Come With Me

21 years ago now, in December 1998, I graduated from the McTimoney Chiropractic College in Oxford. It was a wonderful day, which unfortunately I do not have any photos of. I was a single parent, and it was the days of film, and I had no money to process any. Nor did I have money to purchase one of the professional ones that were taken that day.

I graduated thinking “What a marvellous treatment McTimoney was” (and it still is). I believed that everybody needed a McTimoney Practitioner in their life, more than they needed a GP. I was secure that this was the best treatment going, and that if there was anything better, then I would want to train in it.

As part of being part of a professional group I am expected to do at least 20 hours a year of Continual Professional Development (CPD). Well for 20 years I did allsorts of study days, attended conferences, did online nutrition courses, all in an effort to tick the box for CPD, to get my membership to whatever association I belonged to at the time. This year my very own Chiropractor was running a weekend workshop in the town just up the road from me. BIG TICK. DOUBLE TICK. Not only did it sound interesting, but it was 5 miles up the road which meant no lengthy journeys to the opposite end of the country with overnight accomodation to fund as well. I could go home and sleep in my own bed.

Well that weekend turned my McTimoney world on it’s head. Had I found something that was even better than McTimoney? Certainly the 2 day workshop promised plenty, and delivered. It gave us all something to be able to take back into our clinics on Monday morning and implement into our own modality of healing.After the first day, I went home and looked up more. I looked into more training, I made my mind up that I wanted to learn this new technique.

I started to use it the first day back in clinic, and my clients were saying strange things, things that they had rarely said about McTimoney.

Things like “Your hands, when you put your hands on me, I felt very calm and relaxed”.

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This new therapy (for me) is consuming me, I cannot get enough of it.I have only done 5 sessions on people that i already treated with the McTimoney method of Chiropractic, and the feedback is blowing my mind.

Come with me, as I take the steps along this Cranio-sacral journey. I have a feeling it’s going to be an interesting one.

Blessings

Joy

First Cuckoo’s Calling

When I was growing up, the first sound of the cuckoo was considered to be the heralding of summer. Today is Easter Monday, but I heard the cuckoo calling whilst I was out on my walk today, so I am officially calling it summer, after all the temperature was in the 20’s, rare even in summer, in Scotland.

My walk today was a walk with God. God is always present with me on my walks, but I seldom talk to God on them, but today was different. Today I decided that I was going to walk up Goatfell, which is a 874 metres ascent, and that I was going to do with God, as i was doing it alone. As you can see from this picture, it is a phenomenal place, but scary, at times very scary. But that is not how I knew that God was walking with me today.DSC_0504

My alarm was set for 5.15 am, and I woke to a near full moon size moon shining in the bedroom window, a glorious start to the day. I love the peace and quiet of early mornings, it is a special time of the day for me. After a cup of coffee made by my lovely husband, I packed my bag and set off. The air was cool, but full of promise for the day ahead. Within an hour, I had driven to the ferry terminal, swopped my driving boots for hiking ones, and was on the ferry over to the Isle of Arran. Within 3 hours of my alarm going off, I was getting off the bus and heading up Goatfell.

The track starts off climbing gently, through a tree covered path, but the trees soon come to an end, and you are out in clear country, with the sun streaming down. At 8.30 am it was very pleasant to walk, but as the day wore on, it got hotter. It was not long before I heard the sound of the cuckoo, and was happy to call it summer, as the sun poured down all day.

 

I was happy at this stage, to be out there on my own. Several people had passed me on the way up so far, but I was more than happy to walk at my own pace, with my own thoughts. When the path started to get tougher, I was reminded that a walk with God, is like a walk through life. There are some very pleasant parts to life, but then there are the not so pleasant parts in life, when the going gets a bit tougher. It is generally at times like this that we remember God, and call on God for help, but even before I got into trouble I asked God to be with me, beside me, walking alongside me.

