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

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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

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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 /|\

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 /|\

 

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 /|\