Have you got your head in the clouds? Or are you disconnected from the soul of life? Walking with our feet firmly on the ground, partaking in everyday life, whilst embracing our connection to our deepest self and the earth can be tricky to master.
Like all extremes in life, we can get caught up in one camp and lose touch with its counterpart. This leaves us imbalanced and with a feeling of missing something. On one-hand, it doesn’t take a great deal of effort to be present, embodied and connected, although often the simplest of things evade us. Much like the practice of meditation, it is so easy, yet equally highly complex with many layers of profound experience and learning.
Why do some of us reject or miss out on the more abstract and spiritual experience of life? Yet others dwell in this realm daily. Furthermore, why do some dwellers in spirit become out of touch with the material and physical domain?
First time making healthy homemade chocolate today, and it’s rather gorgeous! Just three staple ingredients needed. It’s so totally easy, so get cracking and make some if you haven’t yet tried the experience.
Here’s the recipe:
- 3/4 cup cacao
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 4-6 tblsps date syrup, (can use agave, coconut blossom, maple syrup or honey)
For extra taste I added a sprinkle of chopped fruits and nuts:
- Pecan nuts
- Kiwi fruit
- Dedicated coconut
- Heat the coconut oil
- Once it’s a liquid take off the heat and sieve in the cacao powder with a whisk
- Add your natural sweetener and whisk
- Transfer the chocolate to a tin, with grease proof paper if it’s not non-stick
- Allow to set in the fridge for 20-30mins
- Slice and keep in fridge for up to a week
The raw fruit does make it a little wetter but I didn’t mind imperfect slices and I liked having fresh fruit combined. If you want firmer slices then use dried fruit and nuts only. You could also up the amount of chocolate for thicker chunks.
Enjoy! And share your choco stories or variations…
I’ve finally got my houmous mix down! It’s always been too bland in the past but the answer for me was more garlic and lemon. If you like it strong then you may like this variation.
- One can chickpeas
- 1 and half lemons squeezed
- Whole large garlic or 4/5 cloves
- 2 tblsps light tahini
- 2 tblsps water
- 2 tblsps olive oil
- Salt and pepper
I add about half a tsp of each spice. Then just blitz it all up, simple!
Slowing down for me, is a continual process. I have a super speed mind and I’ve had to train myself, that just because I think quick doesn’t mean I should act so speedily. In fact, thinking less has been most rewarding. Feeling more and simply being has been at the heart of not only my health recovery, but in the foundations of my revised life.
It takes a great deal of discipline to pace, for some it may be easier than others. The inner critic has a lot to do with why we push beyond our boundaries rather than work within our limits, but that’s another blog.
“You haven’t done it right, they’ll think you’re silly, do more, it’s not enough yet, be more caring, they probably think you’re selfish, it’s not good enough, you’re fat, be better!” That voice sound familiar? You may be hearing different words but the message feels the same, it’s one of attack and unlove. The inner critic is one thing we all have in common but it doesn’t necessarily unite us, in fact it’s the big divider, generally we collude with this big nasty and allow it to bully us in the dark corners of our mind.
The only difference between us, is that some critics are more prevalent than others and some people have cottoned on to exposing theirs and lessening its grip! The path of freedom lies in learning to recognise this unhelpful inner voice and telling it to “Fuck Off!”
Why is it we have this incessant chatter battering at our being all day or even night long? And how does it effect the way we live our life?
It’s wheat / gluten, dairy and sugar free. Plus if you’re a vegan, you’re in luck! This dish is popular with my family and friends, in fact I’ve given out the recipe frequently so thought I’d add it here. It’s great to make a huge pan full for parties, simply add an extra can or two of beans and top up on the veg. You’d need to cook the double amount in two casserole dishes however.
It still tastes just as good after freezing, so you can store portions and eat day after day. It never gets boring and you can make it as hot as you like. You can play with the spices and get it how you like it.
What you need:
Testing can become an important area for health recovery. Diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean the end to your health investigations, and certainly for ME/CFS peeps, it’s not advisable to leave your testing and results in the hand of your GP or even ME/CFS service. You’ve got to get a full picture for yourself.
It’s essential you take some responsibility here if you want to properly heal. Even if you’re on medication, this won’t solve the root cause, it’s just a crutch to help with pain and for management purposes. Try to get knowledgeable about what you’ve been tested for, what’s been ruled out and what needs further attention. Here’s a list of essential things to know about your tests:
- It’s a myth that your Doctors surgery contact you if a test has come back abnormal. Often the tests aren’t looked at until you’ve made the appointment and you are sitting in the same room with your GP unless I’m the case of emergency testing. In one case, I found a immune test which was abnormal, and even had highlighted the words: CONTACT PATIENT, three years after this particular test. In fact it was in the first batch of tests I had, just when I began to feel unwell – what I now know to be the start of ME/CFS!
- Ring ahead of your appointment and ask for a print out copy of your blood tests – look them over first before your appointment
As part of your recovery plan, using tools in addition to skills you learn can really help to make you feel comforted, not to mention pro-active. This is especially beneficial when these techniques hold an aim to create a deeper sense of calm and more space for healing.
Here is a list of a number of useful tools and techniques I’ve used to nurture my body and mind:
- Tens machine
- Nail bed
- Foot rubbing for grounding
- Listening to ambient music
- Tuning fork
- Touch/stroking on area of nerve pain
- Energy healing
- Emotional freedom technique
- Deep breathing exercises
- Light singing or sounding out feelings
- Blankets and hot water bottles
- Sound oasis machine
- Positive visualisation
I guess it wasn’t until I truly made a type of recovery plan, that things started to come together. I also didn’t do this until three months after diagnosis, on the back of a major relapse. Until you’re diagnosed it’s hard to set any helpful ideas in place, because you’re just in a shitty place wondering what the hell is happening to your body. Sadly I was in this position for a year and a half, which was too long, and which made my health worse because of a spiral of panic.
So the plan comes about, I guess at a different time for everybody. Even though in May 2014, I started to receive more specific help from my local ME/CFS service, it was limited and I needed to create something which I felt would address all areas where there was stress or weakness, not just physically but also psychologically. I knew there were cycles within cycles occurring and I needed to get free of them.
After hitting almost bottom again after a few months of progression, I realised I needed a foundation to see me through and help me gain some greater control. Funnily enough the plan I mapped for healing my body, looks to me now, like areas which contribute to a balanced life. I didn’t know then I was to be re-modelling my world, which continues!
One of the best ways to understand something is through a visual representation, so I made this video which outlines the main areas I added to my plan, and which can hopefully be useful for yours.
If you’ve had an experience, due to ill health, where you have been out of action for a long time period, then the body becomes unconditioned. This had never happened to me before I became ill, and so I didn’t know how challenging it would be to move around, on top of feeling so sick, exhausted and full of pain.
I was unable to do exercise for over a year and was using a wheelchair for another eight months after this period. Therefore when it came to a time that I could do more than just about get down my apartment steps to the garden, I was in for a real journey of physical re-building.