#7 The power of our mind can heal and hinder.

I have two friends battling heroically with breast cancer this year. Both having similar treatments but in various orders. I caught up with one of the friends the other day. She’d finished her course of chemo, road tested two different drug combinations both of which causing awful side effects. She is getting ready to have her mastectomy operation next week.

I ended up asking the most obvious of questions…’How do you feel about it?’ Unoriginal I know! She responded with ‘I haven’t slept for two weeks as I’m scared about the prognosis’.  She then went on to disclose that she had found/given [unsure which?] an online questionnaire that is used by the NHS oncology staff, whereby you plug in your statistics such as type of cancer and how many lymph nodes are positive and the type of treatment they have had to predict the prognosis. She was given an 80% chance of surviving 5 years! I was taken aback as one; that she had access to this tool and two; why would you put yourself through this process of a ticking time bomb? Especially when she didn’t have all the facts yet.

In no certain terms can I sit here and say that I know what she and other cancer warriors are going through. I just simply don’t. I had a moment. A moment that lasted for two days, when I was 29, I had a mole removed, it was soon after my first child was born, and I found that my mind ran away and catastrophised the situation far more than I would have done before having children. I was lucky as it came to nothing. I remember the relief that I felt and the exhaustion of what my thoughts had put me through for the last 48 hours. I currently have a very close family member who is undergoing treatment for bowel cancer. But it’s one thing to sit on the side lines trying to be helpful than it is to be dealing with the physical and emotional rollercoaster 100% of your day.

I’m unable to say how I would feel or behave if I was dealt the same hand. I’d like to think that I would maintain a positive outlook with a few wobbles and occasional feel sorry for myself duvet days, but I am hoping like the majority of people reading this that would never materialise.

I listened to her. I know my friend well enough to understand the devasting blow she was experiencing at this prognosis. I touched her shoulder which stopped her for a moment and said, ‘you need to put these statistics to one side as these could have a far more detrimental effect on your mental health than you need right now’.

We spoke about holistic routes, placebo effects and positive mindset. She stopped. Looked at me and said, ‘Caroline none of these won’t work’, I went to interject but she quickly finished by saying ’because I don’t believe in it’.

And there it is. Plain and simple. The power of our mind can heal and hinder.

How do you change the opinion of someone who is 100% a none believer?

So, I am doing a little delving and seeing what I can find. Watch this space.

#6 I feel pretty.

When you look at yourself in the mirror what do you see?…For me I see how I feel.

My ‘Year of 39’ journey is littered with many quests. One such task is to be the healthiest version of myself. No quick fixes aloud, a.k.a starving myself before the 40th birthday draws near. This year is about living the true benefits of having an active, healthy lifestyle.

Using the power of Law of Attraction I have looked inward to see what blocks I have come up against when my previous attempts have failed quite dramatically. I hold my hand up high and admit that I start off with great vigour, with little follow through. I spend a small fortune for eating very little. I get up early to fit in a workout DVD (oh yes I’m old school!) and then crash and burn after a week or two without enjoying the process.

So let’s analyse my blocks|resistance. In the past I have:

  • set unrealistic goals
  • reduced my calories far too significantly that my body goes in to starvation mode so when I do eat it stores it for later
  • stop snacking
  • lose the enjoyment of food
  • not prepared enough and end up grabbing quick fixes [unhealthy]
  • push myself physically beyond my capabilities
  • have little or no will power [previous diets have embarrassingly lasted 24 hours (or less)]
  • eat my emotions, which usually involved a lot of sugar
  • I didn’t believe I would lose weight or stay motivated for it to make any difference

This time, I feel prepared and I’m not referring to the stacked high tupperware in the fridge ready and waiting at a moment’s ‘hangry’ notice. I’m talking about my conscious and unconscious core. I sat down and took the time to think about what’s gone wrong in previous attempts, what are my blocks. I acknowledged these so I can be aware of them if and when they rear there head. And they will|have done so. In the hope that I can navigate myself around them.

