Sattvic Bliss Health Blog



This blog is about healthy living, complementary therapies and the search for enlightenment.  


Life can be full of stresses and strains, but it is also full of joy, peace and happiness.  Sometimes we just need to know where to look !.


Namaste !

By Jo Scrimshaw, Oct 17 2015 05:00PM

We decided to take a trip to Gibraltar, to visit the barracks, that were home to my husband Dan whilst he was a young man, serving in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. He left Gibraltar, (know as Gib, to the ex pat community) in 1970. 45 years is a long time in anyone's life. We all make changes as the years go past, but the landscape of Gibraltar has been profoundly reshaped with so much new housing and support services. Gibraltar has a new runway and large sections of land, reclaimed from the sea. We set out on the first day to find South Barracks. Frustration soon set in, when we couldn't actually get to anywhere that looked familiar to him. Old memories of a balcony overlooking the port, wobbled in his head as we found assorted buildings that "might be" South Barracks. A local man directed us up yet another steep road, reminding Dan of route marches up hills that felt so much easier back then. We were on the verge of giving up for the day, when the turn of a corner revealed our goal. There it was ! It is a school now but the verandah and door were still there, surprisingly familiar. Memories flooded back, for time has no meaning when the past opens a door with so much to view. With the building as a centrepiece to the past, local roads, gateways and steps reshaped the mental landscape, fading out all the new buildings that had felt so dominant when we first arrived. He was, for a few moments, back in 1970. The parade ground is now a car park and the port that used to house the Navy and the stores, has been let out to local businesses as workshops and industrial units. But the South Barracks building still exists, claiming its place in history, along with the Barbary apes, the tunnels, caves, military signs and Governors Residence (complete with uniformed military guards)..

Dan isn't disappointed. Now that he has found his focus, he can see the changes as good things. He is keen to come back again and explore parts of the island that are new or were inaccessible when he was last here. Finding that one building allowed him to move on. His past memories had found acknowledgment.

I am reminded of my own search for the statue of a stone Boar. Claremont Woods and Lakes were a regular destination for picnics during my childhood. My first task was always to run into the woods and search out the magical stone boar. The second task was to find the lake and walk through the overgrown grotto that shrouded a crescent shape at its northern shore. I always loved the C.S.Lewis stories of the children through the wardrobe. That stone Boar was my very own Mr Tumnus, and the lake undoubtedly housed fairies and elves. 35 years later I agreed to meet a friend there. The gardens had been restored to their former glories. The landscaped steps and the genteel picnic areas, were ready for new generations of children. The stone Boar stood proudly in an open area and the path round the lake was neatly manicured. My expectation was a refurbished garden, that still had a boar to find and fairies hiding in the undergrowth. However, after the initial surprise, I recognised that this new layout was the only one that new visitors knew about. They will make their own stories and dream their own dreams and they will expect their vision of places to stay the same.

Expectations are natural. Dan had expectations that he would find more of his old Gibraltar, and I had expectations that my childhood memories would stay the same. Expectations are our hope for the future, but they are also our fears. Despite the fact that it's only October, the shops are filling up with Christmas items. I know that there are lots of people who look forward to the seasonal festivities with the same expectations that they had as children. A time for families to come together, lights to twinkle, parties, presents to open and a large jovial man with promises of bounty. But there are, I'm sure, an equal number who expect Christmas to be stressful; filled only with excess and being obliged to spend the day with people they don't see all year. Maybe they don't have anyone to spend it with, or the money to make the day anything special.

Expectations are an anticipation of a future that is created in our heads. A myriad of electrical impulses based on life experiences and random information gathered, scrambled and presented in our minds as a concrete picture. But life will change our every expectation into reality at some stage. I don't know about you, but the reality never matches the way I think it will be.

Worrying about an event in the future is compulsive viewing. It beats anything that the tv companies can come up with. It consumes our thoughts, robs us of sleep and changes the way we act.

Anticipating an exciting event can put a spring in our steps and a positive outlook. It seems that Doctors look for positive events to help patients deal with acute depression. Having something to look forward to is a significant tool for those who feel overwhelmed with life.

Either way, we need to find balance. Finding the middle ground, where life is calmer and restful, is en essential part of dealing with expectations. The current movement in Mindfulness and Meditation, offer us real tools to accept change and maintain that balance.

Expectations are a part of life. Change happens all the time. If we deal with them well, we become stronger in every way.

