Sunday, 28 February 2010

on with the Alphabet

I am Determined, to beat the blues, and become the person I want and deserve to be. If that means faking it till I make it, so be it.

I am going to be dainty well, maybe not and dazzling and decisive and delicious and dependable and daring and delightful

I am empathetic, and as I was looking for an illustration, I realised that I do not do unto myself as I do unto others! So I will listen to my own advice.

I am going to be energetic and exciting and easy going and exotic, and elegant

I am fun,
and I am going to be fabulous and fantastic and faithful and friendly and firm and above all FIT

Friday, 26 February 2010

Bucked up

I have not been feeling so great the last few days, and needing to be bucked up, which to paraphrase one of my favourite author's, Terry Pratchet, is several letters away in the alphabet from how I am actually feeling. (No illustration)

And that got me thinking of alphabets; and the minister's cat!

and how I play it with my classes (of young adults) as the teacher's cat, and why shouldn't it be the teacher herself. However, only positive, what I am and what I am going to be! I reflected along this idea on the way home from work, and I will start my very own abc now...only part of the alphabet, because I do enjoy finding appropriate illustrations! And if any readers want to comment, start their own, please share!

So, A...oh, and one more thing (yes, I am like this in real life, you mean that tangents aren't straight?) I also saw a quote today The words 'I am...' are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.
A. L. Kitselman.....
So what I shall be saying is "I am...." and claiming it. And then "I am going to be......" positive thinking.

I am able.....

This tickled my fancy, because of the link with my own profession, however I am able because
I have brought up four children on my own
I have forged a second career for myself
I am well assimilated in a foreign country
I have found love
to name but a few!

I am also "articulate" (even with the tangents) "avid" (I love learning) "adaptable" (elastic even lol) "aware" (even if I haven't always taken the final step)

And I am going to be "attractive" and "athletic" and "agile" and "amazing" and "adorable" and "awesome"

In the car, when I got to "B" I couldn't think of a positive that I am actually at the moment. I carried on with the letters of the alphabet. However, I did manage to find a B; it isn't very feminine, but then I'm not always very feminine. It was ballsy...the illustrations are perhaps not suitable. however, I came up with a synonym...bold! And when I typed in "to boldly split infinitives" look what I found

just a tad ironic, as I live in France.

When I looked at the "B" adjectives, I could see why I had originally had a problem, lots of them are "B" rated. However, I am also "British" "brave" (this is on a percentage, if it measures at all) "bubbly" (not just the champagne) "brunette" (with the help of M. L'oreal et al) and "bright (not quite stupid, cf brave)

I am going to be "beautiful" "blissful" "braver" "beaming" and maybe "barefoot"!

Now we come to "C". I have 4, my four C's, my children, my past present and future all rolled into one. C had a particular resonance for me.

So what kind of C am I? I am caring, and I couldn't resist this image. When my third C, Calder, was born, when the first two came to the hospital, he had a present for each of them, a care bear? And how Carrick and Charlotte loved those care bears. So for my C, that seems do appropriate

So the "C"s compassionate (same difference) "conscious" (sophrology and all that) "cheerful" (hmm, quite a lot of people would dispute that at the moment, me included!) "charming" (less dispute)

So I am going to be "confident" (really, and not just how people see me), "cool" (well, here's hoping) "courageous" (ditto with confident) and above all "calm"

Maybe that's not bad for a start?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Well, maybe I should give an example

This blog is supposed to be about Sophrology, sort of, so maybe I should give an example of what it is.

So if you're sitting comfortably, then I'll begin.

But first, to digress. I rememeber the very very first Jackanory. And thanks to the wonders of internet, I have been able to check that is was in 1965. I was (and am) and avid reader, I loved Jackanory.

And what does that have in common with Sophrology. The spoken word. The word that gives. The word that can heal.Perhaps not so surprisingly, the very first story on jackanory confirms the importance of communciation. And listening....

