I’m getting old…or am I?

Feeling good
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1/12/16
It was my fiftieth birthday in November, shhh… and no, I did not have a big party to celebrate the half century milestone. I simply could not be bothered with all the extra work involved in getting the house ready for visitors, shopping to get the expected snacks and the cleaning again after. I decided to treat myself and have a quiet one instead. After all it is just a number, right?

Many years ago I observed older people and decided to never grow old, but only grow up without losing my inner child. It did not appeal or make sense to me becoming set in my ways, lose all playfulness and not being able to relate to younger generations. I have worked on and prepared for that ever since, learning how to stay healthy naturally, keep fit, flexible and focus on what makes me happy rather than what is expected of my age. I’d rather be a silly old cow having a ball than a stuck up grumpy one, bothered by mental and physical restrictions!

It does help to know what I have learned so far, that no matter what life throws your way you always have a choice in how to respond and deal with it. It helps to know that there will always be someone that does not agree with you no matter what you try, so why keep trying to conform to their ideas? It also helps to know that there is an Infinite Source available to everyone of us that provides all the answers, if we know how to ask and listen to it. This same Source also helps us continuously, turning our dreams into inspired action and reality. Another secret to growing old gracefully, I think is to never stop learning and pushing your boundaries as well as appreciating the good things in our lives, no matter how small they may seem.

Over the past Winter I started having some so called ‘old age related symptoms’ that were bugging me a little. I immediately identified it as Arthritis, for my mother also suffers from it. I decided to not focus on it and hoped it would ease when returning home to the warmer weather again, just like last year when another finger got affected over Winter by the cold, or so I thought.

This one was more red, swollen and painful though, to the point where l could not bend it or put pressure on the knuckle at all without pain which developed stronger towards the end of Winter. The knuckle bones also got much bigger and felt like they were grinding against each other whenever I tried using it. Being a right handed person, I was glad it was only the index finger on my left hand!

It did not ease when the weather warmed…This is where I started to feel a bit more concerned and bothered by it. After all, I am aiming to get the free season ski lift pass when I turn 70 and become a ski bum when I get my retirement! What is my body going to be like then? What am l doing wrong? Something needed to be done and I knew from experience and self education that conventional methods merely ease the symptoms and do not cure.

It is generally accepted that so called ‘old age’ problems are chronic and cannot get cured! Are they,… really???

I refuse to accept that as a fact and am determined to prove that statement wrong! Not a small task, I know… However, after having overcome other so called ‘incurable’ problems like eczema and hay fever, enabling me to ditch all medications over the past 15 years, adhering to the guidance received, I am now much more open to possibilities rather than restrictions and settling for accepted norms. Especially when these myths are told by a medical system focused on keeping shareholders happy and patients dependent on chemicals, that may relieve the symptoms, but also come with nasty side effects, the rebel inside me arcs up again.

Don’t get me wrong, I still go and see a doctor when in need of a check up, diagnostics, serious illness or if my body would suffer damage that needs patching up.
Where in my opinion the medical system lacks, and falls terribly short is the complex problems where the cause is located in a whole different part of the body to where the symptoms appear. Skin specialists do not learn much about digestive problems as that is another department altogether in a normal hospital.

Thankfully the answers were found not long after in the shape of a video interview/transcript that landed in my emails:

https://theurbanmonk.com/autoimmunity-is-now-the-1-killer/

After watching/reading it all became clear, why as a kid l never really liked bread and would only eat a sandwich if it had chocolate sprinkles on it. It now made sense that as a toddler I spat out the porridge mum tried feeding me and why whole meal bread made my saliva disappear and turned into a lump of clay in my mouth, impossible to swallow without flushing it down with a cup of tea…It also makes sense now that I always craved yoghurt, the pro-biotics of which soothed my digestive system again after eating wheat. Why would you consider that something that is meant to be essential to good health may not be so?

Thinking back at my diet over the past Winter, I realised that my wheat intake had increased dramatically with eating lots more pasta meals, pizza and bread on top of multiple muesli bars to have a ‘healthy’ snack when hungry in between. Perhaps it was also the reason for my obviously compromised immune system that gave me another unexpected virus that knocked me out of action for a week, despite my freshly squeezed lemon/orange juices every morning, banana for morning tea and an apple and mandarin with lunch.

Needless to say I decided to try a wheat free diet just to test if this was a solution for my problem.

Within two weeks my lingering shoulder injury vanished and I could feel more ease in trying to move my finger. The pain eased a little too.

