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My aim is to share my story  in the hope it will inspire you, to find your purpose in life, make a living from your passion and live the life of your dreams.

Hi my name is Angela, I was born and brought up in England. I have lived in England all my life. Thank you for dropping by, I hope you gain something from my Blog.  I am happy to connect with you. Lets talk about Holistic living – Remember Holistic living isn’t just about food, it’s about your whole being. That’s mind, body and soul. I believe that everyone can and should live the life of their dreams. Believe it or not it’s possible. Everyone has a purpose in life, your purpose is what you are innately passionate about. Your purpose in life is to use your passion to help others. Some call it Destiny or living their dream. You know you are living your life's purpose  when you can't wait to get out of bed in the morning to get started, you would do what you do for free, you can't believe they pay you for what you do. I believe that if everyone did what they were passionate about the world of work would be a better place.Check out archived Blogs.  This will be a series of talks about living your life holistically – This Blog is about The Body.

Body Works

These blogs will focus on the body, Having looked at 'What you do for living' we also dealt with 'SELF=YOU' and ' The Exhorted Soul' all books can now be found on Amazon(  I would like to introduce Lena, you will get to know Ms Lena Body intimately, as we will discuss her life and body from a spiritual, internal and external view point....Should be fascinating! 

Where does your feet take you?

Introducing Ms Lena Body.

21st January 2019

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Here is Lena, she is a 30 years old single woman, who leaves alone in a flat she brought last year. Lena has two brothers, both older than her. Lenas' parents are both in good health, they live together and are about ten minutes away from her. Lena's childhood was filled with love as she was a welcomed 'surprise' baby, after her parents had thought they 'were done'. Lena was doted on by her parents, especially her mother who thought she would never experience having a daughter to 'dress up'. Her older brothers thought she was fascinating as she was a girl and instantly took on a protective role. School life was great as Lena was well liked by her teachers and peers alike, she found the work interesting, easy and most of the time fun! As a teenager Lena enjoyed an active social life, and where she was introduced to Alcohol...She found that it was a welcome 'friend' when others were not available. Lena attended college and went on to University where partying took on a whole new meaning. Lena could be found on four day binges of party, drink, sleep and party again. In her third year she 'sobered up' and managed to leave University with a respectable 2:1 falling if you will into her 'dream job' as an accountant. At 26 Lena had been at her job for nearly five years and yearned for a change. She left and found a post with greater prestige, nearly double the wage but twice the stress. This is where we will leave Lenas' history for the moment.

This blog will concern itself with Lena's feet! Lena likes to keep fit and walks to and from work everyday, Lena also attends her local gym twice a week. As we can see Lena walks to work, a place she finds stressful and have noted that her boss threatens her with the sack at least once a week. How’s work really? This question has been broached in my book ‘What Do You Do For A Living’ (2016) Angela Scott, What do you do for a living, Amazon chapter one) and again my latest book ‘The Exhorted Soul’ (2018) Angela Scott, The Exhorted Soul, Amazon chapter 12 ‘Soul Care’) Lenas' feet takes her to a place of work that does not serve her! Lena explains that she often feels sad when she wakes in the morning of a work day, but the walk to work helps her brush off the feeling and gives her the energy to manage whatever her boss throws at her. How do you feel about the places your feet take you? This could be work, a friends’ house, a weekly gathering, a place of worship? What does your body tell you about your destinations? Uneasy feelings, we know need to be acknowledged. Do you acknowledge your uneasy feelings or brush them off? Let’s investigate this first part of Lena’s work day.

She states that she wakes feeling sad. I feel sad for Lena as she probably goes to bed feeling sad, and instead of getting the rest she needs, she thinks of the coming day and the stresses it may bring. Before you fall asleep, what do you think about?

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My night routine as I drift off to sleep is a chant I say ‘Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God’ I am not suggesting that you start chanting, but for me, it helps stop me thinking of anything else other than good thoughts……Nothing can be greater (for me) than to give God thanks……As I give thanks I cannot think of debt, the deadline, the fact that I have to do this or do that tomorrow. Lenas thoughts of the coming work day may be filled with, yet another put down, feelings of not being enough or the treat of being sacked. It is no wonder she wakes up feeling sad and as the Law of Attraction states, what you think about, you bring about. (See The Exhorted Soul- Chapter 1,2,3)

In ‘The Vortex’ Abraham Hicks gives a ‘Brief Bedtime Exercise That Transforms Relationships’ in which they state ‘you will set the tone of the Vibration in which you will awaken in the morning’. Who are you taking to bed with you each night? Is it your boss, that co-worker, the bills? Is your private space really big enough for you and all the issues you have during your waking state? Something to think about. Here’s the thing, do you know that when you awake from sleep you are in what Abraham Hicks calls the Vortex. ‘During the night, they state, you released all resistance. And when you awakened, you deliberately kept the resistance-free zone going by basking for a while’. You are in a state of possibilities, anything while in this state, is possible. This state of possibilities is your chance to decide what the next hour, rest of your day or even the next week will bring. This state of possibilities last a very short time….Image result for 15 seconds

I believe it lasts about 15 seconds on awaking, you then as Hicks states, ‘come out of the vortex’ and back to the real world in which you think about having to go to work, or having to fight through traffic, maybe your thoughts go to the daily struggle to get the kids up and out the house, it could be that meeting you have with your creditors, perhaps you remember that you have to deal with what Sharon said about you to Tom! Whatever your issue is for that day or that week, it comes flooding back to you as the 15 seconds e-lapse. So Lena wakes sad, but brushes it off with her walk to work. As she steps over the threshold of her work place Lena has her back up as she awaits a nasty email, a note on her desk or a face to face interaction with her boss…It’s a shame that Lena has caused all these negative instances! How did she cause this? You shout! Well from the start Lena told her boss (albeit unconsciously) what she is willing to stand for or put up with. Lena did not consider where she stood in the order of importance to herself or to the company she works for? What Lena has to do, is put her foot down. Let’s help her do that. Many of us secure employment and although we are grateful for the opportunity, we abate or subdue the feelings of worthiness quickly. You know that feeling you get when you have been told that you got the job, that feeling of ‘I’ve done good’ or ‘I’m proud of myself’? For some, it will last until they get to the car park, as the minute they get in the car, they begin to worry about having to work for six weeks before getting paid. for others it will last until they tell their  ‘B’ friend (See ‘What Do You Do For A Living’ Chapter 7 ‘Who’s Holding You Back’) that they got the job and is reminded that it is going to take an hour and 20 minutes each morning through traffic to get there. For Lena it lasted a whole week and a half at the job, after which she realised that she was just a pawn in a huge pool of accountants, although Lena had brought with her a good degree, post graduate qualifications, a great reference from her old firm and five years experience.Image result for first weekWithin her first week she saw three people sacked and many others brought to tears because of the way they had been treated. Maybe that in itself would have alerted you to the big red flag, that was vigorously waving. What would you have done in that situation? It all comes down to what you stand for! Lenas’ first week must have been scary, she may have been torn between ‘this is a new job, better keep my head down’ and ‘I’m I seeing work place bullying here?’ Are there situations in your life that prompts you to stand up for what is right? Do you do the right thing or like Lena, keep your head down? I read a saying the other day that said - You have to stand for something or you will stand for anything. Another reference to this quote is - If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. What are you letting slide, because you don’t want to ‘rock the boat’ or take a stand? Anything that makes you feel uneasy, as mentioned above is your Soul telling you to do something about it. What Lena saw in her first week, became the norm after working there for three months, she too was shouted at, made to feel less than and threatened with the sack. Lena allowed her work place to dictate her worth by belittling her value to their company. Knowing your worth, (we are not talking about cash value here, we are talking about self-worth,) is an important step in getting what you believe you are worth…That is, getting the treatment and respect you are owed. (See ‘What Do  You Do For a Living’ Chapter 11 ‘Are You Getting Your Worth’) Had Lena known her worth, she would have left in her first week or at the very least, had words with the HR department. By staying and doing or saying nothing about the treatment of others, let alone the way she was treated, showed her boss that Lena was just like all the rest of their employees and could be treated how they felt best.

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What are you standing for in your life? Are you being treated unfairly? You should start with your home-life…(touchy subject, I know)! Can you change anything there? Are the people in your home, pulling their weight? I have been accused, by my children, for giving some of them more rope than others! I have been accused, by my family, of being too proud and not asking for help when clearly I needed it. Some of us have been putting up with certain ill-treatment because we are afraid of making waves or upsetting the equilibrium of our household. 

It’s time to make a change and stand up for yourself. 

A lot of you know that you are worth better, but insist on settling for a limited lifestyle. As you will see later, if you settle for less than you are worth, some other part of your body will suffer. Start by making a stand for your worth at home. What do you stand for around your friends and family? Do you find that there are times when the conversations become a little too crass, but you laugh with the others and do or say nothing. Make a stand….It is as easy as removing yourself from that conversation. The same can be said for work mates, what do you stand for there? Put your foot down against conversations or treatments that belittle you or others. Stand for something that will make a difference in your or other peoples’ lives. It is all well and good telling people to do this or do that, without knowing the circumstances of peoples’ lives, I hear you say. I do hear you, and note I will never tell you to do something I won’t do. What I know for sure, is that we teach people how to treat us. That is everyone, think of a 2 year old, they will push boundaries until you teach them that certain things will not be tolerated. Think of a teenager who again will push boundaries, the same reaction is needed. Now think of people you meet, they come along with different beliefs, ethics, morals and standards, so may speak of things you don’t agree with or they may do things that is against your ethics or morals, you will learn to agree to disagree or let them know that that type of talk or behaviour is not appreciated. In many cases you may have to remove yourself from that conversation, situation or persons’ life. State that certain things will not be tolerated, agree to disagree or remove yourself.  Any person that continues to push your boundaries after you have voiced your dissatisfaction is cause for concern and other avenues may have to be sought. We know this as we are adults, but this is not always the way we deal with dissonance.

Lena’s feet and legs takes her to a work place that makes her feel less than. On a bad day, Lena confesses, she stops off at the local store, on her way home and buys several bottles of wine. She wouldn't give an actual amount but claims, what she buys she drinks. When asked how many days a week can be classed as a bad day, Lena said 'too many'. Again, I'm feeling sad for Lena. Where do your feet take you when you are sad....I could use this space to tell you to go here or go there when you are sad.....but this is not that type of blog......Where do you go? I stay home, pace the floor and talk it myself...Where do you go? We are aware that when you are sad, your Soul is also sad. Does your actions while sad, further saddens you and your Soul? I have found that when I am sad, I need to remember to trust, that everything happens for a reason, everything is working for my benefit, everything will work out in my favour. It is imperative that you try to do whatever you can in-order to change the situation you are in...There is a process described in ‘The Exhorted Soul’ (2018) Angela Scott, The Exhorted Soul, Amazon chapter 4 ‘Trust’ in which you are given four steps  ‘[ ] you have a concern (number 1), then (number 2), you become specific about the concern. (Number 3) is remembering that there is a place [The Soul, that place where everything is possible] that holds all that you want and need, that weightlessness state. (Number 4) You TRUST/KNOW/BELIEVE that the concern will be dealt with, and set about relinquishing the concern.’ Here you trust things will work out in your favour. I have to admit, whilst 'in' the situation, my mind can run riot, I will happily conger up all sorts of  mishaps, on one occasion I had convinced myself that I would be taken away and locked up, for non-payment. I find myself, when in these situations, thinking that things may not work out in the way I need or want them to work out. I decide that I will be let down by God/ the universe. During one of these occasions I felt  I was being told to wait on God.......Then the Bailiff turned up. I wondered why that had to happen, why did God send the Bailiff when it was known that I didn't have the money or have any way of getting it. Needless to say, I am still here and I wasn't carted away....Looking back is comfortable, its the being in the situation that we often need to mastered, as I said above, after you have done all you can do to rectify the then......Trust......Its the only advice I can give. 

Drinking alcohol, smoking excessively, inhaling harmful substances or over eating will not help.....but you already know this. This blog is about the Body and anything taken in one part of the body, will have a toll on another part of your we will see. 

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Lena voluntarily walks to a place that causes her anguish, things are so bad that she does not sleep well. You was given a bed time routine to aid restful sleep and wake in a state of possibilities. Just by knowing your worth can change a stressful situation. In Lenas’ case, she certainly would sleep better, as she would have stood up for herself against a bully boss or left the company. What are you going to do to stand up for yourself today? You was asked to look into your own life, and decide whether you are walking into sad or bad situations, whether it is a conversation or a place of work. Treat unwanted treatment, conversation and situations in the same way.....Do what you can to change it, which could be as simple as removing yourself. After you have done all you can that the situation will work in your favour, trust that God/The Universe has a reason for the situation you are in, and it will, without doubt be a favourable outcome.

Private realm

21st February 2019

(Lower Torso)

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The private sphere is the complement or opposite to the public sphere. The private sphere is a certain sector of societal life in which an individual enjoys a degree of authority, unhampered by interventions from other institutions.

We have met Ms Lena Body who is a 30 year old female who lives alone, having had a great childhood, went off to college, then university where she learnt more than how to become an accountant. Lena left University with a 2.1, debt and a strong relationship with alcohol. Lena secured a great job and stayed there for nearly five years leaving for, what looked like a better position, there was more money, more prestige and a whole lot of stress. During Lena's twenty's she partied 'hard', Lena would have four day weekends, sometimes starting her 'weekend' from Wednesday. Lena's moto was to  'have a good time, all the time'. If YouTube was around during Lena’s party days, you would see Lena’s party life in glorious colour. You would see a woman enjoying her life to the fullest. Lena would appear immaculately dressed in the latest fashion with many friends around her. She would appear a fun loving stable person, having a great time. Lena would never appear drunk, you would never see the days that she sat crying and drinking alone, or the days she couldn’t go into work because she was too ‘hang over’ or the times she would wake up not knowing how she got home or where two days had gone. Lena’s YouTube persona would have you wishing you knew her or could have meet her on a night out.

FB would contain pictures of Lena with a glass in her hand. Other posts would have her ranting about how life sucks and sometimes telling us she didn’t want to be here! You can only imagine how Lena would appear on Instagram. We can safely say that Lena’s life would be splashed over social media. 

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This blog will take a look at some of your private realms and what you deem private. We will look at what you class as private and whether it is kept private. This blog will also address when private becomes taboo and whether it serves us to keep it that way.

Is your private life splashed across social media? Have you considered why you do this? No you are not a famous family getting paid for it. Perhaps you put certain things online saving the real you, for your private life. Maybe you enjoy sharing certain things with like-minded people. It is important that you are in control, control being the operative word here, ensure that you are depicted in a way you choose, and do not get carried away with a persona that is far removed from the ‘real’ you. I am particularly talking to the persons that feel that their social media life is the life they WISH they were living. They let us know what they look like when they get up, (after an hour of grooming) what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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On the weekend they show us what they are doing or where they are going. Most of the time we don’t get to see them on line between 10am – 7pm on a weekday, why? Because they are at a real job, doing real stuff, the real them, which they may have deemed not interesting enough, so they don’t show it. They may be sitting at home doing nothing constructive, that won’t be shown! Consider why someone feels the need to put on a persona that is not their own. In advertising their life, they leave themselves open to anyone and everyone’s opinion. Keeping parts of your life private, keeps that part of you for you, and keeps unwanted attention out. Don't give me the ‘I’m faking it until I make it’. This is not Law Of Attraction, this is just ‘faking it’.