The huge turning point for me came last month when I was attempting to sort out photos from our trip [& wedding] to California last December. Unwittingly I had found myself facing photos from 2015. I had to stop and go back as I didn’t recognise the person. I was dumbfounded and pleasantly surprised when I realised it was me. I was in the South of France smiling, with what can only be described as genuine happiness oozing from my eyes. ‘Yes, of course you were’ I hear you say ‘you were on holiday, what’s more relaxing than that’. But this holiday was different. I went on a health kick 3 weeks before hand and got to the point where I needed to do some form of exercise each day to settle. I was the lowest weight I had been for a while. I’d like to add here that weight has never been the main factor in my journey. What was more important was that I felt amazing. I didn’t mind getting in to my swimwear that year. I was confident in all areas of my life. For the first time in a long time I didn’t mind the reflection looking back at me.

Before I get to the point I just want to take you back a year ago. We had just cancelled our big wedding that we just couldn’t find the enthusiasm to plan [nothing to do with the groom, he’s my lobster] but it felt like it was getting out of hand. So we decided to listen to our intuition. We wanted to escape with our two children and get married outdoors under some redwood trees on the west coast of America with just us. So we did. But leading up to our departure I could not muster up any energy to even attempt to lose a few pounds of weight. I just didn’t seem to care. Even the thought of the huge portions and copious amount of calorie consumption didn’t even stir a desire to off load a few pounds to make way for some more. We had an amazing time and by the end of it I truly felt enormous. When I looked in the mirror, which was rarely done, I saw a bloated person who’s clothes were digging a moat in to my skin preparing for war. Then we returned home just before Christmas and I just kept on getting bigger and looking in the mirror less.

Back in March that’s when I realised that my inner being was not happy, I refused to buy clothes the next size up. But this journey isn’t about my weight. It’s about how I feel about myself and realising that I am way off kilter. Out of alignment.

So I decided to harness the Law of Attraction and looked in to my stupidly happy South of France hazy eyes and remind myself how I felt then, when I looked in the mirror.

I felt confident, sassy, fun loving, lighter, freedom of choice, proud of my achievements, eager to do more, energised and hungry to continue that feeling.  So I tasked myself to put my mind back in to that mode. I looked at myself in the mirror when I was ready and opened my eyes.

It truly was transformational that resulted in my eyes pricking with tears. I saw a bright, sparkly eyed Caroline who is happy in her skin with a genuine smile. The clothes that once before felt restrictive suddenly felt looser. I liked what I saw. I walked away from that mirror on a little high that has stayed with me. I felt like I had achieved my target weight goal and enjoying the benefits. I had a skip in my step like I was listening to Guardian of the Galaxy (I & II) soundtrack. This feeling has continued and I love how I feel.

With this new mind vision I was able to tackle the other blocks that I had experienced. Decision making was easier as I was able to say ‘no thank you’ to foods I would have previously eaten quickly before my brain had even registered the calories.

This feeling has stuck with me ever since and the weight is coming off.

The Law of Attraction is all about the feeling we have behind our intentions. If you are not aligned with that feeling of intention|goal|desire then you are resisting the results and instead creating a whole new unintended intention.

Ask Believe FEEL Receive

When you look at yourself in the mirror what do you see?…For me I see how I FEEL…I feel pretty!

p.s. Must go and watch the film I Feel Pretty…

#5 I’m loving my NOW.

I love my life. I don’t mean to boast, but I’ve learnt over the years to appreciate the now. And I’m loving my now.

It’s Monday. [When I wrote this and couldn’t post as my internet was down, after husband chainsawed though the cable whilst trimming the hedge!]

IMG_1668I started my day in the sunshine walking Buddy through a beautiful park that leads on to an ‘enchanted’ wood. I chat with fellow dog walkers and put the world to right even before my first cup of tea. The kids have been dropped off at school with no fuss, and I grab myself some breakfast.

