Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lectio Divinia, ah huh.

Last week I went and sold off some of my old books to a second-hand book store, whilst I was in there I picked up a couple of newbies. One titled 'Broken Body, Healing Spirit- Lectio Divinia and Living With Illness'. The 'broken body, healing spirit' spoke to me, so I took the book home. I proceeded to just about read the book in one sitting, becoming so intrigued in the concept that I gave it a try instantly. Following my initial experience I was impressed and felt sure that I had to write about it. It's a simple practice, yet provides a map of how to go about daily reflection and to create space for listening to our body.

Lectio Divinia is approached in stages as follows: silence, reading, meditating, praying and contemplating. For anyone like myself, who may be a little offput by the word praying, I know the word probably has religous connotations for most, but if you like you can borrow my view, that prayer means 'focussed intent'.

Here's the map:

Silence: Sit still and take time to be aware of your body, to feel it. Observe your breath, become aware of the stillness and presence within. This is a time to make yourself available to yourself, to invite grace into your experience.

Reading: The concept is that you read something that is sacred to you, the book I read uses the bible, however you might have poems, blogs or other texts which are sacred to you. Read a passage and allow for a word or passage to resonate, to become your focus for meditation on this day. The question is, what do these words say to me today? What comes up for me?

Meditation: Once a word or phrase has captured your heart, stop reading and allow the words to become the source of contemplation, 'meditatio' today. Allow stirrings, thoughts, images, feelings etc. to arise as you rest on these words. Allow them to ignite whatever it is that needs to appear for you in this moment.

Prayer: From that which has emerged during meditation, choose an image or word or feeling that you wish to take forward into the day through focussed intention. It's encouraged that your prayer move beyond yourself to encompass others, perhaps those experiencing something similar to you or the people who support and help with the particular illness or difficulties you face. A prayer can be as simple as 'I am supported in healing my fears, I only choose experiences that nurture me. May all those who experience illness know peace'. It may also be a single sentence to affirm or taken from scripture or your favourite book of healing.

Contemplation: Allow yourself to rest here in this space, allowing yourself to be as you are, to feel supported and nurtured and in the presence of the divine/all that is/god/buddha (and the list goes on).

Would love to hear from you if you try it out or have done something similar.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hey, sweet lips

While I am currently not eating sugar and sweet stuff like honey for the sake of my health, I have found another use for the deliciously natural sweetener, honey. I find that my lips become chapped all to easily, so I've found a solution which I want to share with you, for we all deserve luscious and soft lips.

How to:

Smother your lips in honey, leave on as long as you can resist licking it off, 10 minutes is ideal.

Take an old clean toothbrush and wet, then gently rub your lips with it to exfoliate.

Rinse with cold water, pat dry and apply your most nourishing lip balm- I like paw paw ointment or Dr Bronner's beeswax lipgloss.

Voila, lusciously plump lips.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Just a little shabby-chic

Hiya friendly faces, I'm nervously here to blog. Since when did I become so nervous about blogging? Hmm, it happens now and again, but lately I've had a big dose of writers block/writer's performance anxiety. I asked my inner wise owl about this, I asked who am I to blog? Can't people read the same kinda stuff I write elsewhere, probably written more eloquently or with a greater humour than here on inner beam? My answer to this doubt is Yes...and No. Pretty much the same kind of content is repeated across the world wide web, but each blog has it's own unique slant, and I know that I don't mind reading the same kind of thing said differently when it is a topic of interest to me. My wise one said none of that, that was just me making that up now, my own logic. What the wise owl actually said is: What if you did it for no-one other than your self? What if it was simply a purely pleasurable indulgence to write? No agenda, no need to fulfill, yours alone.

Hmm, I can blog, for my own pleasure only, to fulfill my own need to express and play with words and record something of interest to me- just for me? Yup, it's true, I'm not wasting anyone's time or space, there's plenty here for everyone, and if any one decides they want to check out what my flavour of the moment is then they can, at no cost to themselves. Sounds reasonable, sounds wise.

