Sunday, May 25, 2014

taking my own advice


IMG_9613 IMG_9607 I am so much better at giving advice than taking it. Are you the same? I wonder if you are.

For example if you came to me and we sat down and you spoke to me about how you were feeling a bit strung out lately, nothing major but a bit depleted and like you were on the verge of not being very well, I would encourage you to look after yourself. To do something completely and only for yourself. And if possible to make it a bit of a treat.

I might talk to you about what would make you feel better, maybe an afternoon nap, or a walk around the lake, or a maybe even a massage. Then I would speak to you about how my farmer boy always reminds me that the people giving the safety demonstration on aeroplanes always tell you that in case of emergency you must place your own oxygen mask on before helping your loved ones with theirs. How can we help others to breathe if we can't breathe ourselves? We are no good to anyone if we aren't feeling good ourselves. We must help ourselves, look inwards and value what it is that we need. And we must honour and trust that feeling and act on it.

Last week on that day that I gave myself permission to stop for a while, I realised that I wasn't feeling all that balanced. Generally my pattern is to go-go-go until I am exhausted and fall in a heap for a bit, but this time I felt like I recognised the signs before hand.

I felt like I was on the edge of something with two choices. I could move forward full steam ahead, ignoring the way I was feeling, getting things done and hope for the best. Hope that I could maintain the pace, stay well and look after my family well. The other choice was to recognise that I wasn't feeling strong and to do something about it before I got sick, or got myself into some sort of drama, or just felt terrible.

See, I would have told you to help yourself by looking after yourself, but I myself would usually push on through. Push it all aside and go and stack some wood or bake a cake or something.

But for some still unknown to me reason, this time I felt the deep need to be kind to myself. This time instead of pulling on my boots and getting back to it, I made an appointment to go and see my Chinese doctor Andrea first instead.

I have no idea why taking a step to looking after myself felt so emotional but it did. I cried when I admitted to myself what I was doing.

And as I sat in my appointment describing how I'd been feeling, it suddenly occurred to me how detached I am from my body. How I only really look after myself when things are actually wrong. And how after growing three babies and mothering them for 14 years, I feel depleted and in need of some nourishing myself.

As soon as I'd admitted all that I felt better. Stronger. More grounded. I know that I know exactly how to look after myself, I just have to remember to do it. And I must do it so I can get everything I have to get done-done and to give myself the best chance I can to avoid something like the left breast thing happening again.

So this week to look after myself I am going to aim to;

  • Find a few minutes to be in complete silence without distractions for a few minutes a day.
  • Get rid of the guilt associated with doing the things I love and scedule in some knitting/crochet/sewing time.
  • Take the homeopathics and Chinese herbs that I should be taking, I always have such good intentions.
  • Start the day with a glass of luke warm water with lemon, cinnamon and honey.
  • Walk.
  • Tune in with my body and get out of my head sometimes.

I'm going to try my very best.

I hope you have a gorgeous week.

Big love xx


  1. You are so right to look after yourself. I quite often ask myself what advice I would give to a friend in difficult situations. The answer is usually not what I'm doing! But it's a very useful things to do, it helps me to see things more clearly and to deal with stressful times. I hope you are feeling yourself very soon, in the meantime keep caring for yourself. CJ xx

  2. very wise advice,,,well done for recognising your own needs and doing something proactive.
    I wish you well, always just do your best, if you get pulled back into old habits just continue to do your best to release them and move forward.

    cheers Kate

  3. I'm out of sorts too at the moment. I recognise it so I'm doing what I need to do to get back on track. I'm no use to others if I'm not at my best so I don't feel guilty in doing what I need to do. Take care Kate. Do what you need to do to feel more yourself again. Your family won't mind at all


  4. Very good intentions! It is so easy to forget oneself ... i tend to do it all the time til i am close to a break down. I wish you all the best in your process of rechargin your energy!!

    Take care

  5. Love your work Kate. A funny saying that my husband and I sometimes use is...take my advice, as I am not using it. Funny but so often true. Wishing you a gorgeous week too x

  6. I know what you mean about getting out of your head sometimes - I'm the worst for that. I get caught up in worrying and stressing that I'm not doing things right or whatever. That was a big problem for me last year - I'm a bit better at getting out of my own thoughts and snapping myself out of negative trains of thought this year. It's still a work in progress, but I'm getting there at least.

  7. I'm slowly tuning in to the whispers of my body as I really hate it when the yelling starts... and I know it's only because i was trying to shut the whispers up for so long that the yelling started. You know until I could get through my 'list'... arrgghh... so crazy how our auto pilot is NOT to look after ourselves but to look after everyone around us... good on you listening to your whispers and thanks for sharing it x

  8. Yo no se ingles y lo que he podido entender a traves del traductor me he sentido muy identificada. Hemos de escuchar más nuestro interior, el cuerpo tiene su sabiduria y es importante conectar con el, la mente puede llegar a ser muy tirana con sus exigencias, la respuesta siempre esta en nuestro interior, lo que necesitamos en cada momento, hemos de prestar atención ... Un fuerte abrazo desde España... ¡¡¡¡ Me gusta mucho tu blog!!!!!

  9. Well my girl, I'm so glad you are going to take your own advice! It's hard to give ourselves permission to indulge in something that is pleasurable to us, because the guilt sets in and then the pleasurable activity is spoiled. I took your advice and spent the whole day sewing yesterday and my soul felt renewed, even when later that day we had a torrential downpour and our living room flooding out and THEN we had an earthquake (no damage) and I was quite able to take it all in my stride. So, yup, I certainly had a day to remember.
    Jak x

  10. Can I please steal your little goals for myself? Simple. Lovely. Something that I can aim for as well......
    And your first image is gorgeous.....we were away this week and arrived home to 'Autumn!' Our yard was full of fallen yellow leaves.....I love Autumn. A beautiful season to stop, breathe and take a moment.....
    Have a lovely week x

  11. i need to follow your advice :: so glad you are xx

  12. I feel soooo proud of you, for doing this and then for sharing it, so that we can do it too. Thanking you. Love your photos too.