About two thirds of the way up, my troublesome toe started to let me know, that it meant business today. Once it had kicked in, then it truly kicked in, and I was beginning to doubt if I would make it to the top at all. One issue with going to an island to walk, is that you are very much ruled by the ferry times, and I had thought that I could get up and back down again in 4 1/2 hours, and be in with a chance of catching a ferry back, just after lunchtime. My toe told me very firmly that that goal was not one that was going to be achieved today. I had taken the wise decision to pack some painkillers in my bag, and so I sat down, took my boot off, twiddled the offending toe, and replaced the boot, before taking a couple of tablets. After 5 or 10 minutes, all seemed well, and it was much more comfortable, but my happiness was to be shortlived. Before too long, my toe was extremely painful again, and I was beginning to worry. Worry about whether or not I was going to make it to the top, but worrying even more that the pain would be even worse on the way down. You can see from this photo that we are not talking a normal walk in the country. The terrain is now climbing in places over granite rocks and boulders, some of them needing a real “kick-off” from the back foot, which is what I was finding most painful.

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Granite Rocks to Scramble Over to reach Goatfell’s Summit

Another dose of painkillers wasn’t really an option, so soon after the first dose, if I valued my liver. A mild panic began to set in, this was not only this trek that I might not manage to the goal, but it may also jeopardise the whole Kilimanjaro one. If my toe stopped me keeping up a good pace, then I was risking holding up the whole team. My leg muscles started to feel a tad weak, and I wondered what I was doing on the side of this mountain on my own, only I wasn’t on my own, I was with God. (I still swore that this was my last time climbing Goatfell though. Well at least until the next time.)

And so I prayed and asked for healing of my toe, in Jesus name, and repeated my simple mantra that I tell everyone to do when they feel overwhelmed. It goes like this:

I am happy, healthy and wealthy

only in this instance I said

My toe is happy and healthy

I repeated it about 5 times, and with each step my toe hurt less and less. It was almost instant, but just to be on the safe side, I repeated the affirmation a few more times. Now for those of you who are reading this, and don’t believe in God because you can’t prove he/she exists (I want to thank you for reading this far) I would say that this was proof enough for me. I was so grateful that I could reach my end goal knowing that God had my back, or in this instance, toe?

I continued to almost hop skip and jump up to the summit of Goatfell. I had hoped to climb up in three hours, but was a little over that, but was quite happy given the circumstances.DSC_0500

It was so beautiful up there, that I took my time relishing the view, and the sensation of achievement. After reaching the summit, I wanted to spend some time enjoying the moment. I took my boots off and gave my feet some space to wriggle without the confines of my walking boots. I sent a text to my husband and ate my delicious sandwich made by him. I really value the support he is giving me in this endeavor, to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.

The route down was hot and dusty. Many people were out on Goatfell coming up as I was heading down. The early morning uppers were dressed appropriately, in hiking boots with back packs, hats and water bottles. As I came down. I was met by a constant stream of tourists, kitted out in trainers, bared shoulders and not a kit bag, however small in sight. My thoughts were with them, and how they would feel that evening. Would there elation turn to pain, as the effects of the sun took it’s toll on their bodies?

My last meeting with God on Goatfell was in the last couple of hundred yards or so. Several people had overtaken me, I was in no hurry, I had a couple of hours or so until the next ferry, to take me back to the mainland. This elderly gentleman fell into step with me. He had also come over for the day, to walk Goatfell. He informed me that because it was Easter weekend, the ferries were running a summer service, which included a mid-afternoon ferry, which if I kept on walking back to Brodick without stopping for a drink, or an ice-cream, I should be able to make. I thanked him for his piece of knowledge and gave the long- awaited ice cold drink a miss, and carried straight on to the ferry terminal. I could see the CalMac ferry approaching Arran, so I knew that, true to his word, a summer scheduled ferry was running.

Within 7 hours of taking my first step off the bus and up Goatfell, I was sat on the return ferry heading for home. After a long bath to wash the dust off me, I lay on my bed, which is where I stayed for the rest of the evening, savouring my achievement, knowing that on my Kilimanjaro trek, although I may do a similar ascent one day, I won’t have to do the descent on the same day.

Thank you for reading to the end. tell me, how do you know that God is with you?

Blessings Joy

 

Good Friday Kildoon Hill

Today, being Good Friday, is the start of a 4 day holiday weekend, and I am commited to walk each day, to try and get my stamina up, ahead of the Kilimanjaro trek, which is edging closer and closer.

