Friday, 27 July 2012

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Perfect Present

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.” ~ Andy Rooney

The Universe has its own 'timeline' which doesn't necessarily align with our own. We forget that time is an illusion, an abstract concept that human beings just made up based on the motion of matter.  "Past, present, future" way of thinking exists because we have the ability to memorise the locations of objects as they move. 

Happiness and joy result from total acceptance of living in the present moment - the now.  If we let it, everything will be revealed at the perfect moment for us with little, or no effort required. By trusting our heart like an inner compass, our path will unfold in divine order, as planned by our spirit and not our mind/ego.  
"Your are not your thoughts, you are the quiet observer behind them. That means you choose what you allow yourself to experience. Will you allow yourself to experience suffering or will you allow yourself to experience true freedom? Either way, your choice. What will you choose in this moment? " 

The Way of the Peaceful Parent

The Way of the Peaceful Parent

"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." --Peggy O' Mara

Parents are always doing the 'best they can' based on their own backgrounds, conditioning, beliefs and wounds.  By looking at our own childhoods,  examining any limiting beliefs or bad programming we may have such as, 'I'm not good enough,' I'm not loveable' or 'I'm not in control,' and tracing each one back to their roots from individual events, or repeated negative experiences, we can consciously make a decision to break the cycle and become more conscious parents with our own children. After all, "Everybody's got a past, but the past doesn't have to equal the future unless you live there.".

No child is born with a remote-control attached, they are born free, unique, unconditionally loving, trusting beings - our freewill is our greatest asset.  It is essential to remember that you are not 'the boss' of your child, you are their guardian, caretaker and mentor - children are human-beings, not human-doings!  Yes, of course boundaries are important and children can't just run amok, but if their behaviour is not hurting themselves or others, what right have adults really got to intervene? Children are not here to live up to your beliefs and expectations. You wouldn't tell a friend for example to, "Finish up all their food on their plates, or they can't leave the table," when they might not be hungry just because you are. Or, not allow them to wear something because you don't like it, or you think others will judge them. And another one, telling them to, "Tidy their room!'"  It is their room after all and as long as there are no hygiene issues and they're not endangering themselves or others - why can't they have a messy room?  It is also quite unrealistic to expect a child to behave the same way as an adult.  In order to feel valued and empowered, children need to feel heard and in control to be able to make their own choices in situations. Sometimes, by not 'protecting them,'or letting our own fears and judgements (or even the possibility of someone else's judgements) takeover, they can learn valuable life lessons for themselves. How do I know all of this? Because just like you, I was a child once.

When you treat your child as you would expect to be treated yourself , with loving kindness, respect and dignity, they will grow into loveable, independent, compassionate, considerate adults with bucket-loads of confidence and self-esteem - passing on this loving legacy to their children and so on....This ripple effect creating a far more caring and peaceful world. 

Although the following article highlights that there is no such thing as stress-free parenting, there are some great ways to make your journey together a more joyful, positive and loving one. The Way of the Peaceful Parent, by Leo Babauta

Friday, 20 July 2012

Nobody Likes A Back-Seat Driver

No one is more qualified than you to make decisions about your life and who actually appreciates a back-seat driver anyway?  It takes the pressure off if you understand that every experience you have, whether you characterise it as “good” or “bad,” is exactly the experience you need to have at that moment. Some choices may lead to more painful lessons than others, but living life in fear of living life is no way to live.

Catch yourself next time saying: "What should I be doing?" And realise that the real meaning of this question is, "How can I fulfil other people's expectations of me?" Once you are aware of yourself asking this question, let go and ask yourself a different question instead: "What is the next step in living my life?"  

The road most travelled by is one that will allow you to fit in and feel accepted, but it will never allow you to make a difference.  You determine your story. 

“It is better to fail at your own life than to succeed at someone else’s.”

