The interconnectedness of being

New you or new fad?

New you or new fad?

My new authentic self‘Every year I make a resolution to change myself. This year, I make a resolution to be my authentic self ‘

Yesterday my husband and I discussed the topic ‘self-help’. I am a self-confessed ‘self-help junkie’ and have been like this ever since I can remember. I was already doing this before it was recognized or even fashionable, so have a bit of experience in this field.

My husband’s point was that there was now too much of it out there. The pressure to constantly thrive for the ‘best version of you’ makes people unhappy and stressed. I actually agree with him.

But there are of course different versions of self-help. As this vast topic of ‘self-help’ has become so fashionable,  a lot of marketers are jumping on the bandwagon selling a lot of bad advice for huge sums of money. In my view, this is not self-help, but marketing some kind of new fad diet, plan, or product with totally unrealistic expectations and no long-term relevance.

Real self-help is being introspective and shining a light on what is not working so well for you. There is no fad, this is just a fact. We all have areas we struggle with and these are very individual. We often hear of people who we perceive as ‘super successful’ only to find out later down the line that they had actually a real rotten time during their ‘streak of public success’.

Can this be described as ‘real success’ – probably not.  I feel that a real sense of accomplishment comes from a place of contentment and moving forward in one’s own authentic and timely manner. It is not a static status quo, but an ever-evolving work of progress. It has to be done in alignment with what you need and what you are currently capable of achieving.  Otherwise, it becomes an unrealistic strain that leads to misery and self-doubt.

If an aspect of your life is not working, doing more of the same is insanity. So how do you change? In order to find a new way, it does make sense to look around to get advice and ideas of what works for others.  This is not a fad.  This is called a short cut and I am all for this.

If you had a burning desire to climb Kilimanjaro during the coming year, it would make sense to talk to someone who did the same journey last year. This person could give you a lot of advice on what gear to bring, which season to choose, and which local support network they would recommend. Doing no research at all and just going there with no preparation would be insane and dangerous.

So why don’t we follow through in this manner with all other areas of our life? 
That is exactly what I intend to do with Living With The Moon. I have been trawling through tons of advice, research, and old charts/tips left by my grandmother and have ordered them into categories relating to your
cleansing routine
Health and beauty – Looking Good – the turquoise symbols
Garden and Interior Design
Gardening and Home – Happy House – the green symbols
romance and love
Relationships and Love – Feeling love – the pink symbols
Ideas and brainstorming
Career, Vocation, and Money – the grey-blue symbols

Finding Balance

Happiness, inner fulfillment – Feeling great – yellow symbols

Look out for them in the LWTM Lifestyle Holistic Lifestyle  Calendar and click on the symbol descriptions for more information

Everybody who has followed this website for a while knows that I am not a big fan of big New Year Resolutions.  It never worked for me. That is why I put together the holistic life goal plannerLWTM Lifegoal Planner with a step-by-step program to gently guide you through the rapids of life. You get a free copy when you join our free LWTM membership. I put this together as a tool to help you and not as a fad to make money.
I hope you find it as useful as I do.

Have a happy and productive  2023

 

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Maureen

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Time is money

Time is money

Time is moneyBenjamin Franklin’s quote has not lost its point in today’s fast-paced society. Years ago futurologists predicated a golden, technological Eldorado, where computers would take care for all our mundane activities,  whilst we all enjoy a great deal of free time, sitting by the pool.  

I am not sure about you, but I only hear that the reverse is true. Most of my friends complain about too many emails, deadlines and pressure at work. Once upon a time people had secretaries who typed their correspondence, then it all went through a process of sending and receiving. The other person had time to think, draft a response and again another secretary would type these thoughts up and the process began again. Nowadays we ping off emails with the most complex contents and almost demand a response within the hour, no time to think, no time to breathe. Now multiply this example by a thousand and no wonder everybody is under stress and overloaded. We have become slaves to a never-ending stream of communication.

