May 14, 2019 § Leave a comment
Last night I went to witness the healing power of song by the wonderful Kingdom Choir. I left feeling rejuvenated and full of life.
My friend and choir director sings in the choir to support was my first intention then on the night itself I thought that I would be entertained somewhat. But what I didn’t really expect was to really be ministered to.
There was a song they sang called Chasing. I don’t know the song and I couldn’t catch all the words. But the heartfelt outpouring of those oohs and aahhs and crescendos spoke to each one of us in the venue. A heavenly silence followed as they left the stage to let the message resonate with us.
Never have I witnessed or felt something like that from paying to see a choir. But I didn’t see a choir last night I experienced a choir. We sang and danced together. The whole night from the warm up Phillipa Hannah and her beloved husband Joel to the very last note The Kingdom Choir sang was a transformational, spiritual experience.
Meeting members afterwards was like meeting family. So humble and listening and taking onboard the love and gratitude shown.
Come at a time of mourning for me. Even that was touched on as they talked about the Windrush generation and sang the songs of Zion that they brought to the UK.
A very powerful Monday night.
January 3, 2019 § Leave a comment
I recently heard on a podcast that what you do with your first 30 minutes of your day and the last 30 minsutes before bedtime can make a great difference to how you experience the day. What you choose to do on your routine or ritual is personal. It needs to work for you. You can try something new. It just needs to help bring peace and stillness to your day.
- Mobility exercises
- Qi Gong
- Listening to your favourite song
- Listening to the radio
- Listening to a motivational speaker
- Listening to an Audio book
- Listening to Relaxation music
- Drinking your special non alcoholic drink – You may want to make an elaborate coffee or a loose leaf tea or water infused with fruit or ginger.
- Cooking a special healthy breakfast. One that does not repeat on you or cause discomfort later!
- Include breathing exercises
- Minutes of silence
- Reading something inspirational
- With water – Showering with a special gel or bathing with epsom salts and essential oil or using that posh stuff someone bought you for Christmas!
You may need to do some research as to what it is you want to do. YouTube is a great place to find out how to make your own self care products or start some new exercise.
Things you can do at the end of the day
- A gratitude journal : List the things you are grateful for happy about
- A guided journal – has questions that help you to reflect on the day that has gone and what to do going forward. ( I have one I can send to you if requested)
- A simple evaluation: What went well; what didn’t go so well; What I will do differently going forward.
You can choose the time of day you do your routine. I start the day with mine as its the quietest time of the day and it sets me up for the day. Your routine can be done at a time that is more powerful for you.
I have done some of these things in the middle of the day as I’m on holiday or during Christmas and New year where I put aside time to reflect on the year past and set goals for the year ahead.
Youtube channels and links that may help you
Yoga with Adriene – http://www.yogawithadriene.com
Bexlife – Rebekah Borucki Meditation and Self Hypnosis for beginners
Les Brown 15 minute motivation
Kati Morton breathing exercises www.katimorton.com
March 8, 2017 § Leave a comment
In January its normally too quick to go gung ho into a new regime as I think part of me hibernates. When March comes the light comes, the air changes and I just naturally start to have more energy.
Yesterday evening it was still light at 5pm so me and my son went for a walk taking in the local greenery and it was so lovely.
Me and my 3 boys went to parents evening the night before and funnily enough we had a great time. It was a little night time adventure. I had mistakenly left my phone at home so we had to walk through Buntingford high street to call a cab.
It was just great to be out in the evening with my boys who are such good company.
Now that they are bigger we work more as a team. I love seeing how their minds work. My youngest kept finding ingenious ways of getting me to buy something for him. Every time I said no he tried a different tack. It was so funny. He also found it funny.
Its good to love and be loved.
On the way back from tonight’s walk we stopped on our elderley neighbour Dave ( not his real name). He is so much fun and a real pleasure to be with but is lonely after his wife died. So every now and again we pop round to enjoy his company. Today I showed him a short video of the choir that I sing in called Herts of Love. He loved it as in the past he asked me if he could go to a “gospel ” church with me. I got the chance to tell him that I loved him and that he is loved. I think that can be one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. Your time and then to love them.
January 6, 2017 § Leave a comment
If you asked me who was my biggest inspiration I would always say my mom. She is and will ever be an inspiration to me because she was a working woman when a lot of my school friends had stay at home moms. She immigrated to the UK from Jamaica as a teenager, did her nursing training and it was here profession that she stayed in for all of her working life.
What was great is that my mom was able to balance having a large family with work and a husband who worked long hours. When I was very young – 10 and under my dad did long distance lorry driving so often my mom was looking after 3 young children under 4 on her own. My mom dressed well, always made sure that we were always well presented and she encouraged us in out education. She is hands down the best reader of Enid Blyton stories. her soothing voice would happily put you to sleep within 10 mins.
When I was a teenager my dad worked locally. He was now a haulage contractor, meaning he own his own lorry and found his own work with a big road surfacing company.
