Monthly Archives: January 2015

Fighting the UK version of myself…

Since returning from travel, its like I’m a different person, all the changes I made to improve myself are slipping away again, I am regressing!

Whilst away travelling, I had no access to a TV, I had internet but only in specific areas and had interesting tasks so limited my time with them. When I did use the computer it was often for writing blogs, researching fitness techniques, networking or talking to loved ones.

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Upon my return I find myself getting sucked into the TV, not even watching anything specific. Watching my dad flick through channels, watching mindless programs of people falling over, or tacky sitcoms. I find myself sat on the internet, watching videos of cats, following menial conversations, trawling facebooks pages and posts and I even find myself taking time out to talk to people I’m not even bothered about being friends with, feeling like I must talk and be polite because they live near me…Um…why?

Why spend time having conversations you don’t want t have with people who don’t interest you, people with whom you have nothing in common? Why sit in front of the box watching people you don’t know live lives that aren’t real, why follow pointless ‘entertainment’ on facebook??
Is this our culture? Is this what it means to be British? Is this our go to response, particularly to winter? Too batten down the hatches and waste time until Summer once again arrives, and by Summer I mean those 2 weeks or so a year when its not rainy or cold.

Whilst away I managed to eat better, workout more often and with better progress, I learned more, I improved myself and now I feel it slipping away! This is not who I am, this is not who I am going to be!

I guess I figured I was deep enough into this new me to be able to keep it up but I was wrong, I am struggling but have ideas. I refuse to give in to monotonous old Kirst and this is how:

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Every time I turn on the computer, I endeavour to write a blog, this will often mean using my internet time more wisely to research a topic, it will mean engaging my brain every day!

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Each time a conversation starts, I will not reply on auto pilot…I will make the decision with regards to the person, are they someone I value, someone I can help, or someone with whom conversation is actually desirable? If not, I won’t engage, I refuse to bow down to social convention where we must reply just because its good manners, I realize this is probably a very British thing, being polite, well mannered and doing what is expected, well not any more.

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I am going to write goals in my daily journal, short and long-term and I am going to refer to them at the beginning of each day and ensure to plan my days with those goals in mind. These goals may be to do certain workouts, research workout, work or future options, to take time out to learn something new, practise my clubs, get creative, help my Dad with his renovating the games room or simply by taking out an hour to read, or meditate.

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Which brings me to my next point. I WILL meditate every day!! Whether its 5 minutes or 30 minutes, I will use my goal system to ensure to introduce workouts back into each day, starting with my morning Tibetan rights EVERY DAY. Making sure to do proper workouts, yoga and mobility. Within the month I aim to be back to practising Tibetan rights every morning and getting back onto my 4 day workout schedule, days 1 and 2 hard weight training, day 3 yoga and day 4 mobility, each one with a meditation session at the end.

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I will go back to making food plans, shop using lists from these plans and stick to them.  No more spontaneous eating as, when and what is there at the time.

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Lastly I will start making decisions again, it is time to stop wasting time wondering what my future will hold and start making that future happen. Every day I will do at least one thing towards that, whether its researching into jobs abroad, visas, and booking trips, or taking time out to stop and really thing through options and make decision and more importantly to stick to that decision. That’s not to say I can;t change my mind if circumstances change, we must be adaptable after all but it means no second guessing, I must trust myself. I am almost 30 and very capable of knowing what is right for me if I just stop faffing and trust in myself.

So there we have it, I will no doubt blog progress and developments as I go, if anyone has any ways they ensure not to let life pass by, or has the same issues, you are welcome to share, maybe we can help each other?

Its time to turn off the TV and turn on life!!

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Filed under 5 tibetan rights, battle, change, culture, development, life, Self discovery

The patience that comes with old age…or is it complacency???

Kirsty Jones Fitness

I was at the house of a local elderly lady this week, cleaning and providing company and as I was watching her prepare her breakfast I was suddenly struck with how patient and slowly she performs her routine.
I will just add here, its a lady I have known since being a child, almost like an adopted nanna to me now, hence the going round to help her out once a week.

Anyway, I was watching as she slowly laid the table, popped out the pills, even took the effort to close up every pill pack and ensure the leaflet goes back in each pack, the way she slowly spreads the peanut butter on the bread, so even, so surely, so precise. I took in the fact that she always gets out a saucer for the tea cups, always place mats for every item on the table. No corners are…

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Being home between adventures

So after being to absolutely terrified of coming home, I got off the plane and into my friends car, I watched the countryside stream past the windows, the rolling hills, the cottages and red brick houses, I felt the fresh coldness of the British winter and I felt peace.

