Monthly Archives: December 2014

Defeating the dark times

Almost all of us will, at some point in our lives, experience depression. The darkness within, the uncompromising bleakness and often unexplainable feelings of failure, hopelessness and emptiness. But how many of us admit it? How often do we bottle it all up, mentally reprimanding ourselves for being stupid, telling ourselves were being ungrateful, ridiculous, weak, self pitying..?? The list goes on.

A list of self abusive words, taunts. A list of negatives which will only enforce the darkness and give the depressive part of our psyche even more to focus on and hold on to, giving it a firmer hold on our overall well-being.

Its ironic the wording we use to try to snap out of it are often the very words forcing us deeper in and why? If a friend was feeling depressed, would you use those words of advice to them?? The answer is no, because quite frankly, they are wrong! We are not weak for feeling, we are not ungrateful or self pitying for occasionally getting snowed under by life’s less savoury moments!

As long as we are trying, a long as we are fighting the internal battle we are not weak, we are strong! We are fighting day after day for something most people take for granted, going about our days when even the smallest task can feel like a struggle, every encounter with others feels like a trial, pretending everything is fine whilst secretly feeling so envious of their apparent ease at happiness. If only we opened up and talked…really talked!

depression

Most of us have had or regularly have depressive episodes, if we talked to each other more not only would it help to know you are not alone, often the most surprising people will admit to feeling the same, but also just letting it out, hearing it all said out-loud and discussed as a real problem as opposed to just going round and round the same stale old thoughts in your head, trying to convince yourself your not feeling it, can really help give you some perspective.

Of course there are also other things we can do to help ourselves. Personally I have a list of things which help. Some are instantaneous little pick me ups like singing as loud as you can in the shower, surrounding yourself with your happiest, silliest friends and just allowing yourself to forget and laugh, putting on your favourite comedy series or film. I swear The Big Bang Theory, Cougar Town, Mike and Molly and celebrity juice are sanity savers for me!

There are also more longer term activities we can partake in to improve mental well-being. Exercise for starters. Whether its a full on workout or just some yoga or a walk, the benefits are enormous. Not only does this increase happy hormones in the body, but it tires us out leaving less energy for agitation and aggression. We will often sleep better as mind and body are feeling satiated. Of course a good diet is also key here, junk food actually contributes to the release of hormones which will counterbalance the positives brought on by exercise and makes us feel lethargic and bloated.

Another beneficial habit is meditation, learning to let go and just be at one with yourself. Learning to relax and allow the universe to just be, accepting you are a part of a great vastness and allowing yourself to be lost in this. Getting a break from the mental chatter for a while and again aiding in sleeping.

Reading a good book is often beneficial. I find a good book helps put my life into perspective for a variety of reasons, depending on the book your reading. For instance reading a horror will not only distract you by taking you to a whole new place and adventure but also make you feel it could be worse…You are not in fact being stalked by the rabid dog Cujo or being chased by some sort of fog or mist which is turning people into zombies. Reading chick flicks can also be helpful as they are often emotional but your heroines always find happiness in the end, the autobiographies are great for really showing you how everyone suffers, again your not alone.
Then there are the little things, things unique to you which bring hope in your downtimes, light in the darkness and a smile to the saddest days. For me these are things like, tarot cards, getting creative making something, whether cakes, woodwork, paintings…anything, keeping a journal making sure to note good and bad feelings as well as things your grateful for, things you wish for in the future and short term goals which will help gain those wishes.

Lastly, charity. OK so I don’t mean you have to go to a third world country and build a well for thirsty children (although if that floats your boat…why not!), what I mean is doing something for someone else. Being responsible for someone else’s smile is incredible rewarding and not only that but if you believe in karma… This could be something simple like calling or writing to your Mum, Aunt, Grandma, someone who you know will be thrilled just to hear from you, your words brighten their day. You may want to bake or make something for someone, offer to babysit to give someone a break, picking up some of the extra workload from a stressed colleague or even just smiling at strangers in the street.
So to sum it all up… You are not alone, this isn’t a solo fight. Your friends and family are there to help as long as you are helping yourself and giving back as well as receiving! Keep your chin up and one day you will look back on this battle and realize you won, and you can win again if and when that dark old enemy shows its ugly face again.

