REST & RESET! 😴

Do You take Enough Time Out to Rest, Recuperate & Rejuvenate your Whole Being? .
I have been struggling lately with my Health, particularly my gut health & also my Energy reserve. Most mornings I’m awakening feeling as though I’ve not slept a wink. There’s very little left in the tank! WHY?
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I am consciously aware of my Why. It’s due to myself taking on too much work, commitments at once rather than balancing it out more & not trying to juggle all at once. It’s also down to myself not feeling able to ‘switch off’ from the stress of my work & college deadlines that hang over me. Thankfully I am finishing up at the end of the month! For me exercise & movement is key to my lifestyle, however lately I’ve been so depleted of energy even the thoughts of a small walk seems unreachable. This is NOT me! I have allowed life to take over & put my self-care on the back burner. .
Lately I’ve put on some extra weight & lack confidence within my body & self-image. A vicious cycle can begin wherein there’s constant negative self-talk and berating myself for not exercising. I can be my worst critic and so unbelievably hard on myself. It’s horrible how we can talk so nastily to ourselves & would never dream of it to another. I’m on annual leave for the next two weeks and heading off to do the 1st leg of the Camino de Santiago. This couldn’t be happening at a more apt time for me. I’m needing some solitude, some peace and to reconnect with myself, my whole self – body, mind, soul. .
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I’ve made some promises to myself for when I return: –
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*MY PROMISES: .
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-MOVE: Keep your balanced lifestyle of work and movement. Gently ease back to exercising each week, commit to some classes and feel my body once again. Become strong once again.
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-PEACE: Find ways to switch off, find calm and slow down this ‘race’ of life. I know I’m on social media too often & my head can be stuck in my phone. I’ve reflexology booked for this evening and I intend to keep a slot on a weekly basis for some gentle, soothing activity such as this.
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-EAT WELL: My diet hasn’t been the best, overeating to fuel my body & mind with energy. Craving those carbohydrates to keep me going. Eat Well to Feel Well

Eat Your Heart Out!! 💓

Do you Eat your Emotions? When you’re feeling upset, angry and stressed do you sometimes reach for that comfort food to fill a void, to satiate yourself? Does it Work?
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I think we all have ups and downs with Food, some of us restricting ourselves with food to keep a certain body weight and image, others binging on food to help fill that emotional hunger within.
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Yes I’ve been there, on both ends of the scale. And on those dreaded scales too!! Personally I know that when I’m triggered by someone or something, feeling stressed and overwhelmed I all too often reach for those carby and sweet foods to give me energy and help me function. I suffer with my gut health and it really plays havoc in moments like this. I consciously know those foods are the last thing that will help but there’s an inner subconscious drive that can take over.
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Ways I’m Helping myself with Emotional Eating:
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*Notice my Thoughts: When I can CATCH my thoughts, identify the triggers and know where they’ve stemmed from its easier to take CONTROL over them. I think when you have a reason it’s much easier to stop the urge. As humans we’re always looking for meaning and answers!
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*Connect: I’m practising whenever I have a craving or that inner urge to slow down and connect with my stomach to try and decipher whether it is in fact Hunger or whether it’s boredom/stress/emotions.
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*Gentle Approach: I try not to restrict myself too much, I don’t want to have a negative association with food as at the end of the day it’s what fuels us and is essential for life. I am learning not to beat myself up if I do fall off the plan. We are only human and that odd treat is definitely allowed and worth it!
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*New Ways of Coping: fins new ways to cope with the triggers and stressors in your life. Yesterday I became upset over an incident and yes I did have one or two sweet treats initially and then I decided to ‘Scribble Scream’ – a technique I suggest to parents and children all the time! I got out my paper and crayons and drew my feeling words that I wanted to scream out of me! I practice what I preach and it really does work!
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#healthyfood #choices #emotions #catchingthoughts