Don’t get me wrong, I of course think, that technology and the internet is great – but that of course is only when it works. I think everybody has a story to tell of a printer not working, computer programs not opening correctly and so on – and that costs time!

The internet and technology has of course opened up different ways of working and living and it is fabulous how quickly we can inform ourselves about new products, services and learn something new every day, even without leaving our own home. Perhaps we have to learn to use these new products, services and strategies to our advantage, with many free-lancers and service companies  now only a finger-tip away, only too happy to take some of the time-consuming burdens away. This would mean the time we gain we can do what Benjamin Franklin suggested and put strategies in place to use this time to make some money.

Step One – Take a close look at your current financial situation

Money is not the be-all, but let’s face it, we all need it and it is a vital part of our life. So let’s embrace it and let’s make it work for you!

First look at all your saving products, credit cards and current accounts. What is your current annual rate? Some products lure you in with lucrative percentages, but most of them only last so long. Are you still reaping the benefit or are these products now out of date. Do check with one of the many comparison sites you can find online. It should only take an hour of your precious time to find out just how much money you could be saving by switching your funds to a new provider! Then make it a habit of checking your products-  say every three months – to see if your money is still working for you. Get complacent and you stand to lose quite a bit over the years!

Next are your outgoings. Switch provider for insurance, mortgage, bank account, utilities and so forth. Then make sure you pay for them in the most cost effective way, usually by direct debit. It is hassle free, saves time and you won’t get charged interest. The same goes for un-cashed cheques, unpaid bills and outstanding invoices? Don’t leave them in a drawer, cash them in! If people owe you money, remind them and make sure they pay you on time. It is called, having a healthy cash flow and it is the back bone of every business and household.

Step Two – invest wisely

You can’t fuel real economic growth with indiscriminate credit. You can only fuel it with well-allocated, long-term investment.  James Surowiecki

Once you have managed to save a bit, now is the time to consider to invest it. Traditionally investments meant savings, pension and ISAs and that still holds true. But there are also different types of investment that you can enjoy on a daily basis like a property, wine or art. A friend of mine once bought a small painting and enjoyed looking at it for years. Finally he decided to have it valued and to his surprise it had appreciated so much that by selling it he could pay off his whole mortgage. Not an everyday story, but true!

Step Three – learn and create

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

With your earthly investments in place and automated, now it is time to invest in yourself and your future. The best investment long-term is to learn a new skill. What new skill do you want to learn? There are so many on-line courses available now and there surely is one there for you! With these new skills you can create another source of income (see step four)

4 Step Four Set goal to achieve you dream

Few people know so clearly what they want. Most people can’t even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain. Barbara Kingsolver 

On its own, these things don’t make much difference, but put all these strategies in place and it can make a big difference to your financial and life-fullfilling future. I suggest that you use the LWTM life-style calendar as a reminder. Whenever you see the LWTM coin symbol, then make it a habit to do something about your financial situation. Over time, these little steps make a big impact on you financial future and should ensure that you can actually save some money.

If you join the membership and you will be able to download the free LWTM Goal Planner which contains a monthly and annually goal list. So you can make sense of what you want to find a way of achieving what you want out of life – and i hope that is not just money !!

The benefits of body brushing

The benefits of body brushing


Body brush

The organs that eliminate toxins and waste products from the body are the bladder, the liver, the kidneys, the colon and of course the skin. In fact the skin, as the largest and most visible organ, is also the first to show any signs of imbalance or deficiencies. These signs include spots, lines or rings under your eyes. When the body is too overwhelmed with food, toxins, etc. it needs to find a quick way of ‘storing it all’.  The skin is such a place and we sooner or later see the built up of all this and call it ‘cellulite’.

A frequent ‘body brushing’ routine can’t magically brush all these toxins away, but it can improve the flood flow to the area and together with drinking enough water and using body oils, such as birch oil, it can help to eliminate them in a more efficient way.

