What Katy Louise Did...

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Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.

Friday 23 November 2012

Why older is better (mostly)

Just been to see Skyfall, the latest Bond film (if that's not stating the obvious - it's been impossible to ignore after all). I understand why it's being lauded so much. For a start, hats off to Javier Bardem for his eerily creepy bad guy - the blonde hair! - and for the writers staging it primarily in London and Scotland - a ploy to attract even more tourists? Or to add one more GB triumph to what has already become a truly British year all round, what with the incredible Olympics (did I mention I was in the closing ceremony? sorry, can't help bringing it up at every opportunity).

Maturing - like a fine wine
But the part of the film that most caught my attention was the theme of growing older, especially at the start, with plenty of mentions about Bond's age - DC certainly looked rather more 'weather worn' to put it politely, than in previous films. But the underlying message was that he may be older, but yet he was wiser and most certainly not out of the game. There were jibes about him being past it, only emphasised by the young new 'Q' played by a techie geek decades his junior. And though this was perhaps to be expected, what I liked were the reminders from his young female accomplice about 'old dog, new tricks' and 'old ways being the best', which emphasised that age does not stop you being the best in the world and good at your job.

Culture that values youth
I bring this up because it always saddens me when I read about people ousted from their jobs because of their age. I know this is hardly news, and has been going on since its inception, but the BBC has a reputation for firing it's older, and very accomplished, presenters. To use a dancing reference - of course, as I love it - Strictly came under fire for getting rid of Arlene as a judge. Whether she chose to go or was coerced, I guess we will never know. But ageism is rife and we all know it. Whether it's overt or not, it pervades our Western society. I get sick of the Daily Mail website for the way it constantly panders to this hegemonic belief that women are 'past it' by a certain age and ought not make themselves visible (and if they do, God forbid they wear something 'inappropriate for their age' or do something 'improper'). I avoid reading the site at all costs but sometimes can't help it when a colleague sends me a relevant fitness or spiritual news story, which I check and then inevitably get sucked into reading all the other 'non-stories' for an hour or so, often only to end up depressed. Madonna, my hero and a very spiritual lady (if anyone bothered to actually listen to what she actually says), is always lambasted on that site for behaving in a manner 'not fit for a women in her fifties' according to the site.

Age has hidden gifts
My favourite spiritaul doctor Christiane Northrup, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom (Piatkus), says in one of her lecture that as women we only really get into our stride in our sixties. That's when we really know ourselves, have decided not to put up with s**t from people anymore, and can create amazing things. Check out her work because it's truly inspiring (the talk I refer to is on the Hay House audio Inside-out Wellness with her and Dr Wayne Dyer. It's a few years old now but still good). She, or it could be Wayne, I forget, also mentions that the only reason the retirement age was brought in at 65 was because some European army general realised most of his most powerful enemies were above this age; so, by introducing the meme - a powerful, unconscious belief - that by the age of 65 you are past it, this general could stay in power. I wouldn't be surprised if this were true.

Mind = good; body, not so much 
The only thing I dislike about ageing is the fact my hair is turning grey and I'm getting lines around my eyes in such a quantity that it sometimes causes me distress. But that's just me being vain. The great thing about getting older is being able to learn from your mistakes and feeling more confident about who you are. Though I'd love to have my 20-year-old body back, I'd probably not choose to go back to that age because it would mean having to re-live the horror of my mid 20s (horror being a slight exaggeration) due to just not feeling confident about anything: my direction in life, my career, or lack thereof, my relationships - OK that last one is still a mystery a lot of the time. But still, age does bring wisdom; it brings grace, strength and depth. It should be revered, not hidden away out of sight to make way for the spring chickens all of the time.

Dancing to her own drum
I hope she won't mind me saying so, but Karen Ruimy (and I don't know her exact age) started her dance career later in life. Despite having danced as a young child, she ended up working in banking and earning mega bucks, but packed it all in to follow her calling and pursue her dream of being a poet, singer, writer and dancer on stage. Check out her website www.karenruimy.com; the blog is excellent and a must for anyone into dance, fashion, art, travel, architecture - actually she covers most things! She is just one person who is inspiring to me. Who says you have to be a certain age to do things? It's only a mindset that stops us from following our dreams. Louise Hay, a women who set up a publishing company in her 60s, says in her seminal book You Can Heal Your Life (Hay House - of course!), that a former client of hers wanted to get into commercials, and she was in her 70s. So Louise told her to go for it as there was 'no one else quite like you doing what you do' - and so the woman did get an agent and went on to successfully star in lots of TV ads.

