I’d stopped doing handstands and sit ups. Usually I do several a day to keep the flab at bay.
As I told you, I put on a great deal of weight in 2017. Since that terrible year, I pay more attention than I ever did to my daily rituals. I lost the weight by paying attention to everything I ate, increasing my exercise and changing my life-style from sedentary (supporting teaching in colleges), to its opposite, unpacking goods and standing/walking about in a shop. My partner also helped me by sharing one evening meal a day with me whilst on holiday and taking me on a couple of very long walks, I Never believed I was capable of.
A Twitter user asked the question recently, what would you recommend to do with children? I recommended rituals. I learnt to build in something to do with my children over the years, such as a trip out for coffee, or swimming, or a concert, art exhibition or cycling. These habits never die, if you keep at them with yourself and your children, even when a few years goes by and you’ve missed out for a while, you can always return to them and pick up where you left off.
A friend @Rowenamonde recently reminded me, as well as Maria Popova, whose links to literature are compelling in their diversity (both write worthy book blogs), about artist’s dates. These are something Julia Cameron recommended in The Artist’s Way, a self help book for writers; but they are not exclusive to her as I also read about them in another book; Synchrodestiny by Deepak Chopra with themes in synchronicity, which suggests that you go out and sit in a crowded place to listen for messages on the wind, a similar ritual to an artist’s date. It’s a great book.
Why am I writing about this here? Well because well being should be holistic. I’m doing the handstands again and thank you for the reminder Rowena. Sometimes it’s easier to know what to do than to do it.
My mother, children and partner also remind me to be kind to myself, which I’ve written about somewhere else.
Sometimes endlessly striving towards a goal can stop us from just being and living, which is another book, The Power of Te (there should be an accent over the e); it’s a book all about Pooh bear and Piglet and the whole complexity of the characterisation of those characters that are so dear to us.
Recently, I made the mistake of projection ( something which I’ve written about in an essay somewhere). I saw a writer standing to read a book and took out all the years of frustration (probably at not being right where she was), in a tweet about standing to read being rushing reading. I was surprised to receive a reply from the artist who was supporting her (I had also made a complimentary comment in the tweet about the idea of having an illustrator accompany a reader in class); he suggested the famous writer was standing because she was complimenting him standing, which is another way of looking at the situation, and after all creativity is all about different and diverse ways of being and doing….
I was angry, also because a customer had come into the gift shop I work in and told me I had bad morals because I asked him to pay the new price for the product he had picked from the shelf, the price on Epos, not The price on the product. The irony is, a few weeks earlier, before I had the advantage of experience, I would have agreed with him. I didn’t share my opinion with him (of course), but simply explained that the seller is not obligated to sell the product and that he was welcome to pay the 15 pence more for the product. He declined, and that should have been that. But it wasn’t. He felt the need to wound me with words about my morals.
If I were to respond on morals; the morals of us all, I would say that we must be careful not to elevate cheapness (bargain hourly rates, women’s lives condensed to fit everything in, teaching support reduced to casual cover with no contract, Indie writing summed up as “vanity publishing”, mass produced products), over everything else, because in doing so, we cheapen our very lives.
This is one of the reasons, a few years ago, I decided to put the price of my Indie books on Amazon up. Because all the years of free time I put into them must be worth something; me getting repetitive strain injury in my fingers from pressing a pricing gun has to cost something.
Never underestimate a writer.
All my love,