Checking in with myself

Affirmation for Today

I have a powerful and efficient immune system that continues to heal my body every minute of the day and night.

Hi everyone, I’ve had a couple of days working on my Spiritual blog over at At The Hearth where I’ve been completing Names of God:part 2 of my discussion and exploration of Iolo Morganwg’s Names of God references contained with the Barddas. So I thought I’d better check in and continue my ramblings.

Morning routine

As far as my early morning activities go, following the suggestions in ‘The Miracle Morning’, I did lapse yesterday and had a lie in. I think having just completed my run of 12 hour shifts on the ward I was just too tired and made the fatal mistake of not getting up as soon as I awoke, Hence I fell back to sleep for a couple of hours. I still managed to do my meditations, affirmations, exercises and reading, but later than I intended and with less focus. I did come across a really good video on Youtube, it was a 45 minute hypnosis video related to healing cancer. The video was called Hypnosis: Deep Trance Cancer Healing, I was amazed that I managed the full session without even moving! it was very relaxing and empowering.

Turmeric Drink

I’ve started drinking a really nice drink in the morning, as well as my Matcha green tea, a blend of turmeric, cinnamon, almond milk (home made and sugar free), and coconut milk (homemade and sugar free). It’s based on a traditional Indian drink with my own adjustments. As I’ve said before Turmeric is a wonder spice with masses of healing properties, well researched and validated, see my post about my Anti-Cancer Cauliflower Rice recipe

Method

I heat up a tablespoon of home made organic ghee in a saucepan to which I add 1 tsp of ground dried turmeric and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder. I then make a sieved nut milk using about 7 almond and 2 tbls of dried coconut, using spring water and the nutribullet, I sieve the nut milk. I mix it all together and simmer for a few minutes then pour it into a cup and consume.

Progress with Cancer Treatment

On a less positive note, although I do try to give it a positive spin, I have only just managed to get the MRI referral sent to the Radiology Department after the Registrar failed to complete the form 2 weeks ago! I wasn’t best pleased about this delay, especially after I was told it’s a 6 week waiting list for the MRI. On a positive note, they have promised to back-date the referral 2 weeks so the wait may be nearer 4 weeks. But at least the process has started, at last! (Update – just had a call informing me that the MRI is booked for 24th July which is 2 weeks away, so that’s better news).

Looking at the NHS Referral to Treatment (RTT) targets for Wales I note that their target for Cancer is 62 days from referral to initial treatment of the cancer. As my referral was sent 5th of May it’s clear that Wrexham Maelor Hospital are missing their target by a mile! it’s a good job I’m aware of the need to chase up referrals etc otherwise the request for the MRI would still be sitting around somewhere unsent!

Gratitude

  • A wonderful family who are supporting me to the hilt. I thank you all
  • Had a lovely visit from my Mother-in-Law yesterday, it was good to see her. Plus she bought me a couple of bars of 100% Chocolate by Montezuma, Yummy and full of great Polyphenols and Anti-oxidants, see this Critical Review
  • The roofer has arrived on time as promised, so the roof repair will be done today, before the rains start LOL
  • The morning greetings from the two dogs, Seren and Bella

     

I have a load of stuff to do today, so will leave it there, so have a wonderful and joyous day today.

Blessings
Chris /|\

 

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Checking in: Setting the Scene for the Coming Day

I have a busy day ahead so this post will be short and concise, and get the day off on a positive note.

I was up at 04:45 this morning, I gave myself an extra 15 minutes so that I could enjoy my Matcha green tea whilst listening to the healing affirmations I’m currently using.

Spent 10 minutes in silent meditation, just becoming aware of my breath and the sounds I could hear. I like mindfulness as a meditation so thought that would be good for this morning. Followed by 5 minutes visualisation; being healthy and strong was obviously in there, but I also visualised completing my DIY project! I must get the new hearth and fire-place installed and finished! it looked great in my mind’s eye so just need to manifest it now.

Had a good exercise session, managed 80 push-ups and 30 squats. I’m planning of doing some stretching and loosening up exercise once I’ve finished this post.

Spent about 15 minutes reading ‘Miracle Morning’ almost completed it so will be looking for my next read. Something positive, inspiring and something that will add value to my life.