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Filed under battle, darkness, depressed, depression, fighting, fitness, health, mental health

The ironic development of my daring dance with nudity!

Trekking to the river and finding a nice little secluded spot. Looking around, feeling nervous and yet excited. I take off my shorts, top, shoes and socks…
Finally the underwear comes off! I laugh, I feel like this is the most daring, adventurous thing I have ever done, yet realistically its really not that much of a big deal.

Travelling around the world solo, having large tattoos permanently adorning your body, climbing a 65 foot tree without safety ropes. Yes, these things are daring and adventurous but being naked outside by yourself. Its really not a big deal at all. Certainly not in the physical sense and yet…yet I felt like it was a monumental moment. I felt like I had disobeyed some unwritten laws, I had gone back to adolescence and rebelled and it felt good.

Now I’m not saying I am ready to be naked in front of people, or that I want to keep repeating the experience, but it was a liberating moment and one I shall remember for ever. Realizing that I am capable of really letting go of societies restrictions and doing something new, something different. Experimenting with something which is often misunderstood and frowned upon. Especially after recent experiences it was a big step for me.

Now here is the irony!

After talking to people and sharing my journey so far, it seemed the natural course to share this moment too. So, I decided I would take a tasteful photo. No frontal nudity, just a natural non posed picture of me standing by the river, on the grass. It looked nice enough, nothing pervy or in your face, certainly not a sexy photo, just a natural shot of a natural moment in a natural environment.

And I posted it to my facebook, to share with my friends and family, to include them in my journey. I received many encouraging words, some said I was an inspiration with regards to fitness, some said I was so strong, courageous and outgoing and they were envious I was able to do this, some commented on how beautiful the picture was…and one….one reported the picture to facebook as offensive.

Yep, offensive. Now I attach the picture below so you may judge for yourself and in the end facebook judged it non offensive and well within the rules on nudity but it still bugged me.

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Is it offensive to post this on my own wall for my friends to see? Am I, to some one else, the pervy German??
Or is this a case of someone just being spiteful for the sake of it? Or jealous or incredibly closed minded and prude. I felt outraged that I was now painted in the position of the inappropriate when I had been so careful to avoid being what I had hated most about my recent nudity experiences and a lot of people agreed with this, showing support and insisting it was a tasteful picture, I had every right to post it and they enjoy seeing my progress, both in my travelling journey an in my body (I am a fitness fanatic).

Maybe the lesson to learn here is that there will always be people who do things you deem unacceptable, and on the other hand there will also be those who deem you unacceptable

We are not made physically the same, nor are we mentally balanced in the same ways, some of us are more easily offended, or thick skinned and you will always have haters for whatever you do, or don’t do and you will always have people you look up to. I guess the key is to avoid what and who offends you and search out that and those which inspired and interest you.

It has made me see that maybe my negative experience recently with a certain German was actually more to do with his personality and high sexually charged nature than it was with the actual naturalism he was practising. Perhaps when shirking off the restraints of clothes, we should also shirk off the social conventions that make us feel like we have to be nice and friendly with everybody. Why not keep some distance if someone just isn’t your cup of tea, why not just not be friends. Be polite, but be distant, there is no rule that you have to try to like someone and spend time around them.

Is it not more rude to be rude to someone because you dislike them than to avoid being around them unnecessarily?

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Filed under adventure, body, naked, nakedness, naturalism, naturalist, nudity

Life at Aio Wira retreat!

Upon arrival, or collection at the train station you are greeted with a big hug and an open, kind-hearted face. Di, the coordinator is a lovely woman who, from her attitude and spiritedness in life, you would never place at almost 70 years old!

The centre itself is situated not far fro Swanson, about an hour by train from Auckland, south Island and is hidden away amongst a multitude of plant-life. It is surrounded by bushland, which means forest, trees as far as the eye can see, total lushness! At first the weather was wet wet wet, this area is rainforest after all and catches most of the water supply for the whole of Auckland, but eve in the downpours there is something magical about this place.