Take Some Time for R&R 💆🏻‍♀️

Have You been Working too much Lately? Have You been Taking on a lot? Is it taking its toll on your Health & Well-being? Do You need some Rest?
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For me I tend to sometimes run myself into the ground, it can be all go go go and then I can end up feeling ‘floored’. I have improved my skills of listening to my body however at times I still find it really difficult to say ‘NO’
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I hate feeling like I’m letting others down, that I can’t help them out or that I may ‘miss out’ an opportunity! Because of this at times I can take too many commitments on, become so eager & want to succeed & please people. It’s also equally as important to please myself and feel rewarded and proud of my achievements. Sometimes being an Entrepreneur and owning my own business can be challenging in that there can be a Fear that if you don’t take every opportunity that comes along you’re not progressing & moving forward enough, or fast enough. I think the same can be said in many areas of life. We can sometimes feel we can’t say No to that friend who asks us the favour, to our children who are wanting to go here, there & everywhere! We don’t like to feel like we are letting anyone down and Guilt can play Havoc in our lives, within our mind & body.
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I’ve been off work the last two days with a dose, feeling run down & I know my body is needing Rest and Recuperation. I must Listen to it, I cannot push it further. It doesn’t serve me any use if I do. I know I’ve been extremely busy lately (which is wonderful) however I have forgotten to take time to slow down, to rest & relax enough. I’d been training, working, setting up my new business space and also I’m in the middle of my Masters in Psychotherapy. I’ve committed to a lot of Workshops & Trainings in the next two months and I’m so very grateful, however I do need to press the Pause button and slow down that little bit more.
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Ways I am Committing to Resting and Slowing Down:
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*Saying No: I realise how difficult I find it to say No to someone and can put myself last just to please others at times. It is a learning process and I’m getting better! Don’t allow Guilt to come along and eat you up!
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*Take 30mins for ‘Me’ each day

My Battle Wounds 💪🏻

This insightful story from a beautiful lady about “Living With Scoliosis

I’ve told this story hundreds of times to people but never shared it on a blog (which I am so glad to do today) and even now when I start to share my scoliosis journey it takes me back to when I was at National School and being told by doctors I would need to get fitted for a back brace only to have 4 serious back surgeries thereafter.

My experience with scoliosis was challenging. There was a lot of bullying and moments of loneliness when people would look at me while I was out shopping with my family, feeling like I never belonged. The physical challenges were tough recovering from surgery after surgery. But ultimately all of these experiences surrounding my scoliosis shaped me into the person I am today.

It took me a really long time to accept the long scoliosis scar running down my back and another long time to love it. Now, it’s just as much a part of me as my personality or the way that I laugh.

Over the course of my National/Secondary School years, I would undergo 4 intense surgeries that many doctors compared to being just as significant as heart surgery (which I also overcame in 2005). Over and over again, doctors had to go in and operate on my back. One wrong move and I would risk becoming paralysed.

For me, my scar signifies the pain I endured, the complexity of my surgeries, the weeks I spent in the hospital and the months I spent doing physiotherapy learning how to walk again. The scar was hard to look at, especially at that time, because it was thick, raw and pink from all the incisions. I wanted to hide all the time and, in my own way, I did.

I wouldn’t dare wear t-shirts during the Summer. I made sure they had a high back that would cover up that hateful scar. I distinctly remember prom dress shopping and searching for a style that would cover my back. I also made sure to wear my hair down that day.

In fact, I’ve always had long hair as a sort of back-covering security blanket; even the thought of wearing my hair up in a bun gave me anxiety.

I don’t remember when I started to not care about my scar. It helped when other people  would tell me they didn’t even notice it. A turning point was when I came to the realisation that every obstacle I endured and, likewise, every obstacle like my heart and scoliosis surgeries I overcame was because of my heart and back – It was a GIFT. If I hadn’t had my heart and back surgeries, I would have never understood the strength it takes to endure setbacks. It forced me to focus on who I am, my character and my actions — not what I look like. My faith carried me through each tough moment. When I wasn’t able to swim anymore because of my back surgeries, I learned to never give up and focused on other passions and hobbies such as walking my dog Teddy on the Burtonport Railway Walk. My scoliosis helped shape me into the woman I am today.

Now, I wear my hair up and off my back with pride. My scar is like my battle wound; proof that I have overcome something bigger than myself. People like to assume that I’ve never struggled with anything but the scar is a reminder that, just like all of us, I’ve been through trials and tribulations my own — and I can overcome them.

