‘Blossom by blossom the Spring begins’ – Algernon Charles Swinburne
So here we are in March 2020 and the new decade is galloping along at what seems a break neck speed. I last wrote a blog for our website in September 2018 which I had anticipated would be monthly! Oh how wrong I was! Being new to blogging I had not realised the time I would have to dedicate to it along with co-owning and running Grey Door Therapy Clinic, owning and running my own
TCS Therapy business, being a wife, a mother, a sister, and a grandmother as well as dog owner. Where was my own sense of well-being? What was I prioritising?
So this new blog will hopefully be published every three months. Starting here. Now. It is in print so I guess it has to be? Scary and exciting - which of course are two sides of the same coin. The same hormones are released if you are scared or excited. In both fear and excitement the heart beats faster, the body prepares to act and the hormone cortisol surges. Err – fingers poised above my keyboard, my body is preparing to act……………
In September 2018 I wrote about ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’. I don’t think I have adhered to this ‘being’ very well but in addition I haven’t been ‘doing’ the blogs! I wonder why? Is this a case of prioritising? What are mine? Do I acknowledge them? Do they just change without me being aware and I just gaily carry on feeling more stressed and angry? Can I ‘do’ and ‘be’ at the same time?
I am thinking that our wonderful Cognitive Behavioural Therapist –
Dheeresh Turnbull – would say I could ‘be’ and ‘do’. However I’m wondering one of the many, many ways to obtain a sense of well-being is perhaps what I prioritise.
‘When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” — Herophilus.
So I guess health is a major priority? Not just physical health but emotional and mental health – an holistic sense of good health. Giving your whole body and mind the nourishment it needs and the respect it deserves – care of self. You are your whole body and it’s important to attend to self care in a way that is right for you. Be it exercise of any sort, any spiritual practices or indeed having a good belly laugh. And of course healthy food, lots of water and plenty of good, sound sleep.
I love walking, especially with my dog and I get the most pleasure from walking by the sea. Whether it be raining and blowing a hooley, warm and sunny, sun coming up or the sun going down. This gives me a real sense of being in the world. I also absolutely benefit from meditation or a body massage. For me they seem to compliment each other and doing them on a regular basis seems to maintain my optimum self. However do what you know is right for you, what feels good, what feels beneficial.
‘The best thing to hold onto in life is each other’ – Audrey Hepburn
Nuturing relationships and being a part of is definitely a priority for me. In 1938 during the Great Depression, scientists began tracking the health of 268 Harvard sophomores where they hoped the longitudinal study would reveal clues to leading healthy and happy lives. This study went on for eighty years and of the original Harvard cohort were eventual President John F. Kennedy and longtime Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. The scientists eventually expanded their research to include the men’s offspring, 456 Boston inner-city residents and over ten years ago the wives of the participants were included.
Robert Waldinger, director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School says “The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health,”
These relationships can consist of friends, family, co-workers, or members of your community. Relationships are the primary source of purpose and meaning and Robert Waldinger adds “…those ties protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes.”
So I guess let’s get out there to our family, our friends and the community and relate.
‘Do anything but let it produce joy’ Walt Whitman
The fabulous therapist Brene Brown says “a critically important component of wholehearted living is play. Play is as essential to our health and functioning as rest”. How many of us actually play and have real fun – in the here and now as children do. When you watch children at play they are so in the now. They run, they scream, they laugh, they get dirty, they are spontaneous, imaginative, and willing to take more risks than us adults. When was the last time you laughed so much you ached? At Grey Door we consider laughter such an important component of well-being and good health that we are mooting laughter workshops. Watch this space! Laughter reduces pain, increases job performance, connects people emotionally, and improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and brain. It is said that laughter is the best medicine, reducing pain and allowing us to tolerate discomfort.
‘Security is not a gadget, it’s a state of mind’ – Eleanor Everet
The word security means the state of being free from danger or threat so as Humpty Dumpty (or the egg) said in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass published in 1872, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." I’m thinking that security means different things to different people – a safe and secure home, money in the bank, feeling safe in the world, a regular job, being loved. However maybe ensuring all of the above is part of your life is the way to a sense of security? For me a sense of security is definitely enhanced by all of the above.
‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson
So for me personal development has been and continues to be a major priority in my life. Through my professional growth and training I have learnt so much and know that there is still so much to learn. Again like most of the priorities of life they can vary from person to person but stepping outside your comfort zone and expanding your horizons can undoubtedly develop you as a human being. Be that academic learning, travel, personal exploration or anything that stretches you as a person. Take a look at our Newsletter to read about Kayti and her trip to the Amazon jungle. If that is not stepping outside your comfort zone and expanding your horizons forgive me if I don’t know what is!
So ……priorities. Priorities in your life? I would suggest that your diary, calender, or whatever you use never lies. It will tell you where your priorities lie and if you say this is family and you continually don’t leave work until gone 7.00pm or after the children have gone to bed then you are kidding yourself. Spending time at the gym or running and having a taut, honed body but an agitated mind is not the definition of good health. Where you spend your time is where your tenets are.
Where do your prorities lie and are they in line with your belief system?
If you found this post interesting and thought provoking please do share it and watch out for my next blog in June!