What are the benefits of body brushing ?

It is simply the best and easiest way to remove dead cells from your body,  making your skin feel and look wonderfully smooth. But this is not all. It also

  • Stimulates the blood circulation and makes your skin look like it is glowing
  • Reduces the appearance of cellulite
  • Stimulates and cleanses the lymphatic system
  • Tones the underlying muscle tissue,
  • It leaves you feeling more energized
  • Stimulate the hormone and oil-producing glands.
  • A regular ‘body brushing’ routine tightens the skin and helps with premature aging
  • Due to the improved blood circulation, you are less likely to suffer from cold hands and feet

The skin renews roughly every 28 days, the same time as the moon cycle.

When to use  ‘body brushing’?

The best results do not come from a one-off body brushing session, but from a regular routine. It is important to always brush BEFORE having a shower or a bath, as dry skin cells are much easier removed than wet ones. I advise you to do  a quick daily body brushing session by using a body brush or exfoliating gloves (please follow instructions below).  It does not have to take long, a minute or two is sufficient and well worth it, as it will wake you up and help to increase your circulation.

Additionally, two to three times per week I recommend extending the body brushing session to about 5 to 8 minutes and concentrate on areas such as thighs, bottom, underarms, and finally the digestive tract (see detailed instructions below). Then have a shower or bath as usual.  Once you have dried your body, apply a good body lotion or anti-cellulite body oil (I recommend the Weleda birch oil and I can say from my own experience that my skin feels great and much firmer).

Body BrushingI usually try to step up my body brushing regime during the Waning and the New Moon, when the body naturally aims to detoxify. Here is the symbol on the LWTM lifestyle calendar. 

 

How do you use the ‘body brushing’?
Body brushing map
When you are ready, take a body brush or loofah and sit down in a chair or on the edge of your bath. Start with brushing the soles of your feet, beginning at the toes and brush backwards towards your heels and up to the ankles. Then move up each leg towards your hips, brush your legs front, side and back, but always brush UPWARDS towards your heart.

From time to time shake your brush into the sink or shower tray to remove any dead skin cells.
Then brush your belly, sides and back – again start at the thighs and brush upwards until you have reached the chest area sparing out your breasts. Then begin to brush your arms, again starting at your fingertips and working upwards until you have reached your armpits. At last brush down from your neck towards your chest area (again leaving out the breasts). Ask your partner to brush your back area or change over to a brush with a longer handle.

Digestive boost: Right at the end I brush my belly, following the digestive flow ( this helps to move the waste forward). It is important to start at the bottom right and brush up towards your right breast. Then go across to the left and finally down on your left-hand side, at the bottom go across to the right until you have come full-circle. Repeat this a few times. This is especially important when you have a sluggish digestion and for all those who want to lose weight. This gentle, digestive massage/brushing together with an increased intake of liquid and fibre, can do wonders for your digestive system.

Remember: Always start at the bottom of your feet, hands, etc and brush upwards. Repeat this action again and again, always starting at the bottom with upwards strokes, directed towards your heart. Once you have reached the height of your heart, reverse the direction and brush down towards your heart.

Once you are satisfied that you have brushed your whole body, jump in the bath or a shower. Once you are dry again, apply a good body moisturiser or body oil.

See more how others have used body brushing to remove toxins and help with their cellulite.

One last word of advice: Never brush more than a few minutes at a time. Brushing more won’t improve your circulation any further, but may make your skin feel sore. A few minutes on a regular basis are much more sensible and effective than a one-off session that lasts 30 minutes or more and leaving you feeling sore.

If you are prone to oily skin or shed a lot of skin, combine body brushing with the application of a body scrub. First do a light ‘body brushing’ routine, followed by the application of a body peeling mask or body scrub. Leave it on for a few minutes until the peeling mask becomes uncomfortable and then rinse off in a shower or bath. Apply body lotion/oil as usual.