Today my husband and I are off to the cinema to watch Deadpool 2 [great film btw]. We try to go every week and dislike having to ask for babysitters all the time. As we are both self-employed the day is our oyster. For the past six years we had talked about dusting off our bikes that had been housed in my mums shed but never got around to it. Then last Summer we made progress, we bought ourselves a shed and moved the bikes from one shed to another. And there they stayed. For another year.

It’s taken a while and required a little encouragement [selling my car] to entice a different mode of transport, but on a day like this it is truly idyllic. So there we are cycling side by side on the Honeybourne cycle path on a beautiful day on our way to the cinema. Perfect.

This might seem insignificant to some but It’s these moments that I have to recognise, to appreciate what I have and where I have come from. I used to work five days a week, then four, then since January of this year two days a week.

Roughly 18 months ago I sent out a deliberate intention to the Universe. To reduce the number of days I work in my current job, to help path a way so I can dedicate more time to my true passion…Law of Attraction [LoA] and how I can equip others with the knowledge of the power of the law so they too can create their own reality.

It all seemed to become aligned at the same time. It’s worth noting with the LoA what you ask for doesn’t always happen to your timescale, it happens at the most optimal time for you. For me it was just before going to California to get married. For some they would have seen the change as worrisome, an unappreciated change. In my line of current work [Early Years Education provider] reduced days equates to less pay. But I just knew that this was my opportunity, this was what I had asked for so I had better get on with doing it.

#4 Standing out from the crowd

The last time I wrote, I talked about the need to challenge and push myself in my last year of my thirties. The very next day of writing I was presented with a challenge of a different kind.  My 5-year-old son woke me at half midnight on a Monday morning screaming. He’d been sick in his bed and couldn’t stop. I, like many other parents have an issue with vomit, it makes me heave and feel physically sick myself. But I strapped on my Super Mum helmet and we got through the night with only 2 hours sleep. That Monday, I could have eaten the entire contents of the cupboard but managed to refrain so I did give myself a pat on the back for that accomplishment. I can’t say that my eating habits have continued that way but what I can report it that I am making healthier choices most of the time.

I can also confirm that the car is up for sale and I no longer use it. I have officially been reunited with my bike with currently zero falling off.

We have also booked our Summer holiday to North Wales. I have such fond memories of climbing mountains and walking in the most amazing fresh air, way back when I was younger that I had an urge and desire to share and create new memories with my family.   My husbands one priority was to ensure wherever we stayed had a hot tub – tick. The kids will need a fair bit of preparing to walk longer distance so we intend to drag them around on country walks leading up to this holiday. Our dog will have a wail of a time.

Last night I found myself trawling through old photos and I came across our South of France holidays pics from 2015. It’s not very often that I like looking at photos of myself as I am not that way inclined nor are there many that warrant a second visit. But I had to do a double take (or double-click to enlarge) as I didn’t recognise myself in one of them. I looked healthy, happy, comfortable and content. Now I can already here you shouting at the computer…”of course you would as you’re on holiday”. And you’d be right, it was a great holiday that was really relaxing, if not a tad too hot for my liking. But leading up to that holiday I was incredibly focused. I was working out with a fitness DVD everyday and ate incredibly well. I remember feeling uneasy if I wasn’t able to complete a fitness programme each day and would incorporate it at some point. For people who know me, this image I am presenting seems a far cry from the lady who is sat typing now. What was different then to now? Yes I am nearly three years older and yes a holiday as a motivator will always work wonders. But I got married last December in California and I couldn’t muster a few extra salads in preparation for one of the most important days of my life. I remember liking the changes I was witnessing in my body, I liked how clothes sat comfortably on me. The most vivid emotion I remember was the drive I felt at that time going through that process. With every workout I did I could feel my energy improving along with my technique, I was doing the highest intensity workout.

I need to tap in to the 2015 version of me and find that inner warrior to help me fulfil the challenges I have set myself.