Gratitude

  • Yet another fantastic Sunrise, more peach than Red this morning
  • Bella, our whippet, was so full of energy and joy this morning that I had to delay my exercises for a few minutes as she insisted on me playing with her and throwing her rope for her. She obviously wanted to get her exercises in too!
  • I feel energised this morning and looking forward to a productive 12 hour shift at work. Caring for people who are ill or recuperating is very rewarding and satisfying. I’m grateful for my career choice as it not only gives me satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment but it also gave me the chance to move from the city to a beautiful coastal part of Wales.
  • Feeling energised, healthy and full of positivity for the day ahead

I need to get ready to leave for work so will wish you all a blessed day, have fun, enjoy your day and see the positive in all things today 🙂

The Art of Gratitude

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Couple of Definitions of Gratitude

“a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power” Harvard Medical School

“gratitude has a dual meaning: a worldly one and a transcendent one. In its worldly sense, gratitude is a feeling that occurs in interpersonal exchanges when one person acknowledges receiving a valuable benefit from another. Gratitude is a cognitive-affective state that is typically associated with the perception that one has received a personal benefit that was not intentionally sought after, deserved, or earned but rather because of the good intentions of another person” (Emmons & Stern, 2013).

Both of these definitions are useful when contemplating gratitude and how to focus on gratitude as a means to improve your mental well-being and develop a positive psychological state. I came across an interesting article, that can be found at the Positive Psychology Program, where they explore in detail the role of gratitude and appreciation in supporting a positive mental attitude.

As a person with an animistic belief system I find the usual definitions of gratitude very interesting but somewhat limited in scope. The Harvard Medical School definition does at least acknowledge the appreciation of something larger than themselves which includes nature and the Spiritual within life, whereas Emmons & Stern have a more limited definition which seems to keep gratitude well within the limits of human interaction. But, as an animist, I have the ability to expand the definition of ‘Person’ to include all ‘persons’ both human persons and non-human persons. Therefore it’s possible for me to feel gratitude to any number of animate and inanimate persons.

Take yesterday for instance. I spent a few hours on our beach enjoying the beautiful weather with my wife, daughter and Jax, one of my grandchildren, here’s a couple of shots showing just how lovely it was.

I later spent some time to reflect upon how much I appreciated the chance to experience this time on the beach with some of the people I love. My very soul is filled with a sense of gratitude I have for being able to live in such a beautiful part of Wales, and to be able to share this time with my family and friends. My sense of gratitude goes extremely deep. Here’s a short bullet list of what I felt gratitude for at this time:

  • I feel grateful for the love and support I have from my wife, children and friends
  • Grateful that I was able to witness the simple pleasures that my grandson experienced playing in the sand
  • Grateful to the ‘Spirit of Place – Genius Loci’ of the beach for being so welcoming to our presence.
  • Grateful to the gentle warm breeze that helped cool us down
  • Swimming alone out into the Sea I was extremely grateful for the peace and stillness that the waters provided.
  • I am grateful to the Sea and the sense of connection that I feel with every other part of this wonderful planet when I am in its embrace. The thought that the water I’m connecting to is itself connected to every other body of water on the planet, therefore, by proxy, so am I
  • Grateful to the warmth of the Sun and to my miraculous ability that my body has to convert the sunlight to vitamin D
  • I was very grateful to be alive to experience all this

I truly believe that living a life full of gratitude is the most positive way to live, just to be grateful that a stranger has smiled at you as they pass by in the street, or give you a cheery “hello” just lifts your day and it always makes me smile. So my advice, if you wish to hear it, is live a life full of gratitude. Spend a few minutes everyday looking back on your day and express your gratitude to all of the ‘Persons’ that crossed your path that day.

Joy and peace to you all /|\

70 years of the National Health Service plus my anticancer cauliflower rice

Sun flowers

When I got home from work last night I saw a beautiful vase of Sunflowers that my daughter Rebekah had bought for Sue. I couldn’t resist taking a photograph to share on the blog. I think they are one of my favourite flowers at this time of year, a celebration of the Summer Solstice, the Sun personified.

As I wasn’t working today I had a more relaxed start to the day, I still got up at 5am but once I’d completed my physical exercises, meditation, hot and cold shower etc. I decided to go back to bed to do a bit of reading. The day was looking promising with the Sun shining brightly. I was glad that the day looked like it would be another dry warm day as the local hospital, where I work, was having a ‘Tea and Three’ party to celebrate the 70 year anniversary of the NHS and I expected a good turn out due to the promise of nice weather. As it turned out the ward was packed with visitors enjoying a cuppa and a slice of cake, they were also fascinated perusing the ancient medical tools on display that had been found lurking in the bowels of the hospital! all I can say is that I’m glad I wasn’t around in those times! Ouch…

Evening Meal: Immunity Supporting Recipe

As a change I thought I’d share part of the meal I prepared for this evening. I was looking to make my evening meal a Cancer fighting menu, in celebration of completing my 60 hour fast for Autophagy, if your interested in this fascinating process, in particular its use in cancer prevention and adjunctive therapy, the link to Wikipedia is a good place to start, followed by a general search engine to explore the research. I’ve chosen the following recipe as it was an experiment to add a new angle to the usual cauliflower rice that we usually eat.