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I have spent the last few days taking it all in, I have watched the familiar scenery roll by, felt the biting, cool breeze and the slippery underfoot ice, I’ve listened to some of the well known UK accents and consumed some local food and teas, I have smelled the freshness of the Cornish sea breeze and I have felt relief and relaxed as I adjusted my body clock and am connecting once again with friends and family.

The thing is, now I have taken it all in, it feels like I never even left. It seems as if the last 7 months were just a dream and I never even left this life. Its quite disconcerting and has me getting wanderlust already. Today was my first day back at work, and I am incredibly grateful they heard I was returning and asked me to come back, but also its scary how easy it is to fit back in to the exact same life I had!

This is not the plan, not that I ever have a plan but this isn’t how I want life to go. I wanted change, I wanted to start a new life not jump back into the old one as soon as things get sticky. I know I need money urgently and whilst I’m doing nothing else it makes sense to do what is offered, and I am grateful, but I’m also scared I will lose my drive in the familiar monotony.

Already I have been online ordering stuff…stuff I don’t need, materialistic possessions! Its like as soon as I got back I feel the need to own things again, this isn’t who I have become and I think its going to take some very special efforts not to fall back to being my old self. I will not allow the last 7 months to be in vain. Every lesson I had to learn, all the heartaches and failures as well as the adventures and realizations, I faced a lot of situations and conquered them, I grew, I evolved and now…what am I doing??

I really need to get a plan and make some serious effort to remember my path. I am above monotony and settling, I don’t want contentment and security, I choose life and adventure, experience and growth! So I have forced myself to get away from the dreaded TV, get into my space, write a blog, do my first proper workout in just over a week and actively make effort to be the new Kirst.

My aim over the next week is to make my big decision as to the possible yoga course I would like to do, to book my trip to the course in Ireland I am doing and to make plans for after this. They may change but I need a basic idea, a get out free card from the prison that is regular life. I am not ready to settle just yet, Its not time for me to be here for long. I will also ensure to be back on track with my workouts, today’s was awful, get my diet completely in check and to get back to my blog as well as ensuring I make plans to actually do things whilst home, make sure I have some adventures even here, just because I am home for a time, doesn’t mean the adventuring has to stop!

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I shall endevoour to make the most of Cornwall, my loved ones and having a home, a real place I can relax, at the same time makin sure I will be leaving it again soon.

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Filed under adventure, culture, experience, home, life, travel, travelling

Homeward bound, And I thought the leaving was the hard part….This is terrifying!

7 months ago I gave up my old life, I got rid of, gave away and left behind pretty much everything and everyone I’d ever known. I was setting out on a new path with the man I loved, we were going to have this big brilliant exciting future in the Philippines and then maybe travel and eventually come home successful, happy and ready for our happily ever after…

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I was scared but I was so excited, I felt like life was really turning around and we were finally getting to start our life together, after waiting for my fella who was in Afghan for 2 years to come home. Letting go was hard, I cried a lot, I wondered if I was making the right move and I thought I was doing the scariest thing I’d ever have to do…But I had my man and together we would make it work… I had made the right decision, we had made the right decision…First fail

Turns out we were wrong…oh so very wrong!

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Now, 7 months later, 4 of which were spent enduring life in an awful part of the Philippines, dealing with corruption, and disappointments business wise, having only each other pretty much for company, only each other to vent to and take it all out on, it was hot, we were teasy and it was difficult! There were no places of quiet, nowhere to go and find calm, nowhere to g and trek, explore we were trapped and it wasn’t fun!…Making a life and work fail

Following a trip away where we realise we are much happier away fro that place and did indeed have a relationship worth fighting for, we decided drastic action was needed. So I arranged to go to Australia and the fella was due to meet me there after his trip to India…

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yeh that didn’t work.
Time apart for him and his realizations in India made him decide to embark upon some journey of self discovery, minus the emotional baggage AKA me…so relationship fail (for now)

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I was devastated but we stayed talking and decided although were not together, there’s a good chance we could be again one day and, bear in mind I am simplifying things, I was able to accept this. I wont go into it but the guy does have things he needs to sort and in retrospect me being in his face wouldn’t help those issues…anyway so I set out to get a grip and do this travel thing everyone does.

