On my book shelf I have a great reference book ‘What’s in this stuff’, the essential guide to what’s really in the products you buy, by Pat Thomas.
I wanted to check up on hair dye ingredients. As I got to that chapter ‘Toiletries and cosmetics’ I noticed there were 74 pages. That is a lot.
Over the last 5 years I have gradually been replacing all my toiletries and cosmetics with less toxic alternatives. Well for anyone that knows me I hardly wear makeup anyway. Lippy really and that is organic. I feel happy that I am now on top of this but I struggle to not get my hair coloured. Am I scared of uncovering what I know to be grey hair? Why, well I know how much it will change my complexion and I must be concerned with how I look as I have a perception that I will look older. Also how do I transition?
In the average hair dye there is ammonia,diaminobenzenes, phenylenfiamines,resorcinol,phemols,hydrogen peroxide, diaminotoluene and different phenylenediamines.
When I read on there were numerous studies showing the relationship between hair dyes and cancers. They do say it is difficult to say which ingredient is the culprit but if I cannot pronounce it I don’t think it can be good. So I need to sit with the question of what I do next. I am very conscious at every other level of my health but this one I seem to continue to shrug off. I need to dig deep and really work out what I am afraid of.
I wrote that to myself in May 2016. It has taken me to April 2017 to finally take the decision to allow my hair to turn its natural colour. Jason of 'Saxbys' my long-time hairdresser says I’m only 30% grey. Well now we can find out. We decided to use a gloss to help the transition. So no colour, just going cold turkey. I have had a short cut so the transition is quicker-hopefully.
What finally changed my mind. Well I have grown emotionally a lot in the last year, not least supporting 2 friends losing their hair to breast cancer and all the emotion that entails. We have had several conversations on the importance of our hair and what it means to lose it.
I feel ready to finally be me and embrace my wise woman years as a gift that I can share. For too long I have been who others wanted me to be and now i am stronger that need not be my future.
Send me your pictures if you are doing the same. Be brave, be fearless and most of all be yourself.
When I lost my mum she was only 60 and I felt I had been robbed of so many years with her. My boys were very young and their father was at sea often. We lived in Portsmouth and a great many hours were spent teaching them to swim at the Naval Base pool. One day whilst in the pool with the boys I came over really hot, my heart was racing and I froze on the spot. I knew I had to get out of the pool and cut short their swimming. They could not understand what was going on but I just had an overwhelming urge to leave. After a doctors visit I found out that I had just had my first panic attack. The doctor suggested a talking therapy as we felt it was to do with mums death and the utter feeling of being out of control regarding her illness.
So I took the advice and from there they suggested Reiki. Now this was over 20 years ago so I was definitely with the right doctor back then. It certainly calmed me down and the attacks went away.It gave me a way of getting back my control on life.
A few years later and they came back when i was separating from my first husband. By this time i had Yoga and Reiki to turn to which got me through a tough 6 months.
Over the ensuing years I would dip into Reiki when i felt anxious and overwhelmed. One day I saw my Reiki Master was teaching a course in how to do it for yourself and I knew from my positive experience that this was the next step. So fast forward to today and I have become a Master teacher myself of Usui, Karuna and Drum Reiki.
Thought Field Therapy has been my most recent discovery. When I lived in Abu Dhabi friends would come to stay and always plan to go up to the top of the Burj khalifa, the tallest building in the world. I had always struggled with heights and felt that I did not want to miss out so looked around for something to help. I came upon TFT and thought it may just what i needed. I tapped for a week before the guests arrived and replayed every day a 360 video of the view from the top. The night before the trip there I dreamt that I was sleeping at the top and I can still recall the feeling of being swayed by the wind at such a height. The video caused my brain to think it had already been there. So when i got up there my brain was not fazed at all.
The day came and I tapped just before getting in the lift up to the 125th floor. I felt calm and the doors opened, I walked out and stayed up there for 1 hour. I was astonished. Not only that I went back and did the same the following month. I was calm and even took photos of the view.
As soon as I returned from my travels I was booked onto a TFT course as I was aware of how life changing it was. Now I am a practitioner sharing it with others. All of the practices I share have come from my own experiences of the need to find something to deal with certain situations.
Throughout life there will be challenges(bumps in the road I call them) and the greatest thing we can take along with us is something that lifts us again and gives us a knowing that things will be ok and where we are at that moment is where we should be for our own learning and empowerment.
Keep looking and learning and always be inquisitive.
When I am sitting at the front of my classes welcoming everyone into our space I sometimes wonder who they think I am. As a teacher we are taught to listen to others and not really share ourselves with our clients. Do they really even ask that question or is that my own ego.
But I questioned this thinking as surely them having an understanding of my journey would give them a good idea of why I was sitting in front of them sharing this life changing thing called 'Yoga'.
Through all my life events i realise how resourceful, resilient and open to love i am after the paths my life has taken me on. I have always believed things would change and get better, resolve themselves and it always has. A favourite quote of mine is 'The only thing we can be sure of is that everything changes' I think understanding this really does release us from controlling things and being afraid.
My earliest recollection of my independent nature came when my parents divorced when I was 10. We had no spare money, so as soon as I was able I got a paper round so I could buy things for myself. From there I worked in the local shop and also became a housekeeper.
Mum remarried and we had a very controlling step father who I really struggled to get on with. Life was pretty tough and by the time I finished school I was ready to spread my wings. I went into the Police Cadets at Martlesham and my whole world opened up. I left home at 16 1/2 and knew I would never live there again. I was pushed out of my comfort zone everyday and the time there really increased my independence and self worth. On becoming a qualified Police Officer I moved to Lowestoft. Now I was on the learning curve of my life. I was head on into life as a police constable. As a young woman it was hard and I felt the pressure of what I was confronted with on a daily basis.
It was at this point that I found Yoga, totally unaware of the impact it would have on my life. I remember initially going to a class to find different friends as the only ones I had were officers and I wanted to meet local people and I needed to find some perspective.
I was hooked. Over my life having lived in 26 houses and several places this was always my anchor from uncertainty that came with new places. I would seek out a class wherever I found myself, some not even in the same language. But Yoga is only one language and found I could always manage well.
Sometimes I would help others learn when asked and often thought of becoming a teacher. But with travelling, 2 children and a husband in the forces that was never an option.
Then one day 5 yeas ago I had a feeling that I had not experienced before ever. I did not have to be anywhere, be anybody ie: a parent, wife, an employee or a house owner. Wow what a feeling that was. So this was my chance. I googled teacher training, for the time i was free and the amount I could afford and the rest is history. I found myself in Thailand, travelling alone to be with a group of people from all over the world. I will never forget the experience. It was tough but so rewarding.
During my first separation I found the only evening I could have a coherent conversation with my husband was after my Yoga class. It brought me into a space from where I could control my overwhelming feelings of sadness and move us both forward. With uncertainty came a peace that everything would work out ok.
As life moved on I kept Yoga at the heart of my life and it has served me so well. Always bringing things back into perspective and helping me to know when my second marriage had played it's course. Nothing is forever and knowing when to let something go is very liberating and empowering.
At the end of each day I give thanks for the people who I have come into contact with. As practitioners we are never sure what our impact is, but I trust that they will all take with them what they need. That is my wish.
In the next Blog I would like to share is how Reiki and TFT came into my life.