At the weekends he decided with another person to start a Sunday school in a new estate in Wolverhampton. He had had always been good with young people, driving the van to take them to some youth event or other so I think he may have been chosen to grow the Church in this way.
I realise now that what my dad did in Sunday school was to shape my entire working life.
At times in Sunday school we used to sit in a big circle and everyone was to read a couple of verses out aloud. Now in the group were children who were not confident readers. So my dad ensured that the circle was a safe space to practice reading my encouraging children to read one by one sitting down. If they struggled with a word he would pronounce it for them. he also reassured them that they would be alright, to take no notice of the some of the rude giggling. He made you feel that you were reading one to one as he was there encouraging and guiding you all the way. I remember being in awe of his technique which was really made up of patience, caring and protection.
Years later he recalled his pride at how well his Sunday school pupils had turned out. He remarked that a couple of people were really struggling – really they could not read but with help they not only became confident readers but they also finished school and were able to get good responsible jobs.
I will never forget being part of the circle. I think I was admiring my dad and the way he conducted the reading circle but I was also silently willing the less confident readers to carry on. I was learning skills that were invaluable in my lecturing and teaching life.
Another thing I learned from my dad was commitment. He was there every week. He had to get 3 then up to 6 of his children ready in the mornings. Making sure that we had polished our shoes on the Saturday and picked out our clothes for ironing on the day before too.
He then transported us to the venue. Sometimes we didn’t have a car and we would take 2 buses to get there on time. Sometimes we had a long wait for our second bus at the stop. But time with dad this way was precious for me. He had switched off from work, we could chat about some really personal things, things that my mom would be too embarrassed to talk about. He made time for every one of us as well as supporting the parents of the children. often staying over to visit parents, discuss progress and also to pray with them.
When I think about coaching or go to a good group coaching session it feels like one of Dad’s reading circles – a safe place where you can bare your insecurities and grow.
Thank you Dad for giving me a gift that I had not valued until I had been lecturing, teaching and running workshops for 10 years. It was a magical time and a wonderful gift. I truly have learned from the best.
December 14, 2016 § Leave a comment
I was messed up, confused, Misused and abused, And I refused to believe I was worthy of simply being me. I felt oppressed and ashamed So I blamed the world for my life Me, a mother, a wife Still cr…
August 24, 2016 § Leave a comment
Right. I haven’t been images on my blog because my main purpose is to write. I also use Facebook which has spoilt me with its ease of uploading photos. I really want to talk about my journey with my image and change.
For those who have not read my blog, I lost weight on a program about 3 years ago. It was great, transformative etc. I was excercising most days, I ate a mainly clean diet in that I greatly reduced processed food. I was journalling. Then slowly over the 3 years since I reached my then “goal weight” I seem to have put on the weight I lost.
I was warned that this would happen. And let me be honest. I went back to eating my comfort foods on a regular basis. I remember distinctly the food of the beginning of my weigh demise – butter mintoes and chocolate eclair toffees!. I remember chain eating them to cope with the anxiety of a new job. This job was the first job I’d had working for an employer for 4 years. I remember feeling that I can’t get a handle on what I need to be doing in this job but what I can do unwrap the sweet, put it in my mouth suck or chew it. I was successful at these tasks so I would do this while working or travelling to work.
I think this is what they call emotional eating.
I did not have time to prepare healthy lunches on a regular basis. I would buy from the canteen or have the hot cooked chicken and salad and chips from Asda. At weekends I was on my own with the kids as hubby was at work. The overwhelm and anxiety I was feeling led me to be very inactive at weekends. I felt I could only manage washing the kids clothes in time for school and ensure that we were fed and watered.
I did try to do the daily exercise at this time but any type of strenuous exercise caused a lot of pain to my joints and back.
This year work changed again. I was working on a supply basis so I didn’t know where I was from day to day. When I did get 2 month contracts I would go out for lunch as I found a delicious cafe and it was convenient.
But that was survival mode.
But in all of that I was ok because I ate what I wanted. It was when I looked in photos I could see the weight gain and the loss of that healthy glow I had even before I had embarked on a weight loss journey.
It feels great to eat wholesome fruit veg and organic where possible poultry and meat. I would like to go back to greatly reducing the non essential comfort foods in my diet and eat nourishing foods.
Well let me tell you the weigh loss journey is over and the quest and the practice of healthy balanced eating and sustainable management of a healthy weight is here and is a path I am ever travelling. I don’t want to yo yo so badly again.
I would also like to look at myself in a photo and like what’s outside and in. And I’m doing that. I’m accepting that I have good internal qualities in spite of my looks.
May 7, 2016 § Leave a comment
About 2 years ago I was at what I thought was my goal weight. Since then I have put the weight back on. It wasn’t without a fight though. I tried other exercise challenges and I either ended up in a lot of physical pain pretty soon into the challenge. What I was eating had changed. I was trying to cut out sugar but I think I ended up eating more salty things which has not been good.
I also went back to work and was not frequently preparing my own lunch. Also some of my work was causing me a lot of anxiety. So I changed the way I was working.