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Spend time with the family

Spend time with the family

   TODAY IS A GREAT DAY TO SPEND EXTRA TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY. IF THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE, CALL YOUR PARENTS, SIBLINGS AND CHILDREN OR ANYBODY THAT YOU ‘CALL FAMILY’. SHOW THEM THAT YOU CARE FOR THEM!
Life is busy and whilst rushing here and there – we often forget what matters most. So here is a symbol that is less biodynamic, but more a reminder to stop for a moment and create a harmonious thought/action for the ones who should be closest to us. 
I realise that this is an idealist view and sadly many people don’t have a harmonious family life. If that is you, then make a positive change today. How could you improve communication, repair strained relationships? What is the way forward? Is it time for a call to say ‘sorry’ or clear the air. Don’t be proud, make a head start and show you care. 

 

Biodynamic summer pruning

Biodynamic summer pruning

Biodynamic garden

If you have even the smallest of gardens there are prime times for pruning.

I usually urge people to put a lot of effort in the early spring pruning, then the Biodynamic summer pruning job should be a lot easier. But recently in the UK the weather has been so rainy and mild that most well-kept gardens have turned into mini jungles. So there is a lot to do now.

Firstly download the LWTM life-style calendar for August. It comes free with the monthly newsletter (you need to subscribe to this, if you have not done so already in the pink box on the website side bar). In the newsletter you will also find a symbols guide. For our exercise look at the pruning symbol and every time you see it that means it is an extra good day for this activity.

Sap goes up and down in plants and during the Waning Moon and especially during New Moon it is just more auspicious to do proper pruning jobs. One of my favourites is the

New Moon renewal cut: If a plant does not thrive you can try to revive it with this cut. First check if pruning in August is useful, as some plants object to pruning during the wrong season. If it is a good time season-wise, clip all the branches by a good third to half to jumpstart the new growth. You can try this method again at another New Moon.

A few years ago a water pipe burst and almost flooded our garden with the result that some of our established holly bushes were almost dead from a completely water-logged soil. But then I tried the New Moon renewal cut with great result, we managed to save them all.

If you tried a few times and the plant still does not recover then it may be effected by a bad disease or simply the spot you have chosen for it is just wrong – no sun/too much sun, wrong soil, etc.  In this case you can either dig it up and see if it thrives somewhere else or just plant something else in its place.

Cutting back fruit bushes during the late summer:

August is a good month to prune  red currants, gooseberries and other fruiting bushes that have already fruited.  Cut the side shoots back by one third and make sure that there are not side shoots growing on the bottom of the bush.

Your can also cut back summer fruiting raspberries once you have picked them all.  Cut the canes that have already fruited back to about 3cm above ground. The non fruiting canes can be tied to horizontal wires or a fence to bear crop the next year round.

This time of year is very useful to cut back hedges such as box, firethorn and thuja.

Other pruning tasks  in August :

  • deadhead annual roses and flowering bushes , pruning symbol (flowers and scissors)
  • Plant and divide perennials (spade symbol)
  • Prune flowering bushes like fire thorn (pyracantha), hornbeam, thuja hedges and Leyland hedges  (scissor & tree symbol)
  • Prune gooseberries, summer fruiting raspberries and red-current bushes (scissor & tree symbol)
  • take cuttings from Alpines (flower in put symbol)
  • Weeding, start weeding on Heat Days (red squares)
  • Sow hyacinths (indoors) for the Christmas period
  • For further help and information please download and read our e-book ‘Gardening With The Moon’. It will explain how to put a garden design into practice and help you find out what type of soil your garden has. It will further provide you with all kinds of tips. Form planting, digging, feeding, pruning, weeding to composting and companion planting (which plants thrive next to each other and which you should avoid planting together). In short everything you need to know to keep a well-growing biodynamic garden.

To find out more information about Biodynamic gardening, please download our e-book publication 
‘Gardening with the Moon’ in the LWTM menu section.

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