Friday, May 27, 2016

Tommy Rosen...

I think this will be my last Hay House talk and the only one from the 4th and final bunch of talks that they release that I will listen to. Yes I have slowed right down (maybe I was put off by dragons and unicorns see my last post!).

Anyway I managed to listen to Tommy Rosen an addiction-recovery expert because of course he is right up my alley! And I know him from his own online conference (like this Hay House one) called 'Recovery 2.0' which I listened to a while back and really enjoyed (and actually paid to buy the talks some of which I still haven't listened to). Anyway I'm a fan of Tommy and it was good to listen to him in this context.

He talks about addiction being a problem of the human race right now where we are constantly trying to distract ourselves from the present moment.. in a way that 'demotes our being'.  He said we are all addicted to looking away. This could be obvious ways like booze or painkillers or gambling or pot or food issues or porn, but it could also be workaholism, shopping, or engaging addictively with technology.”

Beyond the addictions in our lives that distract us from the present moment, Tommy explains the four aggravations we face and how we can be stuck within them. These are behaviours that we continue to do despite the fact they brings negative consequences to our lives. There's a gap in our awareness when it comes to these more subtle forms of addiction but they're very, very important.

* Negative thinking (saps us of our energy)
* Self doubt (negative thinking turned towards you)
* Procrastination
* Resentment

He told his own big long story about  his using (sounded FULL ON from the age of 13 - 24) and the massive turnaround he has had in recovery.

He says "there is not a human being alive on the planet today that can't shift onto the path of recovery... that can't become a wholehearted healed human being. There is no such thing as hopeless. there is only are you willing to ask for help and try?"

It was a great talk, he has an excellent way of breaking down the psychology of addiction and recovery. I heartily recommend him (he has books out).

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Honesty about Hay House..

Ok I have to be honest here, a lot of the talks offered at the Hay House summit look to me to be totally kooky and not of the type that I enjoy. I like practical, grounded talks about life and the human brain and nutrition and emotions and bravery etc. I like people to give me new ways to look at difficult situations, practical tips for not getting worked up over things and over thinking, I love being taught how to use my breath and body to ground myself in the moment and being made aware of thoughts being just thoughts not facts and things that have to be paid a lot of attention to all the time.

I draw the line (usually) at things that talk about 'angelic realms' and 'creating miracles' and 'divine feminine' and 'atomic energy' and stuff. It just seems a bit 'out there' for me. But am I selling myself short? Cutting my nose off despite my face? Mixing my metaphors?

In the interest of being open to new things I decided to listen to two talks that didn't interest me in the slightest from reading their titles.

The first was called 'Access the Angelic Realm for Enlightenment and Mastery' and the speaker was called Diana Cooper. In the blurb intro to the talk she talked about dragons and unicorns. I shit you not. Anyway.. so I listened.

Firstly she had a very warm and lovely voice. In the intro the interviewer said that Diana had had a visitation from an angel that had changed her life. She told a story about a light arriving in the corner of her room with her mothers face and she knew it was her mother's soul. She talked about enlightenment being a third eye process, opening up to illumination and seeing that everything is love.

She said life is all about taking full responsibility for everything you think and feel. If you blame you give power to another person. Time to look at your life and say 'ok, how did I let this happen. What is it about ME that let this person to do this to me, and once we do this we see we have mastery over everything.'

She says we all have dragons looking after us. The dragon can come into deeper denser energies. If you see something really negative going on you can send your dragon in to deal with it and they will burn up your energy. They are 4th dimension beings, if you are a fire sign you will have a fire dragon who will look after you, ditto water sign, air and earth.

Jingos I don't know. I'm just reporting what she said.

I'm reporting that she says pink dragons are recently returning to the planet lighting up our relationships. Golden dragons protect us and raise our frequency. Many people have been connected with our dragons without realising it.

She connects with unicorns .. she says in 2015 for the first time 9th dimensional unicorns came back to earth. The unicorns work with the desires of our souls, take our wishes up to the higher realm to be blessed. We can ask them at night to pour blessings on us while we sleep.

This woman is a best selling author!!!!!!! Sorry I made it to 15 minutes of the 1 hour then gave up.

The next talk I gave a nudge to was called "Build your Trust Muscles!", an interview with a woman called Iyanla Vanzant. She is a best-selling author and apparently the star of the popular television show Iyanla: Fix My Life. She also had a warm lovely voice.

She says that trust is the key to creating the life you truly want, and forgiveness.  When you can fully experience the four trusts—in self, in the divine, in others, and in the process of life—anything you desire is within reach.

