Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A-Z Blogging Challenge T is for Tiger

I have a deep affinity for tigers. One of my earliest memories is of a tiger looking through a window into my room. I was 2 or 3 years old. A few years ago I treated myself to a visit to a tiger lodge in India to celebrate my birthday. We got up really early, had a cup of tea, collected our hot water bottles and were driven of in jeeps into the jungle. The euphoria of that first sight of a tiger in the wild- never to be forgotten. The delight of seeing just a paw rising out of the grass and patiently waiting until the owner of the paw sat up and we could see its head. Feeling like a tracker when I was asked which way to go to spot a tiger- I chose and a few moments later there it cool was that.

Monday, 21 April 2014

A-Z Blogging Challenge - S is for Shibashi

I recently noticed a flyer for a Qigong class locally. I felt inspired to make enquiries and will be attedning my 4th class on Friday. The Shibashi are a group of 18 individual Qigong exercises that are designed to balance the Qi throughout the body. I have already noticed improvements in my energy even though I have only just returned to the practice. Each Shibashi exercise is focused on a primary meridian pair The Shibashi Postures COMMENCEMENT: This is good for regulating respiration, allowing the lowering of the breathing rate. It is also good for maintaining the balance of the blood pressure, it strengthens the function of the Kidney meridian, calming the nerves ( Shen). It also has a therapeutic action in the alleviation of arthritic pain, in the knees. I recognised this movement from the time I used to do Tai Chi. It is relaxing and meditative. BROADENING THE CHEST: This is good for dealing with insomnia, hypertension, relieving mental fatigue, and when used in conjunction with “Commencement” it can be used to treat asthma. I like the feeling of this, although my shoulders want to give up before I do. Now I have decided to practice at least 5 minutes daily I am sure they will get happier and happier. PAINTING RAINBOWS: This is effective for regulating the blood pressure, aiding digestion, alleviating gastric ulcers, alleviating shoulder and lumbar pain. Physically, it can assist in reducing fat deposit in the waist. I look forward to noticing a trimmer waistline and looser trousers, hopefully by next week. CIRCLING THE ARMS TO PART THE CLOUDS: This builds up strength in the waist and legs, and enhances the respiration. It strengthens the function of Kidney qi, increasing the vital energy of the body, being particularly good for those who suffer from dizziness, palpitations, anxiety, or shortness of breath. PUSHING TO THE DIAGONALS: This is effective for alleviating arthritis of the shoulder or knee, muscular fatigue of the groin . ROWING THE BOAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAKE : This strengthens the function of the digestive system and is effective in alleviating intestinal and gastric disorders. It is also good for relieving pain in the waist and legs. HOLDING A BALL IN FRONT OF THE SHOULDERS: This is particularly good for treating stress and insomnia as it calms the Shen. I remember this move from the time I did Tai Chi in a class in London a few years ago. It is so good to have this body memory. TURNING TO GAZE AT THE MOON: Improves digestion, alleviates intestinal dysfunction, and also helps reduce fat deposits in the waist area. TWISTING WAIST AND PUSHING PALMS: This increases the circulation to the extremities. It is effective in treating ailments associated with Spleen and Stomach as it strengthens their functions. It is also good for calming the mind , and treating pains in the waist and legs. WAVE HANDS LIKE CLOUDS: This exercise accelerates circulation of blood and qi throughout the whole body. It is good for the treatment of lethargy, gastric ulcer, indigestion, and rheumatoid arthritis. SCOOPING FROM THE SEA AND VIEWING THE SKY: This increases strength and flexibility of the waist and thighs. It helps to regulate the blood pressure, improves the circulation, and calms the Shen. There was a move I discovered in the past called 'Joy of Life' that was similar to this . PLAYING WITH WAVES: This is a very good exercise for building the strength in the waist and thighs. Alleviates high/low blood pressure, lethargy, and anxiety (Shen). FLYING DOVE SPREADS ITS WINGS: Good for opening up the chest, relieving strain/tightness in the chest. It is also very good for the treatment of indigestion, Liver, and gastric disorders. PUNCHING WITH OUTSTRETCHED ARMS: This is good for relieving mental stress and tension (particularly with work related stress). It also strengthens Liver qi. This brings to mind Ju Jitsu and Kung Fu classes. THE FLYING GOOSE: Strengthens the function of the Kidney and Spleen, helping to regulate the blood pressure. It is recommended for sufferers of kidney problems, low blood pressure, dizziness, and tinnitus. SPINNING WHEELS: This exercise increases flexibility within the waist and abdomen whilst also building up strength. It can be used for treating low blood pressure, increasing the flow of both blood and qi thereby increasing vitality and restoring energy. BOUNCING A BALL WITH STEPS: This is good for relieving mental tension (Shen), anxiety, and insomnia. PRESSING PALMS IN CALMNESS: This is good for regulating the breathing and balancing the blood pressure. It strengthens the function of the Kidney, calms the nerves, can alleviate tinnitus and dizziness, and also has an effect on arthritis of the knee. So, there we are...this is what I will be studying this year. I have been shown 7 moves so far at is up to me to practice daily.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

