Thursday, 28 May 2015

Naz gets the sign

It’s been a challenging week! Well to be honest, a couple of weeks now and my creativity and boldness have selfishly and without notice taken leave with not one hint of when they will return. Words just don’t come, fresh ideas are non-existent and motivation is at a record low—the overwhelm wins; I feel pushed to the limit. The erroneous perceptions that everything takes so long, that everyone wants something—now, right this very minute as well as the frustrations from all kinds of things, flying at me, unexpectedly, rock my equilibrium.  My will, resolve and persistence are tested and my patience meticulously measured. I feel like I am spinning my wheels, making rash, random decisions and rushing at a pace I can’t keep up to while at the same time, essentially going nowhere.

Only two weeks ago I was spruiking about smelling the roses—being in the moment and staying present - savouring the experience. My, how things can turn around—a reminder perhaps that I am human and here to learn and experience.  Can I boldly pass the true test of ’presence’, being in the moment, peaceful calm and conscious when faced with inflexible time constraints, demanding work commitments, intense studying and stressful exams?  Add to that people backing into my car, break-downs on the motorway and road works at every corner.  You know, that pompous traffic controller that doesn’t realise the danger he puts himself in when he steps out in front of me, menacingly thrusting his annoying red stop sign in my face.  With shoulders back and chest out he confidently strikes his ‘I have the power and you aint going nowhere’ pose.  I eyeball him, fiercely willing him to mentally catch how much disruption and inconvenience he has caused by making me stop.  Doesn’t he know how stretched my timetable is or the length of my ever growing ‘to do’ list! 

After locking gazes for way too long, he finally offers me the yellow ‘slow’ sign and I

Monday, 25 May 2015

Fiz: happy thinking

Now all you boldsters / recycled teenagers / bloomers know that it is not all fun. As Naz shared in her blog there are roses but also dental problems! I don’t know about you, but I don’t always cope well with signs of wear and tear. I get it that it shows that you have done stuff; but I still feel outraged that parts of me that I thought were my ‘better features’ are the worse for wear.

Take my hands, for example, I have always liked big statement rings—probably in part because they looked good on my slim fingers. They drew attention to a feature of me that I was proud of. And then one morning last year, I looked at my right-hand little finger and the knuckle seemed a bit swollen. It is now quite crooked and painful. And there are other bits that have let me down—my right breast which had always been the better of the two now has a lumpectomy scar, my once neat navel shows signs of key­­-hole surgery that had to be extended. And my legs weren’t half bad either in their day. By now I can hear some of you thinking what a whinger. Is that all she has to complain about.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Fiz: my yoga teacher— taking a bold stance

Wendy Sugars

Meet Wendy Sugars from Coolum Yoga Centre

I interviewed Wendy on a rather chilly morning at the Bent Banana CafĂ© in Peregian. I have been going to Wendy’s yoga classes for about three years. I go because I love being pain free, and physically able. I also like the feeling of quietness that settles on me towards the end of a class—preparing me for a busy day or helping me unwind at the end of one.
As we sip our coffees, I put the following questions to Wendy:

You are a certified senior Iyengar yoga teacher who has been a student of yoga since 1977 and a teacher of Iyengar Yoga since 1986. What first drew you to yoga?
I was in the film industry and I needed something to balance the craziness of my world. It helped me cope with the film industry pressure. I tried going to the gym but it wasn’t for me, I also did tai chi but it was yoga that gave me the energy and centredness to cope.
I tried quite a few different kinds of yoga and found that Iyengar Yoga  gave me the best result. What makes Iyengar Yoga different from other forms of yoga is the:
  • ·         precision and alignment in all postures of the poses so that the stacking of the bones eventually creates an effortless pose
  • ·         sequencing—what pose follows after another
  • ·         length of time you hold each pose
  • ·         the use of props.
Wendy laughs as she tells that she went through an addictive phase where she was 
constantly doing yoga to a place where she is now not so obsessive.
 What do you gain from yoga now?
Yoga continues to give me balance. The poses create space in the body— releasing tensions and allowing it to expand; and this is transferred to my outlook on life. Yoga has become part of my life. It has been a tool for developing my character, and it makes me feel more courageous handling life.
With Iyengar Yoga, you are not doing the same thing all the time. There are a variety of ways to achieve the same results. This keeps me creative and inspired.
The poses in Iyengar Yoga are adapted to suit different cultures and groups. You
can  go anywhere in the world and go to an Iyengar class: you may notice variations, but they all have the same foundation.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

150515 - Naz's day to smell the roses

It has been one huge week.  I have felt everything from severe excruciating and unrelenting physical pain to extreme happiness and gratitude that left me in tears…… and then there was everything in between.

