Monday, September 25, 2017

The Algebra of a Pineapple

I have just returned from a course to study something new. Those who know me, know that I am very much a feelings person first. If your calculator is not working correctly - you know I am the person to empathize with you and throw it across the room for you, however I am not the person who will logically work out the math problem for you.

This course was all about logic, and I saw at least four times, things that reminded me of algebra at school. Interestingly enough, I had the same reaction as the twelve year old did - that of complete horror followed by the frustrated concern of why on earth do adults have to over complicate everything?
If you have a pineapple, it is a pineapple, you should not add a smaller letter underneath it and still call it a pineapple, while acknowledging that now it is a lemon.

There were great elements of this course where I sat in the lost zone. I understood the theory but not the why. I was the person in the room still saying "what?' as four more pages had been turned, another solution solved and a deeper layer revealed. I felt like I was in a maze, blindfolded, with ear plugs, on a stormy day, with mirrors, and tricks and someone watching and laughing at me.

The serious point of this post is to highlight the truth that crossed into my mind, as I recognized where a person diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia will travel.
The uncertainty, the stress over struggling to connect everything, to connect anything. The bewilderment as people around confidently talk in what appears to be a foreign language. You know you knew it and now you don't. The astonishment of loss - where one second it makes sense and the very next, you have no idea.

My emotional connection ability is extremely insightful and I could see where I was blocking myself.
I could slow down my thoughts, silence other peoples voices and energies in order to focus and locate the breakthroughs where sense could and would eventually arrive. Can you imagine not being able to do that? To be stuck in the middle of that? To be swept up within this tornado effect on the brain, which occurs suddenly and powerfully.

My heart, as it often does, surged as I perhaps tapped into that fear and to be honest, sheer panic.
I left the room twice to have a private cry, as I felt I could finally understand a little of the anxiety my husband felt as his illness grew.

As care partners, we can become very busy and noisy in what we think is assistance. When actually it isn't. When speaking with anyone struggling with cognitive issues, please stop over thinking and over doing. You need to create space and a simpler energy - not so that the person will catch up, because sadly, they wont be able to all of the time, but to present a calmer environment where their spinning of thoughts may slow. Where they can feel accepted and wanted. A place where we can provide peace where their uneasiness is growing.

You have to wonder whether, we could, should, would be doing this anyway, as life throws us on twisting paths.

The course taught me a number of new ideas and thoughts, and professionally is another skill level I will use. The biggest thing it taught me is that I have a desire, and perhaps even an obligation to do something to assist care partners as they attempt to do the very best for their loved ones. So, lets see where that leads.

If I went through everything, it has to be worth something. I want my experience to matter.
Thank you for reading.
Always with love.



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

For Linda & Lou Pestana


I have wanted to post since August 1st when something happened to a dear friend that tipped her life upside down.

What do you do when you receive a phone call regarding a loved one who has had a very bad accident?
Your heart tears open. You panic. You cry. Thoughts race. Fear joins in.
Then I stopped and looked, really looked.

This post is to celebrate everything that Linda is. I have had a thousand feelings and words to share about this new episode that we are facing. Here is the lesson for me.

That because of the generosity of Linda's spirit and life, her family and friends have easily, smoothly and quickly stepped up with love, practical support and prayers. I was thinking how rapidly everyone checked in with one another and what they could do. Then it hit me, it happened like that, because it was already in place. We already did that, in family things, in fun things, in business things. We did it because Linda and Lou have created a life that exists and works successfully because of connection. Their whole way of living could be titled Through Love and Connection.

Did you ever meet up with them and not find them talking to strangers?
Did you ever talk with them and not feel like you knew their family?
Did you ever not walk away without feeling differently about something?
It's like seven degrees of emotional inspiration without Kevin Bacon needed!

Look at your own life and how you choose to lead it.
Blimey!!! So much makes sense about the things that please me and those that do not in my own life.
Could our regrets be there, because we did not have that bountiful connection?

Can we please stop living as individual islands, pretending not to see or feel one another?
What a waste of time, energy and amazing resources.
I can't waste any more time. Not when an amazing woman works on her body that is paralyzed while her soul is so incredibly alive. She is the miracle, and she is not alone. She chose her tribe years ago for a reason.
I'm a fool not to learn and be inspired by that.

I just heard a quote from Roland Comtois who said: "All we can do for each other, is to stand by each others side."  Well this is everything we can and should do. Absolutely everything.

