A change in direction

30/12/2019

The end of the year, and of the 2010s decade. How quickly has that passed? The end of a year usually means a time of reflection of the months that have passed, what has been achieved, what hasn’t… which then usually leads to resolutions promised for changes to be made… often relating to health, home and career. Some of these will happen, many won’t (gym membership anyone?)… disappearing into the ether of time, along with any sense of strong willpower. When it coincides with a new decade, that can often be a springboard for deeper introspection and evaluation of this thing we call Life.

And so it is with this blog. I originally set it up when I was finishing my night school education to become a mental health therapist/counsellor. What a great privilege that has been. To sit with clients, to listen and hear their stories… to be allowed to walk alongside their personal journeys and to share in their challenges, struggles and successes as they forged forwards, with many a bittersweet moment as sessions finished and goodbyes were said when it was time for them to move on. In that time I also changed my direction in sports, and surprisingly found I enjoyed the challenge of running long distance. Unfortunately time did not permit the two to co-exist alongside the demands of a full-time job with a long commute. Something had to give, and that was the counselling, although I’m not ruling out a potential return to it one day, or to something along the lines of goal-orientated life coaching. Never say never. 😉

There has been a lot in the press over the last year regarding women and their place in the world, not only with regard to our “rights” but also how we are not following previous generations in how to live our lives as we age. When I was growing up it was common for my grandmother’s generation to have to give up work when they got married, where when she was born, women did not have the right to vote; for my mother’s generation to work until they had children and then stay home. For my generation, most women I know have always worked, whether that be full or part-time, depending on financial constraints and necessities (such as childcare).

I’m now of the generation that is not bound by the patterns of the past, where “middle-age” is no longer seen to be for those who have reached 40 plus… and where once when you reached 50, Life was only on a decline towards the very end (my mother once described to me… I’m nearer death than further away from it… how morbid)… now we are no longer confined by others’ expectations and beliefs of how we should act, where we should go, who we should be… rather, we are open to travel and exploration of what Life has to offer… to ideas that inspire us… to delicious opportunities and adventures that beckon…

And this is where I find myself… looking to try new things, travel to new places… to share these things with friends and loved ones, to challenge myself and to maybe… hopefully… inspire others and pass on some ideas through this website of my own experiences and adventures as an older woman.

So this website/blog will be getting a new design and a new name, although I’m keeping my old domains due to the posts I already have on this blog. If there are any subjects that you want to be discussed on here, experiences or places reviewed, please either add as a comment to this post or send me a message from the contact page.

Wishing you all a wonderful and prosperous New Year, as well as an exciting and adventurous decade ahead!
Michelle


Affirmation of the Week

07/01/2013

headstand 4_crop

Yoga Retreat, Barbados November 2011
© 2011 Michelle Payne

“I AM HAPPY AND HEALTHY”

Health has been at the forefront of my mind these past few weeks as I’ve unfortunately been laid low over the entire Christmas period with a bad flu virus and sinusitis.  It also reminded me of how I felt a few years ago when I had to take a long time off work to recuperate.

I am, and was, very lucky. Some years ago I had extensive, cutting-edge hip surgery and although my surgeon was one of the few that deals with hip arthroscopy, unfortunately I had to have the whole “open you up” kinda thing and be pinned back together, which then meant a further op to get them out.  This, of course, meant some months off work and on crutches and it’s amazing how much your self-awareness can grow at times like this… well I know mine did.

When you’re ill, you have expectations, not just of how it would any illness (or surgery) may go, but how you will manage, how physically capable you will be, how you think people will react to whatever situation you’re in at that time, and you’ll definitely find out what your “support” system is like!  And of course there’s the emotional expectations… are you a cup full type of person, or a half-empty one?  What “safe” routines do you fall into, where do you feel most comfortable… how much do your perceptions of self change? After all, times of healing can also very often show us where we most need to change our attitudes, if we are open to it.

In my opinion, positivity and focus are key to regaining optimum health… as are the words *Yes I can* (hmmmm, that may be meat for a later affirmation). I definitely felt my positivity slip both at times during recovery from surgery (I won’t bore you with the details since it’s so long ago) and yes, during this latest flu episode. Christmas especially is a time of being with loved ones, and this year I spent Boxing Day alone for the first time ever, ill in bed… though I did have the offer of dinner being brought round to me… meals on wheels express service *grin*.

Yet this affirmation isn’t just to be used by those who’ve undergone surgery or even anyone who needs *healing* of any kind. I think it’s the kind of affirmation that reinforces our soul each and every day. It helps to change our outlook… our focus… it helps to bring positivity into our lives… which then ripples out to help our physical health yes… and also our emotional and our spiritual health, because really, aren’t these all inter-linked?

It can also remind us to look at everything good we have in our lives, to be grateful for those things, or people… and even opportunities… we then find happiness and contentment within… and one of the physical benefits of this I think… is that we then radiate this outwards with our behaviour and attitudes towards others.

I am happy and healthy… (the remainder of flu notwithstanding)… I am… I have a great life, great friends and great support… no my life is not *perfect*… yes I’m still (and always will be) on a path of learning and self-awareness… yes I’m sure there will always be obstacles somewhere… but overall, I have excellent health for where I am in life, and a hellavu lot of happiness… which I try to remember daily and be grateful for.

Affirmation questions to consider for this week are:

How healthy do you feel?
How happy do you feel?
What obstacles to health and/or happiness do you think you have?
What can you do about such obstacles (even if it’s just a shift in attitude)?
What one change can you make right now to improve your health?
What one change can you make right now to improve your happiness?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2013 Michelle Payne


Affirmation of the Week

24/12/2012

xmas mouse2

“I EMBRACE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT”

And so we’re in our Christmas week… only a couple of days to go! Have you got all your cards written and sent, all your presents bought and wrapped up? And let’s not forget all the food that’ll be eaten as well… always a highlight… must admit it’s the one time of year I actually get time to do some baking, even if it’s only the Pavlova that gets requested for Christmas Day and my favourite oatmeal & raisin cookies (yeah I know, not expected given my chocolate consumption…)!

Christmas means many things to many people… and given the diversity of beliefs and opinions (to which we are all entitled) that may read this post, I am not going to wax lyrical about any specific one. Suffice it to say, that from my (very small) awareness and perspective, all religions and spiritual organisations appear to have the same fundamental aspects at their very core, those of:

Love
Acceptance
Non-Judgement
Helping others
Being honest
Being faithful
Being loyal
Being kind
Learning
Sharing
Caring
Compassion
Treating others as you wish to be treated

And we all know, in our hearts, that just because someone may not agree with us, doesn’t necessarily make them wrong, it just means they have life experiences, societal/cultural learning and awareness differences to our own. Perhaps then, the most important thing we can do for ourselves and others that will benefit us all is to open our hearts and share “Christmas” spirit, not just today when you’re reading this, nor just on Christmas Day, but try to embody and incorporate those aspects into our very being, each day of our lives.

Please have a wonderful Christmas week… and a special Christmas Day with your loved ones. Send loving energy and thoughts to those who can’t be with you, healing to those who need it… and hope for those who have none. I wish that you all have a Christmas that is filled with love, joy, laughter and hugs 🙂

Affirmation questions for this week are:

What does Christmas mean to you?
How is your Christmas spirit/energy coping?
What Christmas message can you give to others
What Christmas present can you give to yourself?
How can you keep your Christmas energy going?

And since it’s that time of year, I thought I’d share that Band Aid song, which was released way back in 1986!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

Image origin: Unknown

© 2012 Michelle Payne


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