She says very often we reject the truth because very often we think we have to do something about it. But if we just acknowledge the truth it will do the work for us. IE we don't have to do something about it (whatever 'it' is).. so long as we just acknowledge it (the truth about something) then that's enough.She says she grew up surrounded by dishonesty.. everything was a lie. The person she was told was her mother wasn't. She was told she was 'wrong', that there was something 'wrong' with her when she reckons she was probably the most sane person in the room. She made a commitment to herself no matter how hard or frightening in her life she was always going to tell the truth. Because when you live a lie it distorts your sense of self. Tell the truth and the truth will correct itself.

I can't argue with the truth-telling ethos.

Four trusts = Trust yourself, Trust God (or the divine or the universe), Trust others, and Trust the process of life.

I made it to about 15 minutes again then we had to get the kids out of the house so that's all I'm sorry.

So there you have it I dabbled my toe into the somewhat mystical! Iyanla was a bit more grounded than Diana.. I'm sure they're both lovely people doing amazing work and reaching many people who are looking for guidance in this crazy world of ours. Perhaps they're just not the right sort of gurus for me.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, May 20, 2016

Dr Libby

Oh I do love me a bit of Dr Libby. I've even been to see her live! She did one of the Hay House talks and it was called 'The Nine Elements That Will Help You Solve Your Weight-Loss Puzzle".. and while I'm not someone desperate to lose weight (although would by lying if I said I didn't wish I was a good 6kg lighter) I love just hearing her describe how our bodies work.

She talks about how in today's world where we are rushing from left to right stressed out to buggery we produce a lot of adrenaline and cortisol and our bodies aren't designed to live with that dominating all the time (in the old days it only came on briefly when we were running from a deadly animal or some such). And when our bodies are flooded with stress hormones it uses quick burning fuel - glucose - and not the slow burning fuel FAT that we all want to lose....

So somehow we have to activate not our stress hormones/sympathetic nervous system but our parasympathetic nervous system .. but the problem is it is subconscious so we can't force our bodies to do this. The only known scientific way that we can actively activate our parasympathetic nervous systems (the one which tells us we're calm and not in danger) is by lengthening our out breath.

All together now breath oooouuuuuuttttttttt ssssllllooooowwwwwllllyyyy.

Now remember to do that all the time!

She talked a lot about caffeine which I don't have to worry too much not being a coffee drinker any more. I do occasionally have a decaf which she says can be full of nasty chemicals so you have to look for a 'swiss filter' method.. but I probably only have one every two weeks so am not too worried about that. She said green tea is full of antioxidants which is great because I drink a lot of it!

In general she said perfection with food is a lot of people's undoing, it doesn't need to be like that. It's about what we consistently do that matters..

Sounds good.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Neighbourhood Mindfulness Course Week 3

This was my favourite lesson of the three! On Mindfulness and Emotions. Right up my alley.

Cheryl the course facilitator spoke about accepting anger and sadness and letting them flow through us rather than getting busy in our heads working out why they are there and what to do about them. Easier said than done everyone knows that!

She discussed using the RAIN process and said it can help difficult emotions dissipate, as well as buying ourselves time between the stimulus and response. "This is helpful if our habitual response to a certain difficult emotions is one that is not serving us well e.g. Overeating when sad, too much alcohol when we are stressed, and hurting people when we are angry. RAIN also helps us see the emotion for what is rather than adding to it with our thoughts." (She sent that quote in an email follow up to us course participants).

RAIN is;
R = Recognize what is going on;
A = Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
I = Investigate with kindness;
N = Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying
with the experience.

Here is an article by the wonderful Tara Brach on RAIN.

She also shared this quote from Pema Chodron re the detox period. "When you refrain from habitual thoughts and behaviour, the uncomfortable feelings will still be there. Over the years, I’ve come to call resting with the discomfort “the detox period,” because when you don’t act on your habitual patterns, it’s like giving up an addiction. You’re left with the feelings you were trying to escape. The practise is to make a wholehearted relationship with that” Pema Chrodron.

She also said in her follow-up email: "Mindfulness practises like the Body Scan and RAIN help us to become better at “resting with the discomfort". Remember this process is only needed for dealing with difficult emotions, as we discussed some emotions are easily processed and there is no need to use this process."

At the end of this course - the final in the 3 weeks which was just an introduction to mindfulness - she said we had the option to join her once-a-month mindfulness group. Around 15 people come to her studio in the suburb I live in (lucky me she lives where I do!) for an hour and a half to work through some mindfulness practices and do exercises with the group. Well HELL TO THE YEAH!!!!! Me and my friend who did this introductory course together put our names down to join and keep going.