For me, keeping something nice about me to myself or private, gives me a sense of authority over my life. (We all have something not so nice about ourselves kept locked away and very private) (Although anything private in my life is always shared with at least five other adults, my children. With this in mind I really do not have much of a private life. There are at least two of my children who know where I am and what I am doing at any given minute of any day) My life tends to be taken up with being there for others or having to sort out situations relating to my life....Having a life like that, has me feeling like I belong to the person I am helping, as I become a part of their life, my life at that time is not my own...When sorting out situations in my life, I had often felt that that situation was my life. Strange I know, but that was how I was. I rarely felt like I belonged to 'myself'. Two years ago I began to relate to people you see on TV, cosying up in the evening, on the sofa under a 'throw' with a good book or to watch a film. Previous to learning to 'do me' that feeling of comfort was alien.....Bath time, was a shower, there were no lingering soaks, as I would often be rushing to be somewhere.

So to be having my first Grandchild, for example, was a private matter especially as his mother is not the type to splash her life over social media, it was even easier to keep the great news private. His conception and birth was kept between a select few. Truly a private affair and a sense of being me!

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Although I am learning to be me, it can be a struggle because I have always been, and in some cases will always be, somebodies something, either someones, Mother (and father) or somebodies carer, counsellor, doctor, confidant or friend...We are always some bodies child, maybe somebodies sibling, it can be a daunting task to just be you. But this blog is not about who we are, it is about keeping what we call private, private.. Talking about private space and time, as a mother of six children I have often wondered if my life could ever be private, there has always been so many mouths in my home ready to tell someone the latest episode of what we called 'our house'. One would think that I would be allowed some private time throughout my day, this was hardly the case. I have had full length conversations with my children while sitting on the loo. No they weren’t on the other side of the door, they would often be standing in-front of me or sitting on the edge of the bath, while discussing what they felt couldn’t wait until I came out the bathroom. 
Do you consider yourself deserving of private time? Do you set out time for yourself? Or is your day, month and year dictated by those around you? There's that word 'control' again. If you find that more often than not, your life is being dictated by people, situations or issues, there is cause for concern. Take a quick survey of your life and calculate how much time you have for you. This can be daunting for some, as they cringe at the thought of being or having any time alone.

We addressed this issue in my book (SELF=YOU (2017) Angela Scott, SELF=YOU, Chapter 14,Amazon) when finding the number one YOU was discussed. As mentioned above, if you allow people and situations to dictate your every hour, you like me, become a part of the person or situation you are dealing with. It is imperative that you are in control of your life which in turn means your time.

I think a question begs to be answered here, what do you call private, in regards to your life?

On taking my daughter to school late, one day, we had to go into reception to ‘log in’, well to sign in late. We were talking about something I classed as private and said to her, ‘Lets continue this conversation when we get home’ The receptionist stated that ‘you don’t have any secrets, we all know about……’ (the topic of my conversation with my daughter)…There you have it, I didn’t have any secrets….I was surprised but not worried….My private life was not so private. 

Many many years later I wrote about what I use to class as private, in my book ('What Do You Do For A Living’,(2016) Angela Scott, What do you do for a living, Amazon). I talk about having a child at 17 and living in a hostel, being evicted, debt, enduring domestic violence, work place bullying, the near heart attack and much more. 

For many, the above would be classed as private but in my case its printed and published. How private I'm I?

What is private in your life and do you keep it private? If everyone knows about it, is that your choice or do you have, like I did a ‘leak in the ranks’? We will not look at why we keep our private lives private here, but we will address, what you class as private and whether it should stay private. Does it matter that your private life stays private or do you class yourself as an open book? I’m not here to tell you to do the contrary. I am here to alert you to the private side of your life. For me, there is a feeling of authority over my life when certain things are kept private. But there can be some 'private issues' we keep to ourselves that can be harmful – Are there things in your life that you are keeping private that perhaps,should be brought into the open and discussed! This is where private leaves private and becomes taboo. We visited this private area in SELF=YOU Where we spoke about secret habits. Habits we wouldn’t like close friends and family members to know about. Most of us have secrets and some of us will take them to our graves.

As mentioned above, we all have some things that we would rather keep to ourselves, however could keeping that 'something' to ourselves be doing more damage inside us as opposed to being out in the open? Lena we know, drinks more than she was willing to tell us, giving her stressful job as the reason for her drinking. No need to state the obvious here, Lena needs to get some help to decrease the amount of alcohol she drinks. Lena would also need to consider whether her wage and the fact that she can walk to and from work each day is really worth it! Lena, in my opinion had been warned by her intuition (Soul) (See The Exhorted Soul (2018) Angela Scott, The Exhorted Soul, Chapter 12 Soul Care, Amazon) that the job was not going to serve her. Lenas' ego took over and reminded her that the wage was nearly double what she receives at her current job, plus the fact that she would be working for a prestigious company. That small voice that said 'Don't go there' could not be heard. During Lena's first week she experienced what was to come, but didn't heed that either. Does any of Lena's actions ring a bell with you? Now, Lena attempts to drink her problems away. There are other issues that 'make' Lena drink. During Lena's 'haydays' of party party party, she became pregnant. Lena was in her second year of her University degree and felt that she would have let her parents down if she left her studies to have a baby, to add to Lena's concerns, she had no idea who the father could be. Every year on a certain date (the date of the abortion) Lena would drink herself into a stupor, thinking to herself, her baby would be a year older. Lena told no one. Alcohol became her friend when no one else was available, where the abortion was concerned, no one would ever be available, as she would never tell anyone. What event or incident has happened in your life that you have decided to keep private? Ask yourself, does it serve you to keep it to yourself? Believe me when I tell you, that after you have voiced it twice, you will feel freed, you will experience less and less shame attached to the incident/event, when you tell anyone you feel will benefit from hearing what you have to say. Guilt will leave you, as you tell the person or persons who will aid you in releasing all hurt, pain, shame and embarrassment surrounding that time in your life. Contact me if you need to talk
Shame, guilt and embarrassment are not words one should reach for when talking about their body, but some of us do. If that is how you feel about your body, you’ll find that, (baring being born with an issue) you or someone else didn’t treat the body in question with care and love. Those conversations need to be had in a safe environment with people who care about you Ones body is sacred and should be a private vessel, shared if and when one wants to. Do you class your body as sacred and a private vessel? If not, why not? Our private parts are just that..private....having any part of ones body violated can cause irreparable damage.

Consider why and who you allow into your private body space, if it does not feel right, it is not right

As you may be aware, anything taken in one part of the body, will have a toll on another part of the body. Take positive interactions, how do you think that will effect your body? Yep, you've got it. You will feel happier, feeling happy aids a healthier life. There are several things we know about Lena all of which have a bearing on different parts of her body. Lets view them, Lena walks to work, great form of exercise, but Lena is trying to use the walk to work to mask the fact that she dislikes her bully boss, having a bully boss has caused Lena sleepless nights, sleepless nights causes it own problems. Lena also drinks excessive amounts of alcohol, maybe to dull the pain of having an abortion, not sleeping and to deal with her boss. Again we will not state the obvious in regards to the help Lena needs, but you can see that as she consoles herself with alcohol she may cause damage to the rest of her body, here are a few:    

The brain -Alcohol’s effects on the brain can be felt quickly. Not only can drinking cause temporary complications such as memory loss and coordination, it can also lead to long-term side effects that are sometimes irreversible. Not to mention the psychological issues associated with doing something you know is damaging or wrong. Prolonged and excessive alcohol use can interfere with how the brain functions. Damage to different regions of the brain, especially the cerebellum, limbic system and cerebral cortex, can significantly impact the body’s communication pathways. For example, the cerebellum handles your body’s motor skills. When alcohol affects this area of the brain, you’re more likely to experience a loss of balance, as well as memory and emotional response issues.

Heart -The heart is extremely vulnerable to the negative effects of alcohol consumption. Over time, heavy drinking can weaken the heart, impacting how oxygen and nutrients are delivered to other vital organs in your body. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase triglyceride levels – a type of fat in your blood. High levels of triglycerides contribute to the risk of developing dangerous health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Liver -When you drink, your liver breaks down alcohol and removes it from your blood. However, too much alcohol in a short period of time can overwhelm the metabolism process and lead to fatty liver. Fatty liver is a chronic condition that involves the buildup of bad fats in the liver. 

Pancreas -The pancreas is part of the digestive process and helps regulate your body’s blood sugar levels. Drinking alcohol over many years can start to negatively impact your pancreas and cause lasting health complications. Unfortunately, the early stages of many pancreatic conditions are often unfelt and therefore, left untreated. Long-term alcohol abuse can eventually cause the blood vessels around the pancreas to swell, leading to pancreatitis. This greatly increases your risk of developing pancreatic cancer – a type of cancer that spreads rapidly and is very dangerous.


What do you class as private in your life? Have you ever considered this part of your life? Do you advertise your private life? What do you gain from splashing your life on social media. Perhaps you portray the life you would like to have, something to think about! My life has never been private, my children has always spoken their mind on any given subject, so no joy there for keeping our home life private, many years later I write about what others would consider, private aspects of my life, as I discuss being a single mother at 17 years old, evictions, debts etc etc......(See 'What do you do for a living' Amazon). I manage to keep little tip bits of my life private as I did prior to the birth of my beautiful grandson. We all have situations, events or incidents that we would rather not tell anyone. I propose the idea that some of these 'private/taboo' issues need not be private, but brought into the open and shared in a safe place, in doing this you will begin to heal and may help others to do the same. We used Lena's alcohol drinking and abortion as an example of something to be expunged from where it sat for years and examined, (painful I know) after which it can then be left to rest.

This blog also looked at the body as a vessel, knowing that what goes in must come out after passing through other parts of the body, on its way giving pleasure, making fuel or causing damage. A body that is mistreated can have irreparable consequence for the owner. We all need to take stock of our lives and keep something for ourselves, instead of giving everything away. Technology today is such that it can tell you where you travelled throughout the month, what and where you bought your weekly shop. Our lives could easily become entertainment for others. Take control of what you 'put out there', consider what should stay private and what you really need to bring out into the open.

Upper Torso

Part One

21st March 2019

The Upper torso is the area between the stomach and the neck which includes the back. This blog is divided in two. Part One of will concentrate on the neck and chest. The first Blog in 'The Body' series asked you to stand up for yourself...I relayed a quote that stated 'if you don't stand for anything you will fall for anything'. What do you stand for? Is there anything in your life that you are known for being passionate about, enough to stand up for that cause, forsaking everything else? Well done, if you do. However most of us do not. We have to consider our families first and our lives are dictated by their needs, wants and can I haves. Standing up for what you believe in can be as simple as insisting on a clean house. You can make strides to ensure that everyone in your household do their fair share to keep your home clean, maybe you have set rules in place that your household need to follow. Do you stand your ground and ensure they are followed?  Perhaps you are passionate that your work place follow their Equal Opportunity policy and provide a creche. Do you stand up for yourself in any area of your life? What is stopping you? Its survey your life time again! Many of us do not spend any time at all, on ourselves, even the time it takes to think about our lives. Consider what you stand for and how willing you are to stick your neck out to make a stand. Consider why you do not make a stand for what you feel passionate about? Do you feel that you will 'rock the boat'? What's the worst that could happen? 

The chest refers to the front part of the body between the neck and the abdomen - Front

The Chest - Do you 'big up your chest' (A Jamaican saying to mean, walk tall and be proud of yourself) Is that you? How often do you feel proud of your self? Once a year, twice a year.....At least once every month or perhaps every time you are able to do something most people take for granted?

The reason for the question is for you to acknowledge YOU. Do you find that you walk with your shoulders pinned back and your chest pushed out, or is the reverse more of a depiction of you? What do you think walking with your head bowed, shoulders turned in and chest hidden, portray and is it important? Maybe not! Consider what will allow you to walk tall? Now consider some of the reasons you should be walking tall, with 'your chest pushed out'. The mere fact that you are reading this, tells me that you woke up this morning and is something be grateful for. You may run a household, be proud, you have a family, be proud. You attend a work place, whether you are grateful for the place that provides you with money for food, to pay your bills and give you some pleasures in life or not be proud. It is something to be grateful for and something to walk tall to. (You actually have a job)! Showing the Universe that you are happy for what you have, generates more for you to be happy/grateful for. 

As opposed to 'bigging' up your chest, do you prefer to walk with your eyes firmly focused on your shoes? Maybe you don't want to be noticed. Another Jamaican saying...when trying to seat several people into a car or on a seat made for less than the amount of people to be seated, someone will say 'mek yuhself small' (make yourself small) meaning 'squeeze up' In my book ('SELF=YOU',(2017) Angela Scott, SELF=YOU,Chapter 6, Are you dimming your light? Amazon) I discuss how some people try to make themselves disappear in a room of peers or shrink in-order to stop others from feeling uncomfortable or feel insecure in their presences?  You know the type of environment, where you say nothing for fear of out-shining someone? Is that you? I ask you to consider why you do this?  Feeling proud of ones self, 'bigging' up your chest is Self care, Self love and Soul care and should be in the back of your mind in most situation you find yourself in...No, it is not selfish Iyanna Vanzant said it is Self Full! If anything in your life causes you to feel or be less than...It does not serve you. With Self care in mind, if it does not serve you, what is it's purpose in your life? Ahhh the person that makes you feel less than could be a relative, partner or close friend, what then.....With Self care in the back of your mind, you will ask yourself, how does the treatment you are receiving from that relative, partner or close friend serve you or the relationship you are in with them? Self care will not allow you to continue to suffer, Self care will ensure that something is done regarding the maltreatment. Remember I asked, what do you stand for and is it time you stood up for yourself ?.....Easier said than done, I know, but if you do not make a start, the maltreatment may never end....Seek advice, help is out there

The chest holds the heart, many things could be said about the heart, but here I want to focus on what you 'hold' in your heart and leads me to think about forgiveness. 

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Forgiveness according to Wikipedia is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offence,[they]let go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, forswears recompense from or punishment of the offender, however legally or morally justified it might be, and with an increased ability to wish the offender well.The Oxford dictionary defines forgiveness as to 'stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake' 

The bible give us a some verses regarding forgiveness, here are a few:- 

Ephesians 4:32 - And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Matthew 6:14-15  14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 18:21-22 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?  22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

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What is your idea of forgiveness?

