Health and wellbeing

Red, red, wiiine - you sang it in your head didn't you? No? Just me then. Right. Red wine has become my "go-to" choice of alcoholic beverage. When I was younger I didn't drink a lot. I went through the usual stage of sugary flavoured vodka drinks in my late teens/ early 20s, but not a lot in volume because I hated the feeling of being intoxicated. My friends would make fun of me going to a party with 2 Raspberry Vodka Cruisers - which would easily last me all night - if I even got through them both. I could drive home, had no hangovers, didn't waste money on booze or do reckless things that everyone else was doing. In my mind, it was brilliant. But then, as it does for many, In my early 20's I found myself in very stressful situations and life started to wear me down with ongoing family issues. Surrounded by people who were big drinkers, I entered a "beer phase" in my mid-20s and then I gave that up and found wine somewhere along the line.

What is a thought? It’s nothing, and it’s everything. It’s intangible, you can’t hold it in your hand, you can’t touch it, you can’t see it, you can’t show it to anyone. But, your thoughts are the entire system you operate on. Every single thing you have, every situation you find yourself in, every action, behaviour or emotion is triggered by the way you think. So, where do our thoughts come from? We spend the longest stint of time dependant on our parents, more than any other species. Human babies are entirely unable to care for themselves. We are not born with the same level of instincts available to us that other living beings are. Our thoughts are sold to us as beliefs from other peoples thinking. The thoughts of our parents, siblings, extended family, friends, teachers etc

One of my biggest achievements, recently, was being able to run 2.4km in 12.27.Yes, I was racing to make 12.15 to join the NZ police and yes I was 7 seconds too slow but when I first decided I would train for this, almost a year earlier, my very first runtime was 2.4km in 22 mins. I am not joking. I had only quit smoking about a year prior and I had been smoking for approx 15 years on and off. I was about 5kg overweight and had never run a day in my life. The challenge was HUGE. Really huge.

Being in a relationship of mutual trust and respect is something I thought I would never attain, based on my past experiences. When I finally found it, I was absolutely delighted. It felt different. It is the most beautiful feeling in the world knowing that someone is there for you, someone who isn't going to fire your vulnerable moments back at you in the future and someone that you can leave, feeling confident of their choices and actions, even when you aren't around to see.

Here in New Zealand Mother Earth is known as Papatuanuku. In Maori culture, Papatuankuku represents both the nourishing that land provides, as well as everything living on the land. Papatuanuku is a female figure who gives birth to all things including people, trees, and animals. She is the female creator of life. If we all think about this cycle of life as an entirely interconnected force I think we would treat the earth a lot more respectfully.

When it is our time to leave this earth, two of the most important things we leave behind are our shared knowledge and the way we made other people feel. Being a person with a very low level of patience has seen me struggle with teaching, spending time articulating, and explaining my knowledge to others. I have to very mindfully slow myself down when I am trying to explain something so that I do not start to feel frustrated myself or make the person I am sharing knowledge with, feel small. As a child, I often felt small, not heard, not seen and not worthy. This is a mindset I have carried through to adulthood and have only recently started to shed. As usual, though, the way you are taught is the practice you generally adopt yourself.

If you are in, or have been in a manipulative relationship at some point in your life then this instruction can be a difficult concept to grasp. Past hurts rear their ugly heads when you are triggered by an emotion or a situation, like disagreeing with your partner. Even if your current partner didn't hurt you, he/she may feel the wrath of your past hurts as they bubble to the surface.