The air is clear, there is a feeling of freedom, of letting go of the restraints of civilization as we know it, you are getting back to nature, partaking in activities specifically designed to help you reach inner peace, a higher place inside yourself. It is a place for self discover and self improvement and of course, it is fun. The people you meet here are all incredibly open minded and positive, you can literally feel the positivity radiating from the walls themselves.

The bedrooms are cosy, there is a big communal kitchen, dining area, sitting room and big relaxation room along with a little sanctuary in the meadow and a hot tub and sauna. It is very cosy and, although I am not a person suited to living communally in the long-run due to my need for lots of personal space and alone times, I still saw and felt the benefits of having interesting people around the place, the wealth of experiences and information was incredible and I have already learned a lot from my stay here. The whole place has a very welcoming, homely, cosy feel to it.

And then the sun comes out and a whole new lease of life is bestowed upon you. Although there are places to explore and a certain fondness does arise for getting out there in all weather, it is an altogether enchanting experience to be here when its sunny.

All doors and windows are open, the only sounds you hear coming in is from the animals, the birds, frogs and bees, it is tranquil, peaceful and beautiful. The light glints off the plants and flowers showing their true lushness, you can almost feel the life, the nature and the power resting in the natural world just slipping in around you on the lazy breeze. The great thing is there is nothing really here to sting, bite or prick you (apart from mosquitoes) so you can walk barefoot through the forest, feel the earth beneath your feet, get to grips with nature and you know, its incredibly enlightening!

To be working here is a blessing, although it can be tiring chopping veg and washing up after guests, its not so bad and particularly at the moment there are no guests, the place is quiet, the work consists of a little gardening, washing, tidying up ready for the next guests later in the week, there is so much time for exploring, walking, swimming in the river, or just sitting about with a good book.

For me one of the best parts is the knowledge here, I am learning more about yoga and meditation here than I could have hoped for, not only from guests but fro the library of books on everything from meditation, self discovery, and fasts to faith, tarrot cards, runes and everything else in between! There is so much to learn, and all of great interest.

The centre itself often hosts events such as group fasting for 3 or 10 days, meditations for long weekends and a multitude of seminars as well as anyone wanting a few days at the retreat to unwind, relax and get centred.

Of course there are a few points which are not so positive, maybe you read my last blog, ref the German exhibitionist, but they are minimal in the grand scheme of things.

Below are pictures from my time here so far:

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My mind closing dance with the naturist!

Right to start off, remember I’m British and although I like to think of myself as liberal, open minded and not easily offended, I do still seemingly carry around a slightly naive and innocent view when it comes to such things as nudity!

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Before heading out to Aio Wira, A retreat in the wilderness in Auckland, Newzealand, I knew there would be a very relaxed, hippy vibe to the place. I was there to work and expected the usual array of friendly faces, coming together to get the work done, pleasant social exchanges of an evening and I was even vaguely aware that there will most likely be the option to try being nuddy in public for the very first time!

Although I hadn’t thought much about this either way, I figured I was mature enough and chilled enough to either join in, or ignore the nakedness if I wasn’t feeling it myself, I intended to go with the flow, see how I felt and be liberated god-damn!

What happened though was altogether un-liberating and has closed my mind to such things! I know this is probably just a bad example, a bad experience and I shouldn’t let it taint my future ideas towards this increasingly popular…Um…Exhibition of ones self! Anyway on my first day here a fellow German helper kindly asked if I would like to go for a walk to the river. Innocent enough right? Nice stroll with the father age, friendly German man. I should go, be polite and partake in the walking!

Well upon arriving at a certain point at the river, he asked if I would like to swim, It was cold and I didn’t but politely said I’d wait here for him on the bank, so I sat, watching the water, all at ease. Even took off my jumper to catch the few rays of sun starting to show through the clouds and then…
Something changed…The atmosphere felt a little strained, and I heard” oh you have a nice body, I can tell you workout” so I’m like OK, its a compliment. Take it, its just a compliment. It sounds a little pervy but maybe its just his accent. So I turn around to thank him and BAM…Penis right there! He’s standing, I’m sitting…Well it brought a whole new meaning to the words ‘in your face’!

