Monday 27th March 2017

Week 12 Intention. Practise Self-Compassion. 2017.44.

Week 12 Intention. Practise Self-Compassion. 2017.44.

After living a life with many distractions, busy-ness to the max and more, I have found the quiet times in retirement are quite a challenge. Why? Because there are more stretches of time and space in which to think.

For me, it’s interesting to notice how I continue to strive and how I continue to want others to see me doing well in my quest for greater equanimity in my life overall and better management of my IBS.

Who is out of this real or imagined group who support me? Often it’s me.

I remain steadfast in my older, learned early, self-critical views and I am S L O W L Y learning to remember my self-compassion when I am not doing so well. It is not every day because I am making progress!

I am pleased to note, that when I started a Self-Compassion Course on-line with Kristen Neff and Brene Brown my overall score was: 1.93 and when I completed the course it was: 3.11

“Average overall self-compassion scores tend to be around 3.0 on the 1-5 scale, so you can interpret your overall score accordingly. As a rough guide, a score of 1-2.5 for your overall self-compassion score indicates you are low in self-compassion, 2.5-3.5 indicates you are moderate, and 3.5-5.0 means you are high.”

So, what I take from that ‘score’ is I am improving in my self-compassion and I am remembering to speak more kindly to myself in difficult circumstances.

My Week 12 Intention.

This week I am going to practise self-compassion more. In fact, I will even make it something I do throughout the day in the smallest way. It might be a ‘go me’ under my breath or a literal ‘pat of kindness’ on my arm when I need soothing.

If you want to take the self-compassion Test, it is here: It is free and I find the work of Kristen Neff and fellow researchers fascinating. Self-esteem it is not!

I wish you well if you decide to take the test. It is very insightful.

Denyse.

UPDATE: I have chosen to reduce my blogging output as of this week so as to be more mindful of my self-care and self-kindness. I am not making any further intentions at this point. My life has been on a learning curve as part of ageing and transition to living with both a chronic condition (IBS and its accompanying limitations)  and the stress which is part of my inner being. I am wanting to feel less inward pressure on myself and needing to care for myself more. Blogging has been a part of my life for more than 6 years and will continue to be but I am blogging now for when and if I choose to. I know that regular  readers will completely understand my new(er) direction as of today! Thank you!

A reminder is in this image: 

 

Joining with Leanne and her lovely team for the  Lovin Linky on Thursdays here.

 

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Words and Pics This Week. 2017.43.

Words and Pics This Week. 2017.43.

It’s been a blah week because of the weather and I have made some time, where I could, to get outside for capturing a snapshot or five. As I do.

Here are some of the pics I took this week…and some words in the captions.

Saturday morning. Driving along and saw how still the water was. I was rewarded with this capture and many others! How amazing is nature!

 

I’ve grown sweet peas successfully back at our former home so decided this year to give them a go here. Love the sweet pea flower. Memories of childhood and taking flowers to school to the teacher.

 

My view from our back verandah. The house at the back is unoccupied since it was sold (this is the garage) is very old, made of fibro/asbestos I guess..and this is my view…making it better with trellis added to back fence to coax the sweet peas up!

 

After a weekend at home because of awful weather I ventured out to see the big seas and high tide at Soldiers Beach.

 

A walk around the garden and this pattern of raindrops caught my eye.

 

This 8inx8in mandala on black was both meditative and creative to complete. I could not stop adding to it. It was such fun. Now off to a friend for her to frame to put in her new house!

 

I hope your week’s been a good one. Mind you, the weather…let’s not talk too much about it shall we?

Denyse.

I am linking to photography friends who host links: Sue and Jen on Friday and over the weekend with Sammie here for The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

 

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Creative Learning. 2017.42.

Creative Learning. 2017.42.

My Tuesday posts have been about Education and Schooling since I started the new look blog in January 2015.

I am branching out today to write about what I have learned about being creative. I am educating myself!

In the past I might have given myself a go at some art or some kind of scrapbooking or even some making craft.

I did classes and I liked some of what I learned.

But I learned something about myself. It was that I don’t actually enjoy a formal lesson because as soon as I had them I found my creativity drying up. No-one actually criticised me I guess except myself. I did not measure up to what I thought a product should look like.