Sooo, if you are sitting comforatably, then I'll begin (and if anyone would like to actually hear me, drop me a line, and I'll send you the file)

I am sitting comfortably in a chair, my hands on my thighs, my eyes closed so that I can better concentrate on myself. I am conscious of the contact points of my body, my feet, my buttocks, and my back. I am conscious of my clothes on my body. I breathe out gently and I relax in this position.

I relax my whole body, system by system, starting with my first system.

I am conscious of my first system, my head and my face. I relax my forehead; it becomes as smooth as a lake. I relax my eyes, all the muscles around my eyes, behind my eyes. My eyelids become heavier. I relax my cheeks, I let my jaw drop, I let my mouth open slightly, my tongue gently touching my palette. I am conscious of the shape of my skull, the shape of my face, the inside of my mouth. My first system is relaxed. I am conscious of the form of my first system without tension.

I am conscious of my second system. I am conscious of my neck and my throat, the means of communication. I relax my throat. I am conscious of my shoulders. I drop my shoulders. I release all tension in my shoulders, and all the way down the outer part of my arms, my forearms, the back of my hands, and right down to my nails. My second system is relaxed. I am conscious the form of my second system without tension.

I am conscious of my third system; the inside of my arms, my armpits, my thorax, my upper back. I turn my hands so that my palms face upwards, so as to better live my third system. All the muscles from my collarbone down to my floating ribs are relaxing. My breath becomes more regular, and less obvious, as my breathing is moving down to my abdomen. I can feel my diaphragm going up and down gently as I breathe. I am conscious of the muscles in my upper back relaxing. My torso is relaxed, and I am conscious of the form of my third system without tension.

I put my palms back onto my thighs.

I am conscious of my fourth system, my abdominal belt. I am conscious of my abdomen softening and relaxing. My breathing is becoming more natural, and my abdomen rises and falls with my breath, like a baby or a kitten. I am aware of my vital organs, and I can sense calm in my entire abdominal area. I relax the muscles in my lower back, those muscles which keep me upright, and which are constantly under tension My entire abdominal area is relaxed, and I am conscious of the form of my fourth system without tension.

I am conscious of my fifth system; my pelvis, my thighs, my knees, my calves, my shins, my ankles my feet, right down to my toes. I relax the entire base of my body, that part which is usually under tension, keeping me upright, or balanced. I relax all of the muscles, my buttocks, perineum, thighs, knees, calves, ankles right down to the tips of my toes, I am conscious of my the form of my fifth system without tension.

I am conscious of my whole body relaxed, and I take a few minutes to welcome all my consciousness into my corporality. I fully appreciate my vivance. With each breath I descend further, I get closer to the edge of sleep, without actually falling asleep. I am in the Sophro liminal level.

I breathe.

My breathing is calm, harmonious, and I can imagine my breath as a wave, that starts from the soles of my feet, enters my body by the soles of my feet, and then rises through my body, through the fifth system, the fourth system, the third system, the second system, the first system, right up to the top of my skull, where it spills out and over, and down my back, following the contours of my back, like a waterfall, until it reaches my feet, where it starts the journey again, through the soles of my feet, and then rises through my body, through the fifth system, the fourth system, the third system, the second system, the first system, right up to the top of my skull, where it spills out and over, and down my back, following the contours of my back.

I welcome all the sensations into my corporality.

I let a positive image of scenery come to me; scenery which is calm, restful, serene. I can imagine what is in front of me, what is behind me. I can imagine the scents, the warmth perhaps, the sounds. I take the time to welcome all the agreeable physical sensations that I can feel throughout my entire body.

I can join my thumb and my forefinger.

To better fix these agreeable sensations, I breathe in, and at the top of my breath I hold my breath. All these positive feeling are fixed in my body, and as I slowly breath out, these positive feelings are diffused throughout and into all the cells of my body.