Problem was, travel was something we’d planned together, everywhere I went I felt his missing presence as a physical thing, it felt like I was carrying around all this wistful sadness. I tried, I went through the motions, I made a few friends on my travels, I did 2 months in Australia and a month in Newzealand…I explored, I spent a lot of time and energies working on ‘me’…yet, I still don’t feel like I have managed to get a grip…I mean yesterday I cried as soon as I awoke, I barely sleep and I still feel like i’m not quite here, I have been here and there but a part of me has been elsewhere…I am clearly not getting a grip just yet..another fail

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So now it’s time to go home, I’m terrified. Going home means facing everything, out here I have been able to distance myself from reminders, from the things I’ve given up and lost, I have concentrated on being a new person, a better person but suddenly I feel like I haven’t changed at all. Being faced with the reality of life, my old life, people, places, the monotony of the life I left behind really makes me wonder, what did I do? Where did it all go wrong? I was so happy, so sure and so ready to make this wonderful step…How did it fall apart?

I thought leaving was the scary part, then I thought the separation was, then I thought the dealing with stuff out there by myself would be but it turns out the worst bit of it all is the returning home.

Don’t get me wrong I’m excited to see my loved ones and to spend time catching up with them but personally I feel like I’ll be facing each and every one of them embarrassed and slightly ashamed that not only could I not make it work, but that I was so smug before I left. So sure I had it all sorted.

Oh how the fates love to humble us!

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Filed under adventure, Australia, battle, change, discoveries, fails, failure, home, travel

Tao Paths…Interesting tit bits!

I’ve been reading an interesting little book today on Taoist practises, Pretty light-hearted book and a few of the little quotes stood out to me so I thought I would share them.

The book is subtitled love so most are based on relationships, friends, family and the whole yin yang balance. So here they are, out of the hundreds of little quotes, here are the few I thought were wise or just worth remembering:

“The opposites have a vital need for each other, just as no human being can live fully without relationships. An attempt to do so is either to stagnate or to court metal and spiritual malaise”

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“Sometimes the only way we can truly know love is by its absence. Or perhaps it is a certain indefinable something that make us feel better about ourselves when we are with that person.”

“When our inner treasure is inexhaustible, we can provide limitless love and still remain independent and non-posessing.”

“Discipline and mutual respect between a man and a woman prevent arguments like a health regime prevents disease.”

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“It is said that in marriage, even more so than in a monastery, one can find all the challenges and opportunities for self cultivation.”

“Once you have acquired the awareness of others’ flaws, you need not poke at every one of them. Sometimes, one compassionately ignores the chink in ones companion’s armour. Constant awareness of human shortcomings can be a very gloomy way to go through life.”

“Taoists believe that the way to attain and keep physiological well-being was through proper application of the bedroom arts.”

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“If you feel unable to us your sexual power lovingly, then don’t use it at all! Sex is a gleaming, sharp, two-edged sword, a healing tool that can quickly become a weapon.”

“ We must always look to our own faults, or own problems, our own internal dynamics before we begin to judge those around us.”

“In the end, say the poets, the love we get is equal to the love we give. The seeds of love, respect, forgiveness, tolerance and gratitude that we spread throughout our life will be the fruit that will bloom in our last day.”

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Attention span fail…But I got some cool/random stuff and here’s a yoga clip!

My aim this morning was to write a blog for my fitness site about yoga to support a yoga clip I made. This is what happened:

I started reading some information online and found myself humming to myself. After realizing I was home alone this turned into a full blown karaoke song…or two…and yes this includes standing up doing a full performance. I then decided I needed some radio!

So I manage to sit back down and content myself just humming along with the radio as opposed to my more extravagant solo work and get back to my research.

Somehow I get from yoga to club swinging and remember I really need to get some 1lb clubs so I start researching…FYI typing club swinging UK comes up with some rather interesting results, one must remember to enter ‘Indian’ club swinging for a more savoury result.

Of course so far I had several amusing experiences I needed to share with facebook, which led to a few conversations on clubs and such, I made connections to encourage a friend, and amused several with my apparent wit!

OK so back to the research. Oh wait I’d best check my email for order confirmation…oh there’s my confirmation for the jade circle workshop I booked in Ireland. Hmm what do I need for this I wonder…more shopping!

Mm, My back aches at this point so I get up to make more tea(3rd cup), and look at yoga for back ache, try out a few moves. Yes good. Oh wait is that the time??