Some say forgive and forget. Some say they will forgive but never forget. For others, they will only forgive provided the person agrees to something. Some may find themselves forgiving over and over again for the same transgression against them. Many people wait until they or the other person is ill or dying before they really forgive. What type are you? I must admit. I will forgive and forgive, but may not forget. I do not put any conditions on the person I am forgiving, as I feel that once I have forgiven, that is the end of the matter. How do you feel about forgiving and what type of forgiving do you use when you claim you have forgiven? Thomas G. Fiffer in his April 2018 article called 'Understanding the different ways we forgive can help you move past hurt in the healthiest way possible' Fiffer gives us four types of forgiveness: Unconditional forgiveness, Conditional forgiveness, Dismissive forgiveness and Grace. Unconditional forgiveness, the best of all types of forgiveness, has you forgiving the transgressor and holding no grudge or malice towards them, this type of forgiveness aids the reconciliation of the relationship between the two. Unconditional forgiveness leaves you free to get on with your life, much quicker than any other type of forgiveness.

Conditional forgiveness as the title suggests, is forgiveness with strings attached. Fiffer states that 'The problem with conditional forgiveness, particularly in the case of intimate relationships and betrayal, is that it often creates a power imbalance: the hurt party holds all the cards and has the power to continue or terminate the relationship based on the offender’s behaviour.' I knew a woman who had been betrayed by her partner, which caused some physical ailment. This woman loved her partner who she had known for over thirty years, when he decided to move to another country, she vowed she would still do anything for him. Which meant travelling to him and sending what she had when she had it.  The woman lived alone and when asked why she didn't seek another love, she would say that she will never find a love like his. From the outside looking in I would have thought that if she cared for him so much, she would go to her love, and live the life she had envisaged with him. She one day confessed that although he had profusely apologised for what had happened, he needed to be sorry for what he had done. I assumed from what she said, her partner hadn't shown enough repentance for her to be satisfied that he was sorry. Now, some betrayals are hard to get over and although one may forgive, they can not foresee a reconciliation. Other betrayals as with unconditional forgiveness, can be forgiven and let go. This woman preferred to live alone, refusing to allow anyone new into her life and perhaps waiting for the 'love of her life' to beg and grovel for her forgiveness. Image result for forgiveness

Dismissive forgiveness, Fiffer claims is where 'you as the forgiver decide not to waste time, energy, or emotional space on the hurtful event and to put measures in place—boundaries, distance, or both—to ensure it never happens again. It is a kind of cultivated indifference; a decision that the offender no longer has the power to hurt you or the privilege of being a meaningful part of your life [ ] and may constitute the only way forward.' For me, this type of forgiveness is a 'it can't matter' a phrase I coined to mean – 'Right now I can't consider how I feel about what has just happened, and I'll deal with it later' It is as if I put the damage or issue on 'hold' until I am able to deal with it. The issue is not forgotten it is just put to one side and I may at a later date, consider it. Do remember that I stated that I am a inshallah girl (meaning what ever happens is Gods will or if it is Gods will, I will be able to do this or be able to do that...) I didn't get the job I wanted/needed, that's a inshallah moment- God knows best. 'It can't matter' is different, for example, I had been promised that I would be given a pay rise this month, which I was 'banking on' Yes God knows best, but I am left without that expected money which was going to be used to pay a late bill or to make a visit to an ill relative, who lives many miles away from me. I will have to get the money, somewhere else. So, it can't matter, as I've got to find a plan B in a hurry. 'It can't matter' is used when I haven't got the time to ponder on the mishap, misdeed, or let down, but find a plan B or get to work with what needs to be done in-order to move forward.

Here's some examples:

I was sold the wrong piece of equipment to fix my car, which I need, as I must use the car for an important visit or event tonight.....It can't matter.......

I've been let down, when I was really depending on that person, the excuse given trivialises my need for help .... It can't matter........

I am waiting at the bus stop, for the last bus of the night, it drives right pass me and stops between bus stops to pick up what looks like somebody the driver knows.......It can't matter......

An electrician was meant to turn up this morning to fix a power outage in my house, they have been paid the call out fee, It's now time for me to leave for an important meeting and I will not be back till after dark.......It can't matter......

I suppose I put forgiveness on hold, while going through my ..It can't matter phase. For me, forgiveness comes after some thought...No, its not whether I will or will not forgive. I tend to digest what has happened, look for what I need to learn from it and let it go while forgiving the act along the way.

Dismissive forgiveness, Fiffer claims, is the lowest type of forgiveness. This type of forgiveness takes a “whatever” attitude towards the hurt and just moving on with your life in a positive direction. Dismissive forgiveness often involves terminating or dramatically reducing the closeness of a relationship. Dismissive forgiveness is a little like my 'It can't matter' because no effort is spent on considering the transgression, it is done and dusted in one clean swoop....You come to the decision to let it go, you forgive and move on. My thoughts go to how many 'it can't matters' and dismissive forgiveness do you use to mask your true feelings? The bible teaches us in Matthew 18:22 That we are to 'forgive seventy times seven' . Using dismissive forgiveness, one runs the risk of 'allowing transgressions' to go unresolved. It becomes easy to let go and move on, which in turn could become a habit. Many parents use this type of forgiveness, minus the moving away or ending the relationship. A further issue with this type of forgiveness lays in the blurred lines between forgiveness and allowing the ill treatment or bad behaviour to go by with little or no acknowledgement of the offence as it is dismissed. It is important to acknowledge that a 'bad' event or incident has occurred. Some people forgive and forget...Others just forget, the ill-treatment and or bad behaviour, which is not forgiving at all. It is important that when forgiving another, you hold the offender responsible for their actions. This has to be processed and then one works towards forgiveness. Like my 'It can't matter'.....Time has to pass before it is put in the forgiveness box. Time should be spent acknowledging what you have learnt though the ordeal, event or incident, time has to be spent healing, time spent deciding your way forward, which may mean as Fiffer suggests putting in place 'boundaries, distance, or both, to ensure [the incident] never happens again [and perhaps making a decision that ensures] the offender no longer has the power to hurt you or the privilege of being a meaningful part of your life'.

The Ultimate Forgiver – Fiffers' third type of forgiveness is Grace.

Grace he says is not ours to give, but Gods'. As God is the ultimate forgiver Fiffer believes as do I, that it is God who we are accountable to. Grace, he states is not something we ask for but is something we must reach for. Grace is extended to us. If you live your life with the knowledge of treating others the way you would like to be treated, forgiveness would come easy. 

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If you lived your life, trying to put your feet in another persons' shoe or using empathy you would forgive quicker. Realising that we are not perfect and it is by the Grace of God that some of us are not in prison or worse. We wouldn't judge, but forgive unconditionally, letting go of all grudges or allowing ourselves to be free and releasing that person and their bad deed from our thoughts and heart.

I would like to pose another type of forgiveness, that of forgiving yourself. No amount of Gods grace is going to lessen feelings of guilt, shame and loathing of ones' act upon another if you do not forgive yourself. We are not perfect, we are flawsome, fallible and human - Seeing yourself this way will help you to understand that sometimes you do things that can be silly, hurtful and maybe downright wicked. Margie Warrell in her article titled 'The Importance of Self-Forgiveness' tells us to 'get off your own back, practice more self-compassion and stop spending so much of your energy crushing your spirit each time the pettier, prideful and more primitive forces of your nature try to get the better of you'. Once you embrace the fact that you are capable of upsetting, ill treating, or hurting another person, you will not beat yourself up (too much) about your transgressions. Why do we fight with ourselves the way we do? I believe, we hang on to our wrongs because we feel that, to not punish ourselves with worry, replaying the deed over and over will trivialise the transgression. Warrell states that 'choosing to suffer in self-recrimination doesn’t serve anyone. It may never restore what was lost or undo damage done'. Warrell goes on to say that 'while we wallow in guilt we waste time that could be spent learning from the experience and making things right'. Here's how you go about righting your wrong and moving forward.Image result for forgiveness yourself

1) Acknowledge what you have done. This does not mean beating yourself up about what happened, it means acknowledging the hurt, the ill feelings, the pain or damage you have caused. For example understanding that what you said to Jemma was hurtful, consider how you would feel if someone you cared for said the same thing to you. This you do without judging Jemma, there should be no.....'Well she said or did this to me, so she deserved the reaction I gave her'. Acknowledging the pain you caused has to be with no strings attached, you was shitty...own it. Feel the pain. This shouldn't take a month or a week....Feel the pain then move on to the next step.

2) Ask for forgiveness. If you believe in God, a Higher Source or the Universe. Ask for forgiveness. Ask your higher power for forgiveness. Now asking your higher power for forgiveness can be in a letter, in a prayer, in silence or out loud. To the person or persons you hurt, ask for forgiveness(easier said than done) you have to find away to make this possible. Perhaps you could send a letter, make a phone call, ideally you should ask for forgiveness face to face taking someone with you, that will give you the courage to do what you need to do and say. Your intuition will help find the most appropriate way to do this. Make sure you feel as comfortable as you can in the process of asking for forgiveness and remember, you can ask for forgiveness of the person or persons you have hurt in a prayer, remembering to send them love at the end of the prayer.

3) The Past is the Past- Consider what has happened had happened, it is in the past. As it is in the past we have the ability to look back and seek the answers to  'What have I learnt from the whole experience' Step Three is to help you learn from the past. It is where you rethink your actions and ask yourself, 'what could I have done differently?' Step Three is not for wallowing in self pity or trying to re-live the experience, it is here for you to re-think. At this stage many of you who believe that one should forget after forgiving, may need to re-think their take on forgiveness. Every situation one finds themselves in should be taken as an opportunity to learn something. Acknowledging that, what had happened was back then, back then when you was naïve, back then when you was immature, back then when you was reckless, hurting, drunk or just didn't know any better. Dr. Mayo Angelou states 'when you know better, you do better'. This step is about the past, putting the incident in the past and learning what you can from it. No one is saying that you should shut the incident away, what has happened has happened. But you are to realise that the deed is in the past, today is another day, a brand new day, my lessons have been learnt. If the same situation was to occur again you may respond differently - you have owned what has happened and you have completed Step One and Step Two, now it is time to move on.

4) Step Four is Self Care - Looking after me.You have asked for forgiveness for what you have done – Now it is time to forgive you. You used empathy when trying to feel the pain you caused – Now put your arms around you and say 'I forgive me' Try this...Write down five things that you would like to forgive yourself for. Here's mine: I forgive myself for taking on too much work. I forgive myself for pushing my body far too hard. I forgive myself for not taking time out for me. I forgive myself for not asking for help. I forgive myself for not taking help when it was offered. Perhaps your five things could relate to the incident in which you had to request forgiveness. For example.

I forgive myself for saying those horrid things to Jemma

I forgive myself for spreading gossip that hurt Sharon

I forgive myself for …..........................

I forgive myself for …...........................

I forgive myself for …...........................

This exercise is to get you in the habit of forgiving yourself.

Imagine yourself coming to you for forgiveness, would you hug you? Would you tell you, that you are forgiven? Would you say 'Never mind, it's done now, it's gone, we'll move on from that' What would you tell you? My Aunty Daphne would say 'Let bygones be bygones' It is at this stage that you remind yourself again that you are human, remind yourself that we all make mistakes. Remind yourself that you are moving forward with your life, trusting that you will never intentionally do the same thing twice. This is where you let go of your misdemeanour (It's not forgotten) but you stop re-living or replaying the pain caused.

At this stage you stop punishing yourself in the hope of subconsciously paying a penance. Once you have done what you can, to right the wrong, let it go and take care of you. Give yourself permission to let go. Give yourself permission to move on. Give yourself permission to heal. I understand that you have hurt another person, but do you realise that you must have been hurting in-order to hurt another? You now need to heal, to feel better, to be a better person. Again use empathy and consider how you would treat a person you care about, a person who is getting over an illness. You would ensure that they are warm, you would ensure that they are still taking their medication, maybe taking enough fluids, eating right etc.... Do that for yourself. Realise you have just experienced a trauma, you have acted in a way that is in-congruent to being a 'nice person'. Whatever you have done has been a painful experience for you too! believe it or not. You have reached stage 4 in your desire for forgiveness and it is your turn to forgive yourself. At this stage you are emotionally fragile, treat yourself with kid gloves, feed yourself with daily inspiration 

Only after you have forgiven yourself will you be able to move on and become a better you. Should you feel that you don't deserve forgiveness: You will remain living in the past. You will be unable to move forward and achieve all your goals as something will always be pulling you back. You will not be practising Self Care. By not forgiving yourself, you will be hampering your chances of learning from what you did, letting go and moving forward.

In conclusion to this part of the Upper torso which included the neck, stomach and back. This blog asked you if you stand for something and whether you was willing to stick your neck out for what you believed in. Many of us, have families to cater to and unable to march in the streets for what we believe. I propose that you take the time to stand up for something, ensuring that your home is kept clean was suggested. I asked you to spend sometime thinking about yourself, as too many of us have our lives dictated to us by others, and spend no time at all on ourselves. Sick your neck out and make a stand for yourself. I went on to ask you if you 'Bigged up' your chest, and stood tall...I pushed you to stand tall and to be proud of yourself, to be proud of whatever you do, as many are unable to do what you may take for granted. By showing the Universe that you are happy for what you have, I reminded you that that generates more for you to be happy/grateful for. Perhaps you 'mek yuhself small' 'Dim your light' in the hope of not being noticed. Who in your life is making you, like 'baby' sit in the corner, not being heard or seen? Is it time, I asked, that you cared enough about yourself, and took a stand against anything that made you feel less than. You can be forgiven for putting up with maltreatment, until you realise that you are being ill treated. Then it is imperative that you do something about it.

Forgiveness is a good step forward. The blog went on to discuss forgiveness siting  Fiffers' four types of forgiveness, that of Unconditional, Conditional, Dismissive forgiveness and Grace.  Unconditional forgiveness leaves you free to get on with your life much quicker than any other type of forgiveness. Conditional forgiveness as the title suggests, is forgiveness with strings attached. The thing with this type of forgiveness is that the strings are also attached to you. There is no freedom here. You keep yourself attached to the perpetrator. Fiffer stated that a power imbalance is created,  'the hurt party holds all the cards'. I propose that they also hold on to the hurt caused by the transgression, because they refuse to let it go until a definite act of repentance has been preformed. Like the woman I knew, who stunted her growth and stopped herself allowing anyone new into her life or even the thought that anyone else could have the ability to bring love and joy with them.

Dismissive forgiveness allows you to let go and get on with your life, but I feel one runs the risk of dismissing or 'allowing the transgressions' to go unresolved. It would appear that  this type of forgiveness is easy, as you can let go and move on quickly. It was at this point I introduced you to a phrase I coined called 'It can't matter' where I deal with the transgression, the transgressor and forgiveness later, as the misdeed had immediate consequences requiring immediate action so....'It can't matter, right now'. However, there is a real possibility, when using these types of forgiveness, that the lines between forgiveness and allowing the ill treatment or bad behaviour to go by with little or no acknowledgement. I propose that acknowledging the transgression gives the victim time to discover what lesson or lessons are to be learnt through the ordeal, event or incident and time to heal.

