Category Archives: My dance

Woman 1 – Bracelet Inspiration

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Woman 1 – Bracelet Inspiration

Woman 1 is the latest in the chakra bracelet range at The Riverbank Witch, inspired by the new moon and a very special lady.

The first bracelet, Chakra Balance, was created following a weekend at a friend’s house, where a group of us dancers came together to chill, chat and share our talents. We danced, and ate delicious food, tried our hand at a drop spindle and made wooden ‘roses’. We learned to crochet and had unlimited access to two bead boxes. Using coloured beads, I created my first chakra bracelet, a gift for our hostess, and by the time I’d arrived home, I knew I wanted to make the ‘real thing’. Chakra Balance was born.

In February 2021, almost a year since the first lockdown, I began dancing the chakras, focussing on a different one each week in an effort to restore my confidence. Unable to teach dance classes or set up my stall at book fairs, I’d withdrawn, feeling safer at home, away from people. The first chakras were challenging, especially the solar plexus, but on reaching the heart, something changed inside me, and I stayed with the heart for a few weeks, embracing new ideas that surfaced. From this work with the heart chakra, I was inspired to create Moss Agate and Rose Quartz bracelets.

I continued dancing through the chakras, and at the third eye, I sought solace in the wisdom of Cerridwen. I took her advice, immersing myself with inspiration from the budding nature all around me. I purchased flower spacers for a new bracelet, certain a ‘nature’ bracelet was to be my next creation, but instead, Lapis Lazuli was born, linked to third eye wisdom but inspired by the immense beauty of the starry sky, worn by the goddess Inanna as a girdle. Practical wisdom was still at my finger tips from Cerridwen, but it was Inanna in her aspect as Queen of Heaven, that helped me see ‘beyond the veil’, and opened up new potential for me, and in me.

At the latest dark moon, I felt no qualms embracing the goddess Lilith. As hand maiden to Inanna, I felt confident in her hands, and we’ve worked through many of my shadow thoughts together. At this time, while one dancer friend is getting married, I remember another, our beautiful friend, Anna, taken from us too soon. Woman 1 is a bracelet for inspiration and well being, inspired by Anna.

Moss Agate – allow your heart to expand with love, both for people, all living creatures and the natural world. Drop pebbles of love and kindheartedness into daily life, and watch the ripples spread out into your communty.

Lapis Lazuli – be open to possibilities you may not have considered before, trusting your own judgement. Don’t be blinkered by the past or other people’s beliefs. You don’t have to ‘do’ – you are allowed to ‘be’.

Amethyst – Love purple! Don’t be afraid to wear whatever you like, and embrace all aspects of yourself – jumping in puddles and making daisy chains are good for you. Be aware of your dreams. Be all of you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the story behind the bracelets. Fiction writing is not yet flowing from my fountain pen, and though I’ve tried to encourage it, I’m drawn back to my beads and my knitting needles. There will be a time to write, but in the mean time, I hope you’ll purchase a bracelet that calls out to you, and helps you on your journey.

New moon blessings xx

Where did all the words go?

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Where did all the words go?

After celebrating the Winter Solstice with all my children on 21st December 2019, I turned my attention to the coming year, and the launch of The Riverbank Witch. I submitted my short story ‘The Dance of Love’ on the 26th December for an anthology, and was accepted. I uploaded another short story, ‘Lowri’s Forest’ to Book Funnel, to send out to volunteer readers, to decide whether to turn it into a novel, and the feedback was unanimous that I should.

Tribal Unity Wales dance classes began in Lampeter and Aberystwyth on 7th January 2020, with new ladies, as well as regular dancers. My diary began filling up with annual dance gigs like Lampeter Food Festival and The Steampunk Extraordinarium in Blaenavon with The Wee Crafty Folk. I joined prayers at 7am on Friday 10th January, the full moon, praying for rain for Australia. I woke the following morning, dizzy and disorientated, and my heart racing. Fear, swamped me, according to my diary. I had a real feeling that something more than the fires was going to happen. I organised knitters to knit joey pouches, and liaised with those transporting to Australia, and delivered our boxes to Bridgend.