A fifty-eighth birthday that just wouldn’t take no for an answer and a problematic tooth swept this week into chaos and a whirlwind, see-saw, and merry-go-round of emotions.  While for most of the week it was difficult to focus on anything but the thumping pain in my jaw, the inconsistent symptoms left me confused. I hoped it was simply a sensitive tooth from grinding my teeth in my sleep or maybe, just maybe, the pain would magically disappear. After restless nights, anxious pacing and urgent visits to two different dentists I finally succumbed to the reality that this was much more serious.  I now have an appointment at the endodontic specialist (there goes my new carpet or ritzy new barista coffee machine).  I guess my tooth is far more precious.  No I am certain it is.  Also, the unsympathetic and offhanded comment from my dentist reminding me that losing teeth is simply a symptom/sign of old age didn’t ease my grief either as I sat uncomfortably in his torturous chair. How dare he bring this to my attention at this shaky moment!  I refused to listen.  I’ll do all I can to save that tooth.  I have an appointment in two weeks.  I will be brave and I will be bold—not old.

The antibiotics have kicked in and the pain has subsided—birthday time!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Fiz: what we need is better branding

My brother asked how I was the other morning, and I replied with one of my stock phrases: ‘Not bad for an old chook’. He said: ‘Don’t say that. People will think you are old’. ‘But I am old’ I replied.

But am I really old. Is ‘old’ really my descriptor? I hear quite a bit of talk about ’60 being the new 40’, ‘pushing the tide back’, ‘age is just a number’. I find it all a bit irritating. I have already done forty. What’s so wrong about being in one’s sixties? Why aren't we proud of approaching our sixties or, in my case, being well into them. Why do we try to hide our age, are almost ashamed of it.

Part of the reason is that we just don’t feel like what we thought ‘old’ would be. Some of us are having the time of our lives. This surely can’t be ‘old’. I don’t want to deny my age. I want to be proud that I have made it this far—that I have a bit of experience under my belt, that I can roll with the punches, that I have a bit more confidence, that I am breaking out of my glass box.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Mothers Day by Naz

Mother’s Day on Sunday.  Once again I am presented with a dichotomy of emotions and experience.

With Fiz’s excited reference to ‘My Mothers Story’ by Kate Grenville and ‘Mother’s Day’ looming this Sunday I visited to find out more about this eagerly awaited book.  The site offered a number of praises and a short video by Kate sharing a little about her Mum, her Mum’s memoirs, her Mum’s boldness—things that inspired Kate to write the book.  What a discovery to find her Mum’s hand written words—perhaps letters of curves and style, un-abandoned flourishes and personality etched onto musty paper, yellowed by time—treasures now left behind, replaced by impersonal type from the tech era of keyboards.

Mother’s Day—a day celebrated in many countries including US, UK, India, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Belgium.  Google the meaning and origin of Mother’s Day and you will find conflicting opinions—differing statistics of years, dates, places and people; from the ancient Greeks and Romans to England’s Mothering Sunday in the 1600’s. Names such as Julia Ward Howe in 1872 and Anna Jarvis are also added to the mix.   But the obvious common thread that links them all is the specialness of time set aside to honour all mothers —all mums.


Monday, 4 May 2015

Fiz's sober start but fun ending

Last week was sober: the horrendous suffering in Nepal; the death by firing squad of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran; the riots in Baltimore. And locally, five people killed in flooding from the heavy rain on Friday.

But there were also highs: if you haven’t watched the Four Corners program about the women fighting against ISIS, take a look on ABC iview or at   What incredibly gutsy women! Wooohooo!! (It’s their spirit that I applaud. I am side-stepping the issue of fighting itself.)
No Free Steps to Heaven (Eddie Gerald), ABC
And – judging by the proliferation of anti-high rise posters in local front gardens—most of us in the neighbourhood were delighted that the proposed high rise development on the Yaroomba foreshore did not get the go-ahead from Council.

And now it is the beginning of another week

Friday, 1 May 2015

Red Poppies by Naz

Fiz’s post this week—it spoke directly to my heart, on more levels than one. Not only did it inspire me to also share my Anzac Day experience but it invited me to consider my own self constructed glass cage and its unrelenting demand to adhere to its restrictions and invisible boundaries. I know its limitations need to be reviewed, assessed and maybe smashed if I am truly to live my life in the BOLD lane. But, my Glass Cage will be for another day.

This week my thoughts are with the Anzacs.

I was undecided.  I procrastinated about attending an Anzac Day dawn service.  I was staying with my son at Caloundra and although we had discussed it briefly we hadn’t intended to contribute, preferring to sleep in; show our respects and extend our gratitude at a more respectable hour. Obviously a decision was made for us (by someone, somewhere) when both my son and myself woke at the crack of dawn with the same thought; ‘Mum, are you awake I hear from the bedroom down the hall’.  ‘Yes, I am, I reply, are you okay?’  ‘Let’s attend the dawn service at Kings Beach’ the wide awake and motivated voice urges.  With no hesitation I instantly replied ‘yes, let’s do it’.  Two minds in synch.

Let’s get out of our warm comfortable and safe beds, feel uncomfortable for a while, feel the chill, stand for a time, shift from leg to leg to stave off the cramps, delay the warm morning coffee or tea, allow the hollow feeling of an empty stomach to just be—just for this morning.