Age not a barrier
So, let's not make age a barrier. I need to take my own advice here, for I'm often wishing I could turn back the clock and have done more dancing in my 20s, and not just consigned it to the hobby category. But I didn't. The past is gone. Nothing is stopping me from pursuing it now, especially as Karen Hardy invited me to her dance studio to have a one-to-one lesson with a pro (I actually had to go and jump up and down in the loos after the interview, as I could not contain my excitement!). All I need to do is get my achy back sorted. Well, as Bond discovers in this latest film, we may grow wiser and still 'have it' but the body does, inevitably, get a bit worn out...

Thursday 22 November 2012

A neat way to deal with work stress

It's all to easy to let the daily pressures of work get to you (and by 'you' of course I'm referring to me!). With people requesting things of you all the time, added to an already full schedule and then unplanned email conversations that can end up taking up to an hour, meaning you get being on your 'to do' list, it's no wonder we don't all go crazy. Even if you have a great job, as I do, things can sometimes just feel like too much. 

So today, which was one of 'those days' as outlined above, I read with interest my horoscope from Daily Om (www.dailyom.com) as it provided the antidote to work stress, and is an  idea I'll be trying out tomorrow! 

I hope they won't mind me publishing it on here. Anyone interested in horoscopes might like to sign up to this service as it's free and, I find, often spookily accurate about the day's events (and I usually read them AFTER the working day, so they don;t have an impact on how things pan out). 

November 22, 2012
Equilibrium through Play
Scorpio Daily Horoscope

"A mischievous mood can strike suddenly today, whether you are surrounded by loving relatives or interacting with professional colleagues. Your feelings can inspire you to try to amuse others by telling funny stories, playing practical jokes, or performing magic tricks (Katy's notes: there were no magic tricks, but I did regale my colleagues - the ones, like me, who were yet again staying late - with a tale from the Hay House I Can Do It conference, where Robert Holden, author of Be Happy, questioned why, when asked how we are, we often reply 'getting there' - where exactly is 'there', he queried? We've turned into a nation who rush from this to that - but I digress, back to the horoscope). 

The more we integrate play into our lives, the easier it is for us to achieve a balanced lifestyle. So much is stressful in our lives, and it can be difficult to fit time for relaxation into our schedules. Play, which we often engage in with others as a social activity, can represent the perfect antidote to the one-sided aspects of the modern world. As we enjoy our favourite recreational activities, whatever their nature, our minds are transported to a place where we needn’t consider success or failure absolutes. We can immerse ourselves in the unfamiliar, content to experience something new without feeling pressured to get it right the first time or outperform our adversaries. The games you play today will help you spend more time engaging in activities that help you recover from the rigours of your responsibilities."

Good advice indeed. Time to take a more light-hearted approach to things. After all, nothing we do much matters at the end of the day. If something truly important transpires, or 'blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday' as film director Baz Luhrmann says in his Sunscreen song of 1999, then we ditch the everyday work routine and rush to whatever emergency is taking place; and work, strangely enough, always gets done. So, here's to more fun :-)

Monday 19 November 2012

Why is patience a virtue?

I've been waiting to move house for what seems like FOREVER! Ever since I got the urge to move out back in January, when I was finding it a bit frustrating sharing the two-bedroom apartment not only with my flatmate but her boyfriend, who was staying for weeks at a time (and is now living here full-time), I've wanted my own space. Not that there is anything wrong with either of them, but I just want to be able to come home and only have piles of my own mess to deal with, not someone elses.
So, I put in an offer on a one-bedroom apartment back in June and was told it could all go through by end of August. Well, no one needs to check their calendar to know it's way past the end of August, and I have still yet to move. Endless paperwork holds ups with which I won't bore you, have meant the whole process, which should have taken 6-8 weeks, is now taking as long as it would were I to have sold a property in order to buy. The poor guy I'm buying from must be tearing his hair out.

Part of the cosmic plan?
Anyway, I kept wondering whether the hold-ups were for a reason, i.e. was this part of the Divine plan to put me off moving so that I could instead be far more outrageous and quit my job, then use the deposit money to go travelling, or maybe do the former but then use the to fund myself while I go self-employed. Or was it to get me to reconsider whether I'm buying the right place? Or, in fact, was it a lesson in patience and going with the flow?

Rethinking decisions
Perhaps little old Mercury going retrograde has held up the process too, though that would only account for part of the delay (only a week to go though now!). Mercury retro is also the time when we are supposed to use the re word a lot after all: re-vise, re-think, re-evaluate, so perhaps that's where my uncertainty stems from. But I do know I should have listened to my intuition back at the start of the year, and moved out months ago (either renting or buying). Yes I know Louise Hay would say 'should' is a profanity we ought never use as it makes us wrong, but I can't help using/ Sometimes you just need your own space, mentally, physically, psychically, emotionall - everything 'ally! And I've known that for some time.

