An Affirmation – All is well with the world

All is well with the world

Wishing you all a perfect day 🙂

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A Simple Question Caused a Rethink!

Today’s Affirmation

I accept my past without judgement, and Relish the Opportunity to Learn

I knew when my friend asked me the simple question it would cause a rethink!

Where did you spend your childhood holidays?

I spent sometime explaining that as a young child, about the age of 5 or 6, my parents had taken us abroad, mainly to the Mediterranean, for our holidays. This was quite unusual in the mid to late 60’s. Although unusual, for the working classes at least, it was made possible as Spain began to open itself up to tourism following its transition from a State run as an Autarky ruled by the military dictator Francisco Franco, to one pursuing economic liberalisation.

After this little discourse into my childhood my friend then made the following observation.

You were so lucky to have been given the opportunity to explore Europe at such a young age.

Suddenly. like a light bulb being turned on, I realised that, yes, I was so fortunate to have had this opportunity and that I had never really appreciated the value of these experiences, let alone felt the gratitude to my parents for giving us, I have a brother and a sister, these experiences at such a pivotal moment in our lives.

My Parents both worked and we were a typical working class family. I never really appreciated how hard they must have worked to allow us to travel all over Europe and have such memorable holidays. I still have vivid memories of all the countries we travelled through on our way to Spain or Italy, from turquoise lakes in the Alps to beautiful idyllic villages in Germany.

Spain’s tourist industry was, at this time, in its infancy and the little fishing villages and market towns we visited had the feel of an authentic Spanish culture that sadly seems to have long gone. I have memories of traditional Flamenco dancers performing in open air bars and feeling great amusement as my parents tried to communicate with non-English speaking Spaniards as English was hardly heard at that time.

So, I’d like to give a big posthumous thank you to my parents for the wonderful experiences they gave me. Sadly both my parents are dead and I cannot thank them in person.

The train of thought initiated by my friends comment ultimately lead to remember a moment in my life that stirred my young mind into pondering such great philosophical thoughts as to the meaning of life, the Universe and everything, that ultimately lead me down a path to forming an animistic, nature spirituality that has sustained me since that time. It was whilst travelling over the Pyrenees that we had to park up and sleep overnight in the car. I have a vivid memory of getting out of the car and being amazed by the sight of a field full of glow-worms. But what made it even more amazing was the sheer beauty of the sky, having never seen the milky-way with such clarity I was totally blown away by the sight of the night sky. The awe I felt in my soul was, and still is, indescribable. The vision of the night sky was reflected in the vision of the glow-worms on the ground, it was like seeing the sky mirrored on the grounds. Later this was to be a memory that helped me understand the Hermetic principle ‘As above, so below; as below, so above’.

milky way

Perhaps this is why I get such pleasure and joy from such simple things as seeing the dog digging in the sand on the beach with a look of sheer joy in her eyes, to sitting and just being mindful of the Sea and it’s sounds?

Gratitude

  • The beauty of nature
  • A loving family
  • Good friends
  • The example set by the dogs, the joy in simple pleasures
  • Living in such a beautiful setting
  • The Sun on my back
  • The sound of the jackdaws in the garden
  • Feeling healthy and positive
  • The NHS and all those who work so hard to care for others
  • My loving parents who ensured I had such wonderful experiences whilst growing up

Well that’s another snippet out of my life! Have a wonderful day my friends…

Two Day Chill-Out at Llyn Tegid – Bala

Being out with nature is food for the soul and nowhere feeds my soul quite as much as Llyn Tegid, otherwise known as Bala Lake. We’ve just had a couple of days camping with two wonderful friends Jackie & Kim. A great time was had by all.

True friends are there for you, through the good times and the bad. True friends feed your soul and accept you for who you are, warts and all! Jackie & Kim are two such friends, Sue and I are lucky to have them as our friends. Plus they make great sailing company. Apology for the selfie, I’m not very photogenic LOL

As we were camping on Monday to Tuesday the camp was fairly quiet and it was peaceful enough to do a bit of early morning meditation by the lake.

I have returned fully recharged and ready to take on the world! The weather wasn’t fantastic but I think the land needed the rain more than we needed the Sun. Plus it gave us the chance to take a swim in the lake in the rain! there’s something quite delicious about swimming in the rain.

