Tag Archives: journey

Travels and Teachers…How these things have changed my mind and my health and fitness routines

As you know if you have followed my blogs, I spent the majority of the last year travelling. I visited physical places such as America, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and India but I also visited places one cannot see or even aptly describe.

I visited places within myself, I discovered not only knowledge and traditions but also experiences and levels of my self I wasn’t sure existed. I became aware of my self, not just in the physical sense but I also leaned who I am on a more personal level and even where I am at spiritually.

I was pushed to my limits in so many ways, I accepted so many new challenges and jumped so far out of the comfort zone, I’m not even sure I have one any more. There were times I felt completely lost, physically and mentally and times I when I doubted everything I thought I ever knew about my body, mind and the world I live in.
But, through all these trials and tribulations I have discovered not only new methods, but new motivations, new mentalities and new meanings, leading to a revamp of almost everything I once practised.

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Yes some of my trainings are very similar on the outside, but my mentality has changed, my mind is in a different place before, whilst and after I train now. I spend time and efforts working not only on my physical workouts but also on mental workouts. I practise exercises for the mind, some for meditation and calming effect, for stress relief and centeredness. I practise exercises to activate parts of the brain we rarely use, discovering new abilities and connections between mind and body.

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I also practise cleansing techniques, for mind and body. Taking the time out of every day to look after every aspect of my well-being. I use a combination of Yogic practise, Taoist techniques and western ideas and methods at the moment, but who’s to say what’s next.

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Now this doesn’t mean I have gone completely soft, I still train hard and with regularity, I still use supplements and eat well. It just means I now have extra practises which enhance what I used to do, practises which make me feel more alive, more energized and healthier than ever before and yes, I am going to share my experiences and discoveries with you.

Not today though, today is a short introduction to what forthcoming blogs will entail. If you like the sound of what I have described and want to hear of the actual discoveries and practises, follow my blog over the following weeks to see my journey, to hear of my experiences and hopefully to ignite some curiosity for yourselves, to inspire you to do some more research and start your journey to a new you.

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Please note I will only be describing the actual practises I use myself, that doesn’t meant there isn’t much more to the systems I take my inspirations from.
For instance I practise some shatkarma (yogic cleansing techniques) but not others. I will describe my use of the neti pot and nauli, but I don’t go as far as practising vasti (colon cleanse) so I won’t comment on the use of this.

My blogs are my personal experiences, not all encompassing teaching of the full traditions and systems. A taster of some techniques, if you will. They are to inspire you to take a further step on your own path, a starting point from which you can take any direction you desire…Its a big old world out there, so many variable and interesting ways to look at things and do things, don’t just limit yourselves to the philosophies and traditions of your own country ,get out there and explore! Whether you go physically or just via information researched from your own home, it doesn’t matter, the path you take is your own.

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My meeting with Taoism.

It seems, without realizing what I was doing, I have often been connected with Taoist practises. I have come across and used microcosmic orbit, I’ve practised self massage although more specifically for lymphatic system, or even on the whole body but not knowing where to focus my attention or why I was feeling better for It I have practised body brushing, mostly for my skin but also for the way it makes me feel. I have relied on inner smiling again without being specific to areas, to et me through some tough situations.

I have in many ways been channelling my chi without realizing that’s what I was doing.

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So I would say this is the reason I was drawn to the course which gave me my first knowing meeting with Taoism. Somewhere inside me I was searching, I was discovering in whatever way I could and the divine/fate/destiny, whatever you want to call it, gave me that last hint and put me on the correct path to discovery.

I heard about Taoist practises through my partner/ex (its complicated), he has been doing a rather monumental journey of self discovery and upon hearing about his experience with Taoist practices I was instantly drawn to this ancient way of life. Although of course his first experience was male orientated and focused purely on male practices.

I will just say here, although men and women do a lot of the same practise, we also have a variety of different focus. Of course we are physically, emotionally and often energetically different so the fine tuning to our feminine/masculine sides needs separate work. It would be very difficult for the man to use the infamous jade egg for instance 😉 ha ha or indeed to practise womb breathing! But even more subtle than this, Its important to be able to express our feminine/masculinity and learn in a way which celebrates our differences and allows us to tailor our practise to our energies and also to use our chi to help balance our hormones in specific ways. This is another aspect we often differ in our needs, or a lot of the time anyway.

Anyhow, I am running away from my own journey here. About 3 months ago I was having a terrible time, if you follow my blog you will have read/sensed the collapse of my world as I knew it and witness my rebuilding. Well it was during my strive to rebuild I was browsing the internet, and came across the jade circle website. Having clicked, I instantly knew I needed to take the course! In fat I signed up for two consecutive weekends doing the basic and next step courses.