Egg Fried Cauliflower Rice (serves 2)
  • 200g grated cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 eggs

I decided on an egg fried cauliflower rice flavoured with turmeric, cumin and coriander cooked in a little home-made organic ghee. There’s loads of research and evidence that demonstrates the anticancer properties of cruciferous vegetables and cauliflower is one of the most versatile members of this family of vegetables. Turmeric contains curcumin which has been shown to trigger apoptosis (cell death) in tumour cells and is also anti-angiogenisis (prevents new blood vessels from being grown by tumour cells). Cumin boosts the immune system and has antioxidant vitamins which help prevent oxidative stress that can lead to cancer. Coriander is anti-oxidant thus helping to protect against cancer. The eggs are a healthy source of essential amino acids and healthy fats.

I cooked the spices in the ghee for a minute or two before adding the beaten eggs. I allowed the eggs to cook for a while before breaking them up so that they held together in chunks. I then added the cauliflower and stir fried for a few minutes until cooked. I topped it off with a little soy sauce for a healthy source of salt and fermented soy.

Nutrition

  • Protein 11g
  • Net Carbs 3.8g
  • Fat 14.1g
  • Calories (I don’t count them but I’ve included for your benefit) 197 Calories

I had this with an organic grass-fed beef stir fry and a kale stir fry with ginger and Bok choy. It was delicious 🙂

Followed by a hot cup of Match Green tea – well worth researching for its health benefits, not mention it tastes rather nice.

Matcha tea

But don’t just take my word for it, do your own research. I’ve provided a few basic links but a simple search will lead you to lots of sites, many with links to published research on these topics.

Be well 🙂

My day ahead

Daily Affirmation

I am at home in my body

What does it mean to be at home in my body?

I think I’ll start with the meaning of home. Is home a place or a state of being? For me home is more than just a place that I lay my hat, it is more of a ‘feeling’ of being at home, a sense of peace, security and safety. Obviously, for me, this means that I have the opportunity to be at home no matter where I am. Although it doesn’t guarantee that I will always appreciate this! I also think that the sense of being at home, no matter where you are, is also influenced by your connection to those around you and how open you are to the beauty that resides in people, it doesn’t matter whether they are in a state of joy or suffering most people just want to feel a sense of belonging and to feel valued.

So, my task for today is to really feel at home in my body today. If you have been following my blog you are aware that I currently have a health issue, my body is throwing a bit of a spanner into the works! Therefore, can I manage to feel at home in my body when my body is clearly having a relationship issue with me. Deep down my body longs to be healthy, fit and supportive of my life goals so I need to look at my relationship with my body and try to ascertain what my body is trying to tell me. I need to open up a dialogue with myself and see what my body is trying to achieve with this current health issue. I’ll report back later today with any thoughts that arise during the day.

After Work

Well that was quite a busy shift! but I am happy that my body has cooperated with me with regard to the fast. Day two and I have hardly thought of food or had any hint of hunger. I’ve also been researching a bit more about autophagy, and based on what I can find out I think that I’ll be ok to break my fast tomorrow as I should have maximised the autophagy by then. So I’ve been kind to my body and give it a rest from having to deal with food, and in the process have given my immune system the chance to reset itself with new macrophages etc. I considered how I feel about my body and its decision to produce cancer and I’ve come to the conclusion that I hold no animosity to it, in fact I feel a little guilty that I’ve put my body into the position of producing cancer in order to get my attention! whether that’s through poor dietary habits, lack of exercise or exposing it to noxious chemicals. It wasn’t my body that chose those actions but it was my mind. So I’ve decided to be gentle with myself and my body, and moving on with a positive outlook to maximise my potential to self heal, So dealing with the stresses of my life is a major activity, increasing my levels of exercise is another, improved diet is paramount. But above all else I need to focus on being appreciative of everything in my life. At this point in time I do ‘feel at home in my body’

Gratitude

What am I grateful for today?

  • Being alive
  • Being in paid work in a job that helps to bring healing to others, thereby healing to myself
  • Supportive work colleagues
  • The support of my family (can’t be said enough!)
  • The connection I have to nature (the, almost gibbous, Moon was like a grinning mouth in the sky this morning which did bring a smile to my face)
  • The knowledge that generous people pass on via various internet sites, without a single request for payment, there’s a vast amount of information out there to help with any issue.

Back to work

Affirmation of the Day

I choose to be Happy

First day back to work after an extended weekend. Getting myself into the right mindset for the day ahead involves quite a routine, I suppose it could be called a ritual of sorts. I have been inspired by a well-known little book by Elrod Hal called ‘Miracle Morning’ (available online to buy) the following is a little taster of my morning ritual today.