That's how I got here today, thanks to the wise owl who lives within (or on my shoulder?), whom admittedly I don't consult with enough, and today I am going to indulge myself in a little sharing of my latest joy- thinking green. I have been having an awesome time playing with creating things out of mostly cheap and re-cycled or green-ish things. For example, I've spent about 100 bucks re-decorating inside and out with materials & cushions from the op-shop, and some cheap bits and pieces from the big stores, I'm so stoked with my 'shabby-chic' improvements around the house & it feels so good because I know I didn't break the bank. Rather than buying into cosumerist thinking I actually 'rescued' pre-loved bits and pieces from antique shops and op-shops. My money-minded man was also really impressed, so I have had quite the inner beam glow about me as I enjoy my new look loungeroom, deck & meditation space.

I also made myself a new lipgloss the other day, it cost me, nothing. I had a little pot that used to have eyeshadow in it, I squeezed some paw paw ointment (lip gloss) in and then added some mineral eye-shadow, a deep earthy red colour and some white for a shimmery effect, it came out looking like chocolate- which was fine with me. I delighted in asking the bf if he liked my new lip gloss...and then how much he though it cost, following his guess-timate with a proud- ha, no, it was free!!

So much more fun to be had, I just need to find myself a few different colours of mineral eye-shadow and some more pots or tubes to put it in & I will have lots of different glosses to play with- for cheap & of no harm to me or my precious body.

That's all for now, if you have any beauty/decorating tips please do leave a comment, I am thirsty for new ideas & to keep exploring.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Truth Between the Polarities

I've arrived here today because it feels right, I feel like I need to write, what better place than here?  Today I'm taking a big bite and trusting that I can chew it. This week I had a realisation/awareness come upon me. I became conscious of a polarity I entertain when it comes to my 'work'; work doesn't sit comfortably as a description, perhaps it would be more accurate to call it my vocation.

Vocation: a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.

The word vocation originated in the 1400s and meant a call or summons, it can be used in terms of a religious or spiritual calling too.

I have a degree in Social Work and this is the work that has allowed me to put food on the table and pay my bills, it is a currency of work that the society I live in understands and accepts. There is a degree you can complete to be qualified and mainstream employers such as hospitals and schools accept it as valid. Social Work is a profession recognised by the government as professional and legitimate, therefore when people pay me to help them as a Social Worker, they are eligible for a rebate from the government. Likewise, when I work for an organisation the people who come to see me usually receive the service for free, because the Government funds it.

On the other hand, part of my vocation makes me little to no money. I am also called to write, to share my story and knowledge with others, to assist them to brighten their own inner light as well as to offer support and guidance to individuals when they reach out to me. I feel called to practice a form of hands on healing called Reiki, which I currently do very little of. It could make some money, but not likely the kind that pays bills AND feeds me and it's not as stable as the wages I receive for Social Work. You can be assured the Government would not support me to provide a free hands on healing service to people in need.

So here's the thing, the polarity I've just become aware of, an inner voice (my mind?) tells me that there's not enough people in Social Work, more needs to be done and it is really important that I give it my all, because that's what the world requires of me, my all being given to doing the best I can within our government structures, to help people who are really needy, who couldn't afford the service if it weren't for the Government funding. Hearing this I feel stressed, pressured and disappointed (this means there's room for growth).

On the other hand, when it comes to my writing, Reiki and providing support and guidance to those who reach out to me through my blog or in person, this same voice tells me that not only can I not make any real living out of this, but that the world does not need this from me. It tells me, that the world is already full enough of wonderful healers, life coaches, metaphysicians etc. It tells me that there is plenty available and I have nothing new to offer. Listening to this is disappointing, disheartening, crushing.

Isn't it interesting that this polarity exists in relation to my vocation, I wonder what the truth of it all is, what I have to learn here. A friend has shared her similar story with me, and from that I understood that in this polarity is an excellent question. It asks me, if I am to do what I feel called to do, how can I ensure I do it in a way that is not the same as anyone else, that feels true to me and who I am and will therefore offer something that does not yet exist? I'm sitting with this, I don't feel like I need answers just yet. I am simply relieved to have finally heard the question!

What about you, can you think of any polarities you might be entertaining? Is there a valuable hidden question disguised as disappointment, stress or low self-confidence? I'd be interested to hear.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My addiction

Coffee, it's the devil, I suspect. It's fair to say I've been getting to know the devil intimately in recent months, the more I have, the more I want. They call that an addiction, I hate that word, I like to think I'm above it, that my willlpower is so superior that the word does not exist in my world.