  13. It sounds like a great week, then. I've had 3.5 weeks of mostly resting, taking things slow, because I had surgery. I wasn't really expecting my recovery to take so long, but it has, and I'm learning so much about the value of rest, and slowing down, and looking after my body. And discovering that it really is ok to say "I'm taking this time to get better" and for others to step up for a while, hard though it might seem for us. It's a good time of year to cocoon a bit, too, and avoid colds and bugs. Hope you have some sunshine to sit in. Love the autumn leaves in your first photo.

  14. kate
    i would like to thankyou for your blog I found it via Attic 24 two weeks ago,I have spent the following two weeks reading from the start till now, reading parts also to my husband, you have made us laugh and cry .
    I have also been knitting in that time three dresses for my grand niece so each time i see the photos of her in those dresses i will remember what i have read.
    Your photography is inspiring ( i have only recently been given the camera of my dreams and am still learning how to use it,) your artist eye is evident in your blog, your garden,craft and your Photos, and looks like your beautiful daughters will follow suit. Enjoy life with them,and your wonderful farmer boy.
    I have signed up as i will love to continue the journey with you, even though I am at the other end of the scale and have a grandchild the same age as Pepper living in Queensland, We dont see them as much as we would like. I would have liked to join you in your motif a day, but far too late, since it was my birthday this last week I told my daughter her present to me is a photo a day. I did this with two of my sisters a couple of years ago and we really enjoyed it .I now want her to join the fun, she has agreed so we are swapping a photo a day, she is using her phone or tablet at present, soon I hope she will start using her camera . i think i will send her to your blog to see what great photos look like. thanks again so much for sharing. Elizabeth

  15. I'm afraid that I'm very good at taking care of myself, but maybe a little too good. Not the good healthy stuff but the fun stuff. Hehe. I tend to crochet, get on the computer, paint etc. when I should be cleaning, cooking, or walking. I would feel better if I got some work done. I guess I'm at the other end of the spectrum.

  16. Just what I needed to read. I'm totally at a time when I need to stop and tune into my body more. I hope you find rest and rejuvenation! And I love your raised beds (Stenciled with 'garlic'? Genius!).

  17. That is excellent advice to hang up your superwoman pants and find a better path to balance your life. I'll be thinking of you and trying to join in this week.

  18. Dear Kate, I have been reading the Celestine Prophecy this week, it's probably my second or third time over the last 15 years or so. I don't know if you have read it. But this time the whole concept of going out into nature and re-charging when I feel I need it feels like a relevation to me! You might like it too and yes then we have more energy for everyone else. I have been starting the day with apple cider, warm water and honey, it feels good! All the best with everything, Heather X

  19. Kate, this is the best post and is a much needed reminder in our go, go, go world. Thank you.

    I learnt this the hard way. A number of years ago I ended up in hospital completely exhausted. I wasn't looking after myself. Since then I try to remember to make my health a priority. It's as you say though, it's easier to give the advice to slow down but often hard to do it yourself. I love farmer Bren's words. Take care xxoo

  20. Thank you for the much needed reminder to find a way to be more in-tune with my body and keeping it well. I ignore the signs. Even when I see the signs and have good intentions, I self-sabotage by not following through. I love the idea of starting each day with warm lemon water. I went through a stage of starting each day with apple cider vinegar and water and it really did help to cleanse me. But, I lost momentum. Why is it so hard to do a simple routine for oneself?! You've inspired me to try to start that again. Thanks x

  21. Great that you are taking time to care for yourself...........and I say if 2 hrs sitting and knitting stops you from having an hour of therapy, it's good therapy. Have a good week. Take care. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  22. Oh Kate you sound like me 2 weeks ago. I had been ignoring all the signs that my body wasnt well and ended up in hospital having 3 bags of blood transfused so I could actually breathe again because my iron had become so low I could have collapsed. Now I am on permanent rest until my iron levels go back up to normal so I have been sitting and knitting and watching some great knitting podcasts. I truly hope the chinese herbs are helping you feel better and make sure you relax as much as you can. My sister takes chinese herbs too and they seem to help her a bit. I hope your not rushing around as much and feel better in a few days.

  23. As Mother's we are always last on the list. I feel the same way and this weekend after a not so nice conversation with my teenager I just sat and cried and cried, not something I ever allow myself to do. It felt odd to let myself go like that. You have to take care of yourself, I am going to try and treat myself with kid gloves for a while.

    1. I'm sending you virtual hugs too Meredith xXxX Tracey

  24. I'm sending you virtual hugs Kate and I hope the coming week is all you need it to be
    Tracey xxx

  25. I also have such good intentions. I now have a reminder go off on my phone at 7am saying, "look after yourself!" Still I have to remember to do it.

  26. I am like you, go, go, go then fall in a heap. I have asked for tomorrow off work and with Monday a holiday I will have 4 days to recharge my soul xxx

  27. Do you have a post about building your raised beds? They are way higher than any I've seen around. Are they reclaimed crates from something else, or did you build them specially for your gardening purposes??

    1. I'm not sure I've ever posted about our kitchen garden beds. We use old spud crates off an organic farm near here and the rest we built from old railway sleepers specifically for the garden.

  28. What is it about your morning lemon drink that you like? Trying to find a morning thing to pick me and start my day better :) Thankyou for the inspiration in your blog :)


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I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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