I am proud of my imperfect back and my scoliosis scar and my heart surgery scar; so much so, that I believe

My Morning Meditation

How do you begin and end your day? Do you have some daily rituals and routines? Lately I haven’t been including them into my day, felt too busy and too stressed to take the ‘time out’. Well time does catch up on you and for me I began to feel burnt out.

This morning my alarm went off I hit snooze, it went off again and I was tempted to roll over but instead I focused my mind, didn’t allow it to take command and allowed my body and soul to talk to me. They wanted movement, I could hear them clearly and so I jumped up and took control.

What’s your body, mind and soul saying to you today? Is it that you need some rest? Some exercise? To take ten minutes out of your busy schedule for a cup of tea by the sea?!

I am beginning to try to take that time out each and every day for ME, to keep my mind, body and soul well. There must be a balance 🙌🏻⚖️

“How to you Begin & End Your Day?

Is it All Work with No Time for Play?

What does Your Body, Mind & Soul Say?

Which Way will You Sway Today?”

(Deirdre Ward)

A Heavy Load? 🤔

It took me a week to decide wether or not to share this very personal piece with you all today. I changed my mind so many times out of fear of feeling ‘exposed’ and sharing the biggest struggle I’m having, with the world! Then my thoughts changed to ‘Why not?’ ‘There’s nothing to be ashamed of?’ ‘It’s reality for me its my health and maybe just maybe by me sharing this will help another to have hope, to relate and to know they’re not alone.

So what am I sharing? I’m sharing the struggle I have had with my gut health all my life. The struggle of not being able to relax my muscles, of holding on and not being fully connected to my body. For years I have been on various medications, had all the tests possible and nothing ever transpired only that I have what they term a ‘lazy’ bowel. Lazy? Really that’s your medical diagnosis? I find it hard to believe.

Some mornings I crawl out of bed, my body exhausted, lethargic and slow. Social events like weddings, parties I’ve had to cancel, my stomach swollen, heartburn on fire in my throat, my entire body can sometimes feel like it’s on fire. Then there’s the trouble with clothes fitting me on those days that I’m particularly bad, this doesn’t help ones image or thoughts about ones figure/attractiveness. For someone who loves exercise, to run it has been extremely frustrating that at the moment my gut has taken over for so many days that I feel unable to even go for a gentle walk. Other mornings I feel ok but come 12pm the slump hits me and all I want is rest, or a million coffees!

It hasn’t always been this debilitating, for years I ‘managed’ it, yes on medications but it didn’t affect every aspect of my life. I exercised, I socialised, I felt fit, slim and good in myself. So why then has it hit an all time low this last two years?

If you look at the photo above of me as a young child, holding on for dear life on the swing, a determined look in my face. That’s me, determined – a Tough Cookie to succeed, to fulfil my dreams. But as I’ve previously stated sometimes the biggest challenge I have is to ‘let go’. To let go of pain, of hurt, of disappointments, of grief. I have protected myself for too long that I’m sometimes on autopilot! Surely you can relate? Those emotions can be sometimes too difficult to feel, to allow surface, so instead we suppress them and keep them locked within.

I have been to all sorts of holistic routes in an effort to alleviate my issue, all excellent but none helping in the slightest. Why? I do believe in my heart and soul (and gut!!!) that this is a journey I have to take, that I am taking in order to teach myself, to learn, to listen to my body, it’s needs, to listen to my heart and soul and no matter what it’s saying back to accept it, allow it and release it. I know my body is still trying in some way to ‘protect’ me only now that anxious child, who had to hold on for dear life isn’t afraid, is confident and is ready!!

I know one day this will be resolved, I know I can find ways and I know that all I need to ‘Unlock‘ myself is found within. I DO have the key and the key will turn.

“Holding On

Can Make you Stall

Don’t be Scared

You CAN

Be Heard”

(Deirdre Ward)

Ahhhhhhhhh! 😤😫

ANGER… Is it a natural emotion? A response to feeling wounded, betrayed, let down? Do YOU allow yourself to feel angry? To acknowledge it and let it out and pass? Or do YOU suppress it, keep it hidden and locked deep down within?

This image moved me when I stumbled upon it last night. What do YOU see?