Fiffer looked at the Grace of God and I agreed that God is the ultimate forgiver and to whom we are accountable. I suggested that if we treated each other as we would be treated, we would forgive unconditionally, letting go of all grudges allowing ourselves to be free, which in turn would release that person from our thoughts and heart. In an ideal world the above would be true. However we find it difficult to forgive ourselves, let alone others. Forgiving ourselves takes effort, time and letting go is not an easy tasks, but essential for getting past a misdeed and moving forward. I offered four steps to help you do this. 1) Acknowledge the pain   2) Ask for forgiveness  3) The past is the past  4) Self Care - Looking after me.

This part of the Upper Torso concerned itself with the neck and chest. It considered sticking your neck out, shining too brightly which could cause another discomfort, to actually hurting someone, then forgiving. In part two of this blog, we will continue to look at the Upper Torso where we will view some of the things we digest and drop in on Lena, to find out what she turned her back on!

Upper Torso

Part Two

21st April 2019

The last blog concerned itself with the neck and chest. It considered sticking your neck out, shining too brightly which could cause another discomfort, to actually hurting someone, then forgiving. In this blog, we will continue to look at the Upper Torso where we will view some of the things we digest and drop in on Lena, to find out what she turned her back on and shouldered. In my book 'The Exhorted Soul', (The Exhorted Soul (2018) Angela Scott, The Exhorted Soul, Amazon, chapter 12,Soul Care) We looked at the Buddhist Eightfold Path one of which alerts us to Right Mindfulness, it states that one should be mindful of every interaction, which includes your interaction with food, reminding us to be mindful of what we eat. Do you consider what you put in your body as nourishment? Do you consider where the foods you consume comes from? Or do you let your local supermarket do the thinking for you? We are to pay some attention to where our foods come from, consider what it has taken to get that plate of food to our table. I will not turn this blog into a 'don't eat this, or don't eat that' type of speech,or begin to preach about those who do not have enough to eat.

But I will stress that in everything that we put into our body has a bearing on another part of our body. We are aware that if we do not eat a balanced diet we may become over or underweight according to the Body Mass Index (BMI). Does it concern you that you are over or under weight?

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 Are you using food for something other than what it is intended for? mmmmmm is it a crutch, is it a punishment, is it withheld! Can you afford what you need or what you want, when you fancy it?  What is your relationship with food? Stop for one minute and consider how you view food. I am privileged enough to eat when I am hungry, buy what I fancy when I want it. I also have the ability to eat meat when I want to and 'go' vegetarian if I feel like it. I am lactose intolerant so shouldn't have dairy in my diet. I enjoy cooking at Christmas and have stopped mourning that I am not getting enough help in the kitchen. (Its just not worth it) My homes have always had a large dinning table in them where breakfast, lunch and at 5.30 pm dinner was served.

I was brought up with matching crockery and knew what knife, fork and spoon to use and when. I have tried to instil this in my children, some do not know the difference between a coffee and tea cup! others do not know what a side plate is for! This is a brief look at how food is viewed and served in my house. Have you considered how food is viewed in your house, or is it taken for granted? 

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Having a mindful respect for food will have you eating the right foods and taking food for nourishment and making it pleasant time of day. 

Do you realise that it is not only food that we consume? We are constantly taking in the environment we enter. Take walking into a sacred place, we tend to 'feel'  a calm, we feel that this is a safe place, we digest the environment. Imagine being in an environment that is not so pleasant, ones body would begin to react to the environment it is in....The body may begin to sweat, the heart may begin to race, hormones may begin to deploy and go to work, in-order to aid the body to fight or run away. Do you check the environment you expose your body to? And does it matter? I have discussed the effect different environments on the body in my book The Exhorted Soul (The Exhorted Soul, (2018) Angela Scott, The Exhorted Soul, Amazon, Negative/Positive chapter 7, ) Whilst trying to care for yourself, you will consider ever aspect of you, hostile environments cause stress on the body and puts the internal parts of your body under duress. Just because you are 'use' to a hostile environment does not mean you become immune to it. We see that Lenas hostile working environment became the norm after a few weeks, we also saw how Lena dealt with her 'normal' working day and the after effects.  I have known people who are quite happy to have neighbours they claim they 'hate'. I can not imagine living next to someone I disliked so intensely. I think I would at least come to an agreement to disagree without any hostility. I can not imagine, trying to avoid my neighbours' gaze, or not being able to, at least smile as we see each other. We have spoken about hostile work environments in What Do You Do For A Living’ (2016) Angela Scott, What do you do for a living, Amazon Work Place Bullying, Chapter 10) Also see (Spot and Stop the Resident Bully (2017) Angela Scott, Spot and Stop the Resident Bully, Amazon) which gives an in- site into what to do, if you find yourself in such situations. Do you consider the amount of hostile environments you digest everyday? Think about it this week and make provisions to change it. You may be aware that even standing with others who are talking about a subject you are adverse to, is classed as a hostile environment to your body, as your body will react, be aware of all the environments you enter. We know that digesting anything that is 'not good' for us will cause ill-effect, be mindful that includes the environment we find ourselves in.

Back Looking back- How often do you find yourself looking back?, why do you look back?What are you looking for, back there? In my book 'SELF=YOU' (SELF=YOU (2017) Angela Scott, SELF=YOU, Amazon,What are you holding on to, that you should have let go of years ago? chapter 2,) We looked at hoarding clothes on the pretence of ' When I loose weight I'll wear that' I proposed that it is the memory that you are holding on to, not the suit you was wearing when you got your dream job. No one still has that brown outfit they were wearing when they had that almighty augment with their partner, friend or family member.....You won't find that item hoarded away under the ruse of 'I'm gonna wear that when I loose weight'

How often do you catch yourself looking back? There are certain incidents in my life that I wish were further in the past than they are. I find myself wishing I could 'hurry up' and look back retrospectively, as some issues, incidents and situations are still too recent and raw. There is nothing wrong with looking back, it's good to reminisce, some of my cheeriest conversations are the ones in which my children speak of the antics they got up to as children...Some of which I had been oblivious to, until the 'confession'. Looking back at fond memories, can give you a sense of gratitude. Other memories good or bad can leave you feeling grateful that you got through that! Some can leave you feeling determined never to get into that situation again. But there are some memories that can be cause for concern. Now there is nothing wrong with the action of looking back, its the wishing, regretting and guilt that causes the problems. Lena is filled with regret, pain, remorse and embarrassment on a certain day of a certain month, and felt that way for nearly seven years. Does this serve Lena any good? She may feel that she has to drink herself silly in-order to pay homage to the event that took place seven years ago. She may be trying to blot it out! If that was the case, would Lena be preforming her annual ritual of drink and blackout? Lena may not feel that she can deal with the abortion any other way, but we know that self medicating in this way is never a good idea. Are there incidents in your life that has you reaching for something other than a shoulder? Is it time you dealt with that issue in a different way? As clearly, the way you have been dealing with it has not served you. It is very easy to turn to tried and trusted ways when dealing with our own issues, this is where habits become the norm, even if they are not good ones.  Lena uses two, the walk to work, in-order to give her the adrenal to deal with her boss and alcohol to deal with her past. How are you really dealing with things?   We could go on to talk about 'living' (looking/wanting to be back there) in the past, but you realise that the same advice would be given. Memories are good when they do not impede or encroach on the here and now. This leads perfectly into my other sub title: Turning your back on a certain parts of your life. 

As mentioned earlier, Lena use to party hard, she 'sobered up' in her third year of her university studies....In fact getting pregnant had a lot to do with her decision to 'get clean'. After her usual four day 'bender' Lena had woken up feeling sicker than usual and found that she had a need to vomit, not something she would normally do. It was Monday morning and a definite sick day off. Lena gathered her clothes off the floor, stepped over the bodies strewn  along the landing, found a bathroom, got dressed and left the flat where she had undoubtingly spent the night. As Lena walked along the unfamiliar road wondering how she had ended up at the address she had just left, and who lived there. Lena checked her bag hoping her credit card was intact, whilst vowing that that would be the last time she would ever find herself in that position. Rooting in her purse, she finds her card, and can see a taxi rank just ahead of her. Lena sighs, gets in a taxi and back to her university dorm. Its 06.45, Lena showers and after vomiting twice, begins to feel guilty and embarrassed. Lena makes a hot drink and sits down to try and recall her weekend, its all a blur. She then decides to check her diary in-order to see if she had jotted down anything regarding that weekend. Whilst flicking though her diary Lena notices that her period is three weeks late, she was never late. 'OMG' Lena exclaimed. The following week had Lena looking back at her life, the classes she missed, the days that she could not recall, the money she had spent on friends, drinks, and clothes. Lena felt overwhelmed as she began to think of what her parents would say to her, if she left her studies to have a baby. Lena felt utterly alone as she surveyed her 20 year old life. 'i'm a drunk, i'm a loser, i'm pregnant'. Then it dawned on Lena that she alone had to carry this burden, as her 'friends' where really just 'drinking buddies' and wouldn't be interested in knowing that she had gotten herself 'duffed up'. She wondered if she could buy and take the 'Night after pill' and be done with this 'problem'. After taking a pregnancy test which came back positive, she gathering enough courage to call student services, where Lena is advised to attend the drop in centre. There she is told that she has to see a counsellor before she would be scheduled for a 'termination' as the 'Night After Pill' would not be appropriate at this stage in her pregnancy. The whole ordeal is something Lena will never forget and one which made her feel worthless. She had no friend, family member or baby father with her on the morning of the abortion. Leaving the clinic she felt sick to her stomach and called her mother saying that she had had a bout of food poisoning and needed to come home until she felt better. At home Lena was waited on, cared for and loved, just what you need after a life changing event. Lena spent two weeks at home and went back to university with a new zeal for life and her studies, she called home more often, attended every class and even managed to set up an internship at an accountancy firm a few minutes away from her parents' home, with the promise of a full-time job, once she completed her degree. Happy days! Lena worked hard and as we are aware, left university and walked straight into a great job. Lena had turned her back on the wild nights out, she turned her back on her drinking buddies, who missed the free drinks they would get when 'Lena goes out drinking', she turned her back on the life she use to live, never to return to it. Lena turned her drinking around, instead of drinking in the open, where all could see and maybe be a part of, Lena began to drink in solitude, her drinking became more of a dulling medicine to be taken when 'low'. It became Lena's go to place when she had had a bad day at work and of course that special day of the year when she insisted on drinking the pain away on its anniversary. 
As adults we may have found that we turned our backs on certain aspects of our younger lives. On looking back on your life, what should you have left behind, turned your back on? Having problems turning away? In my book SELF=YOU (SELF=YOU (2017) Angela Scott, SELF=YOU,Amazon, chapter 8 'Knowing when to walk away') I remind you that 'anything that causes you dis-ease, dis- harmony to dis-trust or shows you dis-respect should be cause for concern'. Who is dis'ing you? Is it time to walk away or turn your back on certain parts of your life? 

Shoulder Lena shouldered the pain of having a 'termination' all alone. She shouldered her 'come back' all alone, well with a little help from the love, care and home cooked food her parents provided. What are you shouldering that could be delegated or taken off your shoulders? This blog will not turn into a wow me episode, mentioning what 'I did on my own' or how I managed on my own. We all have had to get on with life and shoulder the brunt of the 'work' at some time throughout our lives. I am here to ask you 'what are you shouldering that you should delegate or put down?' Lets start at home....As mentioned above, are you delegating the house work? Family pressures, is there another family member who could help? What about at work? What do you shoulder there? Is it time to speak up? We do, what we need to do, to get by, to get on, to keep the wheel of what we call our life turning. But I propose that we take a step back and consider whether our burdens could be shouldered or shared with others. Life shouldn't be a constant slog, there should be moments of serenity, peace and relaxation and this should not be delegated to 'holiday time' only. 

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I often found myself shouldering situations alone. Reasons: 1) - I feel I can do it on my own 2) - I feel I have no one else to turn to  3) - I am told that I proud (true) I will not ask for help and 4) I refuse the help that is offered, because I feel I can do it on my own! vicious circle. Why do you find yourself shouldering situations alone? If like me, you think you are superwoman, think again. I am here to remind you again that we are not meant to live a life of struggle, we are to lose the pride and ask for help. I remember having a conversation with my son after I had lost yet another home due to non payment of the mortgage. (See What Do You Do For A Living’ (2016) Angela Scott, What do you do for a living, Amazon ) He said 'Mum, I could have helped, I have been travelling around the world, I didn't have to travel as much as I did. I could have given you some money' Maybe I felt I could do it on my own (clearly not...I was evicted) I felt that there was no one I could turn to. At the time I actually had a husband....who I later learnt, had better things to do with his money, other than bring it home! Why did I not ask for help? Maybe I felt that I should have  been able to handle this situation on my own, perhaps I felt too embarrassed to ask my son for money, for two reasons 1) I had a husband who should have been there to help and 2) I should be giving my son money for a mortgage, it shouldn't be the other way around. In that situation I had done everything that I could, to save my home. I had tried to get a loan (more debt) I was summonsed to court. I attended, and pleaded my case, promising all sorts of stuff (to no avail, I still got evicted) I worked more hours, often 18 hours a day (not enough, clearly). When all is said and done, I could have asked my son or any of the other people I knew for help (perhaps). Even while I write this, I still can't see myself asking my son for the help I needed at the time. I would have no way of knowing how much my son could afford to lend or give me. Well I would have known if I had asked! Is that my vicious circle again? This is how we, sometimes talk ourselves out of getting the help we need. We assume the other person would be offended or embarrassed if they can not help. Perhaps we feel that they will view us differently, that our relationship would change, if we ask for help. Help is just that, HELP, its not doing the task for you it's helping! Find ways this week to ask for help, this can be in your home or at work, and consider why you have not requested help in the past. Is it pride, like me?  Get someone to help you shoulder the work, the activity, the care, the issue or situation. Shoulders should be pinned back, which allows the neck to elongate, enabling you to 'walk tall'. Are your shoulders pinned back, do you walk tall through your life, or are you hunched over, trying to get through each day because you didn't ask? 

This Blog has looked at what you digest reminding you to be mindful that it is not only food that is digested but the environment too. Throughout our life, wewill learn that looking back or remembering aids our growth. From the time we realise that crying gets us what we want or need, to throwing tantrums and finding out that it works or does not!  We are all aware of the benefits of looking back, one of which should be to learn from our past. Issues arise when we try to re-live the past in the guise of 'I'll keep that until I lose weight'. I suggested that it is the memory of wearing the outfit that one should hold on to, not the actual item. To go back there will not serve any purpose. There will always be certain aspects of our lives that we leave behind, again, it is a way of moving forward and growing. We stopped in on Lena and found that she had a very poignant tale to tell about her past, showing us just how she shouldered that part of her life. Lena has not, however dealt with that part of her life, as she reminisce every year with a drunken ritual. Lena would be advised to ask for help in finding a more conductive way of dealing with her past. We are all guilty of not asking or accepting the help we need. I mention my own struggle with this issue, and can confirm that I am still learning to ask for help when in need. I am mindful of my intake which includes my environment, ensuring that when I look back, its to help my growth and realise that others are often willing to help.