Last weekend I went out with Ayr & District Rambling Club on a 9.5 miles walk, on part of the Carrick Way. Today I wanted to take my husband on the same walk, but I should have paid more attention on my last jaunt. I recognised the first few of miles, but when it came to deciding whether to take a left or right turn, at one point, I was flummoxed. After going a couple of hundred yards in each direction, we decided to continue following the signposts back to Maybole, and complete a seven mile walk.

The sun was shining, making it a summer’s day here in Scotland. On returning to the car, it said 22.5 degrees Celsius on the dashboard. That truly is a summer’s day in Ayr.

The plus side of it is, we did get out to the monument on Kildoon Hill, and also found clumps of bluebells in the hedgerows, which I didn’t see last week.

The warmth brought the smell of the gorse out, gentle wafts of a mild coconut scent on the wind, greet the nostrils.

Tomorrow is another walk with Ayr & District. I hope to ask the leader, where I went wrong, so that I can do the full walk again on Sunday afternoon.

I hope that you are enjoying your Easter weekend, whatever your beliefs.

Blessings

Joy

Storm Gareth: Safety 1st

With the news that another storm was on it’s way today, it was not a time to be acting rashly. Our weekly hillwalk was down-graded to a low level walk, and with high winds forecast, we weren’t even keen to go where there were too many trees.

Unfortunately it would appear that others were not so wary about the weather conditions. We have heard on the news tonight, that 2 climbers have been killed on Ben Nevis today.

Our walk took us from Kirkoswald to Culzean. It was an amazing feeling standing on the top of the cliffs, watching the surf rolling in onto the beach. How awesome is Mother Nature.

It’s OK not to want to Walk

So today should be a hillwalking day! But I’m not. I am not out on the hills walking. Why? Because I don’t feel like it, and that’s ok.

I went to bed last night full of expectation that this morning I was going to wake up, get up and go, despite the weather forecast looking like it might be snowy and windy. That wasn’t going to stop me, I was prepared. But at 7.15 am, when the alarm went off, I could hear the rain lashing on the bedroom window, and I stretched out my arm, turned the alarm off, and went right back to sleep, with the intention that I would get up in my own time, and walk over the Carrick Hills which are very local to me.

Today is the annivesary of my father’s death. 29 years ago. I feel numb. I don’t want to do anything, and I mean, ANYTHING! It is the 1st day of a fortnight’s history of pain and misery, culminating in the stillbirth of my son.

To walk, I need to eat, and I am not hungry. I am sitting here typing this post, willing myself to get some motivation, and like raindrops dripping off a branch, collecting in a leaf below, my levels are rising, slowly.

I am trying to look forward, and think of the sense of satisfaction and achievement I will have, when I get home after a walk. But that really isn’t doing much for my motivation. Even reading this motivational quote is not doing it for me today. Although if I was somewhere where I could run along the beach barefoot it might be a start. It is 1 degree celsius in Ayr today.Activity, movement, physical exercise, health, joy, plato

I am away to meditate, to see if that improves my mind. I will update you.

Thank you for reading.

Joy

PS After 20 minutes of Tonglen meditation, my motivation came up enough to put on my thermals and go out to the local hills. I was so glad that I did. The air was so cold that I could feel the coldness deep in my lungs, but the views from up high was stunning. It was clear enough to see the isle of Arran, and although the top of Goatfell was obscured by clouds, it was a sight to behold. I revere the majesty of the Creator of such magnificance.

 

At the cairn near the top of the Carrick Hills I came across a little plaque, which just about summed up my mood. It made me realsie that I am not alone in my misery, that many others are struggling with the loss of a loved one too. I did a few Tonglen breaths and took their pain into my body and transformed it into love and hope.

It is doubtful that I will ever know who left that plaque there, but I hope they felt my universal love.

Hillwalking: Journey to Moshi, and Onwards

Living in Scotland, it is so easy to go hillwalking, with an easy hours drive from my back door. Here are some pictures of my very first hillwalk, just a few shorts weeks ago. I felt quite accomplished, as it was a steep climb very early on. My thanks to the patience of my fellow walkers, who encouraged me all the way.

8 Mile Walk, 2 hours of Silence

No words today, just pictures from an 8 mile walk right outside my backdoor. Home to all creatures great and small. Silence is Golden Let me be your Tour Guide

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Namaste Joy