Sometimes we just need some acknowledgement that we exist in the world, shaped by our past and open to our futures. Dan had his balcony and I still had a boar and a lake. The future is on its way, forming itself out of the mist of our actions, thoughts and feelings. But right here, right now, I am thoroughly enjoying sitting in a historic square, with seagulls squawking their way back to the port and the sounds of the world waking up for another day. Works for me ...x

#expectations #gibraltarsouthbarracks #RRF1970 #Claremontwoods #mindfulness #balance #managingchange

By Jo Scrimshaw, Jan 2 2015 09:46AM

Over the past few years, I have certainly been guilty of trying to use more than 24 hours in every day. Trying to cram in 10 hours of work to 6 actual hours, does work for a day or two. You focus, You juggle tasks, You find a shortcut or two, you rob Peter to pay Paul and you justify it in the name of multi-tasking or achievements. Problem is, at some stage, it will catch up with you. Maybe the task wont suffer, but a week down the line, you might lie awake wondering if you missed something. If you keep this method up for long enough, you begin to show signs of stress. So, you have a drink or two in the evening to help you relax. Maybe extra caffeine in the morning to help you wake up ?. Sound familiar ? The 1980's were infamous for the "power working", "life's too short to stuff a mushroom", "deadlines" way of living. But, the rewards were there then. Hard work produced money. Money produced higher standards of living and expectations.

25 years later, I hear so many self-employed people say, "you have to work twice as hard now, for half the money". The employed ones spend large parts of their life wondering if they are to be made redundant in the next round of changes. There is pressure from all angles, to achieve deadlines and produce results.

So, what do you need to do.?.

For a start you need to #Breathe !!. Not shallow, stressed, restriced breathing. Take a deep breath !. If your chest feels tight, you are probably stressed. Deeper breathing actully relieves stress.

Next you need to #Rest more often. I mean, walk away from the desk from time to time. Go and make a cup of tea ! Look out of the window and really SEE something else. Open the window and feel the stimulus of fresh air. Move your shoulders and head to release tension and take a break from intense work every two hours for 10 minutes or so. I promise you that you will be more productive if you take breaks, than you will EVER be if you work 8 to 10 hour days without relief from the pressure of sitting and staring at a screen (or whatever you do).

and #Smile! Find something to smile about. The pictures on your desk (if you have any) are for your happy thoughts. Maybe something you have done ? Maybe a dream ? Maybe someone you love ?.

A close friend of mine was asked at a recent job interview (for his dream job) "What did you not like about your previous job ?". He replied "getting told off for looking at YOUR website, while I was supposed to be working". He got the job !

Most employers want productive workers who appear to be happy and at ease with the workload. Most employees want the same thing. If you are self-employed you are your own employer, so this still works.

If you are worried about redundancy and you have decided, that they only way to keep your job, is to look incredibly stressed and worried. Well.... nobody fires hard working stressed people - do they ? Think again. If your position is needed, you might be ok. If your position has two or more people capable of doing the work, who would you choose ?. The stressed one, or the one who appears to be coping ?. And if the worst does come and you do find yourself redundant, now have some techniques to help you cope with the stress while you find a better place to work.

So, to recap ! Breathe, Rest and Smile !

and have a fabulous New Year !

Jo Scrimshaw is a Natural Health Practitioner, specialising in Ayurveda, Yoga & Polarity Therapy.

By Jo Scrimshaw, Dec 14 2014 11:12AM

The MHRA are the UK governments regulatory body on everything medical. They check out the safety of all medical devices and drugs. They also control everything herbal. The effect of their considerable control was seen during 2014 with the withdrawal of many of the items from health food shops. Many of the herbs can now only be obtained after a consultation with a herbal practioner or doctor. Some have gone altogether.

In time, we will see the re-introduction of some herbal remedies. Each one has to go through the lengthy process of getting a Traditional Herbal Registration Certificate. Companies like Holland & Barrett, Bioforce, GNC etc are working hard to achieve these registrations for all of us.

On my emails today, I have seen updates from the MHRA that the following products have achieved registration.

Echinaforce Hot Drink Cold & Flu Echinacea concentrate for oral solution from Bioforce

Euphrasia Sinus products from Holland & Barrett, GNC, Lifecycle, Natures Garden & Natures Bounty.

The MHRA website has lots of information on the work that they are doing. Please do have a look, it is a very interesting site.

On a personal note: I believe in Herbal Remedies used correctly and with care. Millions of people in generations before us felt the same way. I also believe we still need choices for our own health treatments. I am thankful that we have the NHS in this country and I am thankful that we have the herbal industry and the experts/ gurus to teach us about traditional ways. I hope that time will allow us to all work together.

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