Spring has Sprung

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Today really feels like the beginning of Spring.

In Chinese Medicine thought, Spring is associated with the colour green, the sound of shouting, the Wood element, the climate of wind, things sprouting, your eyes, your liver, your anger, patience and altruism.

This is why Spring can also be a good time to detox, it gives the liver a chance to become rejuvenated and allows a resting period before it starts anew.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is the time of the Liver – the body’s major organ of detoxification and here are a few ways you can help it.

  • You can cut down on foods like carbohydrates and sugar, alcohol and caffeine. This gives the liver a chance to rest and cleanse the blood. This process helps the body physically but also emotionally.
  • To assist with cleansing the blood you can eat more garlic, fresh vegetables and drink plenty of water.
  • It really helps the liver when you move, assisting the body to shake off the sluggishness of Winter. Spring is a excellent time to get more active. If your energy is low, start with some gentle walking, start with just 20 minutes every day.

You can celebrate Spring by:

Just being outside more  – what a joy after the long Winter to just be outside and enjoy more fresh air. 🌻

Having a good clear out – “out with the old, in with the new!” Getting rid of things you really don’t need, allows space for fresh, new, more appropriate things to come your way. This is the beginning of a new time.

Let go of stuff that doesn’t serve you anymore –  with the time of new beginnings it’s a good time to let go of any habits that you don’t want e.g. smoking, excess eating, cutting down on alchohol, sugar , caffeine ..  give your body and Liver a chance to rejuvenate 💙


Flying a kite– the climate of Spring is wind. It’s a sunny but windy day here on the coast today.

Shouting! Letting it go. Time to begin anew. Get all those rants out, let go of old resentments, find a way of releasing your anger without upsetting others. This is a way of emotionally clearing out, which makes space for more of the good and yummy stuff .🤑

Spring can be a good time to try out new activities or to start new projects.

However you choose to spend your time ..

Have fun!

Amanda x

K is for Kindness


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Last week I signed up to Michael Neill’s ‘Creating The Impossible’ 2017, a programme where you approach a project that you think has less than 20% of success within 90 days. I started work on a book 18 months ago and decided it would be a challenge to see if I could complete it within the 90 days. Initially, I was excited then I spent a few days overthinking it, which led to pretty much zero productivity. Yesterday I was feeling low about the project and wondering how I could continue. I knew I needed to get out of my own way, let it go somehow and then see what happens. Somehow, when I woke this morning there was a shift in energy and my perspective on it all. I stopped beating myself up and put the metaphorical hammer down.

Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is to let ourselves off the hook, knowing that we are all doing our best in any given moment. In letting go of expectations of ourselves, there is more space for creativity, new inspiration and fresh ideas to emerge out of that space.

So here’s to being kind to others, but first and foremost here’s to being kind to ourselves first.

It really does start here …

With love,

Amanda

A is for addiction ..

A is for addiction.

What is it that keeps us doing it. Whatever that is for you. Cravings. Giving in to that feeling. A sense of ugency as if you’re life won’t be complete without doing it.

Where does that feeling come from? It all comes from thought. Which even produces a physiological response in the body.

What if all that thought around that habit just fell away. Am I making it sound too easy?

It can be easy, as I discovered this year. My thinking around smoking just fell away. So much so that when I started AGAIN I thought the habit would fall away easily again.

Wrong.

Not so easy this time.

Once your on the ‘train of thought’ .. Actually picture an old steam puffing along. One puff & you are on the train, which needs more puffs & plumes of smoke to keep it going.

What if you just didn’t step on the train today. Just today.

A friend surprised me the other week. She said “it’s running, or the fags.”

That’s her treat to herself. Time alone. Something just for you.

We can be addicted to anything sex, money, food, chocolate, drugs …

What is it for you? You don’t have to be addicted to something by the way.

If you want to talk further about issues raised .. Call Amanda 07763 566710 or email me amandathomas70@btinternet.com

Amanda

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Am I good enough yet?

