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Archive for June, 2012

Still pondering the connection between body, mind and soul as well as the connection between the self, nature and the universe. It’s about physical health, mental health, natural health, as well as a healthy nature and a healthy society.

I have some housework to do today, once my cramps ease up (nope, no baby this month either). And I just thought I’d share with you a clever little thing I’ve gotten myself used to… It’s simple yet very difficult. Funny how that works, really… have you ever thought about how many shortcuts one takes in everyday life? I mean physically. A couple of months ago I started to think about it, and work consciously on improving. Scratching your head, wondering what I’m really talking about?

Huh, not sure how to explain it without sounding silly. Ehm… ehm… well… It’s mostly obvious while doing housework. Picking up clean laundry, sorting and folding and putting it away. I used to do it like everybody else, just getting it done. Now I bend forward at the hips as I reach down into the laundry bag, with straight legs and as straight a back as I can manage, I take just one piece of laundry in my hand and then get up the same way, with back straight. When folding and sorting I keep my tummy tight and back straight. Putting away the clothes is done in the same way as picking them up, only folding over from the hip and keeping the core tense. It’s funny, there is no weight being moved around other than my own body, but it definitely gets the muscles in my back working hard, as well as stretching the back of my legs out good. Once the laundry is done I am sweating.

Straightening up, vacuuming and doing the dishes works the same way. Every little movement can either be done the easy way, or the good way. The good way, though hard, is doing it the way you would have done it if it was a strength or stretching excercise. Picking up stuff from the floor means either bending over at the hip to stretch the back of the legs, or doing a proper squat which makes you work the muscles in the legs, butt and core. While doing the dishes the biggest challenge is actually to keep the back straight! After keeping your arms up for a while, lifting and cleaning the dishes, it’s easy to slip into a slouch… but that slouch means you’re not using your core muscles! So no slouch, keep straight, and work the muscles! 

I know, this all sounds so silly… But seriously, try it and unless you’re already very fit you’ll probably feel the burn, just like me! 

Me and hubby moving out to the countryside is also getting closer, and the longing gets worse day by day. Neither of us feel really comfortable in town, and all we wanna do is get out there… While on the fitness topic, I’ve also been longing for nice tough natural workouts… I can’t wait to go running across the fields and through the forest! I wanna climb trees, jump over logs and skip from stone to stone… I wanna crawl through the bushes and carry heavy rocks from one place to the other, or throw them around. No matter how silly it sounds, I just wanna do it. I wanna work with my body the way it’s meant to be used. And whatdoyaknow, I’m not the only one stuck with these kinds of weird workout ideas… have a look at this, isn’t it marvellous?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m61t3ObnSP0&feature=related

 

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Yesterday as I walked through town after work, I found myself with a bit of extra time to spend. I was just on my way into the second-hand store I usually visit, when my gaze fixed on another store. A smaller second-hand store that I’ve been recommended by a friend. I thought “what the heck, why not?” and walked in, not expecting to find anything interesting.

I went in and had a look. The first thing that caught my attention left me slightly dumbstruck. It was an old flower press.

You see, for the last couple of days I’ve been planning to try and make my own paper. I had already made a frame with a mesh and read about how to recycle old paper, and I was really into the whole thing yet a bit worried that I had missed anything.

The old flower press certainly got my blood pumping, it was exactly what I needed! It felt a bit like I’d found the last piece of the puzzle… As I chatted with the store clerk I learned that the press had just gotten in that very day, and that they’d never had anything like it before (the store almost exclusively deals with second hand clothing). And I had never seen anything like it before either, and still I’m a pretty frequent visitor in second hand shops.

I hesitated for half a minute or so, but the feeling of “I have to have this” grew too strong! As I went up to pay for it I said to the store clerk that it was just too good a find to leave it… The young lady on the other side of the register got a strange look in her eyes and suddenly looked both serious and thoughtful. She said: “Yes. It does seem like… it’s supposed to be yours.”

Today I tried making paper for the first time, and it was a great experience! Though I haven’t really gotten a hang of it yet (the paper quite often sticks to the mesh instead of transferring over to the wool fabric… and as I try to tease it off it usually breaks…) but I learned a whole lot and at least I got SOME good paper! I gotta try again and see if I can improve my technique…

The flower press felt like a gift… from where, I’m not sure. Yea I had to pay for it (not very expensive though!) but it all lined up so perfectly it felt like there had to be a purpose to it all… It feels like something made me turn away from my usual second hand store and go into another one, and that store had just happened to get a flower press that very day though they almost only sell clothes and neither me nor the shop keeper had ever seen anything like it, but just when I need a press it was there.

But if things were nudged into place by an outside force, is there a purpose to it all or was it just a kindness, helping me out? I don’t know. It’s not like the flower press will help me work miracles or anything, it was just exactly what I needed.

Why am I bothering with making paper anyway? Well, I’ve got this feeling I need to learn a lot of stuff. Ever since I was a kid, this has been a big part of me… I feel like I need to prepare myself, to learn as much as possible before… well, before what? Not sure. End of society as we know it? Probably not. But I still have a longing to learn how to be self sustainable and knowledgeable in as many crafts as possible. That’s why I keep doing stuff like learning how to make new candles out of old ones, make yarn out of wool and cat hair using a simple spindle, weaving, growing food and preserving, sewing, simple wood working, making paper out of old paper, etc etc. That’s why I can’t help reading about how to make traps, hunt and fish, what to eat in the wild and how to survive in tough situations. It’s such a big part of me I’ve given up trying to be logical about the whole thing. I’ll continue trying on new stuff and learning. I don’t have to completely master the techniques, I just gotta understand enough to make it work… and enough to learn more on my own if I have to. Does this make sense?

Anyhow, it’s time for bed.

Love and light!
Journeymaid

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