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21st May 2019

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I'm tired, I'm weak, I'm lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home- Jim Reeves

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What is the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Hands? I think of children showing me that their hands are clean. What about you? In regards to this blog I find myself repeating the thoughts given in Chapter 12 'Soul Care' of my book 'The Exhorted Soul' (2018) Angela Scott, Amazon. In which I talk about ensuring that whatever you are doing, you are mindful of keeping your Soul Happy. Strange concept I know, but if we consider all our actions we will feel comfortable more often, there would be less guilt to deal with, less need to say sorry, less need for forgiving or to be forgiven. In considering your hands, what type of work do you do? No need to get into that conversation as ('What Do You Do For A Living' (2016) Angela Scott, Amazon) covered that subject. But consider this, is the type of work you do, pleasing to your Soul? Or is there something telling you that you really shouldn’t be in that line of work?….Perhaps there is a pull from within you that says you should be vegan, yet you work in a abattoir!' The Exhorted Soul (2018) Angela Scott, The Exhorted Soul, Amazon, chapter 12,Soul Care. What are you being pulled to do?  Mindful living as mentioned above, ensures that we do what we should be doing with our lives, whilst helping others along the way.

Hands, how important are they?

Without your fingers or hands, your ability to work would be greatly reduced. Human hands are unique. No other creature in the world has hands that can grasp, hold, move, and manipulate objects like human hands. The major function of a human hand is to manipulate object to accomplish a goal. The ability of a human hand to assure a myriad of position and to apply only the precise amount of pressure necessary to hold an object is owned to the mobility and stability supplied by the skeleton, to the power of the muscle, and to the degree of sensory feedback from the nerves. The sensory feedback is used to asses the shape, size, texture and weight of the object. The feedback used in both grasping and lifting of an object is dependent on the brain interpreting correctly, what is seen and the hand responding appropriately.

Different cultures use hands symbolically.

The hand is the most frequently symbolized part of the human body. It gives blessing, it is expressive. ... However, it can just as easily mean generosity, hospitality and stability; "lend a hand". It is used in gestures of greeting and friendship (shake hands).Cupped hands can symbolize delicacy or hold a fragile idea.

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They may also be used for giving. Gripping can show possessiveness, ownership and desire (the tighter the fist, the stronger the feeling). Hands may also hold the self, such as when people hold their own hands, typically for comfort.

Left and Right Hand and Symbolism.

Bible News write about the symbolic meaning of human hands ' God made the hands and placed His stamp of approval upon them. He gave each hand a unique identity. No two sets of fingerprints are the same'.

In the Bible, to be at the right side"is to be identified as being in the special place of honour".

Psalm 89:13 You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted.

Psalm 16:8 I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 63:8 My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 139:10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

Hans Biedermann writes in Dictionary of Symbolism that "tracings of the hand in Ice Age cave temples (along with other evidence) suggest that humans have always been predominately right-handed. It is probably for this reason that the right hand side has been treated predominately as better and luckier than the left" (pg.  283). The right arm holds the sword and is aggressive while the left hand holds the warrior’s shield and represents passivity.

The left is also "The non-aggressive hand associated with decay, death, weakness. In the East, to except anything with the left hand is an affront, as it is considered vile" (Jobes, pg. 71).

The left hand is also associated with deviousness. In Tibetan tradition, the hand is symbolic of the holiness of an incarnate lama; the left hand grasping the right at the center of the waist in ancient Sumer was a posture of prayer. Pointing downward, the hand denotes the calling on the earth to witness (Jobes, pg. 721).

The right hand represents Deity. The aggressive hand, hand of growth and strength. Right hand laid on a person conveys authority, blessings, power, strength. Right hand lifted to heaven, and oath, swearing" (Jobes).

In the Cabala, both hands have positive meanings. The right hand symbolizes the hand of blessing and mercy while the left hand is the hand of the king and represents justice.

The right hand is also associated with rectitude. In Africa, circumcised boys point their right hand to heaven, left hand touching the earth, to call upon the earth to witness their status of adulthood and for membership into the tribe, called the heaven and earth or witness sign.

In China, the right hand is yang and strong and in time of war the hand of honour, which holds the sword; the left hand is yin and honour. Posted by Carla Huffman, in Hand Symbolism | Permalink

As we have free will, we are able and capable of doing good or harm....Hands helps us do just that, hands can be used to harm, hinder show love or care.  Are you aware of just how often you have had a hand in the many situations you have encountered! WOW I know, how is that possible? I would like to add a disclaimer here. Any ill treatment by an adult to a child, someone who is disable or vulnerable are not included in my statement above. Now back to our involvement in the many situations we find ourselves in.

Money - My main issues stem from debt..What's yours?...As mentioned in 'What Do You Do For A Living’ (2016) Angela Scott, Amazon I had been evicted from houses I had brought, apartments that I had rented, dealing with the fact that my credit rating stated with a Z (zero). Using my vast knowledge of the 'what to do when the bailiff comes' Had my hand playing a great part..... I can confirm that my debt issues were caused by leaving jobs and believing three things 1) that I will either find 'something' before the mortgage, rent or other bills where due. 2)  I would be able to survive on my savings, or 3) I would earn enough from yet another business venture I had started. This is what actually happened 1) I would not start looking for a job replacement until my business venture was about to fail and 2) The savings ran out. I would then spend most of my time negotiating debt repayments, attending court, learning to joggle the money I did have, and sometime dealing with bailiffs.

People - What is your main issue...Is it health, could it be, like me debt, or perhaps its 'People' yes People. Do you find that you can't keep friends? or find that you 'get into arguments' often? Maybe you find that members of the public piss you off, whilst out shopping or driving? Is that you? Perhaps the people that 'get on your nerves' are your work colleagues or your friends and family members.

Life - most of us just get on with it. What is your issue with it? Do you find yourself saying 'nothing ever goes right for me' or perhaps 'everything I try  goes belly for me' I heard someone say 'Every-time I go out to enjoy myself, something always goes wrong'. What do you find yourself saying often?...I can promise you, that if it starts with  'I never get.......' you will never get. If it is some other negative attribute to what you want, what you are doing or what you are hoping for, it will be a negative outcome.Related imageOk, so we have looked at a few, I would say the main issues, people complain about is Money, People and Life. In fact these are not just titles people complain about, they actually blame these titles. You've heard it or said it yourself. ' If I had his or her money I would...' 'If I had more money, I wouldn't ........this or that'. Essentially the lack of money is to be blamed for your life being the way it is! Agree? No one complains that they have too much money, well no one in my circle. I have given you the reasons I had debt.....and shown you how I had a hand in creating my debt and everything that went along with being in debt...The evictions, the court cases, the bailiffs, the zero credit score and the constant negotiating (promising to pay).  Now we are not about to exclaim the 'If I had this or if I did that, I wouldn't have had to experience the debt, the breakup or the life I have been dealt'. We are going to look at how your hand mixed that pot of debt or lack of money, the issues with the people around you and the life you lead.

Money - Why do you not have enough? I don't earn enough. Why don't you earn enough? Because the job doesn't pay enough, Why are you in that Job? It was the only one I could get and I needed money to pay the bills. Why have you not sought another job, that would pay more? The questions could go on and on.....with excuse after excuse. You may be saying that it is easy for me to sit here and declare that people just make excuses, when I don't know their situation.....Well hear this....I had six children a mortgage and trying to study. I had no partner to help most of the time, but still managed to get a job, feed and clothe my children....I am not saying that the way I went about it was the best way (read above) but I certainty tried or as the Aesop’s fable encourages, put my shoulder to the wheel. This fable gave us the saying "God helps those who help themselves.” (See below) The bible also encourages you to try. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (KJV) - Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. What of the people who are unable to work, those who are in ill-health, the vulnerable and disabled........I am fortunate to live in a first world country that will care for those who are less fortunate than others. This care and help may not be as much as one would like or expect, but it is help non-the-less.

The need for more, should be voiced with thanks giving of what we already have. The law of attraction (See The Exhorted Soul (2018) Angela Scott, Amazon, chapter 1,2,3 Law of Attraction) encourages us to ask, believe and receive. In having no or not enough money, you have had a hand in that situation....In having enough or more than enough money you have a hand in that too. Surely, this blog does not need to go down the road of telling you what to do with the money you do get it. But for those who may need this advice, have you considered what you buy each week or each month when you receive your wage or allowance? Some people will buy the same food items every month without checking if the food items had been eaten or whether it sat in the fridge or cupboard and went 'off'. In my book SELF=YOU (2017) Angela Scott,Amazon,chapter 2) I talk about buying tomatoes and coleslaw that end up getting thrown away because I don't use them, but buy them on every shopping trip. We could go on to talk about all the other areas of your life where you could 'save' money or spend 'less', but i'm sure you are getting the picture.......You have to have a hand in your situation, in-order to change it....You have had a hand in not having enough. What do you find yourself saying about money? Remember, if its 'I don't have enough' you will always not have enough, If you feel that you will never get out of debt, then that is what will happen. You will never get out of debt. Putting your shoulder to the wheel of your financial situation is the first step to changing the amount of money you have coming into your life. This blog aims to guide you in the right direction, however if you need further help please get in touch 

Aesop’s fable

Aesop was a Greek writer who lived from 620 to 564 BC. It is said that a he wrote. A man’s wagon got stuck in a muddy road, and he prayed for Hercules to help. Hercules appeared and said, “Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel.” The moral given was “The gods help them that help themselves.

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Blame or excuses feature greatly in the lives of many people who believe that their lives should be different or better. You never hear anyone saying 'its his or her fault'  that they are rich and live the life of their dreams. Often when we find ourselves confronted with a situation involving another person, we tend to lean on the side of 'Its them not me' I will suggest that you look a little closer. Lets say you have a partner whom you have now fallen out of love. Have you started to notice all their faults? Time to be honest now!......Where any of these faults visible when you first met him or her? Have you ever seen any of these faults displayed or directed at another person? What was said or done when these faults were displayed? In answering those questions you may see where you had a hand in your partners continued disliked behaviour, until it reached a stage that became alarming or unbearable. 

You had a hand in making it grow, you can have a hand in changing it! In order to change that behaviour you will have a change you. I have spoken about how to change unwanted situations in 'knowing when to walk away' (See SELF=YOU (2017) Angela Scott, Amazon,chapter 8) in which you are advised that anything that causes you dis-ease, dis- harmony to dis-trust or shows you dis-respect should be cause for concern. I also let you know whether your friends and family members fit in the A B or C camp and what that entails in 'Who is holding you back'.(See What Do You Do For A Living’ (2016) Angela Scott, What do you do for a living, Amazon chapter 7)  However should you need further guidance please contact me

How do you get on with most of the people in your life? Do you find that you do get on with most, and there are just a few people that you prefer ' not to take tea with'? If that is the case, most of us fit into that category. However there are some of us that seem to have issues with most of the people we interact with....You know the type. This person will always always have some drama to update you on....They will tell you about the person who pissed them off as they was waiting in line at the supermarket, they will tell you about how they had an awful journey, either by public transport or by car, because 'someone' got in their way or didn't get out their way in time. They will give you daily episodes about 'the people at work' .....You get the picture? It can be said that that person in your life, is not a 'people person' as they always have some issue with the 'people' around them, and lets not forget to add the fact that it is always yes always the 'other persons' fault. Do you realise that he/she had a hand in whatever issue they found themselves in involving another person? 'How could they have caused all the issues they bring to me'? I hear you ask....Well here goes.....First, that person will always have some drama to talk about, because they always talk about the drama they find themselves in. Make sense? Let me break it down for you. What you talk about, you bring about....Get it now? The more that person talks about their issues, the more issues they will encounter to talk about. (Its the law). Secondly, That person will be looking for the next episode in their drama filled life to unfold (so they can talk about it). Why would someone do that? Well, Lets put ourselves in that persons shoe....(only for a second). Consider leaving your house and going to the supermarket, you enter a line where there are six people in-front of you and three other people enter the line behind you. Another till opens up and before you know what has happened the last person in your line moves over and gets served, you watch as the two other people behind you move to that till and are being served.  What do you do, what do you say and how do you feel? Can you see how drama can develop? No! OK what would that drama filled person you have in your life say and do? What do they do and say when someone cuts them up at the lights.....What do they say and do when their manager asks a co-worker to attend a conference in a different country instead of asking them? Think of some of the conversations they have brought to you regarding their family members, now consider how they could have had a hand in the issue they have discussed with you. I could go on, but i'm sure you are you getting an idea of the type of world that person lives in?

Now consider how a spiritually conscious person would have dealt with each situation above? A spiritually conscious person (or someone who understands the Law of Attraction) would realise that if they was to be served before the people behind them, they would have been. A spiritual conscious person may consider that the person who 'cut them up' at the lights, may have had to get somewhere fast. As for being passed over from going to that works conference, the spiritual conscious person would understand that they really don't need to leave the country right now. They understand that everything, yes everything happens for a reason, you will find that they do not mourn or groan over the little things. When speaking about others, they will speak about them lovingly and are careful not to commit Karma. Now, I am spiritual, but I am also human, so I do get pissed off with certain issues I may have, however I would react after much thought, when instant action is required it comes after a quick conscious thought. Can you now see how less drama is discussed by the spiritually conscious person, compared to that drama filled person in your life? A spiritually conscious person understand that most situations occur in their lives for a reason and that they had played a part or had a hand in manifesting them in their lives.

So who's fault is it that your life is not what you expected, wanted or wished for? Your life is how you moulded it to be, you used your hands and thoughts to create it. Hard to rasp! but the truth. As mentioned above, I have had debt to contend with...That of course was my fault. We are the orchestrator of our lives, we attract or encourage the behaviours of the people in our lives and then proclaim that life is s***. They say that life is what you make it. I read an un-named quote that stated 'Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts. And I say, the meaning of life is what you make it. There will be as many different meaningful lives as there are people to live them' 

I have watched someone very close to me carve out her life. She is a primary school teacher. As a child she proclaimed that she did not want to be overweight! Strange I know but true.....As an adult she remained an English size 8 -10. She loved school although her home life was not always happy, having to endure the constant house moves, knowing that her brother had been held up and robbed several times, another sibling faced a near death experience twice, remaining in comma for several weeks, the death of her eldest brother, and grand mother. Plus the devastating abuse of her sister. This person did not do as well as she would have hoped, whilst at college and had to re-submit many projects and resit tests. She was determined to go to University as she wanted to become a teacher and did what it took to get there. At University she struggled with being away from home, fought off the unwanted advances, got part time jobs and finished her studies leaving with a respectable grade. Life, she had decided was going to be what she made it although she had to jump over many many hurdles. Notice she did not succumb to all that was going on around her, but fought through the pain, upheaval and anguish to reach her goal.Image result for wheelchair tennis

There are many stories out there about people with disabilities who have become great sports ambassadors, even competing at the Olympics for their country. Surely they had decided that the life society had planned for them, was not going to be the one they lived.....