So, I’m already nearly a third of the way through my Damn Fine Words writing course.

What am I learning?

I have learned that I can be committed and disciplined. 10 days of writing every day. Big pat on the back. One day it even just fell into my schedule. No chore. Not even on my “to do” list.

Without telling you too much about the course as I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone wanting to do it in the future. If you do want to  improve your writing, attitude towards writing or have a writing project that you want to complete – I would highly recommend the course. James Chartrand is brilliant. Ok, plug over ..

I had to DIG DEEP on Lesson 3. Spent a whole day mulling it over. It’s all about limiting beliefs – all those things we tell ourselves that keep us in a state of mediocrity.

EVERYONE has that voice inside their head.

What is it telling you?

For a lot of us, however the limiting belief is dressed up …

It can have an undercurrent of :

“I am not good enough.”

I mean, where do these ideas come from?

We can all be so self-critical. This can stop us from starting things ( what’s the point, I am not going to succeed anyway) or from completing projects ( as soon as it’s finished, it can be up for being judged in some way).

James Chartrand gave some great feedback about shifting the context of the ‘critical voice.’

A technique that can be used when you notice that self critical voice is changing the voice to sound like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy or any of your favourite cartoon characters. It just has to change the context of the voice.

Notice it’s ridiculousness. This is what has power over us!

I tried it, this morning whilst wrestling with demons getting in the way of writing this blog post. It worked. And as soon as I press publish on this post, I’ll know it’s really worked.

And for today at least, I’ll know I’m winning.

Have a great week,

Amanda

Wheel Keeps Turning

Ever felt like a hamster on a wheel? You know you’re moving. Fast at times. But there’s a sense of not really getting anywhere. Or at least the scenery looks not dissimilar to when you looked previously.

I had a great conversation with a client about this very thing this week. She is in a high powered job as an area manager for a big company. She has worked for them for 14 years but isn’t enhanced by her job. As I pointed out she could easily be with the firm for another 30 years. Would she be thanked any more or less for staying with the company for all those years. I very much doubt it.

The same scenario can resonate whether we are working “for somebody else” or seemingly have all the autonomy in the world because we work for ourselves. As a great mentor of mine said once. “I gave up my job and then realised I was working for the biggest asshole I had ever come across” ” Me.”

If you step off the wheel. the wheel will still keep turning, if only for  a while. Before another hamster comes along to take your place.

This week I signed up to a writing course with Damn Fine Words.For those following the blog you’ll remember that I entered a competition to win a place back in January this year. Not a bad entry, unfortunately I missed the deadline due to mixing up the time zones when I was in Southern Thailand.

The course starts tomorrow. There is a ‘no editing challenge ‘ so just to publish warts and all. The perfectionists amongst us will realise how much of a challenge that is.

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Dare to step off the wheel? Do something different. Even if it means choosing a different wheel.

Let me know your thoughts on this one.

have a great week

Amanda

Are you thriving or just surviving?

 

Are you thriving?

It’s a great word isn’t it. Thrive – to flourish, grow vigoursly.  As a Mum pointed out this week after I posted this on Social Networking site Face Book.

“Start telling a better feeling story about the things that are important to you. Do not write your story like a factual documentary, weighing all the pros and cons of your experience, but instead tell the uplifting  magical, fanciful story of the wonder of your own life and watch what happens. It will feel like magic as your life starts to transform before your very eyes, but it is not by magic. It is by the Power of the Laws of the Universe and your deliberate alignment with those laws.”

-Abraham

What does it take for you to thrive? I don’t just mean ‘doing ok’ but really really singing from the rooftops (inside so you know not that you really have to be up there singing.)

Some people call it a ‘state of ok-ness.’ But I would argue that most people want to feel more than just ok. At best, to be ok when the non-ok ness comes around.

To really thrive is going to mean different things to different people. We are unique after all!