What a lovely addition to my life and I am happy to spend money on it now that I don't spend crap loads of money on wine!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dr Wayne Dyer

Another Hay House Summit talk. This one was called 'I can see clearly now' by a Dr Wayne Dyer who is apparently an internationally renowned author and speaker in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth. In fact his website calls him 'The Father of Motivation'. Wowsers.

He was pretty cool though, sounded up front and honest. His talk was mostly just about finding your passion and following it and being open to do anything to achieve your authentic calling and believing in yourself to do it etc etc....

He talked about “listening to your excitement” and learning to listen to the higher part of yourself and allow it to guide you to manifesting the life you are destined to lead.

Ask yourself; "What is is that causes a real sense of excitement in you?" When something strikes that inner flame inside of you .. it's because it's the thing that aligns you with who you really are. Let go (submit and commit) and let it happen.

Get two pieces of paper and on one write what you are prepared to do to achieve your goal (even if your goal is a happy and content life) and on the other piece of paper write down all the things that you are UNWILLING to do to achieve that goal. The unwilling piece of paper should always be blank.

He also said the first and most important thing you need to have is a burning desire to change. That is the foundation from which you can create a rich and fulfilling life.

Some of it was a little kooky - lots of mystical elements to his beliefs - but in general it's always nice to hear such positivity I suppose.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Neighbourhood Mindfulness Course Week 2

I was really looking forward to going to this which is always a good sign! The theme for Week 2 was 'Mindfulness and thoughts'  and Cheryl the lady running the course talked a lot about having awareness for our thoughts so they don't cause us undue stress, anxiety, anger or depression. About trying not to just go about our days on auto pilot but be aware of what we are thinking as that can take some of the obsession and 'sting' out of our ruminations.

Also how to use your breathing & body to ground yourself in the moment (away from your thinking). It was all good to hear and I am familiar with the concepts.

We did a writing exercise where she set a timer and we had to write for 2 minutes on three questions.

1) If everything goes perfectly and to your best most optimistic expectations for the next five years... in five years time who are you and what are you doing..?

2) What are you feeling (in 5 years if everything goes as perfectly as you could hope from now)

3) What are other people saying about you?

You HAVE to write for the full 2 minutes because sometimes apparently it's surprising what comes up when you are forced to keep writing. For the last one I just started writing 'I find this hard to write because it feels totally irrelevant what others say about me'...! You know that famous saying 'what others think of me is none of my business'!!

Anyway our homework is to

1) Notice what you struggle to accept in yourself and others. Be curious.

2) Stop to notice your present moment experience, exactly as it is without adding a narrative.

3) Do a body scan and breath awareness exercise for 5-10 minutes every day.

Have to admit I didn't do it yesterday but today I did a 15 minute body scan from my old Mark Williams recordings. Did it in the car waiting for the school bell to go. My mind wandered quite a bit but it was still lovely and calming.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Monday, May 9, 2016

Two talks on food...

Have managed to listen to two more of the free Hay House Summit talks - both on food.

The first was a woman called Donna Schlenk and her talk 'Cultured Food for the Soul' was all about now the gut, body and mind work together. She raved about cultured and probiotic foods like kefir and kimchi etc and how they help you feel good, lift depression, and heal disease etc etc. It's all about the  millions of microbes that live in and on each of us apparently.

She was pretty evangelical because these foods saw her go from miserable and sick to healthy and happy. She said people who get well often feel so good they want to help others find the same thing and I can relate to that with my sobriety! I feel so good now that I don't drink alcohol I want to help others get here too (if they are secretly miserable with their drinking like I was).

Anyway I don't eat any of these cultured foods that Donna raves about but I am wondering if I might give them a try. She says start with “the trilogy”: kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables. Choose one and add it to your diet slowly—no need to overhaul your kitchen in one day. And she says moving gradually toward healthier foods is the best way to effect change. So maybe I'll investigate getting a kefir powder that I can add to shakes easily and see what that does.

The second guy was called Jason Wrobel and he's a raw food/vegan chef with books out and stuff (the more I take part in these online summits like this one and the mindfulness one the more I get the sense that the world - particularly America! - is full of wellness experts with books out and fancy websites that offer weekly newsletters etc etc.. it's a huge industry!). Anyway he was an alert sounding guy, happy and healthy, and he raves about plant-based diets and good physical exercise etc etc. His talk was called "Living a Deliciously Long, Healthy, Joyful Life!" so that gives you him in a nutshell.

He talked a lot but the main takeaways for me were that you can't radically change your diet in a hurry.. it needs to be gradual or the detoxification process is too intense for the body. He talked about the power of music and dancing as a healing tool (I have often written about music being a big part of my self-care routine in recovery.)