I am not above addiction. I am addicted to coffee, again, *sigh*. Last time I gave up coffee I did it so half heartedly that I can't recall whether it was 2 or 3 days I 'gave up' for. While I had a thyroid condition I didn't dare drink coffee, I was already jittery and overstimulated enough, so I didn't really drink the stuff for 10 months or so. I survived without coffee easily. I had bigger issues, I was drinking herbal concoctions and freshly squeezed juices and swallowing more pills than you can count on your hands in a desperate attempt to 'win back' my health. I decided I would treat my body real nice and in return it might forgive me for my sins and health would be free to enter back into my life. This was before I knew that the true cause of my illness was actually iodine poisoning, that put a different spin on things. I then became detox focussed & decided it was also a matter of 'waiting it out' until my body found it's own balance.

Fast forward many months and I was feeling better but not great, not yet able to work but not content to lie on the couch all day either. What could I do with my time? Going out for a really good coffee and perhaps a read of the paper or some cafe style blogging became a new past time, I loved it. I wasn't doing it every day but probably every second or third. I would have just the one coffee, a treat.

Fast forward another couple of months and I'm bored and feeling worthless, disturbed by not feeling that I was making a contribution to society (a value of mine). Depression was a knockin' on my door. The answer? I got myself a job, which created an issue for me as fatigue became an uncomfortable part of my day.  I felt myself a little bored and quite tired, I started to reach for the coffee, just one a day with a couple of black teas to supplement. I also sought out a little bit of sugar, just a little bit. Things were changing, vege juice drinking and a sugar free life were taking a step back while sugar and coffee stepped forward. 'We can make you feel better instantly' my old mates caffeine and sugar said. 'Don't we make your work day so much more bearable?' they asked, inviting me to trust them, to make them my new allies. What's the harm, I told myself, it's just a little bit...and 'everyone does it'.

Oh the naivety, or the willingness turn a blind eye, it is dangerous. Fast forward 3 months and here I sit, in bed, taking the day off, after crashing out big time on a coffee and sugar binge. On Sunday I enjoyed a couple of glasses of bubbly, some yummy coffee and a piece of cake and some chocolate- it was a party and I knew my time was soon up in terms of eating sugar and drinking coffee, so I made the most of it. Little did I know that the end of my shenanigans was near, in fact, TOMORROW. After my 'party girl' antics on Sunday I woke up on Monday, not having had enough sleep, my body already set up to fail, in terms of my adrenal glands being overworked and my blood sugar levels compromised.

I felt tired driving to work, once at work I continued to feel tired, I sat in a meeting and noticed anxiety coming up, it felt like my blood sugars were dropping (so early in the morning??).  I went to lunch at 1 where I ordered a protein packed lunch, which came rather slowly, I enjoyed a coffee as I waited. I still felt so tired, lunch came, I ate and looked at the cakes cabinet, which one might I have? I ordered a little slice and decided I'd best have a coffee to go with it, it wouldn't hurt because I was so tired (delusional thinking).

Upon finishing my lunch and coffees and sugar I felt weak, I was still so tired, I felt anxious and foggy headed. I just needed to go home, so I did. The rest of the afternoon was awful, I felt so sick and so tired and anxious at times, it was a rollercoaster of adrenaline and peaks and valleys in my blood sugar levels. I tried to keep snacking on healthful foods to rid of the symptoms. I recognised what had happened, I had been 'using' these drugs, sugar and caffeine for months now, they'd become an increasingly regular part of my life and they were draining me of my energy as they dropped me lower and lower than before. The sugar was taking essential minerals from my body in order to become whole so as it could be digested in my body. It was messing with my pancreas and who knows what else, it was affecting my mood greatly- sugar blues, yeah. The coffee had been creating a false sense of energy, using up more and more of my reserves, overworking my adrenals and leaving me emptier than before with every cup. I KNOW all of this and the dangers associated with these 'drugs', I have experienced it before, my body is sensitive. Why on earth do I get sucked in?

Today it stops, today I rest in bed, allowing my reserves to re-build, I am committed to finding new ways to support my own energy and to find joy in places other than coffee and cake. Wish me strength....