Until 2013.

I was enjoying playing with art and craft (an old Infants teacher never forgets doing that with little kids!) with my grandchildren but I felt I needed more. Then I was introduced to a website here and fun challenge called Index Card a Day.

 

Fast forward to 2016 and I discovered another love. Making mandalas. It was a match made in creative heaven. I had bare minimum of a lesson via a book, and got some materials and then I let my creative self take charge.

This is why I now love my creative learning. It is self-paced. I am not afraid of sharing because I already like the process and the product is secondary.

Taking the pressure off has made the world of difference! I can see that this is something that may affect others who are creative in terms of art, music, drama, writing and photography.

Has something like this occurred for you or someone you know?

Denyse.

Joining Kylie Purtell and bloggers here who blog on Tuesdays.

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My Favourite Colour. #LifeThisWeek 11/52. 2017.41.

My Favourite Colour. #LifeThisWeek 11/52. 2017.41.

It’s not a secret that I love colour. I tend to dress colourfully so browns and beiges and greys do not get much of  a look-in although black and navy were my ‘base’ colours when I was working.

I like colours that are bright in most cases and I also like colours that bring out the best in other colours.

Since getting into art a few years back I discovered yellow is a great friend for many colours.

Before I get to my favourite colour disclosure I admit I really have tried hard to embrace and love many colours and these include red, magenta, purple, green and at times, orange and yellow…but the final reveal is this:

BLUE is my HUE.

Here’s why. It is cooling. It is refreshing. It is relaxing. It is the colour of my favourite water course – the sea. It is the colour of the sky. It calms me. It has many shades. The favourites for me tend to be the greeny/blues. I love turquoise and aqua. I looked for examples around me and I did not have to look far! Here they are:

The Ocean.

Part of my mandala bed topper.

Just love this vase.

When you realise how much you love ONE colour.

Mandala – ode to BLUE

My birthday – from Colorstrology Book.

The Book itself. It’s fun & accurate for many I have found.

I guess now that I own up to BLUE being my favourite colour it probably always has been. I remember loving the colour turquoise when I saw it in a paint tin when I was a kid at school. I have worn blue for preference more than I realise. I was wearing a blue and white dress the night I met my now husband.

Whilst blue is my standout, I do wear others and enjoy having many colours around me! Here is a favourite mandala I made recently.

 

So, what is your favourite colour?

Is there more than one for you?

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia for Open Slather here and Kell for Mummy Mondays here.

Thanks for linking up this week.

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week!

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!

* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Autumn”.


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Week 11 Intention. Recognise ‘It’s In Me’. 2017.40.

Week 11 Intention. Recognise It’s In Me’. 2017.40.

Every time I turn around to look for an answer to what life is dishing up to me now I see that it’s up to me how I address it and how I react/respond.

Until recently I thought that meant “ME” alone. However, with good advice and a cooler head helping me, I realise it means that I can see and seek how to act and solve issues for with tools at my disposal.

These might be professionals. taking my own advice and getting outside, reading an article, doing an on-line course and the like.

I just need to remember to find them and ask for the help from others where it’s useful.

But what I know is that it is all within me.

The poem from Mary Oliver captures the essence of what it is for me. Thanks for my husband (my wonderful confidante, friend and life guide) for this.

Last week, and continuing on, the Gratitude Journal app is having entries almost daily. That’s a win!

My Week 11 Intention.

To recognise that all I need is in me. I need to take into account the ‘in-built guide of my mind’ and the tools I have external to me that can also help me as need be.

I wish you a wonderful week ahead too. It will likely have bumps and scrapes but will have YOU to guide you too.

Denyse.

 

Linking here with Leanne on Thursdays for Lovin Life. Hello everyone!

 

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It IS a Wonderful World! 2017.39.

It IS a Wonderful World! 2017.39.

If we spend our time on earth thinking about all that can and does go wrong then we are not living. I know that might sound glib to some. I am doing my best to remember this for myself with a chronic health condition I’ve noted before… but I cannot let that stop me from seeing beauty and noticing more. I love this song, the original singer and the version I show via YouTube.

Enjoy!