At the end of January, my story ‘Leap of Faith’ was published by Zimbell in their Time Guardians anthology, and the idea, to combine all my magical creating under one, and operate as The Riverbank Witch, was underway. At Tribal Unity Wales, we learned Bollywood choreographies with the fabulous Kritika, and I began a list of possible craft fairs/book fairs/ faery festivals/craft markets and pagan markets, where I could set up a stall as The Riverbank Witch.

Throughout February I knitted and danced, and wrote and planned. I was eloquent and alive, and living a useful, worthwhile, helpful life, supporting and inspiring, creating a safe space for women to dance and be, as well as writing fiction about strong, practical, resourceful, amazing women. Inspired by the countryside around me, the magic and the muse were flowing with ideas and words…..and then the world was halted………..and my life was cancelled.

Then began the painful months, begging banks and mortgage companies, and signing on for benefits for the first time in my life. How I found the words to speak, I don’t know, but I still have my roof over my head.

Online dancing was difficult from the start, living on a Welsh hillside with a pathetic WiFi signal, and many of my ladies don’t have space in their homes to set aside to dance uninterrupted. Cancelling events in my diary began, each loss like a stab in the heart. I didn’t celebrate the publishing of my short story ‘The Dead Game’, not when there was a killer disease on my door step, and people I knew were getting sick.

With my partner at home, there was no time or space to write even if the words had been there. But instead of the usual ideas that had pervaded my head for so many years, magical fiction, linked closely with the Earth, now I was grieving for her, ripped apart by forest fires and devastated by acres and acres of cattle and pig farms, spewing pollutants into the earth, rivers and atmosphere.

We worked outside when the weather allowed, creating new vegetable beds and an area on the riverbank for fruit, anything to keep our minds and bodies active; anything we could do that cost next to nothing.

Not being able to go to the beach was almost as unbearable as not being able to see my sons. My riverbank was my solace, but I yearned for the sounds and smells of the ocean, embracing me and enhancing my magic and my life. I focussed on expanding my knitted, cotton range for The Riverbank Witch, determined to make a small difference, encouraging people to ditch throwaway wipes in favour of more sustainable options. I picked up my WIP, the sixth and final book in the Lizzie Martin Series, The Real Witch, and began to read it through with a view to write on, but my head was full of forest fires, rising hospital admissions and death rates.

In the middle of the summer last year, my partner secured a job that could be done socially distanced, but would take four weeks of long days and nights. On a whim, I abandoned The Real Witch, and began writing a new novel, out of my short story ‘Lowri’s Forest’. It’s a post apocalyptic kind of book. I wrote the first half, just over 50k words. They flowed out of me with ease. I allowed Lowri to feel some of my pain, as well as hers, and together we reached the half way point in the novel. I stopped. My partner had no more work and I had no words. Why? Because in order to complete the book, I needed a sense of hope.

It is the 1st March 2021, St David’s Day in Wales, and a bright but cold day, here on my Welsh hillside. The birds join me now on my early morning walk, and beneath my feet, the earth is warming up to spring. After the blessings of the full moon on Saturday, I’ve chakra bracelets to make for Artemis Soul Sanctuary in Monmouth, and seeds to plant to begin my vegetable growing this year. The Riverbank Witch has already launched a new product, our Twisted Headband, updated our Fresh Face bundle with extra face pads, and I’ve done the product testing on a new creation, launching on 21st March.

I haven’t seen my boys for over a year, but I am hopeful.

My depression takes my spoken words from me. I turn inward, protecting myself, keeping silent, knowing that one rebuke will be one too many to bear.

My fear takes my written words. The natural world, that has ruled my life since I was a small child talking to the moon with my toy rabbit, is hurting, because humanity takes with no thought of giving back. Fires, melting ice sheets, rising sea levels and tsunamis, are Nature’s way of fighting back, seeking to rectify the imbalance we cause Her. But I don’t fear for Her. No, I’m afraid that humans won’t listen until it’s too late. The devastation caused by animal agriculture has been known for decades, as has the possibility that an animal virus can and will spread to humans if given the right circumstances, yet the appalling, barbaric conditions animals are reared in, continues. The world is talking about coronavirus, but I’ve heard nothing from any government about urgent meetings to discuss animal agriculture practices or help or subsidies for farmers to diversify, away from animals and into crops. There is no talk of a different, new, sustainable future, but instead, it’s all about getting back to ‘normal’.