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15/5/17
Now five months later l am almost able to straighten my finger and it seems a lot less swollen, although the bones of the knuckle are still enlarged . I have done a bit of stretching and massaging it with different natural substances such as Coconut Oil infused with Frankincense and liquid Magnesium. There is hardly any pain now and l am able to use that finger again to pick up small items and do up buttons.

Another fact l noticed over the past five months is that my back and neck feel smoother and do not need as much straightening every day with stretching and rolling around, as l find so helpful normally.
It simply does not click in and out of place as much.

The fact that after sinning this past weekend with Potato Wedges (dusted with flower for that crispy taste) for lunch on Saturday and some wheat flower in the white sauce on the Cauliflower last night l woke up with more pain proves to me that indeed, cutting out gluten was a good move on my behalf. Curious how my immune system holds up coming Winter…but so far so good, feeling great! l did not catch a cold from some affected friends that l spend time with in enclosed areas during the last few months, which is a great start.

I am so glad I listened to my feelings and picked up the hints pointing to the answers in the video as well as the book that was recommended twice to me in two days.
It’s a good one for everyone suffering any inflammatory issues with a relatively easy to understand explanation of how it all works in our body, backed up by scientific research and recipes to get started. Dr. David Perlmutter’s ‘Grain Brain’ has changed my world for the better so far. I hope it may give you too some insights. Please share your thoughts!

The Emerging Butterfly

Blue Butterfly
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l used to be a caterpillar small and insecure,
eating away at yummy green leaves so pure.

I did not feel so well and was not growing like l should…
Wondering how to make it better and if l possibly could?

Then one day a book fell in my hands,
that taught me which leaves were in bad lands.

l read and read some more,
like I’ve never read before.

Started eating the right leaves from then,
finally knowing what to eat and when.

I felt a whole lot better indeed,
and grew fatter and fatter with rapid speed.

Started having a real good time,
rolling along with a great big smile.

Then wore myself out after all,
got tired from eating, felt like curling into a ball.

I felt different and a little strange…
Were there some special leaves in the last range?

I spun a little hammock out of silk and laid myself down to rest.
It only seemed like moments when l woke back up in my little nest.

Who has washed it for me while l slept?
cos l am sure it was less tight, last time l checked…

I stretched out my stiff limbs, oh no, broke my comfy cocoon!
I don’t know if I was quite ready yet, to get up so soon?

Loving the safety of what I now knew,
but also a little curious as to how l just grew…

Into this beautiful creature l see in the reflection of the puddle below.
With an aura that just beams with this wonderful magical glow.

Topped off with some wings, how incredible!
just by eating the right foods that were eatable…

Instead of poisons like so many of my dear friends,
who perished long ago and came to sad and sorry ends.

I was the lucky one indeed,
finding the right kind of feed.

So l could be reborn into a different phase of life so free and light.
The day has never before looked so bright!

Oh the ecstasy of flying off with my special man,
and doing what only a butterfly can.

I wish to share what I learned with all the caterpillars yet to be born,
but sadly know I will not witness my offspring and if they have ever flown.

It is the task of my genes to pass that on for me,
and my task is to let them be.

Let them be free to find their own path at their own pace.
May they all grow into butterflies and live happily in their own space!

 

With Gratitude,

PollyEsther

 

PS: Something a bit different to normal, but after all the lovely comments on my last poem, I could not resist posting this one too. I wrote it to enter into an on-line ‘Burning Man’ event display, which has a theme of growth and transformation.

The recent multitude of butterflies in nature, as well as my attention being drawn to them a lot lately in different situations, inspired me to put the two together. There is a lot of symbolism woven into this piece that is very close to my heart and I am pleased with how it turned out, GLAD my muse tapped me on my shoulder again yesterday!

What do you think?

Feel better through meditation

High Country Sunset
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It took a sad post by a fellow blogger this evening  https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/depression-my-lifelong-companion/?c=7853#comment-7853 for me to gather the courage to tell you about my latest project.

A few years back I was attending regular evening yoga classes in which there was quite a strong emphasis on meditation. This was perfect for me having done physical labor all day in the nursery. Stretching my tight limbs with gentle poses, followed by some internal work through guided meditations for at least half an hour. I loved it! I’d drive home feeling like I was buzzing with energy, but still relaxed enough to sleep easily not long after. I loved the mental journeys the teacher would take us on and remember even mentioning to her that one day I might write some like that myself.

Recently a demand for guided meditations came to my attention and I got inspired, started writing,  learned how to use Audacity and Sound Cloud and somewhat overcame my nervousness of actually speaking with my voice to an unknown number of public…Hence the hesitation of telling everyone.

What are some of the positive effects of meditation?

If you are carrying worries, unresolved issues, anger, hatred or other negative, low vibration emotions, the result will be stress.