So about a couple of weeks ago I said to myself that I do need to “shed” some of this excess weight. So I actually measured myself and saw that I would like to reduce my chest and especially around my stomach by 10 inches.
I also said to myself that I cannot afford to have my own change of eating habits going on without including my family because for one it would be too expensive for me and two, my boys need to reduce the amount of sugar they have in their own diets.
So I did a little Youtubing and I managed to find some good advice along with some not so great advice, but mostly good. My sons watched some of the food videos with me and said they were willing to try eating overnight oats with fruit. They loved the banana pancakes.
The other thing that I have done was decided to love myself where I am now. So when I look for images I look for those who look like me. There aren’t many.
I’ve decided to do 30 days of Yoga with Adriene on Youtube in a bid to make my healthy choices long lasting. I have not done 30 days non stop. I have been doing the 25 to 30 min sessions about 4 or 5 mornings a week. On the days I do not do the long sessions, I still may do a mini session. This has helped me to do is to be kind to meyself . Its gives me a space each morning to stretch out all the kinks and helps me to feel more peaceful instead of anxious. I also started looking at my nutrition as a result of exercising.
This is a return to yoga for me. I’ve always mostly done it from home on a video class. I have had a few actual classes with Bikram or hot yoga being my favourite. I also had a couple of books that I practiced from.
What I like about it is that I am not pounding the floor but I am giving myself time to breathe. I feel as if I am bathing myself in a meditation.
So I’m enjoying the journey so far. I feel better about myself and calmer.
June 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
January 24, 2014 § 9 Comments
On Wednesday a friend said to me ‘A lot of positive things are happening for you, what are you going to do to recognise and celebrate them.’ I have decided to celebrate by sharing with others as it may help someone else.
I have suffered from Insomnia for 10 years. This means my sleep quality is poor and sleep is never the same from one week to the next. Sometimes it leaves me feeling so frustrated. Last summer I had a particularly bad patch of insomnia and my husband suggested I go to the Dr. At this time we were looking for a place to live. Our landlord wanted to return to the property. So we were leaving on his request. Our financial situation meant we couldn’t pick and choose where we could go. We recieved notice to leave the property in April. We actually found a property at the end of September. During this time we had put money down on 2 properties.
I was frozen with fear, I was unable to pack because I didn’t know where we were going and plus I didn’t want to move house, move the kids school etc.
So when we went to the Drs he prescribed an anti depressant as I had seen him 6 to 12 months before complaining of the same thing. My husband was in the consultation and he asked if anything else could be done and the Dr said something about Counselling. I wasn’t sure whether he was booking it or I was to do it. When we returned home my husband said I don’t really want you to take the tablets. I didn’t really want to either but I did want relief from how I was feeling. I consulted my support group and they advised me not to take the tablets but to carry on through the pain and admit how I was feeling. A month later I was feeling better then my cousin aged 57 died. Then in the weeks following his death I found out about the passing of a beloved colleague aged 52 and then finally one September I learned of the death of my school friend and the father of my son’s classmate. My son is 5 years old.
These bereavements hit me like a ton of bricks. They also made me see that tomorrow is not promised. The message I received from this was that I have my health, my family and I am imbued with many talents. I must use what I have to glory of God because tomorrow, who knows. I also had a dream where I felt God asking me if I were to take you now how would you feel. I started to feel the disgust of how many things I had left undone, I jumped out of my bed and started to live differently.
I gave a bag of food to the mother of my child’s classmate and she opened up to me and invited me to the funeral. A few days before the funeral I offered to sing at the graveside if there wasn’t any music. I don’t often sing solo so I did regret asking. But I spoke at the funeral and sang at the graveside. The weight of all that I had been through in April and all the grief I had fuelled my performance. Had I not sung at the graveside the deceased would have had no music at the graveside, just tears. A couple of people said to me that they feel the deceased had a proper send off that his mother would have been proud of.
Since then I share what I have. That mostly is love for others. I do more in my local Church and generally say thank you a lot more.
I also am on the penultimate week of counselling. At first I thought that I may need counselling for the rest of my life because, I’ve had it before on 2 occaisions. Counselling gave me room to get everything that was blocking me out, but also made me aware of my weaknesses and how to strenghthen them.
Over Christmas I made a series of videos that were meant for my loved ones. The videos were really boring to look at but the words were showing me that I am blessed, that I live in a beautiful area. I can easily escape the built up area in which I live to go to various parks and be with nature. I also will use the videos, or recording my thoughts as a way of reflecting my thoughts and feelings. I also have been looking after myself by trying new hairstyles and balancing treating myself with treating my family. I took my husband out for lunch and I organised a family outing to a Church Ghana night. I cherish the times we choose to spend time together doing something. In the past I felt I wanted a break from my family but now I feel something is missing if I’ve had a good time and they weren’t with me.
So its about balance. There are times when life seems unbearable. At these times I look at what I have. I am rich in love and talents. I am loved and I have the capacity love. As Iong as I have that I can achieve anything. I have faith which means I am able to endure hard times and see that all these things work for my good.
I hope this helps someone today. Peace x