What's your life like? Nobody said that life was going to be easy, but we are often given choices, choices to do this or do that, choices to stay or go. To buy that item when we know we have a bill coming in next week, to enter that relationship when we know that that person has faults we loathe, perhaps believing at the time, that we would be able to change them! A choice to take that job, knowing that we really will not enjoy being there. This job could have been taken because it was the first employer who had responded to you, after a month or two job searching. Perhaps if we had waited something else would have been offered. So there you stay for two/three years, being told what time to get in in the morning, when to eat lunch, when to leave and when a day off can be taken. Then mourn that life is not the way we would like it.......That is how life can carry you away. Instead of making the choices that would best serve us. We have a hand in most of the situations we find ourselves in. When we can admit that we allowed debt to accumulate, those people in our lives that brought their luggage and we helped them to carry it in. Only then will we be-able to wash our hands of those situations and do something about it. This blog showed you the importance of hands, from how unique we are as human beings to the symbols we attach to the right and left hand. We looked at the main issues we complain about, that of Money, People and Life using them as scapegoats for not having the life we would like. Make that change today, decide, make a move and get advice. I am always here to help

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21st June 2019

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? Isaiah 53:1 KJV

The arms are the upper limbs of the body. They’re some of the most complex and frequently used body parts -Source

The arm can be divided into the upper arm, which extends from the shoulder to the elbow, the forearm which extends from the elbow to the hand.

Arms are always doing something in the bible:

Hosea 11:3 -Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in My arms; But they did not know that I healed them. 

Samuel 22:35-35 He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms

Proverbs 31:17 - She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong.

Genesis 49:24 - But his bow remained firm, And his arms were agile, From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob

Ezekiel 30:24-25 -'For I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put My sword in his hand; and I will break the arms of Pharaoh, so that he will groan before him with the groanings of a wounded man. 'Thus I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh will fall. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I put My sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt.

Psalm 89:10-- You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.

Mark 10:16 - And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

When I think of arms I think of 'carrying', that is carrying a baby, carrying a load, an armful of shopping. What are your first thoughts of arms? Do you realise that with an armful of stuff you are unable to do much else, other than carry what you have in your arms? which could lead to harmful decisions being made, unless you first put something down!

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This blog will look at what we hold, carry and refuse to put down. Measures will be discussed to change this habit. We will also find out what Lena carries around with her, and what she did to unload.Related image

A client told me that she had carried the burden of her parents' expectations around until her adult life, when she decided that she was going to be herself and not live up to anyone's expectations. I put it to her, that had she taken her parents' expectations as BEST WISHES she would not have had to carry what she called a burden, into adult life. My observations were not taken happily. I can understand her frustrations, imagine spending twenty or thirty years of your life trying to live a life that would appear fitting or pleasing to someone else? Only to be told that it was YOU who decided to carry that burden, no one had actually given it to you!

We tend to pick up or take statements from others and carry them around as burdens or an offense. You know the type of thing, a causal comment is made about weight, you run, pick it up and start to wear that hat. How long you carry that comment around with you is up to you. I use to make the statement 'I take offense to that' until I realised that I was actually taking something that did not serve me. Why do we do that?  Statements are just that, they become a burden when you take them and apply power. Don't take my statement lightly! Once power is applied, as mentioned earlier, it could have you carrying it as a burden for years.  You hear the stories from famous people, who tell us that they had a teacher that labelled them negatively, and they wore that label until one day they realised, that it was just that teachers' opinion of them and made the choice to wear that hat no longer. There are other stories in which we are told, that as a child they were encouraged and told that they could be anything they wanted to be. Both lead full lives, becoming the best they felt they could be. There are of course, other stories in which, having being told that they will amount to nothing, live their lives with that in the back of their minds, they go on to take menial jobs, (because they shouldn't expect much) they have failed relationships (because they feel themselves to be worthless) and like Eeyore (a friend of Winnie the poo) Their outlook on life is dull. Image result for eeyore and poohEvery now and then, we have those thoughts that make us feel, less than. You know the ones, they have you remembering when you acted like a damsel in distress and unable to do anything right. Or when you just couldn't connect with your teenager as a father. Perhaps the memory is of being at a gathering and you just couldn't string a sentence together. Been there, done that.  However, I remember sitting in one of my MSc (Master of Science) classes whilst studying Counselling Psychology a discussion ensude, one of my class mates spoke about feeling 'dumb'. The lecturer quickly used CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) reminding her that she was a Psychologist and asking her if a Psychologist could be classed as dumb, she said 'No' he went on to alert her to the fact that she sat among her peers in a Master of Science lecture, which she had had to pass certain tests and interviews in-order to enter the course. He then asked her if she still felt dumb...She smiled and said 'No'. When feeling less than, we should take a second to observe how we feel about ourselves and then engage in some positive self talk, perhaps like the conversation that took place in my lecture. What has been said to or about us should also be observed and a decision made as to whether it serves us. Hurt feelings often come from the thought that that person felt a certain way about us and perhaps, not the words used to describe the feelings uttered. What do you carry around that should have been put down, discarded or dismissed as 'Well, that's their opinion'? I suppose it depends on who is being opinionated! mmmm again take time to observe how you feel, is your feelings centred around how that person views you, or is it around the words that were said? Arms carry, are your arms full, part full or empty of other peoples opinions? Do their opinion run your life? Lena felt that her parents would be disappointed in her if she left University to have a baby, so decided on a termination. What lengths do you go to, to ensure that someone does not think badly of you? Lena drinks her feelings away after a bad day at work, instead of speaking to her Boss or the HR department....Feelings of rocking the boat comes to mind. Again, she spent time worrying about how she will be viewed, if she voiced her opinion on the way she had been treated. Lena is a 26 year old well educated woman, why doesn't she leave? Again, what would her parents think or say if she did?Are you shouting at Lena now........You and I know what Lena should do but chooses not to........Are there issues in your life that you know you should change, but you feel stuck?....Contact me - We know that Lena carried the trauma of getting pregnant and having a termination, we know that she carries the stress of working in a toxic environment. Those are Lena's issues. Lena does not have financial issues as she lives far below her means. Lena does not have relationship issues, as she doesn't feel ready to enter into that type of partnership. In truth, Lena is in a deep toxic relationship with alcohol and her job. Both are no good for her!

One night, after a very bad work day Lena, heading for yet another bottle to be consumed alone, looked at the date on her phone and noticed that that anniversary was about to arrive in a few days. She knew that although she felt terrible right now, having drunk a bottle and half of wine, she would inevitably feel worst on that day.

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Lena sat in the dark sipping and contemplating her fate if she carried on this way. Lena knew her life would spiral into what she called 'not worth living'. Lena thought of her parents and what they would think of her being a 'drunk'. She felt that her employers didn't care about her well-being, as all they wanted from her, was to turn up on time and do the job of seven people, every day. Lena tried to find one person in her life that she could call a friend, finding no-one she wondered why.

She was lonely, sitting in the dark, about to finish her third bottle of wine. I can not tell you that Lena had a Ha Ha moment, became enlightened or just came to her senses, but she got up, throw the wine in her glass in the sink, turned the tap on and emptied the contents of the fourth opened bottle in the sink too. She turned on all the lights in her flat. Made her bed, picked up her dirty clothes and put them in the basket. Lena seemed to be a woman on a mission. She washed dishes, clothes and then showered. Lena stood in the middle of her now clean flat, with her hands on her hips looking around her, saying 'its time for a change'. We saw this type of determination once before, when Lena 'sobered up' in her second year of her studies. It will be interesting to see what she does next. We do get those bursts of energy, to change our lives, but often hit the first hurdle and revert back to what appears comfortable. You may find that dealing with a armful of stuff becomes comfortable, as when we manage to rid ourselves of them, we find others to pick up!

As you are aware I often have all these bright ideas to start a business, I will often be out of work and for all intensive purposes, would believe that my venture would work. (Maybe they would if they were given enough time to mature) I feverishly set about aiming for the moon only to find that my savings had ran out and the letter drawer had become full of unopened letters (bills). I think it is when my creditors begin to call, that I mentally abandon my empty arms and pick up the negotiating and the looking for any care job that will pay the bills. I now know that if I had stood my ground and continued to follow my passion I would not end up in the vicious circle of arm empty/full. I hadn't realised that when I was following my passion, although the bills still needed to be paid, my load was lighter, I hadn't realised that one can do so much more when they love what they do. So I could have, perhaps, gotten a part time job to cover immediate bills and needs, while following my passion. As I said, I don't do things by halves. I would get a full time job plus do as much overtime as I could in-order to pay bills and then mourn that I wasn't following my passion. What did your last burst of energy involve? Did you spring clean the house? Did you throw out unwanted clothes and de-clutter your home......Did you decide that you would stop a habit? Perhaps you decided that you would take that holiday abroad. Maybe you made bigger decisions and set about selling up and moving away? Whatever got you to get up and make a change, my advice is, stay with it...You will meet hurdles, but stick with the decision. As mentioned above, my hurdles would often be the rent, the mortgage, the food bill or debt. The hurdles would frighten me into taking any job available in-order to earn money......What are your hurdles telling or making you do? It is imperative that we silence ourselves at times of stress or hurdles and let our intuition guide us to the best course of action to take. In the case of Lena, what could her hurdles be? She goes into work after her burst of energy, enlightenment or a bout of common sense and is confronted by a shouting colleague who enjoys an audience, she is also given more work than she had ever been given to complete. Lena goes home that night and drinks herself to sleep....She may revert back to her old self. That particular date may arrive, bringing with it feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness, Lena would need to find a way to ease that pain.....Her pain relief, we know is found at the bottom of a bottle. But as Lena appears to be on a mission to change her life, she called work and told her intimidate boss that she has a family issue that needed urgent assistance and that she will not be able to attend work for a least a week. Lena did not wait to be talked round, she also alerted her to the fact that she had sent an email explaining her need to take some time off and that it would also arrive via post. She ended the call and set about trying to find a 12 step program in her area.

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It would appear that Lena did this in one quick swoop, she didn't stop to think....Lets re-trace her steps. After she had cleaned the flat and showered. Lena sat and wondered why she hadn't done this before. She then considered what it would be like speaking to her boss. All the the different scenarios ran through her mind. She wondered what her boss would say and whether she would be shouted at. At 05.15 that morning, Lena (had a mini burst of energy) and decided 'F*** this, i'm gonna call this woman, not give her a chance to speak, send an email and put it in writing then post it'  What do you do when you decide to make changes? We often start off with a burst of energy (At this point you get a lot done, in Lena's case, she cleaned) Then what do you do? Lena contemplated for about five hours before deciding what she would say and how she would feel speaking to her boss. It is often after the burst of energy that people self-talk themselves out of what they had decided to do. (Lena had five hours in order to do this) Perhaps, after your energy burst, you go to sleep. After a good nights sleep, you may believe that you are able to see things clearer! Often we wake with the notion that last nights' brain wave was a fantasy (negative self-talk) and you will have all the reasons why your change of heart to change your life will not work. It is here that you should do something that will ensure that, there is no turning back.....(Lena sent the email at 05.30 telling her boss that she will not be attending work for at least a week) Your no turning back could be as simple as telling someone (who will encourage you) what you have planned to do. Your task now is to keep moving in that direction. (Lena made her call and then set about finding a 12 step program in her area). In fact Lena did not return to her place of work, she remains on her 12 step program. Lena has decided that she will take full control of her life, she found that some of her feelings were a struggle, but also understood that she would have to get over those hurdles one day at a time. Thank Goodness for Lens's burst of energy and clarity, as the alternative could have been dire. We will drop in on Lena later, but for now let us consider our own lives and think back on the times we had decided to make a big change. Now, it is important to think about the urge to make that change whether they became a reality or not....Lets consider them for a moment............. What did you think of?  My thoughts went to how difficult it would be to make that change today........Not impossible but difficult. Perhaps you thought of a change that you did make, and it worked out wonderfully or did not......The point is, at least you tried. Is there something in your life that needs changing, but you feel would be an armful of worry, stress and strain if you pursued it? Big changes can be seen as an armful, but as you continue to pursue it, your load will become lighter and lighter. In this blog we spoke about taking situations or the spoken word, making them into a load or burden (armful) and causing ourselves stress, we also have bouts of feeling less than as we take on what we believe, others feel about us. We were encouraged to change our thought patterns and re-valuate what has been said, to consider who we really are, whilst deciding why we feel hurt. You was asked, to what lengths you go to ensure that someone does not think badly of you? We went on to talk about those bursts of energy we get every now and then, in which we decide that we will change our world, (which may be our home, job or the wall colour in the living room) We then spend a few hours with the notion of change and begin to talk ourselves out of making that change, as we often feel that they will bring an armful of issues with may have to deal with...My advice was to keep moving in the right direction. As further bursts of direction will be sent to you, in-order to aid you on your path. Following your right path will inevitably lighten your load, even if you don't think so at the time.



21st July 2019

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Lena's life gives us a chance to look at our life in a safe environment. Use this blog to investigate how you feel about the responsibility you give others, things and situations.

Lena decided to take stock of her life. To re-cap lets remind ourselves of Lena’s life up to this point. Lena was born to what the medical profession would class as older parents. Lena's father was 42 years old and her mother 40 years old. Lena’s father, an easy going man, worked in banking most of his working life and well established when Lena came along. Her Mother, a teacher who loved her job, she loved being around children. She was overjoyed when she found that she was having a girl, as she would experience, all the joys of having a daughter…Lena’s mother looked forward to the dressing her in pretty dresses, the hair do’s, the trips to buy these items, taking her daughter to ballet, tap and dance lessons plus all the other groups she may have an interest in. 

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Lena’s mother would spend hours flicking through baby magazines and by the time Lena arrived she had a bedroom filled with clothes, toys and just about anything one would need for a baby up unto the age of three years old. Lena has two brothers who were aged 12 and 15 years when she arrived in their world, both took on a caring protective role. Suffice to say Lena entered a financially, stable, loving family. Lenas’ brothers both went on to university and graduated with great grades, both went into their chosen professions. To date they are both married and confirm that they are living life to the fullest, with holidays every six months, their own properties and no plans to have children until they have crossed off everything on their bucket list! Much to the dismay of their mother who thought that she would have had grandchildren by now. With a stable home life, Lena felt loved, cared for and free to explore the world around her.

Lena enjoyed school, and was called ‘a gifted student’. As Lena grew, she attended all the groups in the area and any that her parents could drive her to. Lena had a full life. As a Responsible teenager Lena was often trusted to get herself to and from the groups her parents had enrolled her in. Lena soon learned that if she produced a letter stating ‘Due to unforeseen circumstances’ Lena will no longer be attending (this group). Lena was then free to pocket the weekly or monthly fees! It surprises Lena that her parents, as attentive as they were, had no idea that she was not attending several groups. Lena became quiet the independent teenager as her parents had full time jobs and her brothers had left home and otherwise occupied.