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So…here I am!

I came to the magical green Isle of Ireland, and I met with the jade circle ladies last weekend. The connection with the ladies was fantastic, to be surrounded by such strong femininity and to be able to embrace and celebrate that so openly and unashamedly was such a mind opening experience.
It was as if we were already sisters, we shared so much including the start of an incredible journey into self discovery and…well I feel like I want to say control of ourselves and our lives, but in actual fact its more that we learned to lose the control, to allow the divine to guide us, to listen to our bodies, our intuition, our spirit and our chi, our life force, our energy.

We discovered ways of assessing our hormonal balance, how and when to balance the yin with the yang. We connected with our bodies and spirit, we learned all about healing sounds, self massage and womb/kidney breathing as well as some qi gong and microcosmic orbit.
We also connected with the jade egg, learned the first steps of practise with this and how to treat our bodies, to worship our sacredness and be the goddess we all have inside us.

OK so now I know I’m starting to sound a little…well…fluffy. It can’t be helped, Taoism is something best felt and not described. It feels anything but fluffy. It can be the most grounding experience, it makes you feel and see things which are very real. It really does help to discover the power we have within us.

And don’t worry guys, the men have just as profound practises and this weekend had a class of their own with Kris, Anamartas partner. Anamarta was the beautiful goddess who showed us the way in our first course via Jade circle (you can find them online and facebook).

Next weekend we meet as a mixed group to recap, to take the practises to the next level and to learn a little about the opposite sex, we must of course understand their energies as well if we are to have harmony in our relationships. Don’t worry though, you can just learn by yourself, if your partner isn’t ready to do the course of even if your single, the learning will benefit you immensely and prepare you for your next relationship. As well I must say that this system is useful for same sex couples as well. We all have yin and yang and every relationship has a balance of both, same sex couples may have the balance a little more evenly but the energies will still be there and can be worked on and understood.

I will write more about particular practises in future blogs, this was a general introduction on my introduction with Taoism.

Basically I feel like I have come home. This way of life really calls out to me and I intend to take this further, to journey as far as I can into this and maybe even one day help others find their connection to Taoist practises as well. Who knows what the future holds! 😉

Time to focus on the journey and on manifesting the life I desire, and am meant to live.

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Filed under adventure, advice, beliefs, challenge, change, Ireland, journey, tao, taoism, taoist

Long old journeys…How do you get through yours?? Heres how I tackle mine:

Since travelling I have discovered myself on many a long and arduous coach trip, whether its to/from airports, around foreign countries or, as I am right now, visiting parts of the UK.
How does one stay sane when travelling long distance, alone on the buses (or even planes and trains)? Well I have a few tactics I find work quite well:

1) Other people. Now there are several things other people can be interesting for. Firstly if they are of interest and free to chat you could engage I conversation, I often find myself meeting some quite random types having conversations I wouldn’t usually end up having. I recently got talking to a guy who was travelling across country visiting his girlfriend, a girlfriend he had met only once before, to give her his phone number and yet he was so in love and prepared to do so much to be with her, it was quite heart-warming…although my cynical side did have a few queries.
You may also find just listening in to other people talking can be rather amusing. Overhearing some overly chatty types or couples bickering etc…I can be entertained quite some time with this but I think my favourite thing when on long journeys is catching people sleep!
I recently found myself awoken via dry mouth as I had managed to doze off with it wide open and upon waking felt quite embarrassed, until I turned and saw the girl next to me was doing the exact same thing…Brilliant!

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2) I ALWAYS bring my laptop with me. This provides entertainment in many ways, especially now they have plug In points at every seat so you never need run out of battery! Firstly there is the standard watching your downloaded films, TV programs or playing computer games. Actual hours of entertainment. But also you can prepare and use both your computer and time quite effectively. I will often ensure I have lots of downloaded fitness information, guides, training programs etc. and can therefore research and educate myself on matters I may not always get around to when I have the internet available.
Lastly, you can of course still use word and such programs to blog, write your journal, or make plans and to do lists. (I am literally writing this as I start a 14 hour coach journey home (Cornwall) from Wales)

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3) Books, books, books! (or magazines) Because sometimes looking at screens for hours is bad for the eyes and also reading is good for you. By god if more people read the world would be a much better place, whether its autobiographies, fiction or factual, reading is a wonderful thing and definitely needs to be done more.

