KIDS KNOW BEST ABOUT FOOT LOVE

Below is a great video narrated by a child on exactly why we must not jam our kids feet into these ‘stylish’ but alarmingly harmful shoes. If you have children, please let their feet be free whenever you can, and in times when there are potential dangers on the ground then choose footwear that allows their little feet to move and feel their way around.

For us older lot, it is definitely not too late to free your feet. In order for us to find our nimble feet again we too must work towards wearing footwear with as little support as possible. For a lot of us this needs to be done slowly and mindfully as stiff, inarticulate feet that have become heavily dependent on overly supportive shoes cannot be cured in an instant. Adults need to tease their feet back into healthy movement patterns by releasing tension, increasing flexibility and creating authentic stability.

I have  written before about the importance of taking care of our feet – Remind yourself by reading it again here and don’t forget to add in the suggested exercises and massage techniques! Remember these main tips:

  • GO BAREFOOT AT HOME  – allow your foot to spread and explore its full range of movement. This alone will help to mobilise and strengthen your whole body.
  • GO BAREFOOT OUTSIDE ON NATURAL TERRAIN  – having the soles of your feet make contact with the earth recharges the body with negatively charged free electrons. This is essentially earth energy which is crucial to the health of every cell in our body!
  • ALTERNATE YOUR SHOES  – so your feet don’t get stuck in the same mould day in day out
  • SOAK YOUR FEET IN MAGNESIUM/EPSOM SALTS  – 100% natural muscle relaxant that also takes the acidity out of the body helping you feel way more chilled out, can also help with headaches, respiratory disorders, sluggish digestion and joint pain.
  • MASSAGE YOUR FEET  – with a tennis ball, or spiky massage ball, or with your own hands! Get to know your body and help it yourself! Doing this stimulates all sorts of important pressure points that respond to different parts of the body including organs, bones, muscles, nerves and so on. This is a key tenant of reflexology.
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THE MODERN WOMAN

No matter how busy you feel, please take time to watch this TEDx talk by Dr. Libby Weaver. Libby is Australasia’s leading nutritional biochemist and her approach to the health and well-being of the modern woman is beautifully and honestly pitched. Yes, it is true, the modern woman is undergoing a crisis which is wreaking havoc on her health and the relationships she has with her partner, friends, family and children. In my work I also see women who, despite being utterly spent, keep pushing forward.

“She” feels like she must be the dependable, resilient and fearless mother/partner/employee despite lacking in sleep and proper nourishment. She constantly feels like a failure with no self-control; she is never skinny enough, youthful enough, intelligent enough, fun enough; she is trying to be the pleaser and the support system for all but behind the scenes is falling apart… sound familiar?

This video is not only for women, but also for the men out there who may not be aware that this is going on, or for the men out there who are behaving in a very similar way. As Libby says: it is time for change. This way of living is not sustainable. It is time to get honest and allow our primal mechanisms more time to adjust to the demand of our modern day lifestyle and its expectations.

KEEP IT SIMPLE THIS YEAR

I love this spoken song from 1999! Clear, simple hitting messages to help keep things in perspective, a reminder to enjoy this life and not take things so seriously.

The track was masterminded by filmmaker Baz Luhrmann after he read columnist Mary Schmich’s article called “Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted On The Young”. ‘Voiced by actor Lee Perry and backed by a choral cover of 1991′s “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” by Rozalla, the song pays tribute to the learned wisdom of nostalgia and the innocent vulnerability of youth’. You can read more here if you fancy!

A powerfully simple recipe to keep it simple this year. Listen / watch / read. Enjoy.

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Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99
Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft

Travel

Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you, too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

DO SCHOOLS KILL CREATIVITY?

This is yet another passionate and informative TED talk. Here, Sir Ken Robinson discusses the importance of cultivating our natural born creativity – that deep innate capacity we are all born with is vital to life, not only for ourselves but also for economic and cultural reasons.

It is very sad but very true that dominant approaches to education are suppressing creativity – too many of children’s natural abilities are being squandered, and too many adults are in jobs or living lives without true passion or heart.

This movement to favour and value more ‘conventional’ subjects such as mathematics and science was born out of the need to meet industrialism in the 19th century. It was here where we learnt to steer ourselves away from doing the things we like; hearing and believing that we could never get a job doing what we enjoyed. As Ken suggests, it is indeed a travesty that so many brilliant, highly talented people think they are not, just because academic ability dominates our view of intelligence.