For me to really thrive, I found out this week that getting a new pair of hearing aids would at least help me to thrive. No more struggling to hear the most unimportant of things, but you didn’t really know if they were or not, hanging on every word, desperately trying to catch all the things that little people say whilst distracted & not really looking at you And speaking in an immature pitch that you can’t really catch at the best of the times anyway… The list goes on.

It’s exhausting. Upsetting. Alienating. Lonely even at times. We all have those moments. I know we do. We all do. Does it help, knowing that we all think those thoughts and feel those thoughts. No not really.

So, ‘reaching for the better feeling’ actually worked for me this week. I made a conscious intentional effort (i.e deliberate alignment with) to really reach for the better feeling. It worked.

And today is another day.

Reach for the ‘better feeling.’ Let’s try that again.

What do you do that really helps to give you that feeling that you’re thriving?

It could be something as simple as

  • going for a run or swim
  • walking/ cycling to school
  • going for a drink with a friend
  • making plans for the future

The only person that knows what’s good for you is you.

Keep reaching.

 

Gratitude

What am I grateful for? Where do I start? I am on the last day of a trip I took to Thailand. I had planned to be here for 5-6 weeks.

I got the dreaded call, nobody wants to get.

Not quite the middle of the night.

My father had passed away ‘peacefully’ – thankfully.

I will always be grateful for that. And that he passed on the same date as my Mother.

Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s only about 18 months ago. But, for a few years we wondered what was going on with his health. He seemed to age all of a sudden very quickly & looking back he had started to struggle to do things that were once easy. He was a mathematician at heart and in his early days of marriage to my Mum, he trained as an electrician in the evenings. As my Mum tells it, he would physically work hard during the day. But, happily take himself off to night school. He was clever. Always had been. He could have gone to University but, chose to marry my mother instead. Mum was only 17 when she got married, he liked to joke that she left home with only a carrier bag in tow. He had a sharp sense of humour. He worked hard.

His persistence, dedication & focus to achieve the goals he set out for himself and his young family. In 1972, with 2 young children in tow Bobby & Jackie left the Valleys. It was pretty unheard of in those days for people to even go to London. So, to head to the Middle East was incredibly adventurous. I still remember waking up in Saudi Arabia in the middle of the night, hearing some strange noises I had not heard before. I thought it was crickets. Lizards probably. Bob worked for A.R.A.M.C.O – Arabian American Company of Oil. Was & still is a very prestigious company & in those days it was responsible for building a lot of the infrastructure in Saudi. I didn’t know that then of course. I was aged 2, my brother was 1. My days consisted of hard tasks like swimming every day in the glorious sunshine, playing naked outside in our enclosed camp with cockroaches & lizards. It was a lot of fun. My Dad worked away all week in the desert & came home on week-ends. We were part of the ex-pat community. When we travelled around, a lot of times people would rush up to us wanting to touch our hair. Most had never seen hair like that before. Long. & bleached white blonde in those days. On weekends the ex-pats would always get together. Parties galore – everyone taking turns to host. My brother & I loved it when it was at our house as we got to stay up a bit later. Everyone was in good spirits. Literally. Bob was quick to build a distillery to make ‘booze’ in the back of the house. We were given strict instructions not to allow any kids back there. My brother Russell would enjoy ‘standing guard’ telling the kids they weren’t allowed back there. Dad had a friend called Harry who introduced Bob to the world of Sidiki. It wasnt long befor Bob had mastered the tecnique & Harry was always curious about how he could make the alcohol a lot more quickly. The innovator in him had ingeniously thought of a way to speed up the process. He used a washing machine, the old Hoover type – he used this to heat up the the mixture first. It drove Harry mad as he couldn’t work out how Bob was speeding up the process. He would call by ‘on the off chance.’ The ‘monkey’ in Dad loved to play in that way.

I guess it’s ok to tell this story now, as Harry will be well gone himself by now.

Memories. Lovely memories. And immense gratitude for having had such a lovely Dad.

For You Dad

In the end,

there is no You,

In the end, there is no Us,

In the end, it is always the way it was meant to be,

In the end, it just is.