Have a fantastic day
Chris /|\

 

My day begins and ends with GRATITUDE and JOY – So Can YOURS

Affirmation of the Day

My day begins and ends with GRATITUDE and JOY – Louise L. Hay

I began my day, albeit a later start than I had planned, with my 10 minutes of meditation followed by a very enjoyable exercise session. I did my usual push-ups and sit-ups but have decided to add some flexibility and relaxation training into my regime. Therefore, I’ve decided to restart Tai Chi again after a 12 year break and have joined a local class teaching the Yang style 37 step form. This is different to my previous Tai Chi form which was the Lee style, but the underlying Taoist principles are the same. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to restart my practice and I’m looking forward to the next lesson on Wednesday. I can’t really define why Tai Chi is such a joy to do, on the surface it just looks like slow elegant moving but I find it so meditative and balancing.

We had a busy day planned and I was grateful for having the two weeks annual leave from work which will allow me to get quite a few jobs done around the house and the allotment, not to mention our trip to Bala and our planned weekend with friends.

The day started with working on the garden and the back yard. Weeks of Sun with no rain has left the ground extremely dry, but the bonus of the good weather is that our two bee hives are doing extremely well. Watching the bees fills my heart with joy, gratitude and appreciation for the hard work they do and the promise of a little honey later in the year fills me with anticipation. There’s nothing to beat the pleasure of tasting the sweet unadulterated raw honey from your own bee hives, but I don’t take too much as I keep bees mainly for the pleasure of watching them and knowing that we are supporting the bio-diversity in the area. Another bonus, for which I can thank the Sunny weather for, is the health of the grape-vine this year, looks like it’s going to be a bountiful year.

Later on it was time for family. Sue and I were meeting Christina with our grand-daughter Scarlett. We met for a drink at Pebbles, a local cafe on the promenade, they are well worth a visit if you’re visiting Tywyn. Here’s a link to their Trip advisor entry.

I am so grateful to be able to spend this time with my family, it fills me with joy and happiness. It’s surprising how the words “you have cancer” can somehow make everything clearer about what’s really important in life. Cancer, like many other life limiting conditions, is terrible but there is a flip side as it can be the stimulus to making you re-evaluate your life’s priorities. I think my diagnosis has sharpened my ‘metaphorical’ vision to be able to see, and appreciate, the joy that can be gained from the simple pleasures, like spending time with family. So I do at least have one thing to be grateful for from my illness. Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say LOL.

Later that day I spent 45 minutes listening to the healing cancer hypnosis video I’m currently using. I still can’t believe I manage to lie still for that length of time! I do appreciate the effort, and generosity, of people who produce material like this for free. Please visit their channel and give a thumbs up to help them out. Hypnosis: Deep Trance Cancer Healing

Well that’s a quick outline of my day and the joy and gratitude I feel. I’ll check in again soon.

Have a wonderfully joyous day filled with peace, harmony and gratitude

Matcha Green Tea: a brew to start the day

Affirmation of the Day

My Power exists in the NOW therefore, I acknowledge and forgive my past. For I know that NOW is the seed of my becoming.

Match Green Tea

 

I have started to incorporate Matcha Green Tea into my dietary regime. I consume two small cups a day which I find very enjoyable. I decided to try this particular green tea because it is promoted as having many health benefits, even greater than normal infused green tea. I’ll add some resources below if you want to research it yourself.

My Experience so far

I love the taste and find it quite refreshing. Luckily the caffeine content hasn’t triggered my palpitations, which are the signs my body gives me if I overdo the caffeine. I actually enjoy the process of making the tea as I try, if possible, to do it in a meditative state  like the Japanese do with their tea ceremony.

Is it improving my health? it’s too early to say at the moment but I’m happy to continue as I enjoy the experience of making and drinking it, but I will continue to keep an eye on the research and hopefully a few more studies might come out demonstrating the benefits of Match green tea.

10  Benefits of Drinking Matcha Green Tea

  • High in Antioxidants
  • High in Catechin, EGCg (The most potent and beneficial antioxidants)
  • Induces Calm – reduces stress
  • Boosts Memory and Concentration
  • Increased Energy Levels
  • Helps Weight Loss
  • Aides Detoxification
  • Boosts the Immune System
  • Improves Cholesterol Profile
  • Tastes Great!

