Zeitgeist

zeitgeist ˈzʌɪtɡʌɪst/

noun

the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.

This word really annoys me because it seems to be overused in the media. I’ve even heard ‘zeitgeisty’, which really curls my toes. Possibly more than the word moist. Maybe it just sounds harsher than it is. I don’t know. It’s just not on my list of favourite words.

Which words curl your toes? which words make you happy?

Yin Yoga

tulipYin yoga has the same goals as any other kind of yoga; however, it goes deeper than the superficial or muscular tissues (yang tissues). Yin yoga targets the connective stuff (ligaments, bones and joints) which don’t normally get a workout in the active styles of yoga practice.

Yin yoga is suitable for almost anyone because it complements the more dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasise internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles. I find that Yin Yoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, and lower spine – my pain points from repeated damage through extreme exercise.

Initially, yin yoga can seem a little boring and passive, but if you’re doing it right, can be quite challenging due to the length of time one has to hold each pose. I’ve heard that some postures can last up to twenty minutes – I’ve never made it that long. But it’s definitely meditative. And self-accepting. You can only work with yourself and your own limitations. You have to listen to your body. You’re not competing with anyone else. Pretty magical!

It’s also therapeutic because you are working with your own blockages, and resistance. How I respond to each pose, or work through it, is quite evocative of how I deal with things in daily life, too. And it has enabled me to slowly assess and improve my reactions for the better.

 

X is for kisses

kissesAll kinds of kisses. Raspberry kisses reserved for baby tummies. Passionate kisses reserved for new loves. Familiar kisses for old loves. I-want-to-kill-you-for-leaving-a-red-sock-in-the-wash-but-I-Love-You-kid kisses. I’m-only-kissing-you-to-stay-in-your-good-books kisses. 

Today’s kisses are going to the locum doctor who heard my tale of woe and has given me a prescription for stronger steroids and antihistamines. I have taken the pill, applied the cream, and now, for the first time in two weeks, feel no pain. I don’t want to rip my face off any more! So kisses, doctor man, kisses. I almost didn’t take it because I mis-heard fexofenadine for fluoxetine – duh!

But no fluoxetine. Just fexofenadine. Simply typing these is making me dizzy.

What makes me less amused is the steroid cream for my red, itchy, welty hives. Its possible side effects include “skin irritation, e.g. redness, rash, itching or burning on application, or allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis)”. Oh, yay! But I’m not going to worry about that. I’m just going to look forward to a good night’s sleep.

Sidebar: There were a lot of X words to choose from, but none that didn’t make me scratch my head. 

 

 

 

Withholding the Whimsy

We seem to withhold a lot from ourselves at one point or another, depending on circumstances. Love, dessert, trust, sleep. I could go on.

What if we allowed ourselves the treats, the whimsy that makes life fun and colourful? Have we forgotten that generosity can breed joy? Buy someone else a cup of coffee today. Give someone flowers for no reason. Buy yourself that little treat you’ve wanted but has no real purpose. Except to make your heart happy.

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I bought this perfect teeny-tiny cup and saucer on a leisurely stroll through the Sablon market in Brussels last Christmas. It was so perfect in its smallness, I just had to have it. I had a mental debate with myself and agreed that if it was less than ten euros, it was mine.

The postcard is from an assortment I bought from Ali Makes Things – she’s on instagram and her feed is inspiring. The notebook is by teNeues. I love almost everything they make and you can never have too many notebooks. Ever.

If you were to stop withholding the whimsy, would it make you a teeny bit happier, too?

 

 

Unexpected Unknown

Go into the unexpected unknown. Explore your city. Explore the next town over. Be a tourist, but leave the map at home. Expect the unexpected. Try a new coffee shop. A new book store. If you can handle it, leave your smartphone at home and just see with your eyes. DD & I do this every once in a while, and these are some of the most fun times we spend together.

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Flow magazine issue 12

Today, I discovered a hidden church on a street I go down at least three times a week. DD was in hysterics that I had completely missed it roughly THREE HUNDRED times. She took great delight in pointing out the beautiful Madonna carved in to the side of the façade, “in case I missed that, too”. 

Also check out NeSpoon’s gorgeous ‘urban jewelry‘: doilies will never look the same again!

Klutz, kvetch & kvell

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I spent a fair amount of time in Pennsylvania as a teenager, with a lot of Pennsylvania Dutch and Jewish friends. My vocabulary improved vastly! As a linguaphile, I couldn’t wait to integrate the words I learnt into daily use. Here are some brilliant words borrowed from Yiddish, which I love using:

KLUTZ : a klutz is a clumsy person. A klutz has the agility of a wooden beam.

KVETCH : both a verb & noun. To complain and be a complainer.  Multipurpose! One can kvetch and be a kvetch. Plus, the ‘kv’ sound is just so satisfying.

KVELL : To burst with pride, especially for a family member. To shout it out loud. As in, I’m usually  kvelling about DD. Again, the ‘kv’ sound. Lush.

Have you got any audacious or fun K words to share? Last year, I wrote about kaffi, kanilsnudar and koeksisters.

Justified and Ancient

I am both. Seriously, who remembers this video from 25 years ago?! And who feels really, really old now? Hands up, y’all!

Husband couldn’t believe there was a reference to an ice-cream van in there, so I had to play the video several times over this evening to prove my point. DD now feels really, really sorry for us. I think she despairs.

You’re welcome. Enjoy. Good luck getting it out of your head. Got any other classics for payback?

The courage to be imperfect

wpid-img_20150825_141358.jpgIf you read my post Wholehearted last year, you will know that my favourite quotes and talks on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame come from Dr. Brené Brown, research professor and author of Daring Greatly, The Gifts of Imperfection and Rising Strong.

Brené’s 2010 TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world, with over 19 million views.

Here are some of her quotes which really resonate with me:

The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness. If it doesn’t feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive.

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.

‘Crazy-busy’ is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.

I can encourage my daughter to love her body, but what really matters are the observations she makes about my relationship with my own body.

Are you a Brené Brown fan? Have you watched her TEDx talk? What did you believe about vulnerability and being vulnerable?

Guilty pleasures

The unbranded soft and fruity red wine – it goes down so smoothly

Reading romance and chick lit all day

Binge-watching Say Yes to the Dress with DD

Lying in the sunshine, WITHOUT sunscreen

Eating way too many of BB’s pancakes & galettes