‘Normal’ is putting power, politics and profit first. Isn’t it time to put people, parity and the planet first?

I cannot change the world on my own, but I need to be true to myself. As The Riverbank Witch, I stand up for sustainablity, recycling and working with the planet, rather than against her. Every day, I am mindful to do my best in this regard, and encourage others to do the same. The vaccine has given the world hope, and we must not abuse this wonderful blessing, but use it as a platform to create a better world than the one pre lockdown.

And hope is rising in me. My partner is working next week. I’ll be ready and waiting for the words and ideas that flit around the universe, to land in my head so I can write again.

Thank you to my friend and sister, Sheena Cundy, for your love and support, encouraging me to share, even when I feel that I don’t have the words xx

Life begins at fifty – Healthy Life #16 -Sleep is your super power

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Deep down, I’ve always known how important sleep is for happiness and health, but over the years, I’ve made a lot of excuses.

During my teenage years, I could stay up late and snooze anywhere, determined not to miss a thing.

As a mother, sleep was a luxury for a number of years, especially when child no3 decided to sleep no more than two hours, day or night, for the first two years of her life, bless her. And then there was the Christmas Eve I didn’t sleep at all when same child decided she was putting up a stocking for Big Ted and Magic Ted, so I sat up all night knitting them scarves!

When I was poorly, I grabbed as much sleep as I could, especially when I was recovering. At this time in my life, in my mid thirties, I discovered the beauty of a power nap, and used it whenever I could. I took a lot of hurtful banter in the school playground, where other mother’s were critical of my need to have a break in the middle of the day, but if I was up at 6.30am and often didn’t finish teaching dance until after 9pm, I needed 40 minutes rest to keep going.

My family grew up, and I needed my sleep to pack in as many things into my day as I could manage – dancing, cooking, writing and looking after elderly parents, to name a few

And then we moved to Wales, and embarked on a new adventure! I’ve never needed good sleep more in my whole life! But you don’t have to believe me – believe the science! Watch this video in your tea break (just 20 minutes) and you’ll soon realise why I do my utmost to get 8 hours of sleep EVERY night! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MuIMqhT8DM&t=1035s

Matthew Walker is an English scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the impact of sleep on human health and disease.Enjoy….and good night!

 

Life Begins at Fifty – Healthy Life #15 – Everything is changing

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Finding the perfect, balanced vegan diet for my body is taking time, but I’m enjoying the challenge. Abandoning calorie restriction was the best move I made, as I’m loving eating bowls of plant based whole foods and feeling full and energised…and I’ve lost another two pounds.

Due to my daughter asking to come and live with us in June this year, everything has changed, and that’s one reason I’ve not been posting as much. I’ve taken my books to book fairs…

But there’s been little time for writing as I’ve been lime mortaring and painting to get a room ready for my daughter.

My eldest son married this year too, so it’s been a summer of family love.

The biggest change is the best one, and I’m going to shout about it….I’VE MORE ENERGY THAN I’VE EVER HAD! Eating a whole food plant based diet keeps me fuller for longer and nourishes my body so well. I’ve enjoyed my dance so much this year too, now I bend in the middle again! I’m not the same shape as I was, that’s definitely changed, but I don’t care…I can fit in my jeans and I feel well and healthy.

My lack of novel writing made me sad and angsty for a while, so I started writing short stories again and had a few published…

Witch Lit: Words from the Cauldron was produced by myself and the rest of the Witch Lit Admin team, Laura Perry, Sheena Cundy and Ruth Aitken. All proceeds go to Books for Africa https://www.amazon.co.uk/Witch-Lit-Witches-Who-Write-ebook/dp/B07SCVXR88

Zimbell House publishing brought out 1969, and my story is the first one in it. https://www.amazon.co.uk/1969-Zimbell-House-Anthology-Publishing-ebook/dp/B07S2L2HQX

But as the Wheel turns, making its way into autumn, I’m back writing ‘The Able Witch’, the fifth book in the Lizzie Martin series. Once its finished, I’ll continue with the final book, before publishing four, five and six for your enjoyment. You can start the series here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV

or here for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV

Don’t forget, you can listen to me reading you stories on my Welsh riverbank at Phoenix and the Dragon on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

Plus I’m talking books and everything magical on the Witch Lit Podcast, as well as interviewing other magical writers https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHtAJO5uh6c9TSai1lhwF7g

I’ve continued my daily walks and using Dr Gregor’s Daily Dozen App, but I don’t worry too much about my activity levels anymore. I know that if I eat whole food plant based, and take my B12 supplement, I’m taking in all the nutrition and goodness my body needs. If I want a berry, banana and spinach smoothie, I’ll have one! I drink two or three mugs of hibiscus tea daily, which I love, boosting my antioxidants and keeping the colds away. I dance a minimum of six hours a week, not including performances, and I’ve been barrowing, chopping wood, fixing barns and moving stuff outside….

