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All posts for the month April, 2012

“Chaff and grain together”

Published April 28, 2012 by Crystal

I’ve found a quote I feel is so utterly pure, I wanted to share it with you.

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

It is written by George Eliot.

To me, this demonstrates honest to goodness friendship. Knowing that sometimes you may say the wrong thing, or you may be hurt by a friends words, you still feel safe with that friend.
Earlier this week I had a rant, I posted a blog here ranting also.
One friend simply ignored my rant. They haven’t even commented. They obviously decided it best to just leave it be and let dust settle. And this is a friend I’ve known for a vast number of years, most of my life.

They may have had good intentions, I may have overreacted. But the most important thing is that neither of us are going to throw away a friendship over it. Because we know it’s deeper than that.

Another person took great offence that I should have been offended by their opinion, and has gone so far as to block all forms of communication.
While I find this sad, as I found the person funny and charming and a sensible chilled out person, I also have to reflect on the fact that obviously we are not friends in her mind, and maybe, quite possibly I have said things that have offended in the past, and they never mentioned it, so my outburst was more than they could tolerate.
But the fact remains that with good friends, they will accept you warts and all. The may chide or criticise, or give unsolicited advice, and you may hate it, and vice versa. But good friends will remain friends throughout. Sometimes a fight might cause months of non communication. But through it all we will recapture the friendships that are meant to be.

The modern social media has opened us up to the opportunity of getting to know far more people than our previous generation had the opportunity to get to know. And there are many many advantages to the internet and the millions of forums and social networks. But what we need to remember is that however many hundreds of friend we have on facebook, only a handful would turn up at our funeral!
It’s easy to take things personally from strangers, even easier from people we’ve known superficially through the years, but it’s worth remembering, at least for me, that the true friends are the ones I can call on at a moments notice, and know they’ll turn the kettle on and make me a sandwich at 3am if need be.
True friends are the ones who accept our outbursts and hurts, and who can say “shit, sorry, I opened my mouth, words came out, I’m sorry I upset you”, and who you can say the same thing to.

So I repeat the quote;
“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

Too much of a good thing? Still learning about moderation!

Published April 25, 2012 by Crystal

Another lesson in moderation.
The raw food plan, while great and enlightening, has left me somewhat “bunged up”.
I guess the lesson here is that we are all individuals. We are all very different human beings, and what suits one person, doesn’t necessarily suit the next person.
I’m a girl who likes to be regular as clockwork. When I turned vegetarian, my bodily functions became far more frequent. My body obviously appreciated the copious amounts of tofu and hummus alongside the extensive amount of vegetables, and I felt lighter inside.
Now I’ve been loving the raw food. The experience has opened my eyes up to trying things I would never have tried before! I’ve loved learning about the “3 step salad” and “raw alfredo”. I’ve enjoyed juicing and smoothie-ing.
But overall I’m not feeling the love for raw food that I hoped to. Not to make it a 100% commitment. I miss the different textures of having a combination of raw and cooked, not to mention the changes in flavour as we cook vegetables.
BUT I think I will have the odd raw food day, or week. And come the summer I will be looking forward to super exciting salads, but for me, there has to be a balance between raw and cooked.
So now I’m moving forward with the desire to find a balance in my diet. Definitely more raw, in a bigger variety, less bread and pasta, always my evil foods, and a need to use far more ingredients in cooking. If I hadn’t tried raw I would probably have never tried the nutritional yeast or liquid aminos, I just ignored the vegan recipes that contained these!
So, onwards and downwards. Decided I’ll leave the scales this week. I know there’s no change, I know I feel bunged up, and it just isn’t going to be of any benefit taking notice of a number this week!!

Whatever happens, the world goes on turning.

Published April 24, 2012 by Crystal

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Spring follows Winter, Summer follows Spring. The seasons continue to come and go. Life and death remains a constant.  But in all things there can be a beauty, and for me, Spring is the perfect place to see that beauty after the dark and the dull of Winter. Rape seed may be over produced, but it is a joyous, vibrant plant, and compliments a grey sky on a rainy day!

