Headspace hiatus

Time flies, and so have I!
A month in Europe was the perfect way to escape the coldest part of winter and have a well needed re-boot. It is easy to forget the value of a good holiday, I have certainly been reminded of the impact a real break from every day life can have on psychological well being.
I came home with fresh perspectives on some of the patterns I was stuck in and renewed creativity to help find a different approach. The challenge is to hold onto this freshness and integrate the new ideas with the rest of your life, and the other people you share it with!

Overall a valuable process which I recommend highly!

Volunteer

This week I finished up a five month stint of volunteer work with the One Health Organisation. I came across them late last year and found their values and vision for healthcare very much aligned with my own. They currently have a number of projects running in Sydney, connecting groups of the community who may not be able to access complementary medicine practitioners, with practitioner volunteers such as Acupuncturists, Kinesiologists and Naturopaths.

The project I have been working on as a volunteer Naturopath happens with the Oasis youth refuge in Surry Hills. Every Wednesday morning we would set up a juice and smoothie bar in the kitchen so when the kids came in for breakfast we could offer them a fresh fruit juice or protein shake. The response was fantastic, with many of the kids being quite adventurous with their fruit (and even vegetable!) juice combinations. The atmosphere was very positive with the kids hanging around to drink their juice and have a chat.

I admit I was apprehensive when I took on the role, mainly because I didn’t know what to expect. Oasis provides short term crisis accommodation to young people who are living on the streets or who need refuge from a difficult home life. There is a stigma around tough street kids and this was a part of our community that I had no real experience interacting with. I have been pleasantly surprised by the good character of the kids, and the consideration and respect they showed us when we treated them the same. There are a few faces that I will miss and think of fondly over my next juice.

Technophobia

I can be a bit slow to get on board with new ways of doing things and wary of the rate at which technology expands the possibilities.  My partner can attest to this, especially as he is the opposite and has had to put up with his excited reports of cloud computing and e-books being met with suspicion and resistance.  I am even reluctant to update to a new OS.

I think I just need time to get used to new ideas and there is nothing really wrong with this.  In fact it is a valid point to consider in relation to health and the way people reach new levels of understanding in their own time.  As a naturopath, I see myself as a facilitator: helping a person to navigate the wealth of information about health and wellbeing and digest the parts that are currently relevant to them.

My techno-resistance is usually eased when I realise the function of the thing and have a first-hand experience of how that thing will make my life easier or more enjoyable.  Take this blog, which between us was in existence for at least 6 months before I was ready to actually use it (thanks J for setting it up!).  I have been collecting bits and pieces of information about health, research, science, food, home sustainability etc for years and now I have a place to put it all.

Another thing that helps is the normalising influence of the community.  I have realised that more and more of my friends have blogs and that there is a lot to be learned from what people write as well as what they say.   I have also started to explore along link trails of discovery.

Two blogs I have just come across that satisfy the ‘hey that’s useful!’ criteria are:

‘Nature Moms Blog – A guide to natural family life’ is a beautiful blog about sustainable living and eco awareness that I’m sure will be an even more invaluable source of ideas when I (eventually) have some kids.

http://www.naturemoms.com/blog/

‘Cut Out + Keep – Make and share step-by-step craft tutorials’ gives such great picture-filled instructions and already has me eyeing off all my candle ends to build a mighty new re-used candle.

http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/reuse-candle-scraps

It is practical, informative blogs like these that are helping me see another role that blogging can play, beyond voyeurism, debate and procrastination (that are also completely valid in their own time) and get used to the idea.  I guess I’m starting to catch up. Just.

A new home!

Change yet again proves itself to be great.  From raging Newtown to peaceful Marrickville, from crumbly terrace to warehouse apartment.

I am loving this place like my first time out of home.  The heady infatuation of something so separate, so different, so mine.  I love it so much I almost feel guilty, like I am neglecting the nest that has looked after me for so long.  And it has, the wonderful suburb of Newtown, carried me through a period of excess and growth and ever intersecting relationships.  I still feel close to it like it is there if I need it, but now I can go back and visit when I want and really appreciate the time spent.  Change had to happen and it is good.