So I won’t be joining the gym anytime soon!

Apologies for my lack of posting, but I’m starting to create a new routine out of all these changes, and I’ll be back soon trying out new recipes and sharing useful and informative posts and videos to inspire you to eat well, nourish your body and live your life to the full. Bright blessings xx

 

 

 

Changing my routine

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I’m a creature of habit who loves a routine, but I don’t want to get stuck in a rut, especially if the routine is an ‘old story’ I’d do best to forget and write a new one.

With three weeks to go before I needed to go back to teaching dance four times a week, I wanted to re-establish the important routines in my life.

The first step was to get back into my daily walking routine. I hadn’t stopped walking each morning, first thing, but I’d been doing less steps then, and far less during the day, as my time was spent renovating. Now that’s done, I’ve created a new morning walk that is working towards clocking up 3.5k steps and 30 minutes of active exercise on my Fitbit.

I started with 2.5k and 20 minutes, which was fine as I’ve also got back to pulling brambles and nettles, and barrowing stones, so they clocked up extra active minutes, but by pushing over the 30 minutes in the morning, I’m guaranteeing myself the minimum every day, and setting myself up to achieve a minimum of 10k steps too.

My 5 minute arm workout is also back as a daily one, especially as I’m not dancing as much at the moment. I was thrilled with how toned my arms looked in my sleeveless dress at my son’s wedding, and I want to keep them that way for as long as possible!

Having used Dr Gregor’s Daily Dozen App for over a six months, I’ve been able to keep my diet pretty balanced, and get the nutrients I’ve needed, but I have been eating a little more than I’ve needed. Vegan Magnum ice lollies are delicious, but don’t count as a whole food, unfortunately, so they, and a tendency to eat dates by the handful, need to be kept under control. I’m keen to return to eating until I’m full and then stopping, as the healthiest way to eat on a whole food plant based diet.

I’ve committed myself to more magic on my river bank than I have been this year so far. At the last full moon, I set off a powerful healing spell for a friend, that was added to and boosted by other magical creatives, and I’m happy to say our friend is a lot better.

But I’ve struggled to get back into a writing routine. I’m used to days, or big chunks of days, where my partner is at work and I can write. Even with a few hours to myself, I’m not writing, so I decided to hold myself to account. I have to write for ten minutes every day. It doesn’t matter what it is, but I have to sit and write for a minimum of ten minutes.

I’ve six short pieces so far (more by the time you read this!), some of which could be longer stories, or even novels.

Visit again for Holding myself to account, and a chance to have your say as to how I should expand my writing.

 

The Wheel turns. Everything changes Part 3

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The Wheel turns. Nothing stays the same. Since 14th June this year, my life has been chaotic. I’ve spent the past three weeks attempting to restore some of my familiar, important routines, but from the chaos I’ve emerged changed myself.

I don’t think we know what we’re capable of until we are challenged. Eighteen months ago, I stopped smoking, my hormones went crazy and I gained 30lbs in weight. I’ve never felt so ill, depressed and anxious in my life.

I didn’t look like myself, and felt like a totally different person. The doctor told me I’d have to get used to the mass of weight around my middle, that there was nothing I could do about it. I refused to believe her, and embarked on my own programme of diet and exercise, in a way that suited my life and body. Whole food plant based eating plus walking, dancing, yoga and a few specific exercises meant I attended my son’s wedding on 30th July, having lost all the weight and happy with my ‘new’ body.

And on the 14th June, we made a commitment to our daughter, to renovate the upstairs of our house to create a welcoming room for her by the 3rd August. We turned a barn-like space into a sanctuary.