I was a little surprised but quickly dismissed it, keeping my cool I turned back around and averted y gaze. Oh boy did I avert my gaze! I have to say it was the least attractive member I have ever seen, but then in fairness I have only ever looked upon them in a sexy frame of mind before, this penis viewing in broad daylight and in a non sexual manner(for me) was very strange! And then.. He doesn’t even swim, oh no he goes in and then walks about in the shallows flopping it around all over the place whilst trying to make conversation so I’d have to look…Well I never!

This episode was followed up with a couple of days of excessive compliments in a manner which I could only take as slightly pervy. Still I thought, I am probably being prude, I should give him chance to just be a nice man…non naked! We shall stay away from the river! The next day as I worked out he came in asking if he could join in…Um…well, OK! And then proceeded to make what I can only assume is his sex face at me whilst making appreciative noises and telling me “this is goooood yvar?” Um, no! This was not good for me!

And THEN, still trying not to judge and be nice, I went to walk to the car with him. He’d asked if id go with hi to collect it, its a nice walk he said! What he didn’t say was that it was past the river, and oh yes you’ve guessed it, there he goes again. Birthday suit, waving it all about, by god I thought, I’ve been tricked!! Well not again!

Until today that is, I thought we would be safe seen as it was myself, said helper and another helper Markos who was more along my lines of modesty and we were all going out to a rather public lake and waterfalls. After reaching the top pool of the waterfalls, there was a lovely young couple enjoying some togetherness at the top of the falls, Markos and myself climbed up to explore and I hear “oh! What the, oh no…lets go” and I know what’s happening, I turn just in time to see our lovely nudist emerging from behind the bushes smack bang in front of this couple. I swear its an obsession for this guy, I mean does being nudist mean you HAVE to be nude at every opportunity, even in non nudist places??

Does it mean you continually do it around people who are clearly not comfortable with it?
So all nudists constantly compliment each other all the time?? The amount of comments about my body and how I should swim or do the yoga in my bikini, I am just left feeling naked even with all my clothes on! It is by far the most uncomfortable I have been in as far as I can remember.

Is there not some sort of etiquette for such things and being too ‘in your face’? Like a religion, I kind of feel its one of those things, each to their own but exactly that…Your own, or people of the same inclination…Its just good manners not to force people to bear witness, surely?

And the worst bit of all??? This is the last penis I saw, and the last one I will be seeing in quite a while, I can’t erase the image and I wont even get to replace it with a nice one, one I wanted to see, one I felt good about! Its all tainted now! Ha ha ha. I am scared for ever…Or until I WILLINGLY come into contact with more male anatomy to wipe the memories!

Now I’m aware this is probably a bad experience with someone whom I obviously don’t connect well with, but It leaves me wondering if I am not too prude for such things after all? Am I too reserved to be the free, fun-loving hippy I envision myself to be?

I am left more confused than ever with regards to my feeling on naturalists and participation or witnessing!

The whole thing was certainly an eye opener and a mind closer for me!

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Filed under adventure, body, culture, discoveries, naked, nakedness, naturalist, nudity

5 Regrets From People On Their Deathbeds, Revealed By A Nurse

I had to share this, Its so true.  Too many of us go through life living as expected, by means we see as socially acceptable, performing rituals passed on through family, teachers, peers… but really the only person who has to live with your life is you.  You are the only person you need to answer to on your deathbed!   You must let go of these guidelines for life we feel we must abide by to be seen as a success and do the things that will fill our lives with positivity, experience and powerful emotions.   THIS is the true sucess of life, to live, love, laugh, do the things that add life to our years and memoories for our old age 😉

 

Whatever floats your boat, do it whilst your still seaworthy!

 

Your Alternative News Network. Broadcasting The Truth Since “2011” Alternative Health, Alternative News, Conspiracy, GMO, Fluoride

via 5 Regrets From People On Their Deathbeds, Revealed By A Nurse.

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Don’t forget your joints! Get them moving, prevent injury, loss of movement and slow down ageing in them!

Whether your a body-builder, the cardio king/queen, a yogi or in your golden years, joint mobility AKA ageless mobility is for you!

This process of moving the joints through the full ranges of motion helps strengthen the connecting tissues, keep the joints supple and cushioned with plenty of synovial fluid and warms up and prepares them for following movement. This means you are less likely to get injury not only following the session but in every day life as well as it means your joints are at their best all the time. It helps alleviate the stresses exercise can put on the joints, and its key in preventing ageing of the joints and helps reduce loss of movement as we age.

