on how much yoga has helped me in all these ways, but I think we all know that by now right?!!

Namaste x

Sunday, January 3, 2010

my word for 2010 - mindfulness

Mindfulness is calm awareness of one's body functions, feelings, content of consciousness, or consciousness itself.

In choosing mindfulness as my word for the year I am not hoping for miracles, I don't look upon it as the first step on the road to enlightenment, I just want it in its lowest common denominator. I just want to be here right now.

I have a tendency to spend time in a rose-tinted past or an imagined future. Times when things were or will be better. A tendency that is not uncommon in people suffering from chronic illness or pain. One day things will be better and then life will be like it used to be. Meanwhile I am missing all the experiences that life is throwing at me right now. They don't always have to be good experiences to be important.

So this year I want to be present in everything I do. When I write, when I eat, when I am with those I love, when I am at work, when I exercise, when I meet new people or try new things, when I am on my mat. Especially when I am on my mat.

This isn't about hours of meditation every day, this isn't about experimenting with different mindfulness techniques (not that there is anything wrong with that). This is about appreciating the life I have right now. Every damn moment of it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

hello 2010 i think i'm going to like you!

All things considered it wasn't a bad New Year's Eve; we watched films and Father Ted and saw in 2010 rather decadently sitting in bed drinking pink champagne! I insisted upon wearing the outfit I'd planned for the NYE dinner party I didn't get to go to (*still* coughing). I adore this dress. I bought it for my graduation in 1997 and it still fits! In fact I think it fits better as I'm not quite as skin and bone as I was back then. It cost £200 from Whistles and whilst I nearly passed out spending that much on a dress, it has stood the test of time!

I would have worn these shoes, had we gone anywhere. As it was I just wore slippers.

And look! I'm using Poladroid! (Thanks to Nadine for the link - cuts the top of your head off though, maybe not such a bad thing....),

I also read this book by the author of daddylikey. If like me you ever look in your wardrobe and think you have nothing to wear, you have to read this! Turns out I have tons to wear after all!

As with so much in life, the new year was tinted with a shade of sadness when I found out that Tim Hart had died. As the daughter of old folkies I grew up listening to Steeleye Span and there will always be a special place in my heart for them.

RIP Tim, play on.