Good old patience
Hopefully I'll be in my new place by the end of this month (which would be a miracle) or early December. I'm not looking forward to the packing up part, but, as they say, things have to get worse before they get better, so the mess and upheaval will all be worth it eventually. I just have to keep reminding myself that patience is a virtue - at least I really hope it is!

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Will you make a fresh start? Why the solar eclipse in Scorpio can help

This evening there will be a total solar eclipse in the sign of Scorpio. But as it's happening at night, it wont be seen as much as felt, according to astrologers (in the UK, at least, where it will occur at around 10pm).
Eclipses are always linked to things being hidden, and shrouded from public view. This seems to be the theme at present anyway, as I was reading astrologer Joanna Watters' account on her blog about invisibility cloaks being in the news on the BBC - a typical scopionic theme of hiding, and secrets within. Check out her blog here

Here is what else I read about it on www.cafeastrology.com:

"In the sign of Scorpio, matters related to intimacy, control, power, money, and sharing will be a strong focus on a personal level. This eclipse is about new beginnings regarding all of these matters.
Occurring in Scorpio, this eclipse is about strengthening ourselves from the inside out. We can feel extremes of emotion as our fears of loss, betrayal, or the exposure of our vulnerabilities are uncovered. This eclipse will illuminate our emotional and financial investments, and possibly challenge them. We might take steps towards self-mastery and self-empowerment by tackling things that undermine us and that take away our power, such as compulsive behaviours, addictions, or substantial debts. We might work on learning about intimacy, not only with others but also with ourselves. An intimate partnership may be left behind, or a source of money might end, and either of these situations pushes us to learn to depend on ourselves and to recognise that we don't necessarily need these things to survive. Ultimately, we are now in a position to understand that changes or endings are necessary for our own growth, and that we can handle these things."

This feels relevant to me - and I'm a Scorpio too, so this eclipse is meant to affect me more than others - as I'm supposedly about to buy a property (I say supposedly as it's been dragging on ages and you never can tell with these things, and part of me wonders whether it will happpen, and whether I'm buying the right place after all). I do resonate with the last line too, about endings being necessary for our own growth, and letting go of the past so we can create our future. I've gotten the death card twice now in two recent Psy-Cards readings, which always indicates endings. And with regards to money, I think back to my new year's resolutions of focusing on 'financial freedom, flexibility and fun'. Well, I had a whole load of fun for the first half of this year with my dancing, and now it's the turn of the former two, hence the stretching to get more flexible, and thinking up new ways to generate income. 

The blog goes on to talk about how this eclipse at the time of the Scorpio new moon can trigger impulsive thoughts, which I can attest to, having had many a moment of wanting to completely change direction in my life when I've been upset about something of late. And it's also a good time for self-mastery, and "pinpointing the things in our lives that make us feel out of control, such as addictions and debts, and work on freeing ourselves of these emotional burdens". 

Surrending to the unknown
I also noted this part with interest: "We may be called to give up something in order to move forward into a new chapter in our lives. Although the "new" may be unrecognisable, it is important to allow the necessary surrender to the unknown." could this be to do with relationships, me thinks?  Especially as it goes on to say: "Major developments in the personal areas ruled by Scorpio in our charts are likely to occur over the course of the next 3-6 months. This is the first eclipse in a series falling along the Taurus-Scorpio axis."
Well, considering there are two exes, no, three, with either Taurus suns or moons in their charts, two of which have popped up again in my life recently, is this to challenge me to move on fully? Perhaps. Or maybe it means something else. Either way, this eclipse and the fact it's a new moon is signifying a time of change that is much needed, and a setting of boundaries in my personal life that were never in place before now, hence why I've often ended up in so much emotional turmoil. 

So, new starts all round the for us Scorpios! We're the sign of tenacity and perseverance too, so it says, so perhaps the astrological goings on at the moment can assist with our progress too. 

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Do you miss the details in life?

Just a quick blog because I must get to bed (early start at 5am!) but I noticed something the other day; I discovered an inside pocket in a jacket I've owned for about 14 years. It's not one I wear often, but still, I've worn it enough that I ought to have noticed this handy inner pocket. but yet I hadn't, until now. 
I was surprised by this and immediately reminded of how we can often overlook things that are right in front of us, or only see things in a certain way and not fully for what they are. We can often be blind to see the full picture and are too busy rushing, only noticing the obvious things. This state of not noticing, being too busy, caught up in our own thoughts to see the full picture,  is a modern malaise, surely. And it makes us miss things. In this case it was just a pocket, but it could have been something much larger.

The fact it was a hidden inner pocket was also, I felt, a metaphor for how we often fail to see what's on the inside too, which can apply to anything: a person, a place, a book, a job. 
I must remember to slow down and see within, both of myself and with others. There's so much more than just surface reality and the masks we wear in the world, which hide the hidden gems...