Stress creates chemicals in your body that are useful to respond to stressful situations in a natural environment, designed to react physically. The immune system is turned off momentarily to allow more blood flow to muscles and other parts of the body needed to run or defend ourselves.

In our modern day lifestyle, this is not always a desirable response and many people do not utilize the chemicals released. The result is that the stress keeps on lingering, eventually turning into discomfort and disease.

The guided meditation is designed to release stress and create feelings of higher vibrating emotions such as appreciation, relaxation, gratitude and love.

The subconscious mind is unable to discern between reality and imagination, this is a specialty of the conscious mind. Therefore it perceives these positive feelings as real and will change your mood to a happy and relaxed mindset.

Happiness and relaxation have a positive effect on the immune system and therefore enhance our body’s healing ability.

I wish to present to you my first two recorded tracks on Sound Cloud, written and spoken by me. “The Magic Cave” was edited by a dear friend sound technician, to whom I am so grateful for his time, effort and generosity, doing this all for free and making it sound so much more professional, despite my average equipment used recording. I think he enjoys them while he checks the final result 😉

Enjoy!

Namaste

 

The dead Tree

Dead tree 2007
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The picture above is of a dead tree in 2007, along the road to the ski resort I have been working for every Winter since. The reason I took that picture is that I was drawn to it because of its balanced look and almost perfect shape, despite having died probably many years prior. It seemed that time had not touched it much since, leaving me to enjoy this amazing natural sculpture. It was almost like it spoke to me on a subtle level, taking me on a journey in my mind.

I cannot help and wonder what that tree has seen passing while it was alive, from the old prospectors looking for gold, the old coach that connected the small villages on both sides of the mountain range, to the first snow enthusiasts that went up on horseback and traversed the mountains on foot in search of the perfect powder stash to slide down.

Next came the road workers that turned this slick muddy track into a more user-friendly road. Development was not far behind with the first basic lodges being build and ski lifts being installed.

Nowadays there is a bustling ski resort attracting thousands of visitors every year, who probably pass this tree not even noticing it being there, in their rush to get to their destination in anticipation of some rails, jumps, turns and party time…

Dead tree 2010

Dead tree 2010

The next time I felt like taking a picture of this tree again was during a snow shower on my way to work in 2010, when the light just seemed perfect to highlight the beauty of this old dead tree with the snowfall adding to the feelings of magic this tree stirred in me.

Not much seemed to have changed in the last three years and again I stood still and admired it for a brief moment. How long had it been standing there before it spoke to me the first time? When had it died and why? Was it old age, maybe drought or disease had made it to what was left, or had it been affected by the bushfires visiting this area on a regular basis or a lightning strike?

Dead tree 2012

Dead tree 2012

In 2012 it started to show that even dead trees are not immune to the wear and tear of time as branches keep snapping during every storm that passes, leaving it noticeably bearer than when I saw it for the first time, five years prior.

This makes me ponder about the thoughts this tree has put into my mind over time and continues to do, which brings me to the following verse that ‘jumped’ out (not unlike this tree), when looking at the Dao Te Ching for more understanding about the most recent atrocities in the world.

Verse 76, Dao Te Ching:

Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are brittle and dry.

Thus, whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life.

The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.

When I read this verse, a memory came to me suddenly about an elderly Shaolin monk performing his daily stretching routine on a stage during their show in Melbourne, many years ago. (more about this in my book) His message really hit me at that time as my age was already showing a few minor signs of leaving youth behind in the not so far foreseeable future.

He said that by stretching every day, he kept his old body soft and supple, to avoid becoming brittle and break limbs. He metaphorically compared it with a young sapling that bends with the breeze, whereas an old tree becomes brittle and the branches snap! 

Had he maybe studied this old book, written by Lao Tsu over 3000 years ago, and taken this verse as advise on staying healthy in old age? Is it just meant physically? Or could there be a psychological truth behind it too? Is it maybe a combination of both that is the secret to a healthy and active old age? Is there an even deeper layer to the meaning of this verse that points to the way countries are run?

Whatever it all means, I know that regular stretching, ever since watching the elderly monk and taking in his advice, has kept my body flexible and supple as well as developed better coordination and strength. This in turn has contributed to feeling better, younger and more vibrant now in my late forties compared to when I was in my twenties! Time will tell if it is still beneficial for me when I get to the age where a lot of people really start struggling with their bodies not cooperating, but I have a feeling that it will be from what I saw the monk do! Whatever is going to happen, for the moment I like to stick to my daily stretching routine and hold onto my dream of getting a free season pass for the ski lifts when I turn 70 and become an elderly “ski bum”!