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Life is so incredibly precious. Enjoy!

If Your Baby gets colic, what can you do?

What do you do if you’re baby has colic?

When my baby (now 6) had colic. I didn’t know what to do. It was a nightmare to watch her be in pain and not know how to soothe her. We gave her some herbal drops which soothed her… For about 30 seconds.

I am an acupuncturist and am now qualified to work with babies and children (in the Japanese Shonishin therapy). So, I would have a better idea of what to do. But no baby! That’s why I invite those of you who have babies and don’t know what to do to call me up or email me to bring YOUR baby to my clinic so I can show YOU what to do. It’s really easy when you know how.

For those of you that can’t get to me in sunny, old, cold England right now. This is what you can do.

When you’re baby isn’t in pain – stroke your baby’s tummy gently with the tips of your fingers in a downward motion.

If you’re feeling more adventurous you can use the palm of your hand to massage her/his tummy. Use your palm and massage in a clock-wise (this is very important) direction around the stomach. If there are any signs of discomfort it may be that the massage is alleviating fullness in the tummy i.e moving stuck food or wind. If it is too uncomfortable don’t proceed.

You can move on to stroking the outer areas of the legs. Use the pad of your thumb or the tips of your fingertips. Don’t be afraid, you’re baby will let you know if you press too hard. Also, try not to be too light in your touch. It feels tickly.

When you get to the feet, pay particular attention to the base of the big toe. Rub it there. ( For the acupuncturists amongst us, it’s Spleen 3.) It’s important because it helps to tonify the system.

You can stroke the back as well. All over the body. Keep the whole massage to under 10 minutes.

All babies are born with a constitutional weakness, according to the Japanese. When that weakness is sorted out, all of the related symptoms should resolve.

Ok that’s enough for now! If you have a baby with colic and managed to read all of that I’d be very surprised. But if you did, well done!

Back to ‘Being Mum’ for me now ….

Amanda

The Law of Attraction

“What goes around comes around.”

Does that mean anything to you?

You reap what you sow.

We are all creations of our own mind.

What strikes me though is that sometimes others’ perceptions of ‘us’ are often quite different to how ‘we’ view ‘us.’

So if we are all products of our own imagination and we are not happy with our perceived perception. Surely, it’s time to change one’s mindset.

How do you do that?

It could be
• through meditation
• life coaching
• walk in nature
• acupuncture – thought I’d better squeeze that one in there. Ha!
• hypnotherapy
• or something else

I love synchronicity. That really works for me. The beauty… is knowing when something synchronist is happening. If something like that happens – appreciate it. If you didn’t at the time – then go back ( in your mind ) and appreciate it anyway.

I have written about this before in my piece for Entrepreneur Soul.

Truthfully, for lots of reasons it’s been a tough Winter. Imagine my surprise, when my partner gets cold called & actually allows this guy to come show her, his product. Hmmmmm, I thought.

But, fortunately ” I zipped it!”

Say nothing! Often the best course of action!

And how glad am I that I did.

Synchronicity always amazes me.

The timing of this guy calling couldn’t have been more perfect. I appreciate him for that. And her for being creative and open to receiving in that way. It’s enabling us to embark on a venture and hopefully, some adventure.

Importantly, it gives us the opportunity to continue on the path of self development.

Happy Easter kids.

Or as someone nicely reminded me earlier – each day is an opportunity for celebration. Can you appreciate that?

Don’t sweat the small stuff

It’s been a stressful and scary week. My daughter has had a nasty virus that involved 3 days of very high fever. Followed by breaking out in loads of mouth ulcers. She spent today signing and grunting because she literally couldn’t speak as her tongue is too swollen.

If you have kids, its part of the territory. I bumped into a Mum at Tesco’s last week with 3 kids all poorly at the same time. I thought it was tough with just one.