For me, it’s Anger, Frustration, Physical Strength with an infusion of colour. The colour, what does it represent? Brighter days? Hope?

What do I See? The Tough Cookie? I see Me! I see a female character who looks as though she is struggling and in pain. This is evident from her facial features and expression. Crying or screaming out in frustration and exhaustion. Her body strong, muscular and toned, yet one leg bent, is she stumbling? Has she hurt herself? Despite the visible strength, she seems weak, like she has misplaced her footing and seems in defence. The positioning of her hands suggests combat, warrior-like! Is she feeling on edge?

The wings she has developed with time, trying desperately to lift her upwards, to lighten the load. She has an exterior lightness, a spiritual awareness that lifts her soul. This colour and sense of freedom encapsulates her, empowers her to keep growing, to keep moving forwards and to believe that some day very soon the ‘load’ will be lighter, the brightness and colour will fill her whole being and the pain and anger will have disappeared.

“Bubbling & Brewing

This Feeling Undoing

The Calm & Happiness

That once Existed

Why Resist It?

It’s Natural

It’s Allowed

It Will be Loud

But in the End

You’ll Comprehend

You’ll Let it Go

So you Can Grow”

(Deirdre Ward)

HOPE 🙏

H O P E ….

Does Hope exist in your life or are you giving up, feeling like things will never improve and that your ‘luck’ will never change?

Recently I’ve been finding it harder and harder to feel positive and trust that certain aspects of my life will improve, most prominent for me right now: my health. As I get ready to head to Dublin today to see a consultant, I’m mixed with terror and fear but also it’s gotten to a point where I’m hopeful, in desperate need for medical help and some resolution. For too long I avoided going back down the route of the medical profession, having very little faith in it and the painful memories that I have connected to hospitals with Mam’s illness. Who likes hospitals after all?!!!

FEARS must be faced. If I don’t I will remain ‘stuck’, feeling miserable and my life being negatively impacted. Surely at times we ALL have to just struggle through those fears that keep us locked up. Do YOU face your Fears or run and ignore them? What’s stopping you?? What’s keeping you Stuck?

HOPE for me lies within prayer, although so many times I wonder what is the point, it’s not helping or changing matters? Why bother? But I ALWAYS bother, I’ve got to have Faith, I’ve got to remain Hopeful and prayer does bring comfort and belief that brighter days are just around the corner. Without it I would crack up, I would stop believing in resolutions, I wouldn’t face those Fears and I wouldn’t trust that for some reason unknown to me right now that I’ve to suffer & go through this.

Hopefully some day soon I’ll see WHY, I’ll know there was some reason behind it all. Do you believe in Everything happening for a Reason??” I’ve GOT to!

When that day comes and it’s clear to me, I’ll share with all you Tough Cookies out there! Keep HOPE alive.

This Takes GUTS 💪🏻

Gutsy I have been in so many aspects of my life but to share my very personal story about my ‘gut’ health and bowel problems since childhood is probably one of the most ‘gutsy’ things I’m doing. Enough innuendoes yet…?!

For too long I used to hide it by saying I’ve stomach issues, such as I’ve a sensitive stomach/small stomach etc The shame and embarrassment around chronic bowel health all too much to share. Until I began to ask myself WHY?

It’s no different than mental health or other illnesses that have this ‘stigma’ related to them, a fear of judgement, of feeling inferior and somewhat a defect. Why do we feel that we can’t share our health problems with society and feel that it’s something we have to suffer with alone?? What I’ve noticed is the more people I share my problems with, the more I find also suffer gut health and have their own story to tell. It can be so reassuring to hear.

All my life I have suffered with my bowel health. My Mam said that as a baby I always struggled. For me my primary school years, teenage years in secondary school playing basketball seemed to come and go quite seamlessly as far as my health was concerned. During college I do remember having more of an awareness that I had problems with my digestion and gut health but it was really only in my twenties that it seemed to worsen.

I recall going for the usual colonoscopy and endoscopy to get checked out and the verdict was that everything looked fine, there were no physiological impairments. Now bare in mind that during my twenties my Mam was ill, there was stress with studies and these factors contribute greatly to gut health. Don’t they say that your gut is your second brain? And I for one know that it is highly linked to our emotional state. While teaching back in 2013 my condition seemed to worsen, I felt like I was taking copious amounts of laxatives and various medications to try help ease my situation and feel better. But nothing seemed to work much. It was barely manageable at times, making teaching life, social life and lovelife at the time a challenge.

