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I stand quietly

Moving account of a mother and daughter’s daily challenges, please read…… Thank you for writing and sharing this with us.

Dirty, Naked & Happy

I stand quietly while you do somersaults on the bed as you aren’t being naughty, you are just trying to get your out of sync body under control.

I stand quietly by the toilet door every time you need to go, and come with you around the house, and sometimes even just across the room, because I know you can feel truly frightened when you are not near me.

I stand quietly at the supermarket checkout while everyone stares at you barking like a dog and blowing raspberries on my arms to cope with the buzzing lights.

I stand quietly while you tell the baffled shop owner that you are looking for shoes that feel hard like splintered wood because your skin can’t bear soft things.

I stand quietly when the attendant gives us scornful looks when I ask for the key to the disabled toilet because the hand dryer…

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Artist Arranges Rocks And Leaves Into Beautiful Geometric Land Art

These works of art are stunning.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…..

Artist Arranges Rocks And Leaves Into Beautiful Geometric Land Art.

Dietmar Voorwold, a German artist based in Scotland, creates beautiful and temporary works of natural land art by arranging rocks, leaves and other natural materials into simple but beautiful geometric shapes and patterns.

Most of his art is created with materials found on-site, so almost anyone can try their hand at land art. Voorwold leaves his artworks behind, so all that’s eventually left of them are his photographs and memories. But Voorwold explains that that’s the point: “It is just for the moment. This is a very therapeutic aspect of my way of creating art.

A strong believer in the therapeutic value of art, Voorwold also holds art therapy classes for people, teaching them and guiding him to create their own land art.


…. and my favourite, today….



The Butterfly that Changes Your Life

Register or order here!

I started Be Calm Feel Alive because of my journey through Graves’ Disease.  Graves’ is an autoimmune condition that affects you physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially.  There are several key organs affected by the condition including eyes, shins, and predominantly the thyroid – the butterfly shaped organ situated in your neck that has so much impact on your life.

I was ill for several years before diagnosis and have relapsed and remitted several times since then.  However, I took control of my health through educating myself.  I can honestly say that I knew far more about the condition and its impacts and treatments than any of the endocrinologists and GPs I have seen.  I say that without arrogance, as they could all tell me far more about the ‘science’ of the condition as they had been taught.  But they all had a narrow view of what it the disease is, does, and how we can help ourselves.

My journey has been a rollercoaster of experience and I am now able and willing to tell it here at  Please register to receive updates and comment on posts and I hope my experience helps others with their journey.

Meanwhile, and what has prompted me to post this today, I have discovered an online event that I have registered for.  The Thyroid Summit features the top practitioners in the field with 32 presentations on various aspects of autoimmune conditions and thyroid health.  It took me years to discover even a fraction of this information!  You can register for the free event here (please note these are my affiliate links – I only get commission if you buy the summit and none for registering for it as it is a free event from 2-9 June – thanks!)

and you can buy the full summit to watch at your leisure, at the Special Summit Price of $67, that’s less than £42 in the UK, here

Hope to see you back here another day too!

Enjoy the presentations and educate yourself back to health! 





Take a mind trip – safe place visualisation

Image by PeskyMonkey, available from
Float away!   There are many types of relaxation and meditation exercises, suitable for different times and situations.  This is one of my favourites to do if your mind needs a break.  Excellent to do in bed to help you drift off to sleep, this is also a lovely way to pass time – when you are travelling, waiting in a long queue, switching your mindset from work to rest.


Visualisation is an excellent choice if your mind continues racing when you sit down to ‘try’ and relax.   Visualisation helps you use that mental activity to help you drift away from your worries and external environment.  This exercise gives you a quick mental holiday any time you want it!

How to….. 

Find a comfortable spot to sit at a time you will not be disturbed (switch off the phone).

Take in some deep slow breaths exhaling for twice as long as you inhale (try counting 3 seconds in 6 out).  Keep your eyes open when you breathe in and close them when you breathe out.   After 5 or 6 complete breaths, keep your eyes closed and breathe normally.

Think of a place that makes you feel safe and comfortable.   This place can be real or imagined.  Ask yourself these questions and answer them in your mind, in the place that makes you feel safe and comfortable.

  • Are you indoors or outdoors?
  • What is the weather like?
  • Are you alone or with people?
  • Are you doing something or just ‘there’?
  • Experience this place as fully as you can by focusing on each of your senses, 1 by 1.
  • Look around at the shapes and colours.  Can you see different shades or red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink?
  • Can you see big shapes, round, square, tiny, irregular shapes?
  • Can you hear any sounds?
  • Are there nice smells?
  • Can you taste anything?
  • Are there interesting textures and things to touch?

Take a closer look.  In your mind you can get up and walk around.

Spend a few minutes exploring this place and how safe and comfortable you feel there.

This is your place.  You can come back to it any time you like.  Take another look around before you prepare to come back.