It has been rough for lots of reasons. A big one is that I have felt like a bad Mom, too impatient, not compassionate enough. The reality is that when you are dog tired, have had three sleepless nights in a row you are bound to be a little more cranky than usual.

I found it very frustrating that during the high fever moments I just couldn’t do anything. There are things I know to do to reduce fever as a practitioner. But, what do you do when your child won’t let you practice your expertise? I tried to sneak a plaster (with an even sneakier teensy needle) on her while she slept. Nothing gets past this kid. She woke up straight away!!!!!!

What did I learn this week?

Christ! Whilst doing the ironing I had an almost epiphany. We can spend a lot of time moaning at our kids for all the things you want them to do or do differently.

One of my pet hates is when my daughter wants to dress inappropriately. You can picture the scene. It’s freezing outside and they appear in a dress that you know is clearly meant for summer. It pushes your buttons big time, for the zillionth time as you repeat yourself that its too cold. Blah, blah, blah.

Well as I ironed one of the ‘inappropriate’ items. I actually just yearned to see her running around in it. Even if it is too cold.

It reminded me of a great friend’s advice one time.  Whatever you do, DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!

In the moment, it always seems important. In the grand scheme of things, it rarely is. Eat your dinner. Do your coat up. Put your hat on. The list is endless.

Do you sweat the small stuff ? Care to share?

 

 

 

 

Hear hear

Did you ever have an experience that took you to the most unusual of places?

I went on a rollercoaster ride once in Disneyland Paris. It happened so quickly. I screamed with pure fear and sheer delight all rolled into one. I didn’t have time to shout. ” GET ME OFF”

Three years ago I lost my hearing. Just like that. One minute it was there; the next it was gone.

“Shit! Where did it go?”

The power of the mind to throw you in all kinds of directions when something unexpected happens.

It can go to –

Delight

FEAR – yes **** Everything And Run

Wonder -as in the kind of wonder where you wonder whether you are in a dream and will wake up at some point. You know the one where you wake up and go PHEW! Thank God, I was just dreaming.

Well this one wasn’t like that. I would wake up in the morning, scrabbling for my hearing aids wishing I could just go back to sleep.

To say it has been an experience, is an understatement.

At the end of last year, I was offered the opportunity to attend a deafness rehabilitation programme. Now there is something I never thought I would saying this lifetime.

I met an incredible bunch of people.

I came away feeling very inspired and with a sense of gratitude. It was supportive. The trainers were all brilliant. It was actually the first time I had ever met other people in a similar situation i.e adults who have become deafened in adult life.

It was interesting to watch the hearing people’s awareness being raised throughout the week. On the first night my partner actually commented that she felt like an outsider. And just to have the opportunity to have fun with other people in a similar situation.

It’s important to be able to relate to others. To have a sense of belonging. Regardless of who you are, what you want or your aspirations in life. Where do you feel like you belong?

Blo_Dover

More Random Acts of Kindness

As part of a community project before Christmas I took part in sending a shoe box filled with goodies for a teenage Romanian boy.

By the time I saw the message, ALL the teensy girls had been snapped up. Drat I thought knowing my little girl would be disappointed.

The box sat on the window sill for ages. A little empty. And sad. My partner kept on saying ” you know you’ve still got the box to fill.”

I was fully aware.

But what would a teenage boy in Romania like? Or need. More to the point.

Slowly but surely between us – as a family – we filled the box. Hat. Scarf. Long-sleeved top. Am desperately trying to remember what we put in the box now. This isn’t The Generation Game you know. Or is it?

This generation. Our generation of kids get pretty much all they want. New bike. Scooter. You name it. They have it.

The kids that received the shoe boxes. Pretty much have nothing. Very little.

It is really hard for us to grasp that concept and level of poverty.

It isn’t our experience.

We excitedly delivered our shoe box to our neighbour to be sent off to Romania

Phew. I hope he likes it I said to my little person. We put a torch in, I said. Rather absent mindlessly to the lady we delivered it to.

We carried on ticking off “important stuff to do” off our Christmas list. Christmas box delivered. Tick.