We are well past the Industrial Revolution, it is time to start valuing and nurturing the natural gifts that people are born with. As adults, we do not need to spend our lives doing something we dislike, and as parents we must learn to trust, honour and nurture whatever our children show a natural propensity for.

We must shift living from a place of fear and control, to living where we embrace our intuition, follow what feels good, what excites and brings joy.

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“Current systems of education are failing to meet the challenges we now all face and they’re working furiously to create alternatives….As the rate of change continues to accelerate, building new forms of education on alternative principles is not a romantic whimsy: it’s essential to personal fulfilment and to the sustainability of the world we are now creating” – Sir Ken Robinson.

TWO INSPIRING NEW FEMALE MUSIC ARTISTS

Music plays a huge role in my life and is undeniably an essential part of our individual and collective well-being – affecting our emotional, physical and mental health in constructive and valuable ways. Pythagorus, Plato and Aristotle all described music as curative and as bringing necessary harmony and resonance to the body. Sonic healing has of course been recorded in history through the noted music, rhythmic drumming and chanting of ancient cultures – the image of the cave person banging the drum really gleans deeper intelligence than is given credit. Today we know that the body is a fluid network – everything in the body, bones included are liquid – and we know that liquid is the most efficient transport system: sound literally vibrates the water within us –  stimulating, massaging, healing. So ‘tune in’ with what sounds and tracks feel good for you and enjoy! These are my latest picks, have a listen!

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Combining futuristic production with sultry R&B vocals, this track by FKA Twigs is a beautifully layered slice of innovative contemporary pop music.  I especially love this video as the forms reflect so beautifully just how we should and can move. Liquid waves, spirals and pulsations that meld and morph without effort reflect the fluid language of the planet and of ourselves.

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Like FKA Twigs. Kelela juxtaposes soulful vocals with left field electronica to stunning effect on this track Bank Head.

LOUIS CK: “IT’S OK TO FEEL SAD”

In the coming weeks I will post about mindfulness – something undeniably innate and essential to our mental, physical and emotional well-being and sadly something we are giving less attention and value to. In the mean time I thought this clip of comedian Louis CK was a perfect warm up. Beneath the expletives and playful telling of why he hates cellphones, Louis articulates some very valid and important issues. First he talks about why he never wants to buy his children a smart phone:

‘I think these things are toxic, especially for kids…they don’t look at people when they talk to them and they don’t build empathy. You know, kids are mean, and it’s ’cause they’re trying it out. They look at a kid and they go, ‘you’re fat,’ and then they see the kid’s face scrunch up and they go, ‘oh, that doesn’t feel good to make a person do that.’ But they got to start with doing the mean thing. But when they write ‘you’re fat,’ then they just go, ‘mmm, that was fun, I like that.’

Then he moves into the very real problem of people not acknowledging how they are truly feeling; scared to just sit in silence and stillness and just feel, we constantly fill every single moment – texting, emailing, checking  facebook, twitter, instagram….

‘You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that thing, that empty – forever empty. That knowledge that it’s all for nothing and that you’re alone. It’s down there.’

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‘Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed’

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Video: FEAR AS AN AMAZING GIFT

This TED talk is another favourite of mine. Novelist Karen Thompson Walker offers an interesting way of reading and listening to fear – rather than something negative and disadvantageous, she suggests we use fear as a tool to offer wisdom, insight and truth:

Our fears are an amazing gift of the imagination … a way of glimpsing what might be the future when there’s still time to influence how that future will play out.

Video: STROKE OF INSIGHT

I love this TED talk by Dr Jill Bolte Taylor – not only is it an incredibly passionate talk but it also offers a rare insight into why it is so important that we live in a balanced way – honouring and giving equal attention to both left and right hemispheres of the brain to allow life to be thoroughly enjoyable, an incredible experience.

All too often we spend more time in the left side of the brain – thinking linearly and methodically about the past and the future; categorising, organising, controlling, perceiving ourselves as separate. We know we can strike a better balance by nurturing the right side of our brain, we just have to trust that this side is equally as important. Our right side sees us living in the present moment, appreciating and enjoying the here and now; it perceives life in bright beautiful images, has us learn through moving and has us gather information through our sensory systems in the form of energy. Our right side sees how we are connected to the whole.

For us to thrive we must fill our lives with things that allow both sides of our brain to expand. Take some time out away from the computer, away from your thoughts that are planning what’s for dinner, analysing what’s happening in the news and so on. Instead find some crayons and draw, put on some music and dance and sing without judgement, meditate, breathe, practise yoga….be here now. Live passionately.