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As she took control of her life, Lena found friends who may have been less liked by her parents, had they known them. They enjoyed drinking and ‘having a good time’ Lena met Alcohol and kept it close when her parents, brothers or friends were not physically available. (See Blog ‘Where does Your Feet Take You’?) We are aware that,  it is only when Lena has important life changes to manage, she straightens up. When Lena embarked on her ‘A’ levels and told that she had a really good chance of being accepted in a sought after university, she left the sanctity of her friends and concentrated on her studies, as we know, Lena went on to college and University (See Blog ‘Where does Your Feet Take You’?) In Blog ‘Upper Torso’ we see Lena taking life into her hands and making decisions that she felt would keep her parents feeling proud of her. She then embarked on a job that would pay more, offer more prestige and a ton of stress, needless to say Lena turned to her old friend Alcohol to keep her company, Alcohol was always there to signal the passing of a particular date in the calendar which, in different circumstances would herald her child advancing a year older. In the Blog ‘Arms’ we  meet up with Lena as she is on a mission to change her life, and like a run away train, nothing was about to stand in her way.....We could sit here and consider all the hurdles that Lena may face in her quest to change her life and show you how she overcame them, but I will use this opportunity to help ourselves.

Consider for a moment that you decided to leave your job (you do have six months’ rent or mortgage payments, food and bills money saved up). You could sit there for the first week coming up for air, re-centering yourself, or just doing you!....I like to call it re-surfacing. It is very much like coming up for air. This first week you shake off the work You, the You, that had to be up at a certain time, be at work at a certain time and wear that work face for a minimum of 7.5 hours. Then there is the actual work, that you had to do for those 7.5 hours which believe me, your body will thank you for no longer doing, regardless if you are sitting at a computer desk or standing on a production line. The work would have left its mark. Coming up for air is as the statement suggests....You really feel that a load has been lifted off your shoulders..I think it is that feeling I craved every-time I left my jobs! This feeling does not last long....It is that feeling I believe we all crave....That feeling of freedom from obligations that comes with responsibility. You know the feeling! Its the same feeling you get when you have arrived at your holiday destination, get to the hotel and flop on the bed......Freedom.Image result for test hotel bed

Can we consider these feelings for a second....... Perhaps we all thrive for these feelings, perhaps we all wish our retirement will consist of these feelings....Feelings of contentment. How often do you feel contented? Be honest? Can you recall a time when you felt contented? I must admit I can recall that I have rarely felt total contentment. I put it down to being a single mother and having to have my wits about me at all times. Right, back to leaving your job, you have exhaled, sat down, closed your eyes and smiled. Now! How long you allow this feeling to last, is up to you as you are the decision maker of which emotion you choose to experience and display. For Lena this feeling of relief lasted one day as within 48 hours she had to face reality and seek out a local AA meeting, she wasn't sure what it would entail, but she was willing to 'go see'. Lena made a list of to do's and set about ticking them off. Here's a look at Lena's list....

1) Find a Meeting, join and start attending.

2) Clean up and throw out.

3)Spend time with Family.

4) Find a job 5) Start a hobby.

Throughout Lenas' 12 step program she had to deal with her many issues....She was often transported back to her childhood, which she felt had been perfect....Lena found that in her parents' attempt to ensure that she was exposed to as many after school activities and possible hobbies, she was given 'too much' freedom as she turned that freedom into 'I need to look after myself' 'I need to find my own entertainment' 'I need to be there for me' Lena internalised feelings of abandonment ....As an adult Lena found a crowd of people (just like her peers at her after school clubs) and participated in the crowds' activity (in this case it was drinking) When Lena would go home from these after school clubs, she often found that there was no one home, Lena had to entertain and or console herself....This Lena did this as an adult when she came home from work. She would entertain herself (as she tried to re-live what she classed as good times....with Alcohol) she consoled herself on bad days (with Alcohol). Lena had no animosity towards her parents, given the new knowledge, but felt that if she wasn't left to her own devices as a teenager she wouldn't have found solace in Alcohol. mmmmmm What do you think?

As parents we try to do the best we can to ensure that our children are given just enough Freedom. I remember I gave one my daughters,  permission to go to France with a friend at seventeen, she was responsible and I felt confident that she would act accordingly. I have another daughter that I wouldn't trust that she would go to the corner shops without having some drama to tell me when she returned home.

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We do what we feel is best and to the best of our ability at the time. Iyanla Vanzant tells of a client (Let's call her Mary) who came to her and said that she was living with some 'hate' for her mother. When asked why she hated her mother, Mary states that as a twelve year old she was made to care for her siblings as her mother was an alcoholic, she goes on to say that she had missed out on her childhood because she had to grow up too quick with no one looking after her. Iyanla told Mary that her mother, she states, was an alcoholic and an alcoholic and as an alcoholic she was not able look after her children. As an alcoholic she did the best she could do. She likened her mother's situation to another client she had who stated that as children their mother would get their food from dumpsters. lyanla had told that client that she needed to picture her mother walking bare footed to the furthest restaurant dumpster she could get to, as she knew that their left overs would be the best she could find. A scenario that was to evoke consideration to that mothers' plight and the efforts she went to in-order to do the best she could, given her situation and within her ability. Iyanla asked Mary, if she or any of her siblings were taken into care? Mary said 'no' Iyanla then alerted Mary to the fact that her mother managed to do what she could to 'keep' all the children in the home......This story smacks of 'It could have been worst'. Sure it could have been worst, but I think what Iyanla was trying to get at, was the fact that her mother did the very best that she could do as an alcoholic. Mary of course, could only see what she didn't have as a child and the amount she had to cope and deal with as a child. Most parents do what they can, given the situation they are in and their ability. How did or do you fair as a parent? How do you feel about your parents? Are there any unresolved issues that may be eating at you? What do you think of your parents parenting skills?  

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Even the bible has a blame scenario... The man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Genesis3:13-12

Blame, for me, equals responsibility. Who is responsible for the accident? who is responsible for this mess? To blame someone, something or the situation is to give the responsibility to that person or thing for what has happened. 

Here's a big one 'It is my parents' (fault) responsibility for me not doing so well at school' like Lena, who felt that it was her parents responsibility (fault) for giving her the opportunity to turn to alcohol for her entertainment and as a friend when feeling lonely! When said like that, it seems a little far fetched. But this is what we do in one quick sentence when we say its someone or somethings' fault.

Try expanding a 'fault sentence' you often use....Here's an example: Its my Husbands fault that I didn't  take the opportunity to work aboard......Expand the sentence with 'I gave my husband the responsibility of my career'  It my mothers' fault I am afraid of flying....(This is one of mine)  At aged nine, my mother had taken me to Jamaica, we had to take a flight from Birmingham to London, on that trip there was a lot of turbulence, my mother held on to the arm rests bowed her head and prayed until we landed in London. I remember feeling afraid for my mother, wondering why she was so upset...I can't remember actually having a fear of being in the air. That was after all, my first airplane ride, what was there to be afraid of? As an adult I added the 'afraid' bit to flying...As an adult I was able to put 2+2 together and come up with 5.

 A number of common flying myths are actually easily debunked

I have decided that an object that is made of metal and weights tons can not possible stay up in the air, I have also not been able to get my head around turbulence, as if feels like one is going over humps! How is this possible when we are suppose to be in the air? As an adult I made flying an issue, when I could have changed things, I could have worked on this issue and sought a cure...But I tell the story of my mother holding on to the arm rests for dear life and praying until the plane landed. Should the subject ever come up, I would proclaim to any one in ear shot that, I was afraid of flying....Who's to blame for my flying phobia? Now when I fly, I have a little helper which is taken as soon as I board the airplane. Lets just say, by the time the plane takes off, we are all flying!

Who are you blaming and why? Time to be honest again.....It is easy to blame someone or something, instead of taking responsibility (the blame) ourselves. As children we may not have had a choice in what happened to us, as adults we often have more say in our lives, our thoughts and deeds....If we hold on to thoughts of ' its someones' fault' we allow ourselves to be burdened or held back from experiencing how wonderful life can be. Remember the client I told you about in the last blog? 'Arms' The client told me that she had carried the burden of her parents' expectations into her adult life, when she decided that she was going to be herself and not live up to anyone's expectations. I put it to her, that had she taken her parents' expectations as BEST WISHES she would not have had to carry what she called a burden, into adult life. I went on to say that we often are the ones who decide to carry that heavy load around in our adult life. We carry the  burden of, I missed out, I wasn't given this or allowed to do that and then we go on to tell others just whose fault it is.....Never our own, We have just seen that a lot of our issues can be re-worded, changed or turned 360 degrees to point the finger at ourselves. I am not saying that being ill-treated and unloved can be re-worded and blame re-directed at ourselves. What I am saying is that as an adult, there are some childhood issues that can be dealt with by removing the 'blame element' we attribute to these issues and begin to take responsibility for our recovery.  Blame, is it easy to blame someone or something for our shortcomings? Could Lena have taken a different route? Maybe...Was it easier for Lena to cope or get over her alcohol addiction by blaming the freedom her parents gave her? Maybe. Blame helps us to cope, it takes some of the pressure we feel, off our shoulders. It saves us from dealing with the issue full on or in any in-dept way. You may find, when listening to someone blame another, the situation or a thing, they will accept very little blame, but attribute the bulk of their shortcomings to one or all three of the above, (thing, person or situation). “If the weather wasn’t so bad I wouldn’t have skidded into that other car” This may be true, but the fact remains that you could have driven slower or taken public transport or changed the worn tires on your car. I had my phone stolen once, the person who stole it, told me that they took it because ' it was just sitting there'! I admit, I am also to be blamed here, as I trusted that that person would not steal from me. The excuse given for stealing my phone had one of my three ‘it’s not my fault, attached to it’. It was the phones fault, why? Because it was just sitting there! I really don’t need to give any more examples. We need to own up to the part we play or played when things don’t go the way we would like, when there is a mishap or when s*** happens. A quote from  Eckhart Tolles’ The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, sums up how we should approach the above scenarios. “If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences. No excuses. No negativity. No psychic pollution. Keep your inner space clear” We know that when Lena puts her mind to a situation, she gets stuff done, and fast. Lena puts her thoughts into action, she lays the foundation and get the work done. This is the way she works. Lena found it difficult to cope with the fact that when she felt down, she instantly craved a bottle of wine. Lena had to learn that these carvings wouldn’t just stop because she did not want to drink anymore. Lena had to find another way to deal with her feelings. Do you take one day at a time or do you worry about issues that may happen in a week, a month or even a year from now? Lena had to learn to live in the here and now, taking one day at a time. There is a song by Lynda Randle called ‘One Day At A Time, Sweet Jesus’ The lyrics goes...

‘One day at a time, sweet Jesus
That’s all I'm asking of You
Just give me the strength to do everyday
What I have to do
Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord, help me today,Show me the way
One day at a time’

Lena would also have to keep the serenity prayer in her mind "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Eckhart Tolle, In ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ reminds us that we must “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”   If you live in the now, you will begin to appreciate the moment, you will begin to accept the situation as it is, here and now….If Lena is to overcome her craving when she feels down, she will need to give herself a here and now pep talk…Perhaps saying to herself…..I feel that I need a drink, then she would need to consider, whether the drink will quench her thrust for liquids, solve her problem or make her feel better? Right here, right now, what will that drink of wine do for her? Once she places her situation or need in the here and now, she can then make a conscious decision about her impending action and its consequences. Lena went on to quit her job, religiously attend her meetings, took up yoga. She began to clean up each part of her life stating that she would endeavour to become more mindful and in control of her life. We will drop in on Lena later.

In this blog we got up to speed with Lena, from her birth into a grateful happy and financially secure family. We looked at her exploits at her groups, the friends she met and followed. We saw Lena's first 'I'm gonna get my life together' as she buckled down and studied for her 'A' levels, when a sought after university was dangled in front of her. Lena appeared contented whilst in her quest to get into University and you was asked, to recall the last time you felt  contented? Are you able to recall it now? Bare in mind that contentment looks different for each of us...What does contentment look like to you?  Lena made a list of things she intended to tick off one by one, and we will see how well she does in a later blog. She was transported back to her childhood, blaming too much freedom for her alcohol abuse. We looked at the advice Iyanla Vanzant gave her two clients, and realised that people and parents try to do the best they can, given their situation and ability. We then looked at blame. I saw blame as giving the responsibility of what we are experiencing now, or the outcome of past actions, to a thing, person or situations. Eckhart Tolle assured us that if we lived in the now by taking any one of his three options, that of, removing ourselves from the unwanted situations, making an attempt to change it, or accepting it totally, blame wouldn't play any significant part in our lives. To aid the art of living in the now...I would like to suggest that we take one day at a time and to accept the things we cannot change.



21st August 2019

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Psalm 62:5 ESV - For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. 
Psalm 141:3 ESV- Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

The Mouth, also called Oral Cavity, or Buccal Cavity, in human anatomy, it is the orifice through which food and air enter the body. The mouth opens to the outside at the lips and empties into the throat at the rear. In addition to its primary role in the intake and initial digestion of food, the mouth and its structures are essential in humans to the formation of speech. Source-

The mouth is a powerful tool and source of metaphor. Many things are done by the mouth: it spits, drinks and devours, speaks and screams, whispers, sings, eats, vomits and sucks, feels, tastes, kisses and bites. The mouth is an entrance, an exit, a vulnerable and powerful part not only of the human body but also of society itself. It is a semiotically complex part of Self and Other, which can be transformed, remade, hidden, mutilated and adorned in many ways. It stands, as a symbol as well as in very practical ways, for silence and noise, agency and subordination. It is the protective case for the tongue which forms all kinds of sounds and is the metaphor for everything that has to do with language. The ideological and cultural concepts at work in making sense of the mouth and what it does (or is supposed to do) link language, culture and society in multiple ways. Source-

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Symbology-Of The Body state that you use your mouth to voice your positions and thoughts about particular things or situations, either by making statements or through expressing your emotions. Symbology claims that if one dreams of the mouth, generally 'problems within the mouth indicate a difficulty in expressing yourself, or an inability to digest something that is going on in [your] life.

Most Common Mouth Dreams: 
Eating - Such a dream depicts inner emotions. You don't express what you have inside of you. Others say If you use your mouth to eat something in a dream it means that you need to think about your diet and try to eat healthy.
Beard - If you dream of a mouth with a beard, you are going to have some successful discussions at your work place.
Red lips - If you dream of red lips, it indicates happiness and passion in life.

Dreaming of a woman’s mouth is an omen of love. If the mouth is beautiful, it means duplicity. A big mouth suggests illness and mudslinging. Others say  that dreaming of a big mouth means honour and abundance in your house, whereas a small mouth is the sign of profit. If you see a mouth without teeth, your efforts will have to grow in order to get the anticipated results. The mouth of a man refers to a drunkard husband. A closed mouth means unjustifiable grounds and repulsion, and if the mouth is half-open, showing huge teeth, it suggests that a misfortune in marriage is about to come.