Intolerable Clothing

You may have wondered why I included organic clothing and bedlinen in my earlier blog - have I gone completely mad?!!  While we all know about toxins in pesticides, what about toxins in your clothes? 
  • Today’s clothing industry is a seven trillion pound a year industry that uses an astounding 8,000 synthetic chemicals;
  • Consumers have the mistaken illusion that synthetic fibres in clothing are safe;
  • For over half a century people have been reacting negatively to chemicals interacting with their skin causing disorders like infertility, respiratory diseases, contact dermatitis and, yes, even cancer;
  • The more synthetic clothing you wear, the greater your risk of absorbing toxic chemicals that can precipitate health conditions most often not attributed to synthetic fibres.
  • Your skin is the largest organ of elimination and absorption— as I mentioned before, what goes ON the skin goes IN the body;
  • When toxins are absorbed through your skin, they are taken-up by the lymphatic system, then into the blood stream and eventually the liver—the chemical-processing plant of the body responsible for removing toxins;
  • Your skin also keeps you healthy by actually venting approximately one pound of toxins daily;
  • Petrochemical fibres restrict and suffocate your skin—shutting down toxic release rather than allowing it to escape—contributing to your total body burden and may be the trigger for the onset of disease;
  • A “toxic soup” is created when combining multiple chemicals that interact to create an even more toxic substance and health consequences than individual chemicals by themselves.
Healthier Lifestyle Must Include 'Healthier Clothing'…
Fabric may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about living a healthier lifestyle, but it definitely should be considered. 
Most synthetic fabrics, from towels to shirts and bed linens, are treated with chemicals during and after processing. These chemicals not only leach into the environment, impacting groundwater, wildlife, air and soil, but they also may be absorbed or inhaled directly.
“The use of man-made chemicals is increasing, and at the same time we have warning signals that a variety of wildlife and human health problems are becoming more prevalent,” says Dr. Richard Dixon, Head of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Scotland. “It is reckless to suggest there is no link between the two and give chemicals the benefit of the doubt. Urgent action is needed to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives especially in clothing and other consumer products.”
WWF is so concerned about one fairly new clothing additive that they advised parents to check their children’s clothing labels. If the chemical is on it, they advise switching to clothing made from natural fibres whenever possible.
The chemicals that the WWF was warning about are perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which include the non-stick additive Teflon. These chemicals are increasingly being added to clothing because it makes them last longer and also can make them wrinkle-free. Most clothing labeled “no-iron” contains PFCs.
Keep in mind that if you have mysterious “invisible illnesses” that linger and yet you’re told “everything is within normal range,” it’s time to look into whether the fibres your clothes and bedding are made of could be the problem; it is for many.
The Science Bit…
  • Scientists find that restrictive bras suppress the lymphatic system—needed to flush toxins from your breasts and lymph nodes and to help prevent breast cancer;
  • Despite wide appeal of synthetic athletic apparel, medical studies show that synthetic fibres cause muscle fatigue— which can make the difference between winning and losing for competitive athletes;
  • A study of 24–27-year-old-males, showed that natural linen long sleeved shirts were worn for five hours—and then polyester ones were worn for another five hours. Their arms were monitored during both with electrodes measuring skin temperature and velocity of the men's muscle tissue. No changes were measurable when they wore linen. However, when they donned polyester they endured a range of muscle disruptions.
Which Fabrics Are Better For Me?
While individual chemicals might not endanger your health, the synergistic effect of multiple chemicals (a “toxic soup”) interacting can have unpredictable negative health effects;
  • Choose natural fibres. While not always as easy to find, its best to do so when possible:
Cotton — preferably organic still remains the “king” of textiles. Organic accounts for less than one percent of worldwide production;
Flax — one of nature’s strongest fibres;
Hemp — grows without any need for fungicides, herbicides, or pesticides because it’s naturally insect-resistant. Its fibres are reported to be four times stronger than cotton. This is NOT the hemp known for its mind-altering properties;
Silk — known as the “queen of fabrics.” Watch out for the use of synthetic dyes in this fibre.
Wool — most of today’s wool is contaminated with chemicals, i.e., pesticides used to kill parasites. But organic wool is becoming more common.
Other — alpaca, angora, camel, cashmere, mohair, ramie, aluyot.
You Need to Know…
The Organic Trade Association estimates that one non-organic cotton T-shirt uses one-third pound of pesticides and fertilizers. Cotton production uses one-fourth of the entire world’s fertilizers. It’s another good reason to choose organic cotton to add to the ones above.
Don’t get over-whelmed, start small. Choose organic for clothing closest to your skin most of the time—underwear, sleepwear, sheets/pillow cases, etc. Build on your organic wardrobe as you replace items.
Are You Getting a Charge? Electrostatic charges accumulate in synthetic clothing. There are reported incidents of shocking mini-explosions from mixing layers of synthetic clothing with synthetic carpeting. And wait for it…synthetic undergarments contribute toinfertility in men.
A 24-month study of male dogs (yes, a bizarre and an awful thought) wearing either loose-fitting polyester underpants or loose-fitting cotton ones showed that wearing polyester created significant decreases in sperm count and degeneration of the testes. The animals wearing cotton suffered no side effects. 
Scientists hypothesise that polyester traps body heat, encourages chemical absorption, and creates electrostatic buildup… which all affect sperm count.
And Finally...
Yes, organic cotton does cost a bit more...but then...isn't it more cost effective long-term to stay healthy than to be ill?
Make the decision as parents and grandparents to create a safe non-toxic nursery beginning with non-toxic no VOC paint to hard surface flooring, the cot and bedding and the clothing used for a newborn whose immune system is not fully developed to provide maximum protection, naturally. 
Source: Consumers Beware: Toxins Lurking in Your Clothing! by Gloria Gilbere, DAHom, PhD

