The Joy Of Ordinary

mandie

“And while it takes courage to achieve greatness, it takes more courage to find fulfillment in being ordinary. For the joys that last have little relationship to achievement, to standing one step higher on the victory platform. What is the adventure in being ordinary? It is daring to love just for the pleasure of giving it away. It is venturing to give new life and to nurture it to maturity. It is working hard for the pure joy of being tired at the end of the day. It is caring and sharing and giving and loving…”
~ Marilyn Thomsen

 

As a long-time Lyme sufferer (all my adult life and then some), until recently even an ordinary life has frequently been too much effort for me. I’ve had no energy, or no balance, or no mental cognition. Or I’ve needed to hoard my energy for more important things.

When you’re unwell and exhausted all the time, it becomes hard to be anything but resentful of things like housework. So it has been a joyful experience for me this weekend to potter around the house.

To cook. To do laundry. To tidy my linen cupboard and my kitchen drawers when soft rain fell and being indoors by the fire was cosy and happy-making.

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I’ve hiked up into the orchard to pick fruit, and made myself freshly squeezed juice with my gains. I’ve wandered through the paddocks to check on the cows and calves. Two are almost ready to give birth – one of them her first. It’s good to be close to them, and to watch over them.

mooI’ve had an outing to a local cafe where I sat under a bright cold sky and ate delicious breakfast and then held Ben’s hand, Harry Dog at our feet, as we sipped our hot drinks and huddled together against the wind.

I’ve planted out some seedlings and checked the progress of my winter vegetables.

zukes

And I’ve spent time on my bed, cup of tea beside me and book in hand. Because I’m still tired. I still need easy days and early nights. My new treatment regime of detoxing and rehabilitation isn’t brutal like my drug regime was, but it is still taxing and taking me time to get used to.

It might not sound very exciting – this weekend of household chores and little outings. But it’s thrilling to me. After so many years of struggling, to have a weekend of ‘almost normal’ speaks more loudly than any blood test or brain scan.

I came across this poem recently, which seems to capture exactly that space I’m in. I hope you may find a little of that space for yourself and your loved ones too, this week.

Make the Ordinary Come Alive

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

~ William Martin

leaf

 

My Early Christmas Present

Image from securinvest

Image from securinvest

“I wandered everywhere, through cities and countries wide. And everywhere I went, the world was on my side.”
~ Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy

 

Monday was my day off. A day to rest, sandwiched between two days of psychic work on either side. I am in Brisbane right now, and the plan was that Ben would be here and we would spend the day together, doing a little running around before I napped the rest of the day away.

But Ben needed to race back to the farm in the middle of the weekend heatwave, when a neighbour told us there was a problem with our water pump. And Monday morning Harry got injured in his fight with the stick and spent the day at the vet’s down near our farm, so I was stuck in Brisbane on my own.

Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? And yet, on that day, with me stuck in suburbia, miracles happened.

I know it won’t sound very miraculous to you, but let me explain.

On Monday there were bills that needed to be paid, and forms that needed to be posted. I’d expected Ben would be there to help me, but he was busying helping Harry. Doing those chores suddenly fell to me. ‘Only if you’re well enough,’ Ben said. ‘We’ll work something out if you can’t do it.’

It needed to be done, so I did what any normal person would do. I got in the car and drove to Chermside – a nearby sprawling suburban shopping-mall.

Image by Jeff Camden

Image by Jeff Camden

 

I haven’t really driven very much for quite a while now. In fact I’ve driven only half a dozen times this year after two years of no driving at all. Lyme disease has robbed me of so much independence, and until recently congestive heart failure had made me unsafe behind the wheel. Even now I have a strong startle reflex and slow other reflexes. It takes all my concentration to drive, and it’s usually very stressful.

But Monday I was feeling stronger. Clearer. I got in the car and off I went, determined to get those jobs done.

At the shopping mall I found an easy park, and my tasks were completed in less than fifteen minutes.

I was just about to get in the car and go home when I realised…

I was out shopping ON MY OWN for the first time in five years.

For five years my darling husband has been at my side for every outing. This was the first time I’d had the chance to do a little Christmas Shopping on my own, without him right beside me.

Oh, the luxury of it all.

I stopped at a little cafe, the sort of place Ben would never go, and enjoyed some lunch while drafting up a list of things I’d like to buy. And then off I went, to look at shops that appealed to me.