With much love always to Linda & Lou,
AND my own tribe, of which they belong.
(Because the real lesson is: that we are all in this together.)
Jayne xx





Wednesday, July 26, 2017

News - I met someone!

Many years ago I wrote a character in a play who changed her life around after meeting a magician in Spain. She was a divorced mother severely lacking in confidence (beautifully portrayed in my play by the talented Brenda Joyce). He was her catalyst to begin her next chapter. When I wrote that, I don't think I truly understood what I was writing - until now.

I met someone.

There are people you meet or situations you find yourself suddenly within, that can change your life.
These we pay great attention to. You can not avoid looking at a new job, or new home or new relationship but with a fresh focus and energy.

There are however other opportunities I believe we often miss. Incidental meetings or occurrences that are lessons and moments that provide great guidance. We just need to stop and look. Why does someone or something linger with us more than we can understand? Perhaps a movie, a song or a passage in a book that echoes within us for awhile. Haven't you at some point found yourself gazing at a view and for a moment you loose yourself? Well maybe you aren't losing yourself, maybe you are discovering a part of you that is new or forgotten about.

When you lust after something, I think it isn't actually the thing you want - its what it symbolizes or inspires inside of you. It is isn't the chocolate cake that I desire - it's the feeling of fullness.

I saw someone a while ago who caught my attention in a new way. Nothing was exchanged, no words, no meaningful looks, but certainly something in me stirred that had me wondering. After a few hours I realized it wasn't about them, it was about me.

I recognized a need in myself that I felt they had fulfilled. They were reflecting something that is deep inside me. My actual desire is not to become wealthy with the ability to write bestsellers and jet ski while steaming kale. (Though if I do, that will be great!)
I realized my true need is about about paying attention and respect to myself. I have had a tendency to bow down to certain personalities, and willingly accept scraps while expecting very little else. What if I stopped that, and treated myself to the love that I give freely to others?

I realize that I never expect a type of person to like me. What a waste of time that is!!! How could they, if I am not truly myself with them?
Could I be the kind of person who could have a conversation with that kind of person? Yes, why not?

I'm calling my own recent experience, A Gateway Meeting. It is my opportunity to listen deeply to something I want. I dare to believe there are many of those surrounding us, we just need to look at a deeper level. Some say to work at a higher frequency. These Gateway Meetings could open ourselves up to new abilities, gifts, talents and adventures. We have so much to learn from what is already around us. We may all be suffering from poor eyesight and missing out on support that is available, honest and free.Instead of continually searching, we just need to look in front of us.

I'm grateful for this meeting and curious to see what I choose to use from it. One part is writing this blog while ignoring an internal judgment that is telling me to hit the delete button rather than the publish button. I will do it anyway!

Thank you for reading and tell me, do you recognize A Gateway Meeting?




Monday, June 19, 2017

Art of Kite Flying

It's easy when it's easy.
The trick is not to give up. Last couple of days I felt the downward spiral beckon me to peer in.
I felt the pointless frustration of petty issues and, of course for the big issues.
Felt some disappointment. Felt that coldness when fear jeers at you rather than the warm sunshine of hope.
What on earth am I doing? What am I meant to be doing? What do I want to do?
All those questions without immediate answers.
I feel like someone cut the cord and I'm off spinning without control.

So, here is what I'm learning to do. Just stop. Don't fight it. Wait awhile.
I do everything I can to hold myself. Be safe. Read a book. Watch a movie. Breathe. Cry. Stop. Rinse and repeat. Be kind. Be gentle. Go easy. Become grounded.

Make a connection and slowly start again. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with life. Go back to gratitude and finding bright spots. Tell your mind, your heart, your soul, that it can press the snooze button. Just stop.
Accept that a significant part of our human experience is being human. Super heroes put their capes in the washing machine at least once a week - and so we can too.
This downtime is necessary to re fuel and energize. It's easy to get lost and it's actually just as easy to reconnect again. Stillness is key.

I think this kite looks just as pretty on the ground as it does in the air. And that's the wonder of it all. The wonder of us.



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Brand New Summer Diet Fix

I have really exciting news that I am ready to share with you. You may want to sit down to read this, as you will be excited and want to jump on board with me.

Some of you have remarked that I look and appear slightly different these days.
Well, yes, it's true. And low I'm ready to reveal my secret:
I have gone salad free.

Yes, I am on a salad free diet. It's like gluten free, but the opposite.
I can not believe this easy fix in my eating has made such a difference in my life and in such a short period of a time.