  • 10 minutes meditation – using my own Awen meditation technique
  • 10 minutes exercise – push-ups 80, sit-ups 50, Lymphatic stimulation
  • 10 minutes hot shower followed by a cold shower to stimulate the immune system
  • 10 minutes reading a positive book – Miracle Morning
  • 10 minutes writing my blog
  • 10 minutes to make and drink my Matcha Green Tea in a meditative state

Following my morning routine I am ready to take on the World!

Morning Blessings

  • Another beautiful sunny morning greeted me upon awaking. I awoke before the alarm and was able to gently come round before the gentle buzz of the alarm instructed me to get up.
  • A nice greeting from the dogs when I finally got down stairs
  • A refreshing Matcha tea – I can almost feel the antioxidants and polyphenols at work
  • A lovely kiss off my wife
  • The walk to walk with the sounds of the birds surrounding me
  • Lovely greetings from my work colleagues

Breaking the News

Informing every one of my biopsy results went ok, I don’t think it’ll hit me until I have had the MRI and know if its spread or not. Hopefully I’ll remain as stoic as usual and concentrate on doing what I need to strengthen my immune system. I’ve had great support off everyone at work so far and I’m managing to function reasonably well.

Fasting

Day one of my 48 hour autophagy fast has gone off without a hitch. I’m not yet back into ketosis following my cheat day yesterday, but getting there. No major hunger sensations and energy levels ok. Having a plentiful supply of water with added electrolytes has helped. I think the first 24 hours was fairly easy so lets see what the next 24 has in store!

I’m ready for a good nights sleep in preparation for another day at work, so signing off now.

Wedding Anniversary 2018

Although I hate selfies I had no other choice than to try to get the most photogenic shot I could LOL, not a bad shot as far as selfies go! Happy anniversary to my wonderful wife Sue and thank you for being my wife, lover and friend for the past 35 years xxx

Wedding Anniversary

Daily Affirmation

“Joy floods my thoughts and my life”

Awoke fairly early today, the Sun was already up and flooding the garden with the promise of a beautiful day. From the comfort of my bed I could see that the bees were already busy and had started their daily activities. Yesterdays drama of the swarming of the hive was long forgotten and they looked more settled today.

My ten minutes meditation helped me to set the mood for the day, I had a go at my own meditation system based on my work with the Awen, the Druidic symbol of inspiration. It went really well and I know that I’ll be incorporate that into my Spiritual practice and will definitely be writing a blog post on my Spiritual blog At The Hearth about the philosophy behind the technique.

I came across a great quote today by Marcus Aurelius, a stoic philosopher, that I have found great comfort in:

Quotefancy-26419-3840x2160

I think the Stoics were highly intelligent philosophers and made some great points. I’m all for positive thinking but I think applying a bit of Stoicism at times can ground you into reality. No more so than being given a diagnosis of cancer, as I was a few days ago!

Shit Happens!

Yeah, it certainly does! I’ve always been a very positive person and have looked after my health fairly well. So being given a diagnosis of cancer was a bit of a shock to say the least. But, having spent a few days contemplating the issue, I’ve decided that it’s time to call upon the philosophy of the Stoics and say “shit happens for which I have no control over, but my true power lies in my mind, that which I do have control over” so how I choose to react is up to me. I have little control over the actual cancer, but I can educate myself, and do all within my power to give me the best chance I can for long term survival. There are no guarantees that I’ll win, but I’m sure as hell going to give it my best shot!

What am I grateful for today?

  • Waking up next to my wonderful wife
  • A beautiful sunny morning
  • The sound of the birds in the yard and their musical chatter
  • Living by the coast and being in a position to walk to the beach and go swimming and snorkeling
  • Seeing the wide-eyed amazement on the face of Jax, my grand-child as he slurped on his ice-cream
  • The fantastic support of my family, all of my four kids are fantastic human-beings and I couldn’t do without any of them.
  • The joy of watching the innocence of my three grand-children and the expectation of the fourth one on the way
  • The pleasure I get from just being in nature, watching our bees in the garden as they collect their honey stores which, hopefully, they will share with us later in the year
  • Apart from the cancer I am fit and well with no chronic illness, therefore, I can get around and still do the things I love to do.
  • 35 years of a wonderful marriage, even with the ups and downs that come with it!

I think that’s about it for today, on the whole it hasn’t been a bad day, it’s so nice just to have a day dedicated to just Sue and I. Had a lovely time on the beach, not to mention the yummy Banana boat ice cream. LOL