The wonderful Louis Armstrong sang this & the lyrics and credits: BBC Four via YouTube Christophe Letecheur.

What A Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world

Songwriters: GEORGE DAVID WEISS, ROBERT THIELE
© Peermusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., CARLIN AMERICA INC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, IMAGEM MUSIC INC
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

Cowra Japanese Gardens. My photos.

Cowra Japanese Gardens. My photos.

I visited these gardens in early 2013 or 2014 and here is the link to the site. It is well worth the visit. It IS a wonderful world when you see here what came from the tragedy called World War 11.

Thank you David Attenborough, BBC One and David Daniel Wouters for this YouTube movie

How is your world today?

Denyse.

Joining with photography friends here: Sue and Jen.

Each weekend I like to go down the Ultimate Rabbit Hole with Sammie here and friends.

 

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Post from The Archives. 2017.38.

Post from The Archives. 2017.38.

In 2012 I was blogging in a number of different fields and one was education based. On this occasion I wrote a lengthy post about how I became a teacher in the late 1960s. So much has changed since then, in many cases ‘not for the good.’ Whilst teachers now have to complete at least a Bachelor’s Degree and add a Masters in some cases, there is far less emphasis in the subjects that will be taught and how to teach them. We had to study every one of the subjects and areas of knowledge we would be using in teaching.  The first kids I ever taught would now be in their mid-late 50s. How scary is that!

If you read on, and through the details, I would love to know what your experiences of teachers may have been when you were in primary school.

Denyse.

Joining here with Kylie Purtell and friends for I Blog On Tuesdays.

DENYSE becomes A TEACHER.

I was the first cohort of students to complete the Higher School Certificate in 1967. Once passed, I was then offered a Commonwealth scholarship to the new Macquarie University to do secondary teaching. However, my passion was with the younger children, and I waited my time & received a NSW Education Department Scholarship to study Primary School teaching at Balmain Teachers’ College.

This was the beginning of the biggest population explosion in outer Sydney, and there were a number of teachers’ colleges set up rather quickly after the 1960s to cater for a huge rise in kids who needed teachers! The first year of training was general primary school, and then in second year we could choose  – Infants (mine) Primary or Small Schools (an option only for men, and my husband chose this one when he was at Armidale Teachers’ College)

The scholarship paid me $22 a fortnight, and I signed a bond to teach anywhere in NSW for a period of 3 years after fulfilling training. I attended the full-time training program for 2 years, completing 18 subjects.

We were taught how to teach & these subjects:

english, mathematics, social studies,natural science, writing, reading, physical education, music, drama, speech, spelling, art, craft, listening, library, child behaviour, handwriting, psychology of child development.

We had practical assessments which included:

telling the class of other teacher trainees a ‘story’, showing them a picture & eliciting responses from questions we had carefully planned, demonstrated dancing and gymnastic techniques, made craft objects step by step,

We had 18 examination subjects over 2 weeks at the conclusion of the two years. There had been a series of exams in first year too.

We were placed in four different teaching practice schools where we were supervised by the class teacher, and we were supervised by personnel from the Teachers College. We needed to teach in different class types and schools. I taught Year 3 and Year 2 back at the Primary School I attended. I was also a teacher on Kindergarten in the northern beaches, and a Year 1 in Neutral Bay.

The School I attended for Yrs 5 & 6 and where I returned for 2 ‘pracs’. I got to re-visit in 2011.

We needed to write full lesson plans, and then teach to them, and evaluate them. We needed to mark the work of the students, keep the children under control, and do the other duties expected of the classroom teachers. We were able to write a shorter version of our day book once we were deemed as a pass for practice teaching. The lesson plan books were huge, and each night would involved writing out the entire day, and then getting the lessons ready, and arriving at school in time to let the teacher run an eye over it. There were no stencils as such.

There was a requirement for me, a left-hander, to learn how to write on the blackboard with chalk using only my right hand. Without practice (and I had to do lots) and then passing the practical examination I would not have been allowed to teach. Each teacher-to-be in New South Wales had to score 100% on a spelling test based on Year 5-6 words. We all had to pass a musical ability test of playing an instrument (recorders were very popular) and singing a solo in front of the group and teacher. We had to pass a practical mathematics test with the ‘new and revolutionary’ Cuisenaire Rods as they would form the practical teaching tools in Maths in the Infants Classroom.