As we can see the mouth not only plays an important part in our lives,it also has symbolic attributes. What types of Mouth dreams do you have? Let me know  I spoke about the mouth, specifically the tongue, in my book (SELF=YOU (2017) Angela Scott, SELF=YOU, Chapter 10, Amazon). I mentioned some of the damage the tongue can cause. We know of making a verbal stand or making our voices heard and the changes it can make. We are also all aware of the loving care the tongue can bestow on another person.  The opposite is true of saying nothing or speaking up, as one could be classed as a perpetrator, as inaction could be construed as condoning the action displayed.. This blog will look at the benefits of keeping quiet, using silence and or shutting up. Here we will look at when silence or less words would be the better option. 

The mouth is a central part of the face and plays it's part to our body. As human beings, when we look at another, we see the face and search for the eyes, nose and mouth. A face without even one of these appendages, may cause us to stare as this is not the norm. A missing finger for example, would not get the same attention. 

As the mouth is an essential part of our body and like many other parts of our body, we sometime take it for granted. Many Dentist may agree with that statement, regarding the mouth. Fashion these days highlight that the teeth should be seen and a bright smile is in vogue. It it is often not until we have a tooth ache that we take notice and more care of our teeth. Think about eating, it is often after over indulging that we decide what and just how much we had consumed. In considering what we say, again it is often when we have said something that has caused offence that we begin to watch what we say. Needless to say that we should not be taking any part of our body for granted, as when it doesn't work as well as it should, there is a huge impact on our, and maybe the lives of another.

Words that spring to mind that tells you to refrain from speaking are: keep your mouth shut, be quiet, stop talking, stop making a noise, keep your voice down, shhh, shut up, zip it, pipe down, button it, hold your tongue, hush up, keep your trap shut, mind your own business, put a sock in it, save your breath, shut it, shut your mouth/face/trap/gob or belt up, are mentioned here for you to consider while reading this blog. Do you take words for granted? Do you speak when silence would suffice? In 'Tongue, what damage have you caused' (SELF=YOU (2017) Angela Scott, SELF=YOU, Chapter 10, Amazon) we looked at words used, words not used and its affect. Can you think of any situations in your life, when less words would have been the better option?

Have you got a friend who never shuts up? Yes you know the one I'm talking about! Most of the time you do not listen to this person as more times than not, what they are saying has no bearing on the situation or your interest. Then there is that friend that doesn't speak very much or speaks in a very low voice. That person, you listen to, you find yourself leaning in, to hear what they have to say.

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Mr. Quiet (Mr. Men Classic Library)

In my twenties I found that I would 'chat' in-order to fill uncomfortable silences, most of the time I would either say things that should have remained private or I would gossip. I suppose I wanted whatever s***** I was spouting to be interesting. As I matured I found that the less you say the more you  opposed to my twenties chat feast. According to Wikipedia, an awkward silence is an uncomfortable pause in a conversation. The unpleasant nature of such silences is associated with feelings of anxiety as the participants feel pressure to speak but are unsure of what to say next. What do you do or say in those awkward silence. I know someone that says the same thing in all awkward silences, you begin to understand that that person is feeling uncomfortable. Shame really, as its been over fifteen years that that person hasn't been able to 'feel' comfortable around me when we have nothing to say to each other.

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I have noticed that a person who 'feels' uncomfortable in silences often, like myself (back then) do not have anything constructive to say in-order to fill the awkward 'space'? Do you speak when spoken to? or find yourself constantly talking to fill the silence that has developed as a natural occurrence in conversations? What topic do you reach for in those conversation pauses?

I was born and brought up in England my guardians taught me that I should be seen and not heard, I was also taught that if I did not have anything to say I should say nothing. Silence or not talking are seen differently by different cultures. Sue Bryant is an award-winning writer and editor specialising in global business culture and travel, she states that silence can be used to intimidate; or to save face; to show respect; or it can simply suggest that the other person is relaxed enough in your company to enjoy a quiet moment. 

For some Asian cultures, Bryant notes that silence can be a sign of respect. If a person asks a question, it is polite to consider your answer rather than simply blurting something out. Keeping quiet, she goes on to say, may also be used as a weapon by canny negotiators, who know that certain cultures, North Americans in particular, are used to filling every gap in conversation with talk and will be unnerved by the other side falling quiet.

Silence could be a hierarchical issue in a cross cultural meeting. In countries where the highest-ranking member of the team is the spokesperson and the others are there simply to provide context (again, Asian cultures, and some Latin and Arab countries), relatively senior executives could sit quietly as a sign of respect for their leader.

Nordic cultures, like Asians, are ‘listening’ rather than ‘talking’, aiming for calm and order in a conversation. As such, silence implies thought, or thinking up an answer to a question with suitable gravitas. In Africa, silence is seen as a way of enjoying someone’s company; it implies that you are comfortable enough together not to need to fill every moment with noise.

Sue Bryant lets us know when silence isn’t golden, stating that, in countries like Italy and Spain, it is perfectly acceptable for everybody to talk at once or to interrupt a speaker. Silence in a meeting would be uncomfortable and awkward. Silence in response to a question would suggest not that you were thinking, but that you didn’t know the answer.

They say Silence is Golden, The first example of this Phrase in English was from the poet Thomas Carlyle, who translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, 1831 part of the poet states  "Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life [...] forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting. Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties" The Swiss Inscription says: Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silver, Silence is golden).

What does the bible say about being quiet? Here are a few quotes:

Exodus 14:14 (KJV) 14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Psalm 141:3 (KJV) 3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Proverbs 10:19 (KJV) 19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Proverbs 17:27-28  (KJV) 27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. 28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Ecclesiastes 3:7  (KJV) 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Revelation 8:1 (KJV) 8 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. The quotes above shows us that when we are quite or silence, God will work for us if we hold our peace, they showed that silence is a sign of wisdom, helping us to go within and think before we speak, also showing us that there is a time for speaking and a time for silence.

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In thinking about the Christian religion and what is said about silence. Another way of life sprung to mind, Buddhism. Let's have a quick look at the Buddhist view of silence. 

In Buddhism, 'Silence is important to strengthen your spirituality. That is to say, it gives you the opportunity to be present within yourself. You will interact with your thoughts. As a result, you will tend to understand yourself the more. Of course, there is a link between silence and inner peace.'- Source - 

When a monk takes a vow of silence, sometimes it does not mean total abstinence from speech. However, it can be for specific times of the day. On the other hand, at specific places in the monastery. Although, it could still go on generally for a few days. In any way, total speech abstinence is rare. When one takes a vow of silence they are most likely to develop strong willpower. And, most importantly, will observe the truth always. This is because one goes over what has to be said before speaking. That is if speech is absolutely necessary.

Monks take the a vow of silence for many reasons, here are a few:-

1) To Condition The Mouth To Speak Rightly -  to pick out the words that best suits the moment. That is if it is critically necessary for them to speak. Moreover, in monastic orders, it is better to keep silent than say irrelevant things. Most importantly, a vow of silence helps to prevent one from hurting others or even himself. Speaking without care can lead to saying hurtful words. Or, on the same note, words that provoke our thoughts. Basically, this is what the practice of Buddhism is all about. Building self-control in order to promote inner peace and personal happiness.

2) To Develop A Good Listening Skill - Observing a vow of silence leads to promoting listening abilities. The monks train themselves through a vow of silence to speak less and listen more. In doing this, they are able to hear others out. In-order to help them to grow in the path of enlightenment.

3)To Quieten The Mind - Keeping the mind calm is a major step towards achieving inner peace. For those who meditate, this is their goal. To quieten the mind from wild thoughts. However, this is not an easy task as it is the nature of the mind to engage in wandering thoughts.

4) To Promote Self-awareness - A monk does not talk with anyone when observing a vow of silence. As a result, he tends to be more conscious of himself. He understands the reality of the world he exists in. Thus, always keeps himself on guard against any external influence. A vow of silence will help you to develop self-love. Loving one’s self will give you the chance to cultivate compassion towards others. Of course, it would be difficult to show love to others when you do not love yourself. It is thought that this, in turn, brings happiness. Most of all a feeling of peace and self-satisfaction, and perhaps closer to enlightenment.

5) To Train Novice Monks In The Monastic Ways - Sometimes Buddhists adopt the technique of vow of silence to teach new monks.They learn to always maintain the noble silence of the monastery. Thereby, diligently following their duties and obligations. Most importantly, there is a need for the monastery to be calm all the time. This is to avoid unnecessary chatter which can lead to distraction. Source -

The reasons given for a vow of silence is a great tool for our lives too, It ensures we only speak what is relevant, develop good listening skills, quieten the mind from all the noise that we experience in our everyday life, in doing this we can promote self-awareness, here one gets to know that self that no-one sees or hear. 

Above we have looked at why and when to be silence, how you view your silence as opposed to talking. Looking back respectively, can you remember a time when you kept your mouth shut and found that it was the best form of action taken? Or are all your recollections, scenarios of what you should have said, or perhaps said differently?

Are you aware of the people around you, that speak less than others, what is your view of them? Perhaps you feel that they don't have anything worth talking about, maybe you feel that they are unimportant! Be honest, what is your view of the quite ones? This week, try to speak less, your friends and family will assume that something is wrong with you. Let me know how you get on On keeping your mouth shut, you will find that you have left an opening for others to speak, you'll be surprised what you will learn, after keeping schtum. Ever noticed a sales person in action....Next time you are at a show room thinking of whether you should buy something or not, watch and listen to your sales advisor, you will notice that they give you their pitch and then give you the time and space to 'talk' yourself into buying the item, product or service.

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This blog has attempted to alert you to just how much you speak and asked you to consider speaking less. Is that something you think is possible in your life? Ok, I understand that you have to speak constantly if you have children. I understand that you may have to constantly talk at work.....However, if you take time out to consider the times when silence would suffice, you will be surprised at what you hear and learn.

We last saw Lena sorting her life out. She had left her job after sending an email and speaking to her boss. Lena stood her ground and said just what was necessary to get the job done. On entering her 12 Step program, Lena sat in those meetings listening to the stories, which by and large seemed more daunting than her own story. As the weeks went by, Lena began to feel increasingly comfortable and some what stronger, with the ability in the her fifth week to stand up and say something. Everyone listened with interest, care and empathy. Lena's life now revolved around listening to what served her and voicing her needs and wants when she felt she needed to. Lena no longer listened to the put downs shared out by her ex-boss, she no longer had the negative self talk in her head telling her that she was a drunk, that she was worthless and that she was an embarrassment to her parents. Lena was surprised at the amount of 'stuff' she had endured in her past life. She had also felt stunted in her growth as a strong independent woman, her self esteem had taken a knock. Lena felt that she was silenced as she was unable to speak her mind, to speak up when it was needed. In Lena's quest to become alcohol free she realised that she drunk to silence the voices in her head, to silence or numb the feelings of guilt and shame she felt most every day. Who or what do you need to silence in your life? How do you silence negative self-talk? Remember, If it cause you dis-respect, dis-harmony or to dis-trust this should concern you and needs to be addressed.  

Since Lena began her 'clean life challenge', she found that her home felt 'lighter', it was less cluttered, she felt that if her home was free from clutter her mind may feel less congested. Lena began to listen to music again, music that she had forgotten that she enjoyed. She felt free to take up a hobby...having loved to dance, she enrolled at a local gym, where she could attend dance classes. Again Lena was engaging in noise and sounds that served her. How do the sounds in your life make you feel? Consider the sounds around you in the morning, is it the TV news? your children? Your partner? During your working day, what type of sounds are you subjected to? As a Counselor I heard a lot of mourning about this and mourning about that. My job was thus, I was able to help the people in-front of me, and of course procedures where in place to 'off load'. When the bullying noises of my bosses or colleagues became 'too much' I left.....What are you listening to that should be silenced or left in your dust, as you walk away?

As adults we are aware, or should be aware of what we intake....We should not be walking around our lives just accepting anything and everything that is thrown at us....When was the last time you took a stock of your life? And realised that you or others are in control of what you hear, see, do eat etc? Being in control of your life (to the extent that we can be in control) will allow you to live the life you enjoy. I am not saying that one would not have issues, situations or some drama to negotiate, but by and large, if you are in control of your life, you will be able to ride the storms that come your way and accept responsibility sooner!


The Mouth, also called Oral Cavity, it is the orifice through which food and air enter the body. According to '' many things are done by the mouth: it spits, drinks, devours, speaks and screams, whispers, sings, eats, vomits and sucks, feels, tastes, kisses and bites. 'Symbology Of The Body' state that we use our mouth to voice our positions and thoughts about particular things or situations, either by making statements or through expressing our emotions. We went on to look at dreams depicting the mouth. The most common being eating, a mouth with a beard or red lips, meanings ranged from relating to our inner emotions, workplace discussions to happiness and passion in life.

We know that a verbal stand or making our voices heard can invoke changes. We are also all aware of the loving care the tongue can bestow on another person. I mentioned the chapter 'Tongue', from my book SELF=YOU (2017), Amazon. In which I make you aware of saying nothing, could have you being perceived as a perpetrator and or being construed as condoning the action displayed. However, this blog looked at the benefits of keeping quiet, using silence and or shutting up. We looked at when silence or less words would be the better option. We spoke of that dreaded awkward silence in which people attempt to fill with uninteresting or often unrelated information. I admit this was a flaw of mine in my 20's. 

We looked at how silence is used as a hierarchical issue cross culturally. A reminder was given that Silence is golden and speaking is silver! I took a look at what the Bible says about being quiet or 'holding your tongue' In the quotes used for this blog. I found that God will work for us if we hold our peace, be quiet or still. The bible also showed that silence is a sign of wisdom. Buddhism tells us that silence gives us the the opportunity to be present, and a way of understanding ourselves better.

In putting 'being silence instead of speaking' to the test, you was asked to take a closer look (or listen) to the people around you, to take note of the ones that could 'chat' for England and the ones who are quite. Then you was asked to watch and listen to the next sales advisor you encounter and watch for the pause in the conversation where s/he has left open for you to fill.

We paid Lena a visit and noted what she decided to listen to, and what she choose not to hear anymore, she also muted some of the voices in her head and stopped the negative self-talk. We looked at what served Lena and found that she began to listen to music again. You was asked to consider the sounds around you this week, for example, what do you hear or listen to in the morning? What are you subjected to at work? Take a stock and look around your life.

It is imperative that we take control (to the extent that we can be in control) of our lives. This also means what we hear and say, controlling what and when we speak, may be a challenge for many. As mature adults it is something that should be considered. Being aware of what and when you speak will allow you to view others and your life differently, it will give others a chance to voice their opinions, thoughts and maybe their insights on the subject you are both engaged in. Knowing when to be silent will also allow others to view you in a different, perhaps more mature light. Remember always, that speech is silver [but] silence is Golden.

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Lena wants to get fit for Summer


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