Forgot about the box. Forgot about the children in Romania. We carried on with our Christmas. Very nice, thank you. You?

Until this landed in my Face Book inbox late last night….

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It is one of the most moving things I have ever seen.

My neighbour messaged me. Did you see him with the torch? I had to watch it again, of course.

Random Acts of Kindness.

It was an amazing opportunity to be able to have a really small part in touching these children’s lives in this way. The true wonder of Christmas.

Have an incredibly happy, healthy & fortuitous 2013.

Rainbows all around us

I realised today that you can create your own rainbows.

For the creative types out there, you’ll know that sitting at your desk waiting for inspiration, it rarely comes.

It usually requires action. It could be whilst out running, walking or like me yesterday whilst hosing anything in sight in my garden. As I sprayed the fence, a little dirty with a few cobwebs. There it was in the spray. The most beautiful rainbow.

It filled my heart with joy, almost bringing tears to my eyes.

Rainbows seem particularly significant and always a lovely reminder of my Mum. My daughter has a many-sided crystal that sits on her window sill, which I forget about during the Winter months.

Then, suddenly when Summer ( finally ) arrives -without warning – the sun is strong enough to sends rainbows ricocheting around her ceiling.

For those that have ever loved and lost, sometimes it is the seemingly “little” things that appear from time to time. A wonderful reminder that that person really did exist and even that your connection with them is still there and still matters.

Ever wondered if your special person, now absent in the physical is casting rainbows on your world?

I do.

What Are We Teaching Our Kids?

My daughter has been unhappy at school the past couple of weeks.

Lots of stuff going on.

New school.

New friendship groups.

Different set up.

It’s been a lot to handle for a just turned 7 year old.

It is causing ‘bad’ behaviour at home.

Cheekiness. Rudeness.

The general kick back (I think) that most parents experience.

She has gone from being really confident and enthusiastic about school.

→ To complaining of a sore stomach and not wanting to go to school.

Thankfully that episode is over.

In this situation what do YOU do?

Well we usually call a friend who is also a life coach and she comes into to coach the WHOLE family. It usually starts with us, the parents who should know better. But usually don’t!

What does family coaching do for us?

  • It brings us all together so we realise we are on the same side
  • We look at what is working in the family
  • AND what isn’t working
  • This includes behaviour
  • Communication (the way we speak to each other)
  • Finding better ways of doings things like routines
  • It makes us happier
  • As a family, we get more connected

We also wrote to the school who are responding really positively.

There seems to be a culture of it being ok to be cheeky and answer back.

And EVEN, that this is the revered behaviour.

Is this what we want for our kids?

I don’t.

We also talked to her about the art of NOT taking things personally. My partner had a great analogy by saying if someone throws something at you – she used the image of a frisbee. If you catch it – it’s your’s or on you. But if you don’t want it, how to duck and dive metaphorically so that it doesn’t land on you.

For now. She is happier.

How do YOU hold your children accountable?

I am really curious!

Amanda

 

athomas Parenting

Beyond Thought

Clear sky - Beyond Thought

I am on the first day of a 5 day retreat through Innate Wellbeing and I have to say IT’S BLISS!!!

The lead up to it was DEFINITELY NOT!

It’s the first time myself and my partner have both been away from our daughter in the 7 years she has been around.

I was frantically trying to think of all the things I would need to think about for her whilst being away.

The day before I came my daughter actually said “you don’t need to worry about me Mum.”

How insightful, I thought.

During training this morning I literally bathed in the words of Dr. Dicken Bettinger as he talked about how we attach so much to our thinking. So much so that our beliefs are built up around that and our personality + if we react to our thinking = behaviour.

He conjured this lovely image to explain how our minds work. Your mind is like a blank sky and all the thoughts that run through it are like birds that float across the sky. Sometimes there’s loads of birds when there’s a “thought storm”, sometimes it’s clearer and maybe there’s just one bird in the sky.