Thinking back I went through quite traumatic experiences in my bid to rectify my health. I had every test completed under the sun, the most invasive probably being where a battery type pack transmitter’s wires were surgically attached to my spine to try to shock my system into working! I felt like a Duracell Bunny! 🙈🐰 Having gone to two of the top consultants in Ireland and having all trials, medication and tests exhausted they finally concluded that I had a ‘lazy’ bowel and the last resort would be an ileostomy bag. Who wants to bet that this was terminology for ‘we don’t have a clue what’s wrong with you’?!!

Lately I have mentioned how the best I have ever felt in a long time with regards my health was the period of about 3months in Abu Dhabi that I had prior to returning back home to Ireland. I was no longer teaching, I was training most days in the gym (due to my cruciate injury), I was relaxing in the sun by the pool and I had my own space in my own apartment. My worries were minimal and stress had been significantly reduced. I was eating a very nutritious diet of mainly protein & vegetables/fruit. Life was good.

My health problems flared up around February two years ago, two months after having arrived back home from Abu Dhabi. Why? My guess being I had to finally face my grief of loosing Mam, I began to ponder about my Adoption and the frustrations began of living back home with my Dad who had ‘lost’ his sense of life and purpose. Coincidence or not? I guarantee you it’s no coincidence.

As I write this today I am currently at the end of my tether. I even commented to Dad last night is this what dying could feel like as I feel in ways I am dying. Dying inside. Dying from a diminished sense of hope and belief in my health being restored. These last two years and this last year in particular I have tried all possible routes to self-help. I had given up on the medical profession for help, I tried everything holistic that I could find. I tried food intolerance tests, energy healers, reflexology, kinesiology, faith healers, you name it! I have exercised, I have relaxed, I have talked in therapy, I have tried diets. Nothing seems to work.

Yesterday I went to visit a herbalist for help. When he talked about how ‘chronic’ my case is it terrified me. For too long I think I was in denial about the severity of my problems. I would always say I’m not in pain and I powered through. Last night while driving home from that appointment I didn’t listen to music like I usually do, I didn’t make myself get distracted by other thoughts and I focused on my body, on how it felt and it dawned on me that actually yes I am in pain, yes it’s constant discomfort, yes I feel like I turned 60 instead of 30, yes it’s impacting my social life/exercise and yes I need to acknowledge this. How could I heal if I didn’t do at least this? Acknowledge how my poor body is on overload and working overtime to keep me ‘going’ as best it can. It is VITAL to stop and listen to your body and what it is saying to you. This herbalist gave me some home remedies to try help but the biggest challenge for the next year will be a very strict diet of eliminating grains completely. If this works and my body agrees to it it may just give me the life I long to have back. The option of surgically getting an ileostomy bag is NOT HAPPENING. I will try everything!

The gut is called our second brain. We sense and feel with this amazing ‘brain’ just as much and perhaps at times even more than our logical brain. If I have to pinpoint why my gut is ‘acting up’ it’s due to worries, stress, emotional hurt, childhood trauma and grief.

I believe I will heal. I can heal from within using a positive mindset, visualising better health and eating wholesome foods. I am DETERMINED and after all I’ve always been ‘GUTSY

“Health is your ONLY Wealth

What use is Money?

If you Feel Sick to your Tummy?

Listen & Feel

Your Body Communicates

Whats ‘Real’

Then You can Begin to

‘Deal’ with it

And Heal”

(Deirdre Ward)

Positivity = Progress

How does your body feel? It’s the only true place you live in so does it feel comfortable, strong or does it feel unsteady and weak?

For me, it’s not yet strong and comfortable due to certain health complaints but I am trying my best to build it up, to fill in those cracks and to feel steady, grounded and like new. When I say like new I don’t mean to look ‘perfect’, to look amazing on the outside (yes that would be a huge added bonus) but I really mean to feel like new within, for my organs to function at their best, for my energy levels to increase, for my eating habits to be healthful and for my body to move at ease. And surely if all this was in place I’d look great on the outside too? I do believe the outer facade that’s presented to the world (unless ‘pretending’) does reflect the inner feelings of the body.