Take a few deep breaths.  Stretch your fingers and toes.   Slowly open your eyes and take this feeling of relaxation into the rest of your day …. and smile!

The added bonus of this visualisation is that the more you do it, the more your mind knows what to expect and the more effective it is.  You can also learn to pop in and out of your place, even for a minute or two, if you need a break or to calm your mind.


3 simple ways to enter the present moment

Mindfulness (Photo credit: kenleyneufeld)

I am a strong advocate for mindfulness, and a grateful beneficiary of its practice.  Simple, easy-to-learn, effective, mindfulness helps calm thoughts and emotions, puts you in touch with your environment and helps you feel comfortable in your own skin.  There are numerous articles about the approach and here is one of my favourites – keeping it real, keeping it now, keeping it so easy!


The calm of the eternal present is always with us. Accessing it is deceptively simple. In fact, it is more complicated to escape the present moment than to be in it.

The problem is, we are naturally complicated! We learn early in life to avoid the simplicity of the moment and live inside an entangled mind-mess.

So, back to basics!

We connect to the present through our senses. In this article, we’ll review simple ways to use the senses to sweep away the mind-mess and just be here and now. The trick is to avoid making meaning. When you make meaning, you must go inside your mind. It is so easy at that point to make meaning that is emotionally upsetting.

All of us need a break from the internal commotion.

How to access the external present

For me, the external present is the break I need. It is so calm and mundane. When I am fully aware of my immediate surroundings, there is no mind chatter, no worry about the future, no regret, no problem. We cannot spend all of our time here, but spending some time here every day is extraordinarily beneficial.

The key to getting really calm is to pay attention to the consistent and mundane. We can do it by listening, feeling and seeing in particular ways. Here are some examples.

Listen: Choose white noise and tune in fully. The sound of a fan. The hum of the refrigerator. The sound of running water. Mundane, consistent white noise is what you want.

Tune in, just listen and do not try to relax – just tune in fully to the sound. After a few seconds, you will feel yourself “settle.” Research has proven that this settling is related to your brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN). It switches off when engaged in this kind of conscious task. The DMN is the brain’s autopilot – which has been called the “inner commotion machine.”

Feel: Feel textures and temperatures in your immediate environment. The feel of the texture of your clothing on your skin. Feel the temperature of the table, or something cool. Feel the rough texture of your blue jeans against the back of your hand.

Put all of your attention on the feeling and forget everything else. You should experience the same settling after a few seconds. When you settle, you have achieved true contact with your environment and have arrived in the calm of the here and now.

See: See patterns, shapes and textures. Don’t see what things are. See how they are. Textures, shapes and patterns are everywhere! When you look at your house, see the texture of the siding. See the overall shape of the home and the pattern or texture in the brick, stone or stucco, for example.

The visual is more complicated because we are so used to labeling things, making meaning out of them and getting lost in that meaning. However, when you simply see patterns, shapes and texture, you see the world differently – much calmer.

Again, don’t expect to live your entire life in the present moment. You cannot prosper without planning a future. You cannot grow and develop character without learning from the past. You can, however, benefit greatly by giving your mind a break – even for a few minutes a day – in the eternal, meaningless present.

I hope you enjoy these tools. The iNLP Center offers a comprehensive program that turns off your stress switch – the brain’s DMN – by expanding on these ideas. Check it out here. 

About the author:
Watch the free video The AHA! Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.

The information in this video has been called the missing link in mental health and personal development. In a world full of shallow, quick-fix techniques, second rate psychology and pharmaceutical takeovers, real solutions have become nearly impossible to find. This presentation will turn your world upside down.

Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center and host of Mental Health Exposed, a Natural News Radio program.

Follow Mike on Facebook for daily personal development tips.

Learn more:

THANK YOU TO THE ARTICLE SOURCE:  Three simple ways to enter the present moment.

Why complicate life?

Here’s one I keep coming back to.  I’ve seen several different photos used but same great message each time. It is still the most popular post on my facebook page and has received many likes and comments.  I hope it resonates with you.

Increase your chances for remembering

I was reading this facebook page today and it is worth a look – some really good links in there. I’m also pleased to see that many of the tips they have listed are similar in nature to our current top tips! Here is a really nice practical tip that can be useful to all of us. Their number 16 becomes our top tip 28 🙂
Remember to remember.
People often realise too late that they have forgotten to do something that they had meant to do and setting an alarm or leaving a ‘post-it’ is not always practical. You can increase your chances of remembering what to do by thinking about where and when you’re going to do it. For example, you might think, “when I get home and sit down on the couch, I will pick up the phone and call my mother”.
Gollwitzer (1999)

Furious dancing

Musical number for today’s top tip. When you are dancing you are in tune with the rhythms around you, whether music or some other beat. You express your connection with them in your own unique way, moving, swaying, stepping, stomping, waving and shaking. Dancing is about enjoying the now, feeling and experiencing the moment, creating the present. It is a solo passion and a group experience. You can communicate to another person or you can tell a history. For some it can be a spiritual experience. Dance every day – anywhere, everywhere!!