Eating good food and not smoking helped our endeavours. Having lost a lot of weight and getting my waist back, helped me lime mortaring, lime washing, emulsioning and rubbing down woodwork, as I was able to bend and stretch as I always had, but realistically, I knew I couldn’t do everything. I still had dance classes to teach, and performances to lead my ladies in, so they had to stay, but without a deadline for my novel, I put my writing on hold.

I didn’t stop writing completely. I had a short story started, so I set myself the deadline to get it ready for the submission date of 15th July. I didn’t make it, but I’ll read you the story from my Welsh riverbank soon, and you’ll hear how much I enjoyed writing Secrets in the Water. (You can listen to other stories read by me on my YouTube channel Phoenix and the Dragon https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber)

And why have I changed?

I can do anything. All I need to do is go for it. Living my life with my daughter is wonderful. Who knows what adventures she and I will have in the future. Maybe we’ll start a business together. Deadlines are important, but spending time supporting and loving your family and friends is more important.

Visit again to find out which routines I’ve reinstated and a new way to get writing again.

 

Life begins at fifty – Healthy life #13 – Why Vegan?

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This post documents my personal journey from being brought up as a meat eater by my parents to my ethical and health based choice to be counted as a Vegan. Everyone’s story is different. My reason for sharing my story is my inability to understand how a person can stop being a Vegan, if they’ve made a stand to be counted as one, and return to eating animal products. Let me tell you why…

I was born and brought up in a typical, ordinary household, where we had a roast dinner on Sunday, that also made up a dinner of cold meat, chips and peas on Monday, and the remnants added to the curry on Tuesday. As a child, I always disliked hot meat.

It wasn’t until I left home, bumped into an old friend at a wedding reception, that I learned there was an alternative to eating meat and fish. I was in a position to cook for myself, but didn’t know how, so I signed myself up for an evening class in vegetarian cookery. I chose to give up eating living creatures when I committed to being a vegetarian. It wasn’t easy. Though I rarely ate out, omelettes were the usual choice available at a restaurant. Over the years I built up a repertoire of delicious vegetarian meals, sharing recipes in the school playground if asked. At that time, I believed I was doing my best for animals, the human family and the planet by not eating meat and fish. I’d read as widely as I could (before the internet) about the huge swathes of land and water given over to producing beef that could feed the world, and I wanted to be part of a movement that had that as a goal.

Almost fifteen years later, with my life maxed out with stress, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In order to stop the pain, I needed to change my diet. With little guidance, I struggled to work out what was causing the problem. Further tests revealed I was intolerant to wheat and dairy, as well as a list of other foods. Wheat and dairy were the main culprits, causing most of my pain, yet I’d spent years cooking and perfecting recipes that regularly featured both (hence the problem), and I struggled to cope with the change. I continued to cook for my family, while eating very little in an attempt to keep my pain small too.

Bellydance saved my life. I joined in a class at the age of 40 with my daughter, then aged 9. I knew if I wanted to dance, I needed to eat. I began to learn to put meals together for myself without wheat and dairy.

It took me years to get the balance of foods ‘right’ in my body, and I tended to eat less, just to be on the safe side.

Five years ago my partner and I moved to Wales. Around this time, one of our sons switched from vegetarian to veganism. He pointed me in the direction of videos and books, explaining how damaging dairy can be on the body. He lives with arthritis, has done since he was twelve, and he decided to remove dairy from his diet. The inflammation in his joints reduced significantly and he felt a lot better, so my partner and I took a step in that direction; I gave up the goat’s cheese I occasionally ate and the Magnum ice lollies (made with skimmed milk powder that didn’t affect me as much), and my partner cut down on cheese. The biggest change was adding more green vegetables to our diet and making them a much bigger part of our plate share. Eldest son and his fiancee joined in the plant based eating, switching from eating meat to focussing on plants. Recipe swapping was prevalent, though the youngsters were so much freer with trying new ideas, making up recipes as they went along.

January 2018 my partner and I gave up smoking nicotine. The hormones in my body went ballistic. Weight landed around my middle, I felt weighed down, depressed and anxious. I took up walking regularly. In the time we’d been in Wales, we’d watched documentaries and Youtube videos about the environment, knowing a crisis was coming. We’d always done our best to recycle and make as few trips in the car as possible. By December 2018 it was evident that the climate crisis was upon us. Everyone needed to do their best.

