Monday 8th August 2022

Being Me: The Month That Was July 2022. 49/2022.

Being Me: The Month That Was July 2022. 49/2022.

It’s my time to share how my Word of The Year is working out for me via the  post to this link up run by Deb, Sue,  Donna and  Jo too.

Being Me: July 2022.

I have already shared here that we are planning a move back ‘home’ to Sydney in early 2023 and plans for that are taking off in many ways!

I have recently celebrated my 5 years since my first major surgery removing cancer from my upper mouth and wrote about it here.

And, July is one big important month for head and neck cancer and that too has been shared here.

From my World Head and Neck Cancer Day update: a photo marking my 6th #WHNCD!

So, that’s it.

Being Me

….oh wait! There IS more to keeping me “being” each day!

Daily Calm mornings and a mediation each evening is non-negotiable!

Self Compassion via the program I began in January is my evening way of remembering gratitude and more

As is daily reflections, diary entries in my Day One on-line journal

And it is SO good for me to reflect. In fact, what I notice these days is that I do much less rumination and I am also far better at bringing myself back from too much future thinking.

I have become a more heart (and gut) centred human over the past 6 months…

Rain.

So much. It directly affected us slightly here. We did not go out unless absolutely having to. Roads have been incredibly damaged via 4 major flood/rain events here in N.S.W. so I learned to BE ME without going out…and I had plenty of practice from last year’s covid lockdown.

I did get here but the same day, the road to it was flooded. No access to the sand either.

Getting to my psychologist where I wrapped up my sessions. I hadn’t had a need to see her other than two visits and it was good to say thank you to her and for my ways of self-managing to be affirmed. I actually helped her with something too. I liked that.

Sun’s out. Wyong River, still in flood, after seeing the psychologist.

Morning Tea Treats.

As a long time emotional eater…or covering up emotions I couldn’t express (anger was not permitted…) I often chose to calm with food. And that was OK too but since head and neck cancer (and feeling OK these days) I am limited in quantities and types of food.

How to ‘be me’ without getting old stories from diet land and parents’ words??

Do IT!

When I go out now a few times a week I have an inexpensive (relatively) morning tea of a strong (very) small latte & half an iced donut. The top part of course. I also use my alone time BEING me to write in my note book and people watch. It’s a lovely way to help me restore my soul. And I eat with difficulty so it’s also me not being in company!!

Appreciating Where We Live Now.

Since deciding to become city-dwellers again, I have a new way of looking at, and experiencing where we live now. Making memories has become more important to me…and I like that.

Health Update.

Still having my surgery in August, and I have some blood tests coming up for that and a pre admission check the week before over the phone. I know I will find it a challenge being in hospital recovering from major surgery over a weekend…surgery is Thursday…but am preparing myself psychologically….and with ipad, iphone, drawing items and so on. And as it is a long recovery at home…doing a bit of cooking for the freezer right now.

As I come out of the head and  neck cancer surveillance regime, once October comes, I will still be checked each 6 months or so at Westmead by my prosthodontist. Good news is next year, living in western Sydney, the travel time will be much less.

B and I are protected with all the possible vaccines and wearing masks anywhere indoors, out of the house. Almost all of our family (living in Sydney) have had covid. We are fingers crossed to miss it.

We did enjoy a special morning tea out recently and that’s the limit for us!

 

Some Snaps Of July Life….

Saw Dad. He Was In Good Form.

 

My Index Cards. Last time for this.

 

Remember !!

 

Where To Next?

  • we are downsizing in 2023 and now plan to move to an apartment somewhere (not in a retirement village) in the Hills District of Sydney.
  • we are doing a LOT of culling, de-cluttering and more to enable this to happen…and this is a good thing
  • much has been donated already to local charities
  • a charity is coming to collect much of our home office furniture
  • our son is taking quite a bit for his place
  • the rocking horse is staying in the family – at my daughter’s
  • we’ve sent packages of B’s texts to friends whose work is in mental health
  • and we are very grateful for Facebook marketplace: I had never used it, and whilst we sold items (a large garden storage box, a bar fridge) for very little, they have gone to people who needed them
  • my husband is no longer going to need to use a workshop so there will be some selling and donations happening there
  • we are checking out the internet rentals (ok, mostly me) to try to see what would work for us…and enjoying the process
  • we feel very comfortable with the decisions made to date as we are ageing physically and need to take that into account

Watch this space?!

