Shopping For The Future

The concept of a vision board isn’t new to me but for some reason I had never actually made one. Why? I have no idea, as they are super easy, fun and very therapeutic, and, will make a huge difference to my future happiness, if you believe they work.

Not knowing where to start, or perhaps not wanting to start and getting it wrong, I got together with some friends at the weekend and we talked about what we want in our lives and what we would do if we had no restrictions or limitations. This made the process of starting the board so much easier because I felt I already had a clear “vision” of what it should be.

Magazines, scissors, board and a glue stick where all I needed to get going. Flipping through the pages I cut out pictures and words that summed up the future I wanted for myself, it was like bagging up my shopping to take home and enjoy. Anything could be mine and it was right there for the taking.

Freedom, health, happiness, finances, it’s all on my board and much, much more. Here’s a section of it so you can see what I mean…


The swing seat, running more, making a difference, enjoying the countryside and the beach, good health and general well being, and that’s just one part of it. The great thing is, the board can grow and change. There are no limitations!

Talking it through with friends and making it together made my vision board even more special.

The suggestion is that we look at our vision boards for a few minutes every day and picture ourselves already enjoying the things that we see. Nothing is considered out of reach or “too much”. If you like you can take a picture on your phone so you can have your vision board with you when you are out and about, or add it as a screen saver to your pc while you work or browse the internet for more things to add to it. You can have separate boards for work, home, family, finances or put them all on to one (this is what I’ve done). I’ve also imagined that I’m enjoying the benefits within a particular time frame (that’s my project manager side coming out). It really is about whatever works for you. Let your imagination run wild!

Sweet Tea & Empathy Please

Sympathy is something most people can express but empathy works better for me. What’s the difference? Well, when someone sympathises with you or your situation they tend to show pity. They can commiserate and show an understanding for what you are going through but may say things such as “Oh no. I can imagine how awful that is for you but hey, at least you’re not dead!”, which doesn’t help at all.

When someone empathises however, they connect with you because they understand and can share your feelings, maybe because they too have experience of it or even if they don’t, they might be able to say something like “OMG. I don’t know what to say. I’m just so glad you told me.”

Looking back, the people around me who helped me the most emotionally, were those who had experience of a devastating, life changing situation.

Through the workshops I’ve attended over the last few months I’ve made some new and very dear friends. Connecting with people and sharing experiences is a wonderful way of getting through a difficult time and has allowed me to show support for others on the same or very similar journey.

You don’t have to have been through a cancer diagnosis to show empathy to a cancer patient, you just need to be able to make a connection to how they are feeling. This video clip sums it up perfectly.

On the other hand, here’s what not to say…

I Feel the Need the Need to Knead

From time to time my arm can still feel a bit stiff and achy. Having moved on from the physiotherapy soft play ball I was using after surgery and then the play-dough, it occurred to me that perhaps kneading bread would be a great workout for my arm.

When I was little I used to make bread with my Gran and remembered that kneading the bread would really make my arms ache – the sign of a good workout. So, as I’m on a bit of a health drive I thought I would try to get in the habit of making my own bread. Now-a-days you can buy packets of prepared bread mix to which you only need to add some water, so if complicated recipes are not your thing or if you simply don’t have the time to do it all from scratch, why not grab a bag of pre-mix and give it a go.

Alternatively, as I found out this week for the first time, decorating a cake in fondant icing will also do the trick. You could even go all out and put the electric mixer away and beat the cake mixture by hand!

Whatever works for you one thing’s for sure, cooking and baking my own food not only gives me control over what I eat but it’s a healthier and better for me and my arm.


ashwagandha5 months ago (following on from some research I’d done online about how to keep my immune system in tip top condition during the winter months), I came across an article by Dr John Douillard, which recommended an herb called Ashwagandha. I’d never heard of it before but a Google search revealed an image of a plant I did recognise. Funnily enough it was one which my Gran used to grow in her garden, which she referred to as ‘Chinese Lanterns’ (we used to use them in dried flower arrangements and I’ve also from time to time had them served to me as a garnish in restaurants).