So…I awoke earlier this morning to walk Buddy AND fit in the fitness DVD from yonder years. I could have had a plethora of excuses as I was running late and the DVD player was playing up but I did it. Level 1 HIIT day 1 complete. I aim to do 30 days consecutive workouts.

I felt amazing afterwards, pride in myself for doing what I said I would do, my mood felt instantly improved and a sense of calm and achievement was a great way to enter a Monday. I added the picture of the white bluebell as I don’t always want to stand out from the crowd but at the moment I do.

I’ve got this…

#3 39 years & 30 days old and I took the wrong turning

I am 39 years and 30 days old, or 469 months, or 2,039 weeks, or 14,275 days, or 342,611 hours or 20,556,710 minutes. I could go in to the seconds but that would be ridiculous! My husband and I have not long returned from a Manor house break, minus the children for an overdue mini-moon, (the kids tagged along when we got married in Monterey, California December last year).

We went on a country walk, which used to be a regular activity of ours before kids with our then dog, RudeBoy. We listened to the birds, admired new species that we hadn’t been privy too before, pointed and shrieked at the nature around us and like many parents who manage to grab some time away from the children we talked about them and how much they would love it here. When in reality we know exactly why we didn’t bring them on this trip and why we don’t go on country walks with them as their moaning would then escalate to a full-scale family quarrel that would upset the nature and the ambiance of passers by.

It was, for the majority of our time away, incredibly restful, that is apart from one thing. Since 1230 on the Saturday I had a headache, which was getting worse.

Unfortunately I hadn’t packed any paracetamol so I explored previously tried and tested options such as covering my face with my blanket in the car on the way to the manor. For any passing cars it would have looked liked my husband was transporting either a dead body (badly disguised) or a very strange lady. I wore my glasses, drank lots of water and fresh air. But it wouldn’t disappear.

When analysing my day up until this point to pin-point where the source of this headache was coming from I realised that I hadn’t drank my usual cup of English Breakfast tea. But surely that can’t be the reason. Neither had I eaten breakfast. To counteract this I had shovelled in two supposedly ‘healthy’ bars, which is basically sugar in disguise. But surprisingly that didn’t fix the head pain either. Later I had a raw vegan salad for lunch and lobster for dinner. I must add here that these are not my usual meal choices. I hold my hand up and admit that I tend to opt for stodgy carbs and sugar to keep my body afloat…quite literally.

What wasn’t helping was that the Manor house was swelteringly hot and the weather outside was rather muggy, with menacing grey clouds. After our very lovely dinner we retreated back to our bedroom, which was on the top floor (3rd), as I was climbing the steps my brain felt like it was expanding at an exceedingly fast rate. My body and I felt in a bad way, I laid on the bed and swiftly fell asleep. It was only 2100.

I awoke at 0330 Sunday minus the headache, such a relief. After quickly cleaning my teeth I eventually fell back to sleep around 0500.

The funny thing was, was that I started Saturday morning really well. I had awoken early with an urge to do yoga. So I did. My usual morning back pain had dispersed and I felt incredibly connected, which isn’t usually the case. I felt good. So why the headache?

Who knows!! What I do know is that whilst I sat on a beautiful high backed 1920’s sofa in the hotel room I realised that I am 39 years old and I feel like I am failing my body. I am officially 2 stone overweight, and up until now I’ve been very good at disguising it. My skin is filling every inch of my clothes to the point that it hurts to wear any. I am at my happiest when I am wearing pj’s. My daughter, only that morning had looked at me and said, “you look different Mummy”, to which my reply was “in what way?” “Your face looks rounder”. Time for a change.

For the past 10 years I have been on a quest of self-actualisation and personal growth. I take pride in educating myself on the principles of mindfulness, Law of Attraction and quantum physics. I know what is healthy and actively advocate this when feeding my children but somehow I’ve taken the wrong path were my own body is concerned. Do I not value myself enough? I am quick to blame a lack of will power but I know that it goes beyond that.