Not really. Until we are into the new year we cannot look at anything seriously but we will continue to hone what will be kept and what will go. It is a challenge …we have already done so much (we thought) but no, not as much as we might have hoped when I ask B “so, you put this stuff in this box at Glenwood??” Um, dear reader, not even opened after 8 years and full of all stuff that could have been thrown out…and now has been….

A little find for the good. Found a DVD where some of our very early years of marriage captured on Super 8  had been copied. I was able to get it onto this computer and then do some screen shots. So cool. And great memories.

January 1972 at my parents’ house with now (almost) 51 yo daughter…

We were off to a christening..not hers, proud Dad holding his daughter.

Bye For Now.

I have to say, with the blog posts about head and neck cancer and keeping up with some other aspects of my social media accounts, I am needing yo  give myself a month or more off.

On 11 August I will be having surgery and as I will be gearing up for that beforehand and then recovering for up to 6 weeks, I will take time out.

I know you will all understand.

This is good self care!

Thinking of you all, and wishing you well over the coming weeks.

I will be keeping up with the blog link up here today and checking out others’ posts, of course!

Denyse.

 

 

 

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What’s On My Bookshelf… The Tara Brach Edition. July. 47/2022.

What’s On My Bookshelf… The Tara Brach Edition. July. 47/2022.

Here I am back for the July post for What’s On Your Bookshelf, and I am devoting the post to one author, Tara Brach.  See further on…meanwhile:

 “What’s On Your Bookshelf?”

Thanks to Jo, Deb, Sue and Donna who host this.

 

More than 6 years ago, as I was struggling to manage both my emotional health and my transitions from the life of “very busy”,  I knew I had to get more help to both understand what was going on inside me (thank you Dr Psychologist, GP and counsellor trained husband) and to DO the WORK of getting to a better place in terms of becoming more mindful, more accepting of ‘what is’, and learning to be self-compassionate.

This does not happen overnight of course, nor with a course  series of 6 weeks or seeing a therapist because it HAS to become a part of the inner self. By using strategies, techniques and kindness in the pursuit of a better inner heart-felt life.

Whilst I am so much better at ‘being’ these days, it is definitely a work-in-progress and today I wanted to share, for What’s On My Bookshelf, just ONE author and four of her books.

Here’s a little about Tara Brach: from her website, and each of her books (which I have and on CD/Audible) too are listed below.

Notes under each title are from the Author’s Website.

https://www.tarabrach.com/rain/

https://www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditations/

Radical Acceptance (2003)

Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

One of the deepest expressions of suffering is self-aversion, part of what Tara Brach calls the “the trance of unworthiness.” Drawing on the wisdom of Buddhist teachings, illustrative stories and the transformative power of meditation, Tara guides us in healing the shame and fear that bind our hearts. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.

True Refuge (2013)

Finding Peace & Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Based on a fresh interpretation of the three classic Buddhist gateways to freedom—truth, love, and awareness—True Refuge shows us the way not just to heal our suffering, but also to cultivate our capacity for genuine happiness. Through spiritual teachings, guided meditations, and inspirational stories, Tara invites us to connect more deeply with our own inner life, one another, and the world around us.

Radical Compassion (2019)

Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN

In this heartfelt and deeply practical book, Tara Brach offers a lifeline for challenging times. Each step in the RAIN meditation practice (Recognise, Allow, Investigate, Nurture) is brought to life by memorable stories shared by Tara and her students as they deal with difficult emotions and limiting beliefs, and discover step-by-step the sources of love, forgiveness, compassion, and deep wisdom alive within all of us.

Trusting the Gold. (2021)

A beautifully illustrated gift book to help you uncover and trust the innate goodness in yourself and others. In Trusting the Gold, Tara Brach draws from more than four decades of experience as a meditation teacher and psychologist to share her most valuable practices for reconnecting with the beauty of our humanity―from timeless Buddhist wisdom to techniques adapted to the specific challenges of our modern age.

A beautifully illustrated gift book to help you uncover and trust the innate goodness in yourself and others. In Trusting the Gold, Tara Brach draws from more than four decades of experience as a meditation teacher and psychologist to share her most valuable practices for reconnecting with the beauty of our humanity―from timeless Buddhist wisdom to techniques adapted to the specific challenges of our modern age.