I lingered at a place which sold aftershave and perfumes.

I dallied at a tea shop, smelling and tasting different blends and talking tea with the wonderfully informative staff.

I dawdled in a bookshop. At a toy store. At a supermarket.

All in all I spent nearly two hours out on my own.

It tasted like freedom. I had the best time!

On the way home, still feeling good, I called in at a friend’s house and we sat in her back yard and worked on my new website.

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That night, while I was waiting for Harry and Ben to come home I wrapped my stash of gifts and marvelled at how independent and outrageously liberated I was feeling.

Those wrapped gifts represent something profoundly significant to me.

My own little Christmas Miracle.

A returning wellness!

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Day 15 – Gratitude Challenge

Image by mideastyouth.com

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” ~ Johannes A. Gaertner (1912-1996)

Our bodies have an innate wisdom.  They know how to move, they know how to heal, they know how to create balance and how to communicate with us.

For bodies to heal effectively they need a number of things – good nutrition, rest, emotional peace, and sometimes the hands of a skilled healer or medical practitioner to ease or correct what we cannot do for ourselves. (Some other good ideas for better health here)

For us to truly facilitate that state of healing, we need to do our best to step out of resistance and into flow.

You’ll know that feeling of resistance – resistance is filled with doubt, complaint, fear, and ‘lack of ‘…

You will hopefully also recognise flow – flow is a space of ease, grace, acceptance, peace and emotional well-being.

Image from yoga-weight-loss.info

When we are in flow our physical, emotional and spiritual healing capacity is greatly magnified.  Our body, mind and soul can more easily recover and repair. (You can read more about that here)

One of the fastest ways to get back into flow is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of the process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Remove the image or name of the person to whom you intended health, well-being and positive physical energy.  Hold the photo or name in your hands and say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Really feel that positive energy in your heart.  Know that as you have affirmed this for others, you are also allowing for similar energies to come into your own life.
  4. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  5. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here. Place your rock back beside your bed, and go to sleep, cocooned in this good energy.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

Image from googleimages.com

 

For this who want to explore some additional opportunities to practice gratitude, read on…

Hold a Picture Of Wellness in Your Mind

No matter what your current state of health, you need to make peace with that. There is no point in fighting the reality of your current situation. If you’re fat, you’re fat.  If you’re in pain, if you can’t get pregnant, if your legs ache or your blood pressure is too high, well it is what it is.  Stop fighting it, making excuses for it, or pretending it isn’t happening. Accept what is.

Accepting what is, without judgement, is the first step in making positive change in your life.

The second step is letting go of your attachment to what is.  Where you are today is the result of yesterday’s thinking, yesterday’s actions, yesterday’s focus or lack of focus.

The third step is to hold a clear picture in your mind of what you DO want in your life, and find a way to summon positive emotion around that.  Be grateful for the small things already present in your life that relate to health and well-being.  Celebrate health and well-being in others.  Visualise health and wellness coming to you.  See yourself as healthy, active, energised, healed, whole.

Today spend five minutes visualising yourself in a place of wellbeing, however that looks to you.  Feel gratitude for the positive improvement in your health as if it has already happened. Swell that feeling of gratitude and love in your heart, and say Thank You to the Universe for this gift of healing and health.

My intention for you today is that you allow yourself to be in flow with health and wellbeing. I wish for you an abundance of feel-good energy and vitality.  Bless ♥ xx

Image from thewellnesswarrior.com.au

Day 14 – Gratitude Challenge

Image courtesy of Rex Features – telegraph.co.uk

If not you, who? If not now, when? ~ Garry Herbert

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~ Albert Schweitzer

If there was a Gold Medal for consistency and commitment, today I would give one to you!  Well done – today you will complete two entire weeks of gratitude.

Gratitude is a powerful force for good in our world. Not only is it magnetic to attracting more positive emotions, experiences, and relationships, it is also able to be flowed from us to others so that we can uplift and support loved ones or strangers. In doing so we raise the vibration of all involved.

When we are grateful for the athletic ability, health, physicality and wellbeing of those around us, we also draw those qualities towards ourselves.

It’s a perfect time for that right now, while the Olympics are being held. But at any time in our lives, we can appreciate and give thanks for those who have these qualities of grace, power, and endurance or the values of good sportsmanship, enthusiasm, commitment and courage.