So I sit here tonight (Sunday) and make a promise to myself to do better. This is my 39th year and I plan to reach the age of 40 (March 2019) looking and feeling the best I have every felt. I plan on doing this by making consciously better choices. To move my butt and make things happen. I am going to set myself physical and mental goals to ensure I succeed. On my personal quest of aligning myself ready to receive a better me.

On our journey back home we drove down a hill that I used to attempt to cycle up with my dad. I said to my husband that I am going to cycle up this hill again. I’ve already set one of my new challenges.

I’m also going to sell the car so I no longer rely on this as a mode of transport.

We’ve also booked a weeks holiday in North Wales, something I have wanted to do for a very long time, as I loved walking the mountains when I was younger. I can’t wait to climb Snowdonia again with the kids by my side.

Let’s begin.

x

#2 A positive outlook really can change your life

There is a website and app that I like to dip in to everyday to remind me that the news that is portrayed and streamed to us every day doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. It helps me to ensure that my mindset achieves an equilibrium of positivity.

There are positive tales of uplifting moments and happy endings that are occurring all over the world. GoodNewsNetwork

The article I felt compelled to share with you is below. It’s a poetic piece that demonstrates, that no matter what our circumstances, internal or external battles or blocks we have the ability to achieve great things with the status of our mind. What truly resonated with me, is when the gentleman the article is about, talks about how “he created his own reality”.

Homeless teen goes from living in a car to a wedding photographer

#1 Let’s give this a go!

If you saw me on the street or you knew me from a distance you would think I was a happy, confident lady who took everything in her stride. I love to make people laugh and truly believe that a smile is contagious.

But if you scratch my surface you’ll find that I am a complex, emotional being who has spent the past twenty years trying to understand who I am and where I fit in to the world. I have been at times lost, crippled with self-doubt and a lack of belief in my own abilities that I have actively sabotaged my success because deep down I knew eventually I would be heading that way anyway so best I put myself out of misery.

Although I have been investigating my own self-concept for the past 20 years. My self-discovery only took a step up in the last 10 years. Before then I seemed to coast along with an air of naivety of who I really was and on reflection, a lack of understanding of consequences and how I truly felt (being a teenage!). Not that I didn’t care, but the complete opposite I didn’t want to think about the emotional element of life as it felt too  exhausting. I also don’t think my vocabulary would have matched the emotional state I felt at times.

When I was growing up, I was a sheep. I copied my big sister and the people around me, unsure of who I was or an understanding of my own identity. I wasn’t a forward thinker. But I desperately wanted to be one. Fear of not fitting in, or standing out of the crowd scared me to the core.

I remember getting some new school shoes when I was in the Sixth Form doing my A-Levels and although I liked my shoes I didn’t want anyone talking about them or commenting on them. It was only years later that my best friend disclosed to me that her younger sister had said how lovely they were. Her quick response was “don’t tell her that”. My ways hadn’t gone unnoticed. I was clearly very good at repelling people’s attention on me efficiently.

I mention above that I enjoy making people laugh. Coming up with the one liners to get a reaction, but I’ve since recognised that I am masking my own expectations and low-self-esteem. If someone offers me a compliment I am quick to dismiss it and override the comment with a self-critical put down or belittle the one thing that I have been complimented on.

In the past couple of years I have been playing around with a few ideas and notions that have only recently been stepped up and I’m starting to notice positive changes in my life. It’s nothing new, it’s not revolutionary but it feels powerful. Powerful enough to stop me in my tracks and want to explore, digest and learn as much as possible. I’m excited as I’m ‘peeling the onion’ and dismantling blocks that are 38 years old. Blocks that have held me back from myself and my true potential.

This blog is my journey starting from now, with the occasional flashback to put my experience in to context. Tag along if you wish.

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I love being around nature, I feel at home the most walking amongst the trees.