He offers a guide to the perfect morning routine which to be honest sounds completely over the top and ridiculous  (I'm sorry to say that but I am being honest) certainly not for me with 3 kids and a dog to attend to first thing each day. The link to his full suggested list for a morning routine is here. Here are the things that I will take from it;

* Morning gratitudes are very very beneficial. Many others talk about this. Start the day with a mental list of things you are grateful for. Saying it out loud is even more effective

* Do some deep breathing to cleanse the lungs. A yoga breathing exercise can energise and calm you. Here's a YouTube video to the one he particularly recommends.

* Drink a tall glass of water with 2 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar added

He did offer some recipes and I typed them down! Some of these ingredients I just don't have..but maybe I'll get them..

Cherry Chocolate Smoothie.
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (or almond or
2tsp matcha powder
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbs greens powder or handful kale
1 tsp vegan protein powder
1 frozen banana
3/4 cup hard frozen cherries
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 avocado

(I made a banana cake while I listened to him!! Whoops.....)

Love, Mrs D xxx

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rules for technology

So the Hay House summit started properly yesterday and they have dropped 20 'lessons' (audio or video talks).

I have just listened to a lady called Holland Haiis and she is a connectivity expert motivational speaker person.. her topic was about practical tips for managing technology.

The main takeaways for me were;

* No devices in the bedroom! (I already do that except for special times like now when I’m lying in on Mothers Day)

* Turning off and disconnecting from devices 2 hours before bed (I’m not good at that very often), but fairly regularly I do not check sites after about 8pm

* Setting a timer when you go on social media (15 minutes!).

* Only ever doing 3 emails in a row. This doesn't work for me but I do think I have a fairly healthy relationship with my work emails. Unless they are terribly urgent I do one big session a week.

* Starting each day with 5 things you are grateful for. I do gratitude at night with my sons, When I kiss them goodnight we go through 2 or 3 things we are grateful for through the day. It makes a big difference to my kids state of mind I reckon and helps me too!

* Every morning focusing on your goals (short or long term). I don't really do this but could probably start.

* Making time in your weekly calendar for adult fun – something that isn’t work or responsibilities. Hmm not sure about this, whether I can do it with my intense parenting I do but I could probably try!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Friday, May 6, 2016

Free online Health & Wellness Summit

I’ve just signed for this free online ‘Health and Wellness Summit’ which all looks rather full on but interesting. Throughout May they are making available 100 'lessons' (audio or video talks) all on the topic of bettering ourselves – meditation & mindfulness, food, exercise, mental health etc etc.

It's free! You just sign up with a first name and email address. From tomorrow they'll release 25 talks, then five days later 25 more, and so on (four groupings in total). So loads of material but great flexibility of when to listen to it.

The list of material looks quite overwhelming but also quite stimulating and exciting so even if you only listened to one or two it would be worth it!

The list of talks is here.

I just signed up and got immediate access to four audios (a pre-summit treat for people who register!) and have listened to a couple.

I did a mindfulness summit like this last year and it was bloody fantastic!

Like doing a free amazing online university course, I loved it! There's way too much material for me to listen to all of it but will try for a few anyway.

Love, Mrs D xxx

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Neighbourhood Mindfulness Course Week 1

So I went to a Mindfulness Course in my neighbourhood on Monday night and it was lovely! I went with a friend and think it's going to be good for the both of us. It's just nice for me to go out and do something 'in person' as so much of the work I do on myself (getting sober, mindfulness, food issues etc) is done online and via books etc.

It was lovely just to be sitting in a little school chapel with about 20 other people listening to the very gentle but smart lady tell us about mindfulness.

Quite hard concepts to get across in just 1 hour but thankfully I've done quite a bit of reading so knew what she was talking about anyway. Made me realise how much I have absorbed and put into practice already. But it's good to get a refresher.

One of the stand-out descriptions for me was when she talked about what great 'storytellers' we are in our minds, attaching complex narratives to things that are occurring in front of us. So we create a whole lot of internal 'noise' (thoughts) about things that happen.. when to NOT do that would often make it much calmer.

Damn human brains!!!

She had us do an exercise where we had to pair up (lucky me and my friend had each other!) and for two minutes had to talk to the other person about two statements. The first was 'what are you grateful for in your life?' (or something like that) and the second was 'what are the biggest challenges that you face?' (or something like that). The key to the exercise was that the person listening wasn't allowed to say anything! Just nod or make affirming noises. So it was an exercise in mindful listening. HARD. Try it with someone.. hard not to do verbal feed back constantly.

Listening well is a real skill and such an enviable quality in a person.

Anyway the lady running the course has just sent us a link to her Soundcloud account which has brief audios to listen to - body scans etc - the link is here.

Looking forward to next week already!

Love, Mrs D xxx