I haven’t been able to get back to running for some time but it hasn’t stopped me from moving my body and trying to get stronger. I’ve had some super classes and instructors that have helped pushed me, believed in me and made me feel good mentally & physically. It’s not all about the class, it’s the people you meet, the vibes from others, the camaraderie, which makes me question how I ever went to a gym and exercised alone?!!

I’m trying to keep a balance of high intensity exercise but also a more relaxed and gentle approach within my life also. (One which hadn’t been present much) I used to focus on exercise as nearly punishment and ‘beating’ my body up. This is NOT a good approach. We all need balance and to view exercise as tending to our bodies and not in a negative or punitive way.

Currently I go to Pumpfit with Julianne Murphy, Tai Chi and I enjoy walks along the beach. Pumpfit is amazing and empowering, a group of ladies working out and feeling strong together. Julianne is a gem. She is so encouraging, energetic, motivational and she puts her ALL into her classes. She exercises with us, her energy is inspiring and she is such a little bright light in so many ways 🌟 These characteristics in an instructor are essential, it’s evident she loves her job and this Positivity is passed on to all within the class. You always leave feeling like you could achieve anything you wanted: a marathon, to climb Everest! All in good time!!! 😂

The gentle approach to moving my body doesn’t come as natural to me but I’m working on it, I’m trying my best to listen to my body and communicate with it, having only one week of Tai Chi completed I already love the calmness, the flow and the headspace it creates.

I’m most definitely a work in progress but progress is what’s important! 🙋🏻💪🏻

“Surround Yourself with

Brightness

Those People & Places

That bring

Graces” 🌟🌸

(DeirdreWard)

Mermaid Deirdre🧜🏻‍♀️

I’ve had this urge to immerse myself in the ocean these last few weeks, every time I’d go to my happy place (the beach) for a walk it was as if the waves were calling to me! I knew deep in my soul for whatever reason I needed to do it but I kept putting it off, coming up with some reasons not to.. it’s too cold, I’m still unwell etc etc

Well yesterday I said OK that’s it! It’s Time! Why was I putting off something that was so simple and easy to do? I managed to put my wetsuit on (with a lot of difficulty may I add!! Lots of shapes were thrown trying to zip it up on my own!!) I drove to my nearest beach and I took the plunge.

I couldn’t feel my body for a good 2minutes but once I began to swim and warm up it was wonderful. (If anyone drove past yes I know ‘swim’ is a bit exaggerated of a word to use, I know!!) thankfully they didn’t stop and try to rescue me 😂🙈🧜🏻‍♀️ so yes swim I’ll go along with swim!

I knew I needed to reconnect with nature, with the sea, one of my favourite things and to just ‘feel’ alive again. I find it difficult really connecting with my body lately, I think because at times it’s too painful, I’m so sensitive at times I feel too much so a protective trick that I have probably used all my life is to somewhat disconnect from my body and avoid feelings that are too painful. Really it’s NOT the answer! This I’m finding out. When we’re not connected to ourselves fully our body will let us know and mine certainly has this last two years.

Well I’m now listening, I’m not running and I’m nurturing it gently & tending to what it needs. Even if that means looking like the worst mermaid there ever was!! 🧜🏻‍♀️🙈😂

“Listen to your Body

It tells you what it Needs

Take Heed!

If Not

It may just Stop!”

(Deirdre Ward)

All I Want For Christmas is You…

What presents are on your wish list? Have you been busily running to & fro buying gifts? What would make it the best Christmas yet?

For me? Who do I want? What do I want? No no it’s not a man (well that wouldn’t be such a bad gift!!) That designer handbag?

Honestly, it’s myself! Strange? Perhaps! The last few months really have been pretty hectic for me, being busy is great yes but busy with stress, with deadlines, with health complaints & worries? Not so much fun. 👎

I’ve seriously morphed (all for the better) these last few weeks, with certain challenges pushing me to learn new things, to reflect on old habits/relationships and to question various aspects of my life. It’s been tough but completely worth it. It’s made me see more clearly what I want for ME, who I want for ME and what really matters in MY life.