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Top 10 Most Read Books in the World

“If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” ― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist.  

Good to see one of my all-time favourite books is at #5.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

This Book Will Change Your Life As You Know It

If you've ever wanted to know the answers to life's BIG questions -this book is a must-read.

'Dying to be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, To True Healing,' is a truly inspirational and moving memoir, Anita Moorjani recounts how, after fighting cancer for almost four years, her body-overwhelmed by the malignant cells spreading throughout her system-began shutting down. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience where she realised her inherent worth... and the actual cause of her disease. Upon regaining consciousness, Anita found that her condition had improved so rapidly that she was able to be released from the hospital within weeks... without a trace of cancer in her body!

If you're anything like me, you will shed a few tears and possibly pop a few light bulbs in your head and maybe, just maybe nudge 'SOG' off your bedside table.  Beg, borrow, or steal (obviously not steal) this life-changing book, pass it onto all your friends, anyone afraid of getting cancer, or already has cancer.

As a teaser, the link below is to Anita's incredible description of her Near Death Experience (NDE) and also listen to Anita's interview with Sheila Gale

Anita Moorjani | NDE Details

“Since all of us are connected, we affect those around us whether we realize it or not. Our emotions can also affect our children, our pets, and our plants. The best thing we can do for ourselves, everyone else, and the planet, is to find our joy and passion for life, and do what makes us happy. When we are happy, those around us will be happy, and in turn, those around them will also start to feel the same way.  We always have to start with our self, and the best place to start is to do what makes you feel joyful.” 
~Anita Moorjani

Conscious Consumerism - Getting Back to Basics

"The first rule of ecology is that everything is connected to everything else. One simple action effects countless others throughout the environment." ~John Ward-Harris Ecological Author and Artist

It is up to us to take our role as caretakers of this precious planet seriously and our own health and well-being for that matter, in effect the same thing. After all, we only have it 'on-loan' for a comparably short allotted time before 'returning it' to the next generation. There are no super-heroes to swoop in and save us all from the mass destruction of the Earth - we have to step up to the plate and be our own hero or heroine in this story.

I have made it my mission to deliberately seek out companies offering products that are: ethically made, re-cycled, reasonably priced, organic (no added pesticides/chemicals), GMO free, or as close to nature as possible, and gradually (it has taken a while) replaced my not so nature/human-friendly products.   In some cases, we've come full-circle, as my grandparents probably used a lot of the products that I am using now for cleaning, like white vinegar applied from a pump-action spray bottle is an excellent window/glass cleaner and for descaling kettles, and baking soda for the oven.

My tendancy is to mainly shop online (unfortunately), as these companies seem to be a lot more competitively priced than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts, offer a far wider range of products, plus, there is a lot less legwork involved, so to speak sourcing products that sadly haven't even reached the High Street stores yet. I also subscribe to 'Natural Health' magazine which is another great source for earth-friendly products and a refreshing change from being bombarded with unrealistic body images, shape 'ideals,' fashion-industry led clothes you don't need or want, and chemically-laden make-up and personal products.

Going...Going... Green

This gradual, but quite radical change to more universally-friendly products hasn't happened overnight and is still a work-in-progress - replacing things as they wear out, or we finish them.  And, we've started bulk-buying certain everyday products too, so that we can reduce the amount of packaging we have to dispose of: like toilet rolls, washing-up liquid, shower gel (also used as handwash) and multi-surface cleaner, in 5 or 15 litre containers! Surprisingly, washing-up liquid is not naturally blue, yellow or green, ours is clear and it doesn't have a vile artificial smell! We have found other benefits too with our new conscious buying patterns, we are now on very friendly terms with our postman, whom we felt more than obliged to tip at Christmas due to his increased workload over the past year, or so!! 