So basically 2 hours after sitting down to write a serious fitness blog I am now the proud owner of some Indian clubs, some yoga pants and a jade egg!
Ironically I now sit here to write a blog about this.

Not to admit failure…Here is the said yoga clip, Heart Salutations! Just a short one, give it a go.  I dont thint it helps with attention spans but it feels good 😉

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Filed under atttention, fail, fitness, funny, indian clubs, jade egg, salutatioons, yoga

Creativeness and Mental Illness…I wanted to talk about relief via art but found other connections….

So I wanted to write about my craving for creativity and how it has always helped me when I’m feeling negative, I started researching and ended up on a much more interesting route:

Creative people are statistically more inclined to have mood disorders and mental Illness.

So essentially, rather than creativeness being an amazing antidepressant and everyone should do it..its more the case that the very mental disorders we are fighting are a bi-product of our creative minds. The characteristics that give us the power to find relief via creating are the same characteristics which contribute to the negativity in the first place.

There is debate on whether these traits are nature or nurture and there is evidence to back up both.

Psychiatrist, Keri Szaboles working in Hungary made an interesting discovery, he gave 128 participants a creativity test followed by a blood test sand found that those demonstrating the greatest creativity carried a gene commonly associated with severe mental illness.

There have been studies In Sweden, directed by Simon Kyaga, where they have discovered that those in creative professions were more likely to have relatives with mental disorders and were statistically more inclined to suffer mental illness themselves, for instance it appeared that writers in particular were 121% more likely to suffer than those in other non creative fields, and 50% more likely to commit suicide.
Now that’s a staggering difference!

They also stated that some people inherit a form of the trait that fosters creativity without burden whereas others inherit an amped up version that stoked anxiety, depression and even hallucinations.

There has been discussion as to whether this is from physical or psychological influence. For instance is it the physical DNA or just the fact that families experiencing mental illness are less stable, therefore creating a less stable environment which therefore nurtures certain characteristics encouraging mental illness, Or certainly worsening it.

But this is beside the point, my interest here is to discover the actual link between creativity and depression. What are those characteristics which contribute to both?

Its suggested that creatives experiencing mood disorders and mental illness take in more information and are less able to ignore extraneous details, their brain does not allow them to filter.

American psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman stated: “It seems that the key to creative cognition is opening up the flood gates and letting in as much information as possible,” he writes. “Because you never know: sometimes the most bizarre associations can turn into the most productively creative ideas.”

So basically our inability to shut out certain information and feeling can mean that we are overcome with emotion, which can be both incredibly tormenting for the brain, yet that same information and feeling can be what stokes up to create, with so much going on inside is it any wonder we have to release it, let it out and share it in such, often spectacular ways?

Painter of ‘the scream;’,Edvard Munch suffered fro anxiety which he poured out through his work, he write about this particular piece “The sun began to set – suddenly the sky turned blood red,” he wrote. “I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an endless scream passing through nature.”

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If you look into the personal life of all the old creatives you will almost certainly discover similar issues and right up to modern day, take Robin Williams for example…everywhere we look to be inspired, the people who produce the most incredible ‘art’ in whatever form are those who suffer the most.

So I am here to be thankful for my dark times, for without them I wouldn’t be who I am today, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog, I wouldn’t have a multitude of skills and abilities, of which I am proud. I have produced artwork in many forms and its greatly appreciated by those to whom I give it to, and those who see my work, or indeed read my work often feel the need to let me know how it has affected them(generally on fb, not like they have to because were face to face). Its pleasing to know I can inspire some thought or feeling in others and therefore I am grateful I am made this way.

In fact if it weren’t for this side of my personality I probably wouldn’t be a fitness instructor either, after all teaching in front of a class of people, using your vibrancy, your excessive energies to inspire, motivate and encourage them to put in their best…is this not performance and is performance not a form of art.

I would be a completely different person living a completely different life! Its quite humbling to look at it this way, all this moaning about feeling down, and poor old Kirst, when all along its what’s forced me into some of my most proud accomplishments.

That all being said, I must say I am not belittling the depression and disorders some people feel, for me its just an occasional thing, nothing severe or lasting so I have the right balance, I get enough darkness to inspire me but not so much to really bring me down. I am one of the lucky ones and I send much love and support to those with more severe forms of mental illness.

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Filed under art, artists, arts, battle, creativity, darkness, depression, disorders, mental illness