I knew eating a whole food, plant based diet was best for my body. I now know it’s best for the planet too. I can’t proclaim to care about the amazing planet we live on, if I don’t stand up and be counted as a Vegan. I know Vegan means different things to different people; it must do, or the vloggers who can quit so easily were lying all along. I was a vegetarian; I am now a Vegan, and for me that means not consuming animal products or derivatives, but it also means I live my life caring about the causes of all my actions; from driving to a supermarket for only three items, to buying a bag of salad in a plastic bag. I need to think, and make choices not just for me. I’m not perfect. I have a long way to go, but it’s no longer a good enough excuse to say ‘but plastic is so convenient’ or ‘but I prefer drinking from a plastic straw’.

The new array of Vegan products in the supermarkets made to taste like meat, are a step in the right direction for all meat eaters to join in Meat Free Monday, but small steps need to be converted to big strides quickly. We need celebrities to get on board now. I was appalled to read Dr Michael Moseley’s articles on why he won’t be going Vegan or giving up meat, and even more disheartened to read in the comments the hateful abuse against vegans. It’s time we woke up to what is really happening to our world, or there won’t be a world to wake up to. It’s time to care. The time has gone to say ‘I’ll think about it’. We need to act now, so why not join me on my Vegan journey?

I’m excited! I’ve thousands of new recipes and food combinations to explore. Plant based food tastes good and it does you good! My energy levels have definitely increased since the beginning of this year, and my excess weight is disappearing. Check out the recipes on this website – put in ‘plant based’ or ‘healthy eating’ into the search box and away you go. All recipes are tried and tested, and my tips and alternatives are listed for your convenience.

We already do clothes swaps within our tribe….why not organise a similar one with your friends? Use local swap sites rather than buying new. Recycle items yourself….the inside of a washing machine makes a fabulous fire pit!

We can do this! Let’s join forces to save our planet.

 

Life Begins at Fifty – Healthy Life #12 Life and Exercise

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I’ve been walking for over a year, first thing in the morning before I get dressed with my garden coat over my pyjamas, on the land surrounding our house. It suits me starting the day this way, getting an idea how tired my legs are and how my body feels before I embark on another day. I pushed up the number of steps and the intensity, and it helped loosen the tyre around my waist that had arrived after my hormones went into overdrive.

I’m lucky to be surrounded by such magnificent, inspiring scenery, helping me churn out the steps that I know will lead to a fitter, healthier body.

Visiting our children before Easter, they too enjoy long walks, out in the fresh air with friends and family, and I love nothing more than walking the length of a beach at low tide. This is me at Poppet Sands last week. Walking is essential for me as part of my fitness regime. It suits my body. I used it, pushing a pushchair around with my first born in it thirty years ago, when he refused to sleep during the day and I used it to kick start my weight loss and help me increase my fitness levels.

Dance is a fabulous way to get, and keep, fit, adding the bonus of being sociable and supportive as well as looking after your body. Bellydance fits into my life easily, as I teach on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, fitting in writing and marketing into the rest of the week, as well as working on the land and the house.

Running didn’t work for me; there just aren’t enough flat surfaces to run on where I live, and the recovery time after a run was just too long, with everything else I have to do, and that’s why when you’re deciding on exercise, it needs to fit in with your life. That’s not to say you shouldn’t make space for it, but for me, for instance, if I ran on a Friday, I wasn’t up for gardening/bramble pulling/barrowing until the Monday at the earliest, sometimes not even then. The benefit wasn’t enough for the amount of effort.

I was enjoying yoga after my morning walks, just a few positions and balances, and then I decided to push it; a half hour session to gentle music….after walking 4k steps. I was in agony for three days where I’d overstretched, so my advice is, it is your mind that believes it is still twenty seven years of age, but your body has lived a lot more years! So I’ve left off the yoga for a week, and shall be returning, to just a few poses, every morning.

What exercise do you enjoy? Swimming, bowls, canoeing? Running, cycling, archery? Be inspired to try new exercise and see how much you can fit into your life.

 

Life begins at fifty #healthy life 6 – The scales are not your friend

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I never owned bathroom scales because I didn’t need them. While I was smoking, if my jeans felt a little tight, I increased the amount of exercise I did, watched what I ate, and over a few weeks, the jeans would loosen, but not anymore….