A reason, a season, a lifetime

Published April 24, 2012 by Crystal

I’ve been thinking about this again today.
And you’ve probably seen it before, but just in case you haven’t, or in case you would like to read it again, here is a copy of a brilliant piece of writing, that I love to read again and again

Peace out. xx

Break it down

Published April 21, 2012 by Crystal

One thing I’ve discovered over the last few years is that I’m quite easily overwhelmed. If I see a task as too big, or if I fail at a hurdle and don’t complete something, I feel like a monumental failure. But on the plus side, I’ve learnt some ways to change my mind set.
A biggy is to break things down into achievable chunks. Don’t like at the big picture, not if it overwhelms you. Look at the smaller, achievable steps.
I’ll give you an example. My house is a mess. Stuff everywhere, bags, books, papers all over the place. I want to clean it and have a declutter.
I need to break it down. Firstly I’ll take one room, the dining room. Then I’ll take one part of that room, the back wall with a cupboard and a big bureau. I’ve chosen the great big bureau. I’ll work on cleaning and decluttering the bureau.
I set 45 minutes on the timer, and work on that bureau for 45 minutes.
Then I have a coffee break for 15 minutes.
I may have achieved lots in that 45 minutes, I may not, but rather than looking at the whole picture, the house, I am finding a way to start on something that is a masive task!
Of course, the thing with houses which contain adults and kids, is that no sooner is the house lovely, than somewhere, clutter creeps back in! At least for me!
But one thing I have changed is that feeling of failure. There’s no point being disappointed in yourself when you don’t get as far as you planned. There’s no point berating yourself for “failing” all those goals. It doesn’t serve a positive purpose. You’ll continue on your path to your goal begrudgingly, or you’ll give up altogether. Instead, congratulate yourself on the small successes. Celebrate the tiny footsteps you’ve made along your journey!
Make new goals. Achievable goals! What went wrong the last time? What can you learn? Did you aim too high? Did you make your goals unrealisticly amibtious? I made myself a small goal this week. To walk the dog each morning after the school run. I hadn’t factored in a sick child, and a (separate to sick child) horrendously bad night. I had given myself no flexibility in my goal. If I didn’t succeed every day, I was set to fail.
If only I’d reworded my goal. If only I’d allowed myself some grace. Think about how you word your goals. And if you fail one goal, give yourself the chance to learn what you can do differently!
Small changes can make a big difference!

It’s just a little thing

Published April 20, 2012 by Crystal

But a friend said today “You’re just happy being you at the moment, aren’t you? It’s really nice to see!”
And for once I can honestly say I am very happy, just happy being me! I can’t give you a Damascus type conversion story for this change of heart. I can’t pinpoint the moment when I realised that actually, things are ok, and things are coming together. But I can testify that when we feel something is missing, when we are searching for something to make us feel “more complete”, then a good place to start looking is inside us.
Material things may bring a short term good feeling, but ultimately, becoming a friend to me was what helped me!

Have a great day!

PMS and diet

Published April 19, 2012 by Crystal

Yet again I’ve surprised myself. What normally sends me spiralling in despair for 2 weeks before, has arrived with little notice.
Yet again, food has shown itself to be the key in controlling and suppressing the symptoms around my period.
I try to ignore the dates I’m due. Mostly because if I’m late I start to stress out, and I can be anything up to 3 weeks late quite often. So today Aunt Flo, the painters, whatever you want to call it, arrived, and I was somewhat surprised. I’ve been exceptionally tired the last couple of days, and maybe slightly more reactive than usual, but the 14 days of angst, tears, and misery just did not happen this month. And it has proven to me that food really is key.

What have I done differently this month? Well for a start I went Tee Total a couple of weeks ago, three weeks tomorrow, to be precise. It’s common knowledge that alcohol can be a depressant, and it also puts strain on our vital organs, dehydrates, and strips our bodies of essential vitamins and minerals. A bad hangover will see me craving carbs on a humungous scale, toast, chips, pizza, chips, more chips, for at least a day!
I’ve reduced the amount of wheat based products I consume considerably. Breads and pasta tend to bloat me, leave me sluggish, and always craving something soon after I’ve eaten.

I have upped the amount of fruit and veg and nuts and seeds consumed, a lot in raw form, either as salad, or smoothie of some sort.

So I have to assume, that the change in diet has had an effect on my body and has reduced the symptoms of PMS, but what specifically might be helping?

I guess the fact that I’m not drinking alcohol at the moment means I’m less likely to be feeling low in the first place when the hormones start to build up. I’m not depleting my body of things like vitamin c, which is necessary for iron to be able to be absorbed by my body.
And I’ve been having a decent amount of nuts, a good source of magnesium, which is suggested to be beneficial in alleviating symptoms of pms.
I can’t prove all this. I will only really know if this is the case if I keep up the same way of eating, and have the same result next time around. But I’m willing to bet that my diet is playing a huge part in this, and the last time I had reduced PMS was when I was eating with awareness, and upping my fruit and veg!

So, if you suffer from PMS, and nothing is working, maybe looking at your diet really is worth a try? It didn’t make me a cheerful angel, but I never reached for the carving knife either!