Somewhat sceptical, I thought I would give it a go in capsule form, as adding the herb to my diet didn’t seem particularly feasible. I also decided to take half the recommended dosage, just to see what affect it would have if any.

Not really noticing any difference at all I had already decided not to buy any more when they ran out. They ran out 10 days ago and not only have I suddenly picked up the worst cold I have had in years but also my sense of well-being has plummeted too. Now this could be a coincidence, so I’ve been back online to do some further research in to the herb. Here’s what I’ve found…

Benefits of Ashwagandha:

  • Aiding in wound care
  • Aids sleep
  • Boosts energy
  • Decreases cancer cells without adversely affecting healthy cells
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Fights off cold and cough symptoms
  • Antioxidant
  • Pain relief
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Reduces depression and anxiety
  • Combats stress

Some people also use Ashwagandha for improving thinking ability and preventing the effects of aging. It acts neither as a stimulant nor as a sedative; because it can both boost energy and support better sleep.

Needless to say I already have another order on its way. I will be sticking to my half measures however as that seems to be enough for me to receive the necessary benefits. Please do your own research on this before taking Ashwagandha because as with anything, there are always going to be precautions and side-effects that need to be considered. I just wanted to share with you something that had worked incredibly well for me.

(Source: Life Spa, Chopra, Web MD, Natural News, Conscious Life News)

Things that make you go aaarrrrgggghhhhh!

I love my house, its my sanctuary, my safe haven away from the world and that’s never been more so than in the last few months.

I love my bed too, its where I can feel comfortable, relaxed and can switch off. Or at least that’s what I thought.

This morning, I woke to a throbbing hand and pins and needles. Why? Because my head had fallen on to it and was cutting off the blood supply!

Panicking, I flexed my fingers rapidly and elevated my arm, stroking the skin away from my hand and towards my armpit. Luckily, it seems fine.

The worrying thing is, is that there seems to be nowhere which is truly safe, away from hazards or mishaps. I have to be mindful about everything and that is exhausting. If I cant relax when I’m asleep when can I!?

I cant think of any tip right now I can give myself with this one. Suggestions welcome!

Note: 2 weeks on, I’m still experiencing mild pins and needles occasionally. It did however take 3 days for the initial bout to subside. Scary stuff but I think everything is ok.

Prawn Chilli

Serves 4
10 mins prep
35 mins cooking

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Green Peppers, chopped
2 tbsp Chipotle Paste
2 x 400g Canned Chopped Tomatoes
400g Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
250-300g Raw King Prawns
2 Limes, zest and juice of 1, 1 cut into wedges
1 Avocado, roughly chopped

Serve with rice

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion and peppers for 5 mins until soft.

2. Stir in the chipotle past and cook for 1 min.

3. Add the tomatoes and black beans. Simmer for 20-25 mins until the sauce starts to thicken.

4. Add the king prawns and cook for 3-4 mins, until they have turned pink and are cooked through.

5. Sir in the lime zest.

6. Serve with rice and lime wedges topped with the avocado and lime juice.


– Onion has an exceptionally high level of the flavonoid quercetin, a strong antioxidant which can block the formation of cancer cells.

– Peppers have high levels of beta-arotene, which the body turns into anti-viral, immunity-boosting vitamin A.

– Tomatoes are full of vitamin C. They are also packed with lycopene, a type of caroenoid, that helps to prevent cancer. Tomatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene – necessary for the production of vitamin A. This helps to maintain a healthy thymus gland, which plays a vital role in immune response. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin E, which helps to protect the body from toxins.

– Prawns contain high levels of immune-essential minerals, including zinc, which we need to produce the enzymes that keep cancer at bay, and to help develop other disease-fighting cells.

– Limes are also high in vitamin C and are an effective immune stimulant.

– Avocados are rich in vitamin E and vitamin B

(Source: The Top 100 Immunity Boosters by Charlotte Haigh)