A-Z Challenge - R is for Rainbow

I enjoyed singing at the Rock Choir performance at a festival a few days ago. It was my first time and I was so pleased to have practiced a lot at home. We sang 'True Colours' which has quite poignant lyrics..I like the part where we sing 'your'e a rainbow oooooo'. As well as getting involved with a choir this year I have found a new Qigong group which is only a short walk from home. The style is Shibashi which I have not heard of before. I have done Ju Jitsu, Kung Fu and Tai Chi so was delighted to have this opportunity show up so close to home. When I googled Shibashi I came across a video showing the whole sequence - at the moment we are warming up and learning different moves and I have not seen the whole 18 moves yet. Each move in the sequence has a different name, like 'parting the clouds' I discovered that there is also one called 'Dancing with Rainbow', and it was fun to learn the move last Friday.I plan to practice it during the week .

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Q is for Quintessential

Yes, I know, I have missed out several letters. It simply did not feel like fun to make myself do something I did not want to do. So let's focus on the fact that here I am , writing a blog post about Quintessential. I like the letter Q, it is quirky, and I like that the small case q is so different from the large case Q.Who invented the letter Q I wonder. Quintessential is a delicious word. I wondered whether I ought to have chosen Quintessence instead- notice how they both now appear? I noticed a shop called Quintessential in the closest city to where I live. It sells incense, candles, clothes, smudge sticks - it must sell other stuff too. It made me wonder about the meaning of Quintessential. I looked it up on did not give a definition of this word, but did tell me about Quintessence, saying that Quintessential is an adjective . Definition of QUINTESSENCE the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form : the most typical example or representative Examples of QUINTESSENCE the Parthenon in Greece was considered the quintessence of the perfectly proportioned building a selfless desire to help others is the quintessence of the virtue of charity Origin of QUINTESSENCE Middle English, from Middle French quinte essence, from Medieval Latin quinta essentia, literally, fifth essence First Known Use: 15th century Having read all of this I am now captured by parts of the word, 'quinte' is French for essence.... So now I am flittering all over the place. I have a St Germain quintessence, which I use before I attune people to the Violet Flame or if we work together to invoke and play with the 7th Ray. Hmm- glad I felt like blogging today

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

G is for Giraffe

I have been interested in shamanic healing for nearly 2 decades. I completed a soul retrieval training in 1996 and feel very blessed to be following my calling with people all over the world. I have been interested in the qualities of different animals too. Do you know your power animal? I wonder if it is a giraffe. Working with their essence could be very powerful. Giraffe Essence- For developing the ability to see the terrain of one's life from an expanded, clear, and grounded perspective. Enhances spiritual expansion and vision while at the same time supporting one to experience this from a well grounded centre. Encourages looking out for the welfare of others and sticking one's neck out for the benefit of other. Is this last attribute a virtue though? What do you think?