When I find products I like, within just a couple of clicks, I can scour the internet for the lowest price, sales, any current voucher codes/offers and ideally free delivery (or at least the lowest delivery charge).  In the Western culture materialism has taken to us to the brink, before buying anything, ask yourself the following 3 questions: Do I love it? Do I need it? Can I live without it? After all, when you transition, 'your hearse won't come with its own luggage rack!'

I've listed below most of the retailers we use, although this is by no means an exhaustive list -  let me know if I've missed any:

Clothing and Shoes

  • - sell fairtrade and People Tree clothing, there is also the added benefit of free delivery.
  • - sell People Tree clothing
  • - organic socks
  • - fab fairtrade jeans without the chemicals and a guilty conscience.

Organic/Fairtrade Bedlinen, Mattresses and Beds

Carpets without Chemicals 
Carpets are the worst culprit. They contain glues, anti-fungal and anti-staining chemicals and absorb other household poisons so they become a toxic reservoir. If you can't do without, then choose a ‘chemical free' rug or carpet like Geysira Wool carpets made from 100% untreated Icelandic Wool.

Kids Stuff

Organic Food 

  • - seasonal, pesticide and GMO-free and all sorts of lovely other goodies delivered-to-your-door. Their natural yoghurt is to die for and nothing like the supermarket and leading brand's equivalent.
  • Food For Thought (Guildford and Kingston)
  • Farmer's markets are great too!

Books & DVDs

  • The library.

Wholefood Vitamin Supplements

  • - like food a in pill form rather than some other foreign substance not too dissimilar to a rock or chalk that your body won't recognise and be able to turn into anything useful.

Toiletries and Make-up

  • or (same company)
  • - larger stores usually stock a range of organic products from hair products to household cleaners.
  • - free delivery, if you pick it up from your local Waitrose or John Lewis.
  • - not just food - they have recently introduced Natracare, a range of natural and organic (no bleach) 'products for ladies.'
  • - natural nail varnish
  • - Suncoat natural nail varnish (free delivery) which you could simply take off by soaking your fingers in water - no nasty nail varnish remover, saying that, Suncoat (and plenty of other companies) offer non toxic nail polish remover too.
  • - always worth taking a look on here for organic/natural products, although sometimes I find that the suppliers offer cheaper products on their own websites.


  • Antique and secondhand vintage shops (we love East Molesey for these).

Animal Supplies
What we feed the beautiful animals that share our lives is as important as what we feed ourselves.
  • - I buy Four Seasons (cat and dog) herbal parasite and worm prevention tincture from here
  • - natural flea spray
  • - Billy No Mates - herbal flea, tick and mite treatment
  • - for bulk biodegradeable poop bags
  • Seven Hills garden centre near us in Weybridge and Imberpark in Shepperton are great for buying high quality bird, cat, dog food, treats and toys, although some of the supermarkets stock good quality, high meat content food too.
We're also blessed with finding a lovely vet in Guildford that offers both allopathic and homeopathic remedies and nosodes (homeopathic inoculations) for treating animals. Olly, our 'fur-baby' has had his vaccinations (along with  a homeopathic remedy Thuja to limit any side-effects developing) this year and next year will have a blood test (along with Tallia, our cat), called a 'titer test' to determine their immunity to the viruses vaccinated for. If the levels are fine, than they will not have any more vaccinations that year - this should be routine for the vet. 

We do not vaccinate humans every year, so why unnecessarily vaccinate the animals we share our lives with, except to inflate the profits of the vets and Pharmaceutical companies? Vaccinating them every year compromises their immune system and causes many other awful side-effects and in some cases death. If you have to put your animal(s) in kennels, it's well worth researching one that will accept nosodes and/or titer tests.

Household Cleaning Supplies 
Is it time to give your home a detox? We spend as much as 90% of our time indoors, yet the ingredients found in almost everything we put in and on our homes mean that they may look clean but may not be healthy. The products we use/or buy to go in our homes, contaminate the air with a toxic mix of carcinogens, hormone disrupters, neurotoxic solvents, mood altering chemicals and reproductive toxins.

Scientists regard household cleaning products as one of the most important sources of indoor pollution and one of the most insidious threats to human health. As our use of cleaners has grown, there has been a rise of incidences of cancer and asthma. Constant contact in the home with chemical fumes and chemical residues may be a contributory factor.The air inside the typical home is on average 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside and, in extreme cases, 100 times more contaminated largely because of household cleaners and pesticides.