As with most styles of ‘workout’ the mobility comes in various shapes and sizes. There are numerous moves for each joint and variable levels so it really can be adjusted to work for anybody.
For instance, I use this every day. Some days I use it as a warm up to my workouts, whether its my body-building days or just a long yoga session and other days I will perform a whole hour, really getting every joint worked thoroughly for specific joint training and I also do sessions with a few people which I tailor to their abilities and needs, depending in age, mobility, ability and time.

Its also something I use if I am travelling, before and after long drives, plane journeys etc… You may get some funny looks in the airport lounges for performing the moves there but its worth it to prevent the aches and pains long haul flights can inflict!

This particular clip is just a standard demo. Its probably the sort of thing I do for a warm-up to a regular workout, going through the whole body. I have performed 6 reps of most moves, you can up it t 10 for a longer, more intensive session if you prefer.

I will add further clips over time covering different difficulty levels and showing more specific training on specific body parts, so intensive arms, legs etc… You can then choose to run them together for full body, use them to work on problem areas, choose the shorter clips for warm-ups or just get to know the moves well enough to do your own sessions.

So enjoy, give it a go, see how you feel and look out for upcoming variations 🙂

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Filed under age, fitness, health, joint, joints, mobile, mobility, strength, warm up, workout

My Autralian Journey!

So i was thinking about how to blog bout my journey in Australia and…well…theres just so much!  So many words, youd be sat here all day reading so i decided a story in pictures would work best, You have everything from beheadings to beaches, enjoy:

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Globe trotting and Fitness, working hand in hand!

So there are a million excuses for not working out. I’m sure many of us have used a great proportion of them in our lives and will use a lot more before were done but travelling need not be one of them.
When your on holiday its different, for me a holiday is a break from the monotony of your every day life, and although I will try to be active and eat relatively well half the time, I am not going to punish myself for not doing intensive workouts and eating badly the other half.

The problem with the holiday excuse is where does it stop? How many times have you heard ‘I’m getting into the holiday mode’ or ‘I’m still on another time zone inside’? Well these are, realistically, infeasible excuses. The holiday reasoning should be on the holiday, not around, in preparation for or whilst thinking/booking the holiday…Yes I have heard this one!
But what about duration of your ‘holiday’, at what point does holiday become trip, and how long does it have to be before you really should start working out?

Well, I have been travelling for several months now and I tell you, the sooner you start incorporating fitness into your ‘trip’ the easier it will be. Now when I say trip I mean anything longer than, well for me, a week. Some people may say 2 weeks BUT it certainly shouldn’t be longer than 2 weeks, unless your resting from injury of course, because 2 weeks is all it takes for atrophy AKA muscle wastage! 2 weeks is all it takes to start loosing all the good work you put in up until now.

There are a number of excuses you can use for not working out whilst travelling. The main one pointing out its a once in a lifetime trip, I don’t want to waste it working out, I can catch it up. OK, but what about all the muscle wastage? If you don’t keep something up, all the time you put in already was a waste, all the hard, sweaty, painful work! And what about the lovely holiday snaps, by the end of the trip do you really want to remember looking like a beached whale? Well OK maybe that’s excessive but you all know what I mean and what about the general well-being you get from looking after yourself, this will be incredibly beneficial for working out! Be on top form!

The next excuse is lack of time and equipment. Well this really is no excuse at all and can actually be beneficial. So the issues with time, never knowing when you will get a spare hour or how much time you will have…Well I have several ways to tackle this Firstly every morning as soon as I wake up I jump out of bed and do 10 minutes of something, usually the 5 Tibetan Rights, or a few rounds of Surya Namaskar (clips in previous posts), that way I know I have done something even if unforeseen forces mean I cant get a proper workout done later. Secondly, you learn to grab the moments whilst you can. You learn to plan ahead when you have time and have workout plans ready BUT also to be adaptable. Maybe you can’t grab the full hour so you learn to make it short and hardcore. The point is to grab the opportunity as soon as it arises and this is a great habit to get into. No putting it off until later, you are always ready to jump into your workout, no slacking, no excuses and this is a great skill to bring home and put into practise.