Whatever the picture. We are not our thoughts. And once we can get beyond that. Under Stand That then we can stand under our thoughts and appreciate ourselves and our lives more.

This is the paradox of life. It’s all an illusion. Yet we attach SO much to it. Our ego can take over all the time.

So, as Rudi Kennard succinctly put it … Once you get past that: by ignoring your experience of your thoughts, by getting past your personality of whatever that is for you…

Whether you think you are insecure, not good enough, a good artist, a not so good writer, an angry person sometimes… Whatever it is for YOU….

It allows for more peace of mind, more open heartedness and more best bits. Or at least you can enjoy the not so good bits. Realise that it will pass and make room for something else.

We attach so much to our personal thinking. It defines who we are. Who we think we are. Therein lies the paradox.

Letting go of our personal thinking creates space for a recharge. A restart.

Love that! Hit the refresh button.

Have a great week,

Amanda

Love what you do

I love what I do. I am an acupuncturist. And have been for 10 years now.

I wasn’t one of those kids that knew what I wanted to do when I was younger. I didn’t even know what acupuncture was until I was in my 20’s.

I left home at aged 19. And never looked back. I did a degree that was completely useless to me. All the jobs I had after that did not require a degree. But it was my ticket out of Wales and The Valleys. Most youngsters either got married or went away to University, or Polytechnic.

At school, I was really good at English, Maths and Art. The teachers kept on trying to encourage me to do subjects that went together more. I resisted that. Stuck to what I was good at.

Then when I left school, I had a mean A level teacher who held up my art work one day announcing to the class,

“This is an example of how not to do it.”

I was mortified and unfortunately, it put me off doing any art for 20 years.

Imagine that… Shelving one of your passions for all that time! It happens.

Looking back, I realise that that teacher had given up on her dreams. The impact, call it whatever you like rippled out.

20 years later, I went on a quest to learn to tattoo after my love of art and passion for the Far East in Thailand was sparked. I trained with an ex Monk in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, practising most days on pig skin brought from the market. The closest thing to human skin. When I came back to the UK I searched for an apprenticeship in tattooing. A tattooist in South London told me to go away and tattoo myself as much as possible for practice. I didn’t do that!

One visit to an acupuncturist, whilst I was looking to change my career.  Was all it took. I was really curious about this strange practice that I hadn’t experience before. I asked the acupuncturist lots of questions. He said it wasn’t easy to learn. That got my curiosity even more. I remember walking back through North London really noticing all the trees an d being really in touch with nature and the elements.

I went on a couple of Open Days at Acupuncture Schools. Susannah Dowie the Principal of the School I eventually went to gave me a treatment on the open day. She was spot on. On point as they say. Ha! It didn’t matter what she said. I knew the school was for me. I was on a complete high that evening. The same feeling I had  after doing my first tattoo. Completely EXHILIRATED!

From tattooing to acupuncture. Same or different? It’s similar in that it takes an enormous amount of trust to allow some one to tattoo you, more than to acupuncture needle you.

Both of them are very healing. I know some people use tattoos to mark special occasions like births of their babies or death of their loved ones. Acupuncture is very balancing on an internal level. You can’t see the effect but the person knows how they feel. They always feel better.

I was TOTALLY BLOWN away this year, when I visited Chiang Mai again. We met up with some friends and as we were leaving the restaurant. I said to my partner,

“I would really love to show you the tattoo shop that I used to go to.”

We meandered along the road.

My daughter announced she wanted to get a tuk tuk, one of her favourite activities in Thailand.

My partner hailed one.

I sat in the back looking at snippets of the tuk tuk drivers profile in his side view rear mirror. All the time I’m thinking it can’t be him. The first guy I ever tattooed. But somewhere, all the fibers of my being knew it was him.

Love that. What are the chances? The synchronicity. Serendipity. Wonderful.

I know in lots of ways I have been tremendously fortunate to be able to pursue my dreams and explore different avenues of work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

athomas Family, Inspiration