Why Tara Brach For Me?

I found her voice to be a comforting one as I followed her for many months via weekly meditations which she offered free from her website.

She was someone who made a great deal of sense and being of a similar age too, I respected her work and study and her sense of ‘keeping it real’.

I used this method (meditation) of connecting after finding her first two books and starting to get the idea of what it was to be both mindful and a realist.

Tara is in essence a story teller and she is a very engaging one for me.

She admits her faults, foibles and frailties as it is through her having owned up to these,  she was drawn to the Buddhist beliefs which softened her self-hate and her self-admonishment.

Her words, in my ears, at times of waking early during very anxious times in 2016 into 2017 (before I knew had oral cancer) really encouraged me to be self compassionate too.

Now, some years on, I have gone back to Tara via her newer books, and the fact that she is also now a regular on the Calm app. I cannot speak too highly of her lessons for me and of her words and work.

Even though I was doing as these photos show, I was very hard on myself. I felt I needed to try better to get more mindful.

When I really, really listened and was ready to understand, I knew that I had to accept the feelings that were tough, and not to push them away. I continue to remind myself often now about this and I am waaaay further down the track of learning to accept ‘what is’ and not trying to ‘change’ what is not in my capacity to do.

She is also a colleague of and friend to others I follow and I have added this link here if you are interested in finding out more about their meditation course. I loved it and still have access to it. I think some of it can be trialled for free.

Create a Life-Changing Meditation Practice in Less Than 15 Minutes a Day!

From Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield

A 40-day online training in mindfulness meditation with two of the world’s most respected meditation teachers, Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.

The course includes four modules:

  • Mindful Basics – 13 days
  • Emotional Intelligence – 8 days
  • Resilience, Healing & Inner Freedom – 8 days
  • Mindful Living – 11 days

 

To conclude, I wanted to share more about the practice of R.A.I.N. but not the variety we have had our share of recently.

Tara Brach:

Recognise

Allow

Investigate

Nurture

Image: Calm App.

I hope you have enjoyed learning something about this favourite spiritual teacher of mine, Tara Brach, and that you may be interested in learning more if this is a path you are thinking about.

Take care,

Denyse.

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What’s Ruby Red? Sunday Stills & Colour Challenge. July. 45/2022.

What’s Ruby Red? Sunday Stills & Colour Challenge. July. 45/2022.

Well, what about this! I am back for this week’s Sunday Stills Photo and Colour Challenge just for today...Ruby Red…caught my eye and I love the colour AND a granddaughter with that name, so I am back for this…thanking Terri from here and a little more about this challenge here:

 

Welcome to the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge!

Sunday Stills is a photography challenge with a weekly theme (similar to the now-defunct WPC). Each Sunday I publish a post of the weekly theme with images of my own interpretation. Any blogger is welcome to participate and interpret the challenge with their photos, poems, stories, music, etc!

RUBY RED…

is such a hard colour to pin down but I used my eye to give it a go, and if your sense of this coloursdoesn’t agree, sorry…I know, colour can be so very personal.

First off,

when dear Ruby was born was back in 2009, she was the 5th grandchild, and first daughter to our son, after his first son. I love(d) the name and had an heirloom ring with a RUBY in it, from my Mum, and I passed it onto her as a gift of love. I always hoped it would be kept safely and I last saw Miss Ruby wearing it (to show Grandma) in 2015…but with house moves and a marriage breakdown I just hope she has it somewhere kept safely.

Ruby: not in red…she spent up to 3 days a week with us from 6 months to 5 years old while her parents were at work. Joy filled memories here;

 

Trip Down Memory Lane: Ruby Red.

20 years ago. My Mum, Daughter & Me!

Nature Leads The Way in Ruby Red.

And some more here I say is Ruby Red in colour! 

(let’s not get technical, some of the reds could be “fire engine red, crimson, magenta & more”….)

It’s ME!! 

Art, Book Cover and Ruby (again) 

Miss 12 off to her Primary School Formal: finishing her 7 years there in 2021.

With her proud Dad.

I did have fun putting this collection together for Sunday Stills and The  Monthly Colour Challenge. Who knows, I may be back later in the year.

Thanks for the chance to share, Terri, my version of Ruby Red this week.

Denyse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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