So that handbag? That man? As nice as they would be, all I want this Christmas is to reconnect fully with myself, to slow down and feel grounded once again, to nurture my health and to begin 2018 feeling fit, feisty and ready for all that’s coming my way! 💪🏻

Bring it On! 🙋🏻🌟

“Presents under the Tree

Excitement Building

There’s lots of Glee!

But for Me,

There’s more to ‘See’

Within

How’ve You Been

I’ll Take some Time

To Make

Christmas ‘Mine'”

(Deirdre Ward)

Sick to the Stomach?🤢

Feeling queasy? Are you full up of negative self-talk? Do you swallow the judgements/criticisms of others? Feel like vomiting? Are you repulsed by your internal talk/words of others? 

Do we ever reach a stage in life when we are fully and truly happy with how we look, what we’re doing/purpose, how we treat others and can say that we’ve no regrets? I HOPE SO! If not has this life been worth it? What is the meaning of life for you? 

In the last month I’ve gotten into the routine of making sure I go to bed with a positive, hopeful mindset and wakening up with some positive, uplifting thought for the day ahead. How? It’s as simple as repeating a positive mantra/affirmation to yourself, reading a quote a number of times, telling and reassuring yourself that you’re doing a great job and that your life is just as it should be right now. Even if you feel it’s not, it’s a better technique than constantly panicking, worrying and allowing those negative thoughts/feelings seep in and rule you. Why focus on what’s not right/working out in your life? Put all that energy into what IS working/‘good enough’ in your life. 

Take ACTION right NOW!!!!!!!! Download a quote, pick a short, positive mantra and repeat it/read it as many times as you can today. Every time you feel a negative thought, a worry creeping in today shut it out and replace it with your ‘positive’ for today! 

Today I Choose:

“I’m Competent, Able

Good Enough 

& Tough!”



My Happy Place 🙋🏻🌊

Where’s your ‘Happy Place’? When life gets too much, when pain seems unbearable and you feel confused/lonely/angry/frustrated/deflated, where’s that special space that heals your body, mind and soul? 

For me it’s at the sea! Particularly a favourite beach of mine at home: Fintra. There’s a calmness, a peacefulness, a comforting essence within the air, a healing spray from the ocean’s waves, a sense of serenity. I couldn’t imagine ever not living beside the sea (yes I know I lived in the desert in Abu Dhabi and thankfully it taught me to appreciate home, the sea, the greenery around me more!!) 

Life can be hectic, too often I run around rushing from A to B while trying to get to C!! Has anyone ever preached to you about moving too fast and to slow down and enjoy the journey? I know at times I don’t notice things, I’m too much in ‘my head’ to see the small wonders that are in each day. Surely we’ve all felt like this? We are too busy to take those five minutes to breathe and just be? We have too many things to do to go for that walk or take that long, hot bath? 

I feel I’m pretty well tuned in most of the time but what I discovered at counselling this week is that I’m tuned in for others and I’m on their frequency most of the time. What channel am I on? What song do I dance to? For the last few weeks it’s been that God forsaken white noise, that poor connection and a fuzzy/muffled sound. Nobody likes that sound!!! 

I haven’t been in my body in a sense. I haven’t been grounded with my feet firmly on this Earth. I’ve wanted to take flight and run from situations, feelings, worries and fears. Am I fast enough? Perhaps for a period but at some stage or another those legs become heavy, that breathe struggles for air and the pace becomes slower and slower. Sound familiar? Haven’t we ALL felt burnt out at some stage? 

This week I realised I needed to work hard and make an effort to plant my feet firmly on the ground, to tune into how my body feels (as much as I sometimes want to do anything but!), how my mind is functioning (positively or negatively) and to take those steps (literally!!) to feel ME. Yes it did involve me driving to the beach in the pouring rain and enjoying walking barefoot at the edge of the shoreline listening to the waves. – my Happy Place! But it worked! I allowed myself to ‘be’, the peacefulness helped me clear some trash within my mind, to erase that negative self-talk, to identify and appreciate the positives and hopes for my life. I centered myself once again, the muffled and fuzzy tune was a musical and magical one. 