Monday, 7 April 2014

F is for Follow

I joined Rock Choir a few weeks ago and there is a performance next week. We will be singing at Truro Arts festival. Of course I am way behind everyone else and I do want to join in. This means listening to/singing along with the tracks and watching the demos of the moves too..I just have to follow along don't I. One of the songs is Where you lead (I will follow). I already knew the lyrics and the tune so that was a help with the self study. I now understand why choirs watch their leader so intently...I will be following her moves with hawk eyes- she even sometimes gives clues to the first word of the next line..fingers crossed there is not a tall person in front of me in that marquee on 16th.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

E is for Elegance of Living

I recently listened to a video with this title and was very energised by it. Madeliene Vionnet was mentioned in a show Sewing Bee week. I knew about her because my daughter once told me she was the person responsible for us learning about the bias cut. I find clothes cut in this way drape beautifully. I once had a white satin dress in this style and felt like the bees knees when I wore it.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

D is for Dance

I recently joined a choir. I was attracted by the kinds of songs...rock, pop and Motown. In the repetoire they have Bruno Mars, ''Just The Way You Are'', which is one of my favourite songs at the moment. Every autumn I look forward to 'Strictly Come Dancing ' and enjoyed Harry Judd enormously. He won in 2011. Can you imagine my delight when I saw a clip of him practising to my favourite song recently. Think I will have a look on youtube to see if the full dance routine is there. Yes- it is...and get a load of that dress.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A-Z Blogging Challenge -C is for Chiaroscuro

C is for 'chiaroscuro'. I loved this word when I first came across it years ago. It is Italian and means light and shade. I have been thinking about it for a few days because of a prompt word from a writing group I go to. Lightshade was one of the 5 words we had to incorporate in our story. Lightshade meaning lampshade did not inspire anything but lightshade as in light and shade did- it led me back to 'chiaroscuro'. I put the word into google, like you do and it took me to a short piece about Caravaggio and so I invested a few moments looking more closely at a couple of examples of his work. Depicting light on canvas fascinates me and I admire artists who have the skill to do this. Merriam Webster online dictionary also gave extra definitions of the term , including 'in the shadows', and that gave me an extra image for the possibility of my story including a figure in the shadows. This character feels male, yet if I consider another word used by Merriam Webster 'veiled ' a female character might join the cast. At least I have a setting to begin writing- the Uffizi in Florence. I wonder how this will unfold.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A-Z Blogging Challenge - B is for Beauty

I have been watching 'Hair' on TV. It is a competition between young hairdressers. They are given challenges each week and graded on their work - someone is the star of the week and someone has to leave. They have to cut hair in a particular way, to show they have the technique, but much more interesting is the style challenge. Last week they had to do a chignon and there is a young man called Kobi who did a chignon that was so graceful and beautiful that I felt really moved. Such a sense of style, movement and grace. Later, the creative challenge was to do a science fiction inspired hairstyle and he produced intricately sculpted plaits molded on the top of the model's head- stunning. He won. The talented girl who did an even more intricate design with lights and feathers did not seem pleased that she came second. I look forward to seeing more works of beauty from this young man.

A- Z Challenge - A is for Artist

A is for ARTIST. I do not see myself as an artist if I begin to compare myself with other people, or if I have a definition about what an artist is. So it is just a matter of where I am looking from and what I am looking at, and how good I think I have to be at something. Memories arise of sitting in my auntie's kitchen colouring something in. I am enjoying it, and show it to her, wanting praise, admiration, but I don't get it. Instead she points out that I have gone outside the lines. I look, but cannot see that and say that I have not. The mood is different now, gone is the enjoyment, replaced with disappointment. I wonder if she ever coloured in anything as an adult. I do. I treated myself to a colouring book filled with Crystal Skull designs- Wonderful, and I use mygood quality glitter pens too. My sister in law laughed when I told her about it..I wonder what she found funny..didn't mention the crystal skulls..maybe something inside her burst open, broke free that day, maybe she realised adults can play with colouring books too. I have another 'A'- are we allowed more than one A or is that going outside the lines. This is an artist whose name begins with A- Alexia Sinclair. I watched a short video of her creating a piece of art and felt a yearning to be able to do something like that, a wishing that I had an inherent talent, but as someone once said- can you be glad that there are pieces of art like that in the world...yes