With regards to equipment, again adaptability is key! There are ALWAYS equipments you can use to workout, whether your doing strength, endurance, or growth! Its just a case of being smart, thinking outside the box, keeping your eyes open for items of use and not being afraid to give it a go.
Grab that big log and hug it for some goblet squats, use those metal poles or tree trunks for overhead presses or curls or dead lifts. Rocks make great weights and stuffing a rucksack with them is a great way to add weight for squats, lunges and walking! Use tables, chairs, any ledges you can use to elevate yourself to add extra work to bodyweight moves making them more hard work and pushing you into the growth category! Find a door frame or overhead bar somewhere you can pull up from, steps you can run up and down or use to do a step aerobics style workout. Find your nearest, steepest hill and work those legs, walk run, lunge, jump, skip, squat jump or crawl up it! And down again, coming down will use a different set of muscles! Throw yourself into any physical activity you are given! I have made use of wheelbarrowing dirt, shovelling sand, lifting and stacking big logs as well as smashing in fence posts and even helping demolish a wall! Whatever you get the chance to do, give it some welly and get the most out of it!

Saying all this, there are a few necessities I bring with me. Firstly a yoga mat, for obvious reasons. Its hard to yoga on a hard floor or to do a press-up with grit digging into your hands. Secondly a bring wrist bands. For me yoga is an important part of my workouts and when your somewhere hot, maybe there’s no air con or maybe your outside somewhere, sweat can literally ruin your grip, there’s nothing worse than slipping around trying to do a static pose. Thirdly I bring a stretchy band. This is not essential but its small, easily transportable and great for numerous moves, and for a full body workout or as part of a workout with other items. Lastly I always bring my weight lifting gloves. Brilliant for weights and also for all those unsavoury items you may be picking up to workout, saves your hands from splinters, cuts, and helps with grip.
I will also touch on diet. Now I know its the hardest part of keeping fit and especially when travelling so there, I just try to do I my best. I say to myself, as long as I have my 8 fruit and veg, my 100g of protein(weight gain), ensure I get good fats every day, keep my carb portions small and wholegrain where I can, try to limit junk foods to one small treat a day OR a full cheat day, then I am happy. Its not perfect. Obviously I am more strict at home but travelling makes it almost impossible, especially as I am travelling using helpx, meaning I am fed for my work. I don’t get to be picky and choose my meals, I use a few supplements and buy extra fruit, nuts and protein shakes to ensure I am getting the best foods I can whilst I’m here. This can also be beneficial though, this lack of control and being in someone else’s house means I can’ simple go get a biscuit or midnight snack…this is not my house, not my food so in a way it is helping me control my cravings!

Now it may seem hard to do all this but it really isn’t. Use it as a positive, use it as a goal, some thing to accomplish and just think, all the changes, the variations and the fact you have crated workouts yourself mean its never going to be boring, workouts will rarely be the same and they will be exciting, trying out new ideas you have come up with, it will be an adventure in itself! There are also numberous apps and online programs to help if your stuck for inspiration!

The skills you learn from workout out whilst travelling, the adaptability, the motivation to get it done when the opportunity arises, the readiness, the research you will do, and the way you learn to keep a workout interesting, using your initiative means you need never be stuck in a boring fitness regime again! Use this experience to keep it exciting even back home. Keep researching, keep trying new things, new places, keep pushing yourself, creatively, mentally, and physically!

So you see, travelling really needn’t be a hindrance to your fitness lifestyle, It could in fact be the boost you need too shake it up, see it in another light and find new ways which excite and motivate you! Share your experiences, help others from your experience and get satisfaction knowing not only have you helped yourself but improved your karma by helping others as well!
Everything positive I find, I share and its really gratifying and good for the soul, even if just one other person benefits from your experience!

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Best birthday present ever…Helium and parents!! Hilarious, every time!

This has to be the best video i have, every time i watch it it makes me laughh and laugh so once again here i am sharing the laughter!

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Is there anything more joyous than watching cats do cat stuff??

I love cats, this clip litterally made me belly laugh!   So here it is, i am sharing the joy 🙂

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