4) Lastly, ensure to have a good travel pillow and enough food and water. Sleep is a fantastic way of passing the time and for ensuring you are not left feeling tired and groggy after a long trip. Plus it can save you the indignity of falling asleep on someone or in an undignified position and having some stranger take pictures and laugh at your expense 😉 ha ha. The food and water are also essential not only for keeping you refreshed but also because time can pass extremely slow when you are hungry or thirsty and it can be difficult to concentrate on anything else…the last thing you need is food rage when stuck on a moving vehicle!

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So there you have it, Kirsts recommendations for those pesky long journeys, if you have any additional advice, feel free to share!

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My Journal Journey!

What is a journal? How personal do we make our entries? Do we write them with restriction in case it is ever found or specifically to be read by an outsider, or do we write our completely inner most thoughts unabashed, for our own eyes only? Do we use it to simply vent, or for record, are they for re-reading, assessing, future help or are they simply an outlet? Should we keep separate journals for separate parts of our lives? One for personal matters, feelings, thoughts and one for goals, accomplishments, wishes and wants? Are they a record of facts, experiences and advice or a mish mash of personal jibber jabber?

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I think its safe to say a journal can be any number of things and can be incredibly insightful, eye opening, and rewarding to the creator and also sometimes to others, depending on the type.

Personally my journal is a very personal thing, only I see it and IF I ever chose to allow anyone else to read it, they will be a very special person to me indeed. My journal is kind of like my friend, my confident, but it doesn’t judge or give false information, it doesn’t give misguided advice or try to warp my mumblings into coherency…It simply accepts.

When I was young I used to write a diary, much like a journal but to me my diary was all about my crazy thoughts, my emotions and turmoil, my trials, releasing the tension…when I read them back they are a desperate expression of everything I couldn’t say, or even make sense of. But there was no development, I was using it as an outlet but nothing more.

Now things have changed, for me a journal is more about a journey than just expression. Its a way of expressing but also of recording, of making sense, planning, improving oneself and I have to say it has been monumental in helping me through what has turned out to be probably the worst year of my life to date.

It really helps me to process my thoughts and feelings, but I refuse to scribble page and pages of nonsensical words, as I sit down to write I find a quiet place and time, I think….I process the things I itch to record, put the ramblings in order and write relatively concisely and with real meaning. Sometimes, the things I wanted to write, the negative or mixed up feelings often find themselves resolved before pen hits paper. I might mention them in a single sentence to record the fact it was there, I felt it but I can deal with it.

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I also use this writing time to make sure I am grateful. Every day I write ‘thankful for’ and aim to list 3 things I am grateful for that day, anything from my health, abilities, specific people, opportunities, experiences or sometimes even just for a TV show I am enjoying, or that wine which helped me relax and feel better. There have been one or two days in the last 6 months where I have been unable to complete this, on my lowest of the low yet even on these days, even writing the title, ‘thankful for’ I know there are things, I know that I am just having trouble pinpointing them at that moment in time, I know I write them every day and have many thing but my mindset is just clouding them.

There are another two sections I do every day to ensure I am looking forwards to positive things and to ensure I am chasing those things. I do ‘wishes/wants’ and ‘goals’. Under wishes and wants I write anything, this could be big things like getting a nice house, having a great relationship or winning the lottery or it could be smaller or more personal things like mental clarity, or happiness.
Under goals I choose things often relating to my wants. Most are small steps I can take towards what I want over the next day or so: start playing the lottery, do certain activities I enjoy to make sure I feel happier, put aside thinking time on specific topics or research them to gain clarity, reach out to a certain person, or give them space, remind myself what I need to do to help the situations go in my favour.

And every day I look back on the previous day to see what I accomplished. I don’t reprimand myself for anything not done, this isn’t a race, its not a competition, its not work. As long as I am moving in the right direction and bearing my goals, wants and things I’m thankful in mind, then I am winning.

I also use my journal for several other useful things.
Firstly for recording my training, so quick notes on workouts, weight, reps and how it felt, just writing it before I do the workout means I can’t just procrastinate and not do it…it is written in pen, it is recorded and so I must do it, I will NOT have to record my failure to do this, it is the one time I am strict with my journal content and entries.
Secondly I use the back of the book for notes, notes to help me. There are lists of my good and bad points, things to work on. I have a 3 year plan, and steps to achieve larger goals. There are some yoga routines, body-brushing information, workout plans, supplement information, notes of names and websites I may find useful and ideas to look into at later dates when I have time.

Overall this relatively small notebook is an incredibly valuable asset, helping me in a number of ways on a daily basis. I would highly recommend people giving it a go.
You don’t need to write the same types of things I do, make it personal, adapt it to help you be the most positive and productive person you can be, it is definitely worth spending 10 minutes a day doing!

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