Can your positive thoughts actually influence someone else’s performance? Yes, it’s possible. If they are open to allowing, or are in a vibration that is aligned with your intention, then your energy strengthens and uplifts their own.  How do we do that?  Not by wanting them to win, and not by pleading or cheering from the sidelines (or the couch in front of television!).  We do it by holding them in appreciation – by being grateful for all that they are or all that they do and feeling that swell of pure love and gratitude for them in our hearts.

But what if you are nervous for them?  What if you are anxious about their performance, or negative in some way? Don’t worry – these energies are more about YOU than about the other person.

We are only ever affected by the negativity of others when we are also in a negative space.

The best way to stay in a positive vibration?

Count our many blessings and develop an attitude of gratitude!

You’ll never guess what team I support… Image by Getty Images from afr.com

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of the process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Think of someone to whom you would like to flow health, well-being and positive physical energy.  Take a photo of them or write their name on a piece of paper.  Hold the photo or name in your hands and say I intend for you _____________ and I give thanks for the Blessing of _________ in your life.  Really feel that positive energy in your heart.  Now place the photo or name under your Gratitude Rock.  Know that as you affirm this for others, you are also allowing for similar energies to come into your own life.
  4. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  5. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here. Place your rock back beside your bed, and go to sleep, cocooned in this good energy.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

Would you like to try another Gratitude Challenge?  Today’s exercise is designed to amplify health, wellbeing and positive physical energy in your life.

Australian rhythmic gymnast Naazmi Johnston. Photo by Jason South

Gratitude for the Grace of the Physical

Today, find a way to express gratitude for the health and wellbeing of someone else.  You could do this by sitting in a park, watching a jogger go by.  You could do it by watching a dancer, or a sporting event.

You could even do it by watching children run around in the playground.

Feel how easily their body moves.  Feel the energy within them, the power and the grace.  Feel their emotions of determination or control or give-it-everything-I’ve-got.

From your heart, feel appreciation for the sheer beauty and magnificence of the human form.  And when you’re ready, say a heartfelt Thank You.  Thank You to the person who is showing you this picture of athleticism and health.  Thank you to the Universe for our physical forms.

And if you’re watching a live (or live televised) sporting event, and you want to positively influence the outcome?  Just practice that emotion of supreme gratitude.  Let yourself be blown away with appreciation for their efforts, their skill, their ability and determination.  Let the outcome of the actual event or act become unimportant, and let your feel-good attitude become everything!

Enjoy!  ♥ xx

Image from wikipedia.commons.org

Day 12 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from blogs.fanbox.com

“Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.”
~ Wayne Dyer

We’ve been so busy being grateful for the world around us, and the people in our lives, that we’ve spent little time giving thanks for one of the most amazing blessings of all – our own bodies.

We are Souls having human experiences, and our Souls are housed in the most wondrous of vehicles. We are gifted with sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.  We are gifted with movement.  We have thoughts and emotions, and our bodies provide us with the means to visualise, create and explore.

Our physical bodies have a wisdom all of their own, and guide us on a journey from conception though to the end of our days – constantly changing, adapting, evolving.

It is only because of the miracle of our physical bodies that our souls can have this human experience.

Image from grazia.ninemsn.com

It isn’t about outer beauty, our weight or the colour of our eyes or hair. External beauty is subjective, and transient at best.

Today, give thanks for a body that gives us the privilege of walking on this earth.  Give thanks for a body that serves us; a heart that keeps beating, legs to walk with, fingers to type with, hands to hold, eyes to see, ears to hear, a mouth to talk and taste. Internal organs and a mind that keep the whole show running without our conscious input.

Image from koreanbeacon.com

Today let’s Count Our Blessings and Use our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of the process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  4. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here. Place your rock back beside your bed, and go to sleep, cocooned in this good energy.

If all you do today is these four steps, know that is enough.

If you’d like to build on this positive energy of health and well-being even more, then try today’s Gratitude Challenge.

Loving My Body

When you have your bath or shower today, take a few minutes and really appreciate your body. As you wash each part of your body, spend a moment and give thanks for all it does for you.  For example: Say out loud Thank you, foot and then say why you are thankful for your foot.  Let your shower be an act of gratitude and self love.

Image from googleimages.com

When you towel yourself dry or rub moisturiser into your skin, thank the Universe for providing you with this precious body.  Give thanks for your health and well-being, knowing that whatever we value and affirm multiplies in our lives.