I repeat, I breathe in, at the top of my breath I hold my breath I am aware of all the positive feelings that come to mind from the image of my positive scene. I fix these feelings in my corporality. As I breathe out I diffuse them and fix them in all the cells of my body.

If I wish, I can do this a third time, at my own rhythm.

I welcome all the sensation into my corporality.

I welcome the capacities of confidence, confidence in myself, and in my environment, harmony between my body and my spirit, and with all those around me, and hope, for the future that I am working towards. I take the time to welcome them into my corporality.

Now I prepare myself to come back. When I am ready I can take two or three deep breaths, I can then start to wriggle my toes, stretch my legs, move my fifth system, my fourth, my arms my third second and first systems, I can , yawn, stretch my whole body, rub my arms, legs, head, and when I am ready, I open my eyes……. I am back in the world.

Monday, 15 February 2010

More musings

Ok we had the introduction, and now down to the nitty gritty....

I've been thinking about how society views the menopause, and menopausal women; and by extension how we do ourselves.

But first we have to think about bodies, our own bodies, how we see them

and what they are really intended for

What is the menopause all about? Hormones! (incidentally, the name of my late brothers first band; punk of course circa 1978. I was the road manager...the only one with a driving licence. My ex was their manager....the only one with a suit)

Hormones, hmm, feeling the shift at the moment. When you start to look into them they play a huge unacknowledged part in our lives. not just the reproductive stuff, important that that may me, but also lots of other things....check out this link
So hormones are more than just sex..... they are also about growth; mood, appetite, sleep (serotonin, another blog an another time) ......and lots of other things.

Sooo, what does the menopause mean for me and many other women. NO MORE BABIES! Why should that be a problem. After all, the contraceptive industry is huge, to prevent us becoming so.

And if I had been hoping for a bit more liberation on the beach come the summer, than there were certain practical elements in question (if you are old enough to follow my convoluted explanation, then ok, 18 classification!) (and maybe too much detail) Why should I mourn a part of me that I have been actively suppressing for years? And yet, and yet..... that part of me is going to be suppressed, without my input...and it is not the same for men. yes, I mourn my fertility, but that is only one part of the equation. What does the menopause mean?

Well not a lot actually. Some women sail through, others are laid low. I'm in the middle. My best friend some of the time is as follows. This

and not this

And sorry chaps, that old friend fatigue is knocking at the door

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Musings from the perimenopause part 1

So first think, what classification should this blog be.....

there shall be some references to sex so if you might be offended, please go no further

but as they will all be in soft focus,

they should not give offence.

The menopause is defined as 12 months without menses (ok, using grown up words here, but still shouldn't give rise to an 18 classification) and I thought that I was half way through. Until today. I wanted to be half way through, as that would have meant that next summers time on the beach romping in the waves could have been really without concerns (Ahhhhhh too much detail, even with soft filters, we do not want to know)

Ok, this should calm things down....fully clothed after all

Now, a bit of history. I met my partner, Jacques, through the internet 9 years ago. We fell in love before meeting (cue aw shucks, violins etc) and when we met, he said that he would have loved me whatever my weight. However, he did also say that had I been 80 kgs, he would have enouraged me to diet, for my health, and for my self respect. I think I was around 59 kgs at the time, and the idea of being 80 was incredible to me. (Buzz Aldwin, "over to you Mrs Robinson")

Whenever I got to around 63/64kgs I would react, and things would sort themselves out. Untill 2007 that is, when various things happened, including the real beginning of the dratted perimenopause.

Now, you would have thought that sweating so much dring the night that "one" had to first change sides, and then change the sheets, and even then in the morning "one" looked as if "one" had already been in the shower as "one" dragged "oneself" out of bed, "one" would lose weight, at least through water. But no, the opposite was true. The scales just continued to creep up and up

and standing on one foot didn't fool anybody!

So end of part one, time for me to sleep, those who are strong in heart can follow the next part (soft focus and all)