By then the old tree will be probably be reduced to a pile of timber, covered in moss, providing a home for small animals and fungi. Will it still hold stories and provoke thoughts, or will they too have been nibbled away by the small creatures that keep nature in balance?

Dead tree 2015

Dead tree 2015

Is there anyone else out there that has an appreciation and fascination for dead trees? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

PS: If you have downloaded my book and like my stories, I would appreciate it if you take a moment to leave a short review on Amazon!

With Gratitude,

Pollyesther

Free e-book for 2 days only

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Dear Friends, Fellow Bloggers and Followers,

 

First I would like to thank everyone that helped me out, downloaded the $0.99 preview version of my very first e-book “Looking @ Life” and wrote a review for me today!

The official release is now starting with it being available for FREE for TWO DAYS only, after which the price will go up!

I want all my friends, fellow bloggers and followers to take advantage of this, so grab a copy now if you have not yet!

http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B0184CLSOW?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

I would really appreciate it if you would leave a review on Amazon after reading.

 

With Gratitude,

Pollyesther

 

Request

Looking @ Life
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Dear reader and follower,

My shortest blog post of all:

I have a late notice request for all my followers.

You have probably wondered why it has been so quiet on my blog lately?

Well… I have been finalizing my book!

Yes that is right, it is on Amazon right now for you to preview, and in desperate need of some reviews before the big launch on November 19 and 20.

I hope some of you can help me out and purchase a $0.99 copy of my very first edition of “Looking @ Life”, read a few chapters and leave a comment in the next 12 hours or so. Thanks and enjoy the read!

You can find it here:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0184CLSOW

Forever grateful,
Pollyesther

Mother’s Day and Forgiveness

Bunch of Tulips
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While most people are celebrating Mother’s Day today, remembering all the good things mothers do and have done in their unconditional love for their children, I saw a post on Face Book by someone who did not share this experience. It was obvious that the mother in question had caused a great deal of pain and Mother’s Day reminded her of all this past hurt, rubbing salt in her wounds.

I felt for her as I saw some connections with her previous posts and looked for quite some time on google for the right article expressing the thoughts going through my mind to make her feel better. From years of research to find answers and solutions for my own (different) issues, I felt I may have some insights of interest to her, but failed to locate an article able to express everything I wanted to tell her.

Many years ago a Tibetan Buddhist Monk told me that they believe that stress creates poison arrows in the body. At that time I was going through a stressful period and did not understand the mechanics of this, however could see the negative results it had on my own health. In my quest for answers I read many articles based on scientific research and learned that the body produces very different chemicals in a state of stress than when feeling happy and in harmony. These chemicals cause indeed a lot of havoc from digestive problems to psychological disorders and can eventually even lead to terminal illness, if not corrected in time.

In my case most of my stress was caused by habits absorbed into my subconscious during my early childhood. How this exactly works is very well explained by Dr. Bruce Lipton, (https://www.brucelipton.com/about and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pJwYcK08iQ) for anyone wanting to understand the mechanics better. I absorbed these habits by observing my mother and yes I did blame her a bit for raising me into a stress filled person, until I looked at our family history in more detail.

She had been through a very stressful period in her own life not long before I came along. She was the sole caretaker of 3 elderly men, including my quadriplegic grandfather, after her mother passed away from a stroke at the age of 53. My grandmother also had been through a lot of difficulties during her short life.

Most people react from their subconscious the majority of time (research suggests 95%) and are unaware of the origins of most of their responses, because they relate to a part of their life that has very few conscious memories left! This is due to the fact that the mind works in a different state after the age of 6, compared to when a lot of these memories were made and “recorded” into the subconscious before that.

Understanding this, it becomes clear that my stress response habit was subconsciously “inherited” from at least 2 generations before me, if not more. Thankfully I also absorbed a lot of good habits, that show to me that subconscious habits are extremely important for functioning well overall.

I am grateful that nowadays access to this sort of information is so easy using the internet and that I found an understanding that there was really no one to blame for my predicament because the people that had passed it to me were in reality victims themselves! The good news is, I was able to break this chain by educating myself and work on changing my subconscious patterns.

Going back to the start, how can this post help the situation of the person suffering pain from the childhood memories? The understanding that this mother inadvertently may have been a victim herself, reacting unconsciously out of subconscious habits, can possibly transform her pain and grudge into compassion and forgiveness.

Pain and grudges cause stress resulting in disease, whereas compassion and forgiveness lead to health and happiness! Education, understanding and awareness are the key to healing the past! Maybe today is a good day to break the chain of past suffering and start healing?

Happy Mothers Day!