Feel alive with bananas

Banana is the common name for herbaceous plant...

BANANAS!  Here are some extraordinary uses for them courtesy of RD

Make a face mask

Who needs Botox when you have bananas? That’s right: You can use a banana as an all-natural face mask that moisturizes your skin and leaves it looking and feeling softer. Mash up a medium-sized ripe banana into a smooth paste, then gently apply it to your face and neck. Let it set for 10-20 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water. Another popular mask recipe calls for 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 medium banana.

Eat a frozen “banana-sicle”

As a summer treat for friends and family, peel and cut four ripe bananas in half (across the middle). Stick a wooden ice-cream stick into the flat end of each piece. Place them all on a piece of wax paper, and then put it in the freezer. A few hours later, serve them up as simply yummy frozen banana-sicles. If you want to go all-out, quickly dip your frozen bananas in 6 ounces (170 grams) melted butterscotch or chocolate morsels (chopped nuts or shredded coconut are optional), then refreeze.

Tenderize a roast

Banana leaves are commonly used in many Asian countries to wrap meat as it’s cooking to make it more tender. Some folks in these areas say the banana itself also has this ability. So the next time you fear the roast you’re cooking will turn tough on you, try softening it up by adding a ripe, peeled banana to the pan.

Polish silverware and leather shoes

It may sound a bit like a lark, but using a banana peel is actually a great way to put the shine back into your silverware and leather shoes. First, remove any of the leftover stringy material from the inside of the peel, then just start rubbing the inside of the peel on your shoes or silver. When you’re done, buff up the object with a paper towel or soft cloth. You might even want to use this technique to restore your leather furniture. Test it on a small section first before you take on the whole chair.

Brighten up houseplants

Are the leaves on your houseplants looking dingy or dusty? Don’t bother misting them with water — that just spreads the dirt around. Rather, wipe down each leaf with the inside of a banana peel. It’ll remove all the gunk on the surface and replace it with a lustrous shine.

Deter aphids

Are aphids attacking your rosebushes or other plants? Bury dried or cut-up banana peels an inch or two deep around the base of the aphid-prone plants, and soon the little suckers will pack up and leave. Don’t use whole peels or the bananas themselves, though; they tend to be viewed as tasty treats by raccoons, squirrels, gophers, rabbits, and other animals, who will just dig them up.

Use as fertilizer or mulch

Banana peels, like the fruit itself, are rich in potassium — an important nutrient for both you and your garden. Dry out banana peels on screens during the winter months. In early spring, grind them up in a food processor or blender and use it as a mulch to give new plants and seedlings a healthy start. Many cultivars of roses and other plants, like staghorn ferns, also benefit from the nutrients found in banana peels; simply cut up some peels and use them as plant food around your established plants.

Add to compost pile

With their high content of potassium and phosphorus, whole bananas and peels are welcome additions to any compost pile — particularly in so-called compost tea recipes. The fruit breaks down especially fast in hot temperatures. But don’t forget to remove any glued-on tags from the peels, and be sure to bury bananas deep within your pile — otherwise they may simply turn out to be a meal for a four-legged visitor.

Attract butterflies and birds

Bring more butterflies and various bird species to your backyard by putting out overripe bananas (as well as other fruits such as mangos, oranges, and papayas) on a raised platform. Punch a few holes in the bananas to make the fruit more accessible to the butterflies. Some enthusiasts swear by adding a drop of Gatorade to further mush things up. The fruit is also likely to attract more bees and wasps as well, so make sure that the plat-form is well above head level and not centrally located. Moreover, you’ll probably want to clear it off before sunset, to discourage visits from raccoons and other nocturnal creatures.

Toddling through

We’re on the final stretch towards sharing a top tip for every day of January, to help you be calm and feel alive in 2014! Here’s top tip 25.

We are built to walk. We get up on 2 legs to toddle through curiosity and an insatiable desire to explore and to get to places. It is instinctual yet as we grow up and grow older, we walk less and less. We sit, in cars, in buses, in front of the TV, at work, while we are waiting, during meals. It becomes an effort to walk for any reason let alone for the fun of it, for the adventure.

Top tip 25 is to walk, more than you do just now, and build from there. Set small goals of walking a few minutes per day, or 10 minutes in the local park, or to the shops. Do this by yourself or better yet, walk with a friend or join a group. There are likely to be organised walking groups in your local area (see here for walks in Scotland) at all levels from beginner/very easy to advanced. Give it a try! You will feel better after your first walk and will feel great after just a few days walking each day out in the fresh air. And just maybe, you could rediscover your natural curiosity and desire to explore 🙂

For further inspiration, check out this amazing and easy to watch video about walking and weight loss……