The Sea Sets Me Free 🙋🏻🌊👌

“Find that Place

That Special Space

That Slows You Down –

Feel the Ground” 

(Deirdre Ward) 

Filthy Rich? 💰💵💰

Do you appreciate your health and you body enough? Without our bodies functioning properly or correctly we would soon find life can be turned upside down and you may not feel like ‘yourself’. 

From seeing and experiencing a terminal illness firsthand within my family yes I learned to appreciate how health really is the wealth in life but I honestly don’t think I ever fully appreciated this meaning/saying until it knocked on my door, my body personally. A terminal illness? Cancer? Thank God no but this last year and a half I’ve struggled hugely with my own ‘cross’ to bear in relation to my stomach and bowel. 

It is so scary how when an area of the body decides to play havoc how it can really affect you as a person. I haven’t felt like the ‘Deirdre’ I used to be for so long. Is this a negative? Perhaps not. I have changed and become stronger in so many ways and for the better but at the same time I haven’t felt ‘at home’ in my body for a long time. I have always suffered in this department but it was always something I could manage fairly well and disguise to be able to live life well. I could exercise, complete 10k/half marathon runs, go out socialising, enjoy meals, had enough energy to focus/feel motivated for certain tasks and work as a teacher which is a very demanding career. Could I do all of this this last year? No chance. 

Most days I waken up as if I haven’t slept at all feeling physically and mentally exhausted/drained of all energy. Exercising which is a huge part of who I am is a big struggle and I can’t remember when I last went for an ‘easy’ 5K jog even 2K jog for that matter. Every step feels like climbing Everest! Food has not become an enjoyable and nourishing factor in my life, it has become something that I view negatively and can abuse totally. When your body is completely depleted of energy you don’t feel like those healthful foods, you want the sugary/carbohydrate quick energy foods to give you that fix. Personally I’ve mostly always been conscious about eating healthy and trying to maintain a balanced diet but lately it really has become a chore and once I step off course Deirdre beats herself up mentally causing negative thoughts and feelings. It is a vicious circle as in so many ways I feel that my stomach/bowel is in control over me, my thoughts, my moods, my feelings, my actions. I am currently looking for work but at the same time until I can get to the bottom of my health problems I can’t imagine how I could physically work a 9-5 job Monday-Friday. 

Weddings, Meals, Celebrations of any kind which should be joyful events and exciting occasions have recently been days I dread and at times try to ‘get out of’. Why? The struggle of being in a dress, fancy clothes, feeling well within myself, being in good form to enjoy others’ company has been such a challenge the last year. I can hide it quite well but once again it is hard work and once again being at ‘home’ in my body is out of the question. 

Why has all this happened in this last year? I have been to many professionals in a bid to alleviate my problems, I have tried so many holistic and medical approaches (although I am very much reluctant to head down the medical route from last experiences). Why can’t I get to the bottom of it all? Why can’t I feel what is wrong/defective within my ‘home’? I have tried to pinpoint the whats and the whys so many times but have disregarded my opinion too often and sure what do I know I’m not Doctor Deirdre? Well you don’t need that title or anybody with those long list of letters after their names to tell you what is going on within your body, your physiology. Trust YOUR own instincts and your own ‘gut’ feelings. (Excuse the pun!!) 

Only yesterday did some hope come my way that things will ease and I’ll begin to feel at home once again. I had pin pointed that the main functions that weren’t happening for me were with my digestion, signals not being sent from my brain to the certain organs and also that my body has been in a highly stressful state for this last year that it has become accustomed to it and somewhat numb to the extreme stress. No wonder signals have been disconnected and no wonder I don’t feel at home! The professional that I met with yesterday confirmed all of these conclusions for me before I had even shared them, it was as if he read my mind. When I told him that I couldn’t believe that I had in ways self-diagnosed my problems it was so refreshing and uplifting that he said for me to NEVER disregard my thoughts about medical/physiological problems as I am the only person that lives within my body, feels it and experiences it. Nobody else can tell you how it feels to live in ‘Your’ home. 

“Money Money Money

Is that what makes you Wealthly?

Or is it when you’re Healthy?”

(Deirdre Ward)