After the exams were finished, our results were posted on a board. In the grounds of the teachers’ college. Then another list went up, the schools we had been appointed to. Beforehand I recall a talk given by the NSW Department of Education officers who advised us about superannuation. We were all appointed by the Department of Education anyway, but there was a tiny detail on the super forms. Women got to tick age 55 or age 60 for retirement benefits. I ticked 55. It turned out four years later, as a married woman to another teacher that I was able to “opt out” of super, and to my regret I did.

I was given a teaching post to Barraba. Not in Sydney. Not in the newly formed outer suburbs called as a collective Green Valley. I was going to a Central School – K-12 and it was a good 6 hours from my parents’ home in Sydney, and I was pleased. I was going to a new place, close to where the current BF was working (not the hub) and my parents drove me to Barraba at the end of January 1970, for Miss Simpson to start her teaching career. Firstly we needed to suss out a place for me to live, and on hearing from the school’s deputy that there was a vacancy in a teachers’ share house nearby, I was in! The next day, 27 January 1970 I began paid work as a teacher on a K/1 in the Infants Department.

That is how I became qualified to teach in New South Wales schools run by the Department of Education.

 

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Must Watch TV. #LifeThisWeek10/52. 2017.37.

Must Watch TV. #LifeThisWeek 10/52. 2017.37.

I am not quite sure why I chose this as a prompt as I am not really an avid TV watcher. I cannot abide having the television on in the background (will mute it if it is up to me!) but I also probably could not live without telly for a few reasons. One would be to keep up with what others might be chatting about in real life and on-line. Another is that at times there are some programs I do like and would not want to miss!

Oh and a bit of trivia I was 6 when television began telecasting in Australia and I was 7 when Mum and Dad got telly for us. Before that, on a Tuesday afternoon, a lady in our street invited the neighbourhood kids to watch Lassie on Channel 2. My mum said I couldn’t go back to watch if I came home crying again. Ohh. Muuuum! So, here’s my must watch TV and why!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/

I love our national broadcaster for many reasons and no ads is but one. I like the content and the ‘for all the people’ charter. I also worked for them in personnel waaaay back in 1967-68 after the HSC until I finally got the reprieve from office life to join the classrooms of NSW schools.

  • Love(d) Play School when I was caring for the grandkids and also at school for Kindergarten kids in disadvantaged areas where a show like Play School helped so much with experiential learning.
  • Watch the documentaries such as Kitchen Cabinet with Annabel Crabb and Home Delivery with Julia Zemiro…and many more. I tend NOT to watch Four Corners or Q&A anymore due to the content & people.
  • News. Love the news channel and I also like ABC Breakfast on TV.

 

http://blog.studiocommercial.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Selling-Houses-Australia-v1.jpg

  • We have had the very expensive (but we still choose to have it) Foxtel since it arrived in Australia as the wonder called Subscription TV.
  • My must watch programs are generally on Lifestyle and Selling Houses Australia is the head of that list. I also love Grand Designs Australia and Location Location Location Australia. Note: Australian content is what I love most.
  • I got to meet Shaynna Blaze and Andrew Winter at a Lifestyle channel expo in 2014 and they were both gracious and lovely.

  • We did not even give this show a thought when it appeared on TV screens in Australia. Not one.
  • Then in 2015 I discovered it via Netflix and became…HOOKED! But Netflix stopped it so I had to BUY all of the DVDS of course!
  • Now we own all of the DVDs from Downton Abbey…here’s my little secret…I love it so much, my hub and I watch around a 20 minute segment every night.
  • Yep, it’s the one time we actually watch TV together which is because we have such markedly different interests but this one is like ‘comfort tv’ for us.
  • We are on our 4th time round!!!!!

There you have it! My must watch TV.

What about you? Are you a fan of TV?

Did you ever “not” have TV?

Thanks for linking up and joining in the commenting too for Life This Week.

Denyse.

Joining other Monday linkies Alicia for Open Slather here and Kell for Mummy Mondays here.

Thanks for linking up this week. Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.

* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week!

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!

* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Favourite Colour”.

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