Some of the Research papers involving Matcha Green Tea

That’s all folks!

Have a stupendous day, appreciate every moment and be Mindful.

Planning a camping trip to Llyn Tegid in Bala, Wales

Affirmation of the Day

Nature supports the healing of my Body, Mind and Spirit

Bala lake

Llyn Tegid is a large lake in Wales located in a town called Bala in Gwynedd. It is one of my most favourite places to visit. I have a deep connection to this lake, living in Wales and having a nature based Spirituality I love the connection this place has to the ancient mythology of Wales. Llyn Tegid is renowned for being the magical birth place of Taliesin, the greatest Bard in the history of Wales and the whole World. He’s a mythological being that most people have probably not heard of outside of Wales, he was the magical child of Ceridwen via the transformative processes of the Cauldron of Inspiration. But I digress, if you are interested take a look here and/or here to get started on the discovery of Taliesin.

We are staying at a wonderful camp site run by two of the loveliest people I know, Molly and James, I heartily recommend a visit if you can make it. If you decide to go tell them that Chris (the druid) sent you. Here’s the link to their website  www.balacamping.co.uk.

This is part of my resolve to enjoy my life as much as possible and de-stress. I am not defined by a diagnosis and refuse to hand over my POWER to a disease. My body has decided to give me a message and I have listened and acted upon it. There’s no guarantees in life, so make every moment count.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

Have a fabulous and wonderful day everyone, I know I will /|\

Kefir Cheese: A really tasty probiotic cheese to make at home

20180711_115732

If you love soft cheese with a nice sharp taste as much as I do then I suggest you have a go at making this Kefir cheese. It taste wonderful, lovely and creamy yet sharp (you can reduce the sharpness if you prefer a milder taste) and full of healthful probiotics to help support good gut health. I like kefir drink but as I’m low-carb I drain the whey to make a cheese and to reduce the amount of any lactose that may be left in the kefir.

Ingredients

  • Kefir Grains (source a good supply to start you collection off – it’s worth the effort to get a good reliable kefir culture as it’s a one-off purchase)
  • Organic whole milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Any additional flavouring you prefer ie. Chives, Chilli Flakes, Parsley, Garlic etc.

Equipment

  • Glass container to ferment the kefir (use some muslin to cover the opening if not using a container with a suitable lid)
  • Butter muslin (don’t bother with cheese cloth, it’s not suitable)

Method

  • Place kefir grains into your glass container
  • Add your milk and stir or shake to mix well
  • Cover and place in a warm environment to ferment (the time it takes will be dependant upon the temperature of your room and the ratio of kefir grains to milk volume. Typically this will be from 24 hours to 36 hours depending on how acidic you like your soft cheese. I ferment until the curds and whey have naturally divided, as you can see in the following photograph.20180711_115602
  • When you have decided to separate the curds and whey you need to pass the kefir through a sieve (preferably a non-metal sieve or colander)
  • Keep your kefir grains for use in the next batch (I store mine in the fridge in a glass jar with a little milk )
  • Line your sieve or colander with the butter muslin and pour you curds and whey into the sieve or collander to begin draining (I collect the initial whey and repass that through the muslin a second time to collect the small amount that goes through at the beginning of the draining process)
  • Leave for 12 to 24 hours to drain (you can keep the whey for consumption or use in cooking if you wish)
  • When you are happy that no more whey is draining you can either use as is, or if you want a stiffer cheese you can wrap the curds up in butter muslin and leave in the sieve with something heavy on it. The cheese is usually stiff enough after 3 to 4 hours with the weight on. (I use a large heavy tin to weigh the cheese down)
  • Remove cheese from muslin and add your salt and flavourings to taste, mix well and place into a suitable container, preferably ceramic rather than plastic due to the risk of chemicals leaching out of the plastic.

Store in the fridge and consume at your leisure. Kefir is a live culture so, as long as you have been hygienic throughout the process it will keep for an extended period. Unfortunately ours gets eaten too quickly for me to say what the maximum life is LOL.

Happy Day
Chris /|\