I always fill full up. I am never hungry. I am sleeping better, sometimes I can even take a successful nap in the middle of the day.
My clothing is loser, because I wear a size too large for me.
I have more energy, immediately following a serious intake of sugar.
And on top of that, I do not need exercise. I never even think about it.

I begin the day with just a simple not green fruit smoothie, well it's a chocolate milk shake but I add fruit, and caramel, and pancakes, so I find it extremely filling. Then I have a regular breakfast, and all four meals, plus snacks throughout the day. The trick is consistency in the volume of food and to eat little portions of cake on an hourly basis.

I also find a neat little trick is to have cartons of chocolate cake frosting in the fridge, so you're never caught out.

Now of course, supermarkets make it difficult, as we all know the temptation they offer with their mountains of fresh fruit and vegetables when you first walk in. Just be disciplined, keep your head down and aim for the center aisles. Remember too that extra treats can be found and should be chosen as you are checking out, plus you can grab your copies of Trashy Home Maker magazine and Star Studs on the Beach, Summer word cross special.

I now enjoy four main ways of eating:

  • Focus on whole foods - this means eating whole bags of chips and packets of cookies in one session.
  • Consider calorie density - which means find extra calorie opportunities, like cocktails and wine.
  • Fill your plate with plants - which means also buy beautiful vases of flowers to enjoy while you eat.
  • Choose healthy fats - which means fry more.


AND, please know, I'm not perfect. Round about the fourth day, I promise you will have salad withdrawal symptoms. Headaches are common, as is the desire to wear green and eat strawberries without dipping them into melted chocolate. So, if you find yourself wanting to fall off the wagon, I recommend adding lashes of salad dressing to a bacon sandwich, just to get your fix, and then forgive yourself and move on.

It's so simple really.
So, join in if you fancy and we'll be ready to sit in our cars and watch people on the beach any day now.
Thank you.

Please note: no diet books were harmed in the writing of this article.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bourdain - Parts Unkown

This is why they say - do not watch television at bedtime.
Anthony Bourdain.
Him and food - wow!
I was well on the way to sleeps town, feeling relaxed and kind of tired after completing paperwork and a bit of a laptop struggle. The laptop issue could place me in grumpy old lady mode, so I thought switch it off, relax and watch tv in bed.

Watching tv while in bed has always felt like a real luxury to me.
I remember as a teenager being allowed to have this tiny black and white
contraption in my room. I think the screen was about ten inches wide, actually
I think the aerial was larger than the whole thing itself. It had huge round dials
and of course no remote (they hadn't been invented yet!) I loved it and felt
so grown up as I could watch tv while crimping my hair.

Anyway, here he is, in my room, wearing a white linen shirt, jeans and that divine salt and pepper
hair. Ohhh I swoon and think too loudly "I could show you parts unknown."
AND on top of that - there's the food. Rich, gorgeous, thick and interesting food.
My thoughts are far too ex rated for a Sunday.
I catch myself licking my lips.
My thighs quiver, my stomach rumbles.
Now I understand why I enjoy hotels - as they have a tv and a fridge in the same room.
That's perfection.

I'm now wide awake and on my way to the kitchen.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Random thoughts from airport terminal

The departure of my plane is delayed due to weather. The rain is beating drums against the terminal windows while customers complain of their time being wasted.
Modern technology allows for most people to set up temporary offices and continue business with a flair and great determination. Everyone looks busy, and I wonder, are they really that busy? Or with the possibility of an audience and silent yet noisy judgements, people create emails, documents and conference calls just to set the appearance of hard work.

One man is seated in such a position that his trousers make him appear to have an erection.
One man keeps repeating over the phone " just bcc them, bcc them."
One lady has that nervous leg tapping - I can't stand that!
Another just said on a call "no we don't roll out until May 1st".  What does everyone do? They are so grown up.
I think most people here look so cool, sophisticated, intelligent.
Not many here just ate McDonalds quickly followed by an entire bag of M&Ms that were meant for the two day trip.
How on earth do people wear sneakers and still look good?
How do people produce those laptops, wires and rockets of communication with headphones from such small bags?
How does that lady maintain that great lip gloss color? That scarf looks amazing on her and  she knows it. She wears both with attitude.

Why do the men coming from that flight look so better looking than those going on this flight?
I tell myself to read my book. To shut my jibber brain off. Next time bring my laptop, look at all the writing I could be doing. Then I might look like I fit in. I might look important.
A plane has just pulled up to this window and it has taken all my effort not to stand up and call "the plane, the plane!"
I wonder - is everyone else  sitting here thinking these random thoughts as they also pretend to fit in?