We predominantly use Bio D, Naturally Clean and Ecoleaf, NOT Ecover which
I found on closer scrutiny of the ingredients list does not entirely live up to its perceived green credentials.

Some Detox Tips

  1. Use one indoor plant per piece of electrical equipment to absorb pollutants - bamboo is particularly good.
  2. Stop using dishwasher rinse-aid: it leaves a chemical film on your plates.
  3. Don't buy synthetic room fragrances. Open a window or use a natural fragrance such as dried lavender. Wood balls soaked in cedar oil are good odour absorbers.
  4. Use clay-based paints such as Earthborn, rather than vinyl ones.

  • - From just 3p per machine load, soap nuts are the best completely organic laundry option and cleaner on the planet, plus, they grow on trees, so are completely compostable too!
  • Wilko - white vinegar spray and refill with the glass bottled variety available from most supermarkets

Creating A Peaceful Life

"Everything we do is infused with the energy in which we do it. If we're frantic, life will be frantic. If we're peaceful, life will be peaceful." ~Marianne Williamson 

Be the Voice of Change

Dressed to Kill

So, next time you're going about your daily routine, just take a moment and look at the ingredients list on the back of products you regularly use.  Worryingly,  not all of them will even have their ingredients on show. Take your favourite perfume for example, this would have originally been made of ingredients derived from nature, sadly not any more and they don't even have to legally tell you what's in them.  Forget mystery, wouldn't you rather have transparency - not blind faith? If you're certain what all the ingredients are on your other products and are happy to consume them - go ahead, apply them to your skin.

Yes. You did read that right, I used the word 'consume,/eat' because our skin is the largest organ of elimination and absorption in our bodies which basically means whatever you put onto it, goes into it, so we might as well be eating Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) on a daily basis, whatever that is...actually it's commonly used in our soaps, shampoos, detergents and toothpaste and other products we expect to 'foam up.' SLS and SLES are esters of Sulphuric acid - SLS is also known as "Sulphuric acid monododecyl ester sodium salt ", however there are over 150 different names by which it is known (a bit like Aspartame, the artificial sweetener commonly found in 'low sugar' or 'sugar free products,' but, don't get me started on that!). In fact, SLES is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen.

Natural or organic products are readily available, if you're willing to take the time to look for them and not be swayed by advertising claims because the majority of organic products are not promoted on television.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Trust Issues

When we focus our attention on what we perceive we don't have, with our thoughts, words and actions, this negativity radiates out to the Universe and because humans act just like magnets, we attract even more lack and scarcity. Like attracts like and what we resist persists.

Isn't it funny how other conscious beings i.e. the rest of the natural world, don't struggle with this concept (or even consider it)? When we let go of fears, limiting beliefs and desires, and feel at peace with 'what is' - we are 'in the flow of life' and naturally radiate out positive energy. This state of allowance (aka our natural state) in the Universe, God, Spirit, or whatever your spiritual stance happens to be; is in turn rewarded with abundance or divine grace and just at the perfect time for us.

Next time you are feeling good, notice how everything just seems to all come together and flows without any effort required. Equally, when you're not feeling so great, not present in the moment, or just trying (which btw also implies never finishing) too hard - everything appears to go wrong, or is difficult. Nothing happens by accident, think less and allow more.  

When we let go and let life guide us, often we find a better way, and a more fulfilling journey. 

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." ♥
-Lao Tzu

Choose Happiness

Being happy is the cornerstone of all that you are! Nothing is more important than that you feel good! And you have absolute and utter control about that because you can choose the thought that makes you worry or the thought that makes you happy; the things that thrill you, or the things that worry you. You have the choice in every moment. ~Abraham Hicks

Be Your Own Cheer-leading Squad

Love, honour and respect yourself. Wake up every day and appreciate the magnificent being that you are with all your humanness, perceived flaws and imperfections. When you do this regularly enough,  you will attract people who also love and value you for all that you are.

Joyce's prayer sums this up so well:

Dear God, A long time ago I learned that you never make junk. You created me as a human person whose journey of life is the path to wholeness. This journey needs room for growth and space for evolving discovery. Each day is another opportunity to receive your help and your love as I become the person I am meant to be. Help me to love myself well and to entrust my growth to your guidance. Remind me often that I am "wonderfully made" (Ps 139:14)

This song just seemed appropriate somehow.x