My absolute conviction that eating five hundred calories a day less than I’m burning would make me lose weight has been shattered. I’m sure it plays a part, but I should have realised my mistake; we’re amazing, complex individuals – why would only one formula apply to everyone?

In a bid to affirm my belief, however, I bought bathroom scales in the January sales. I read lots of helpful advice online about weigh ins, the best I thought was weigh myself three days running, once a month to get an average of the weight loss….

What I did was weigh myself every morning, even though I said I wouldn’t. Why? Because I was exercising loads, following my plant based diet to get good nutritional benefit from my food and logging my calorie intake into Cronometer, so my reward would be to watch the pounds drop off, right? Wrong!

On the first three mornings I gained weight. Even though I knew I was being dumb, I got upset about it…and then I increased the exercise, to the point I was permanently exhausted. I continued this self berating/weighing scenario for about a month, before sharing with women in my dance class to find that they too were experiencing the same problem….their shape was changing, but they weren’t losing any weight, even though people were commenting that they had.

You may ask, why am I hung up on the amount I weigh and it’s a simple answer…the less weight I have to carry, the less pressure it puts on my already damaged knee. Yes, it would be nice to fit into my clothes again, but carrying less weight while increasing my exercise has to be better for me.

I am starting to listen though…my shape change could be because the fat is going and muscle is appearing, which we know is heavier. Since my body did its ‘return to factory settings’, I’m beginning to feel the benefit of the exercise in my legs…I’m walking quicker but getting less breathless…

On Saturday, my ATS® Bellydance tribe, Tribal Unity Wales and I hosted a hafla, a bellydance party, to raise money and collect donations of clothes, blankets and toiletries for S.H.A.R.P., Swansea Humanitarian Aid Response. We had so much fun, raised £132 and took in bags of donations….and I clocked up the most active minutes ever on my Fitbit!

I’m not getting hung up on the weight anymore, but instead, I’m looking for more ways to have fun with exercise, eat new, interesting food, try new recipes and live my life to the full.

I hope you’re enjoying Life begins at fifty – Healthy Life! Please like and follow and let others know!

Visit again for recipes, tips and sharing.

 

The magic of writing, dancing and healing – International Women’s Day 8th March 2019

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I am author, wise woman and goddess. I write, I dance, I teach, I heal, I inspire.

In March last year I published my first Witchlit novel, The Naked Witch, contemporary fiction, magical realism, where the magical and the mundane co-exist. Since then, I’ve published two more, The Orphan Witch and The Flowerpot Witch, gritty and believable stories with magic sprinkled through them, offering the reader a new perspective on reality. There are layers to my novels, making them enjoyable to all readers, hopefully teaching and inspiring too, dispelling the myths about modern day witches.

I discovered belly dance at the age of forty, having been told I was a fairy elephant and too fat to dance as a child. Fifteen years on, I’ve been teaching for eleven years, encouraging women to shake off their inhibitions and dance for themselves. I learned Egyptian belly dance first and taught that, before being bitten by the tribal bug, and completing my training in American Tribal Style® Belly dance. I began Tribal Unity Wales in March 2014. We take our dance into the community, not to perform but to share, offering other women the opportunity and the freedom to dance irrespective of age, size, shape or ability.

I’m reiki and aromatherapy massage trained, so mixed with my latest facilitator training in Kate Holland’s Awakened Bellydance ™, and my magical practice, I heal in my classes and workshops and through my writing.

I’m a riverbank witch, a hedge witch, living my life with the Wheel of the Year, honouring the Sabbats and loving and respecting all that lives on our amazing planet.

Embracing my crone phase, I am wise woman, not necessarily right, but reflective and contemplative where once I jumped in feet first. Looking back, I learn from my mistakes, let go of old stories and embrace new beginnings and exciting ideas.

 

The goddess is in me and in every woman. She is the tiny voice that tells you how beautiful and perfect you are. Trust in her helps us remember, because we all know, but it is just that this reality encourages us to forget who we are and where we came from. Hers is the voice that has inspired women to stand up for equality, for equal pay and equal rights, throughout history. The more we trust in her, and ourselves, the possibilities are infinite. Listen. She is here.