Keeping my Sanity

When the British Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced financial measures to help the Bitish citizens cope with the SARS-Cov2 fiasco, I knew that things were going to last a long time. As we say, the writing was on the wall.

Initially it was until the end of June. So in March, when they announced furlough for the employed and financial assistance for the self-employed, I knew that we were going to be kept off work for 3 months minimum. When in May, they extended it to October, it was pretty obvious, well to me at least, that they were not going to encourage people back to work until then.

I had hoped that due to the nature of my job, helping people control their pain levels, that my clients would continue to want to come and see me for treatment, but it became very clear very early on, that the public were believing the fear-mongering that the government were telling them every minute on main-stream media, about how deadly this virus was, and we need to flatten the curve, keep the pressure off our hospitals and stay at home. Oh and clap on Thursday evening for our wonderful NHS staff who were doing a tremendous job, making tik-tok videos, oops sorry saving patients in overrun wards and hospitals.

So with a 3 month enforced holiday in front of me, I had already decided to look upon this as a Spring Retreat @ Home, as descibed in A is for Attitude.

I started each day with a zoom meeting with my friends in the Mystic Healers Community at 7.30 am, followed by meditation and then yoga to stretch my frozen shoulder.

After this start to the morning, it was time to read abook that the group was reading. My favourite was probably the Tao of Pooh.

At the beginning of these strange times, my husband and I were slightly taken in by it, and have to admit that we stocked the freezer up with meals just in case we became ill and needed to isolate for fourteen days and could not get to the shops. I even went a bit overboard and made a Christmas cake in March, just in case the shops were out of mixed fruit come September. When it looked as though we would be ok for cake in December, we ate it for his nibs birthday, in May.

At 8pm every evening, I again met with my friends on zoom, and did an evening meditation. Where would we have all been without zoom to keep us sane and keep in touch with each other?

How did you keep your sanity in 2020? I would love to hear how you coped with it all.

This is one of a series Finding Joy in Lockdown

J is for Joy

Have you ever stopped and thought about what your name means? I did very recently.

Having been given the name “Joy” you would think that it was a given, and that part is, but what about the rest of my name?

I have to thank Rebecca Campbell, author of “Light is the New Black” for the inspiration for delving deeper into the meaning of my name.

Before I go any further I would like to include the names that I have been known by during my almost 60 years of life.

I grew up with the name Joy Elizabeth Gill.

When I married, I was reluctant to give up my maiden name, and so I became Joy-Elisabeth Rivett-Gill. So many hyphens, I almost wore it out on my keyboard.

Joy as I said is a given. Deep happiness that comes from within.

Elisabeth/Elizabeth This name has it’s roots in Hebrew, meaning God is my oath, or God’s promise

Gill, to my surprise is Hebrew again, a given name or byname, meaning Joy or Gladness

Wow so I had grown up with double Joy held together by God’s promise. How awesome was that?

At the grand old age of 49 ½ I married a Rivett, and went by the name of Joy-Elisabeth Rivett-Gill.

Now I had double Joy and God’s Promise Rivetted together, til death do us part.

I felt so blessed, after all the trials and tribulations that I had gone through in life, it was so reassuring that my name had always had my back. I had goosebumps and an inner joy.

But then I recalled that for 4 years, until I was adopted into the Gill family, I had been a Smith.

When I sat and contemplated that name, I didn’t think that things could get any better, but God’s promise just kept on flowing.

A smith is someone who works on an unrefined piece of metal, and turns it into something beautiful and/or useful. A blacksmith puts a piece of iron through the heat, to turn it into a horseshoe or a pair of gates. A goldsmith takes an un-furnaced piece of gold, applies heat and turns it into a piece of cherished jewellery.

Joysmith takes a broken, unrefined person who has lost the joy in their life, and puts them through the fire of life, and creates a beautiful soul, one aligned to joy.

I am in the process of writing a self-help book based on my experiences of working as a nurse and a Chiropractor. 40 years of working has shown me that so many physical signs and symptoms have trauma at it’s roots. Joy has developed a step-by-step process to help you overcome them, and return to a state of joy.

Are you ready to take the first step? Join Joy in the Aligned with Joy Community on facebook

Thank you for reading this post. Wishing you Love and Joy in your life.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Hay House

In the early 1990’s I was introduced to a book that was going to revolutionise my view on health and healing. I had been a nurse for about 13 years and was now dipping my toe into the waters of alternative health. Growing up I had no experience of anything other than main stream medicine, although I was rarely ill other than the usual childhood complaints, chicken pox, measles, mumps and one ear infection that I can recall. I still cannot abide the taste of cherry or banana flavourings, the taste of anti-biotic medicine.

The book was Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life” and it introduced me to a whole way of thinking about the human body and how it reflects the areas in your life which require addressing for health and healing to occur.

It has influenced my practice in my chiropractic career for over 20 years now. I believe that when Louise first wrote it, she decided to publish it herself. Whether that was because she could not find a publishing house to take it on, or whether she was ahead of her time, maybe one of my readers can enlighten me. It is now a big concern with authors Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson and Wayne Dyer on their books.

When I tell people the story of my parents, how they met, drifted apart and then came back together again later in life, people often tell me I should write a book about it, that it has more thrill and complexity than a storyline from Eastenders. It is something that I have considered doing at some point. But where do you start? Well a very good place to start is with an online 7 day writer’s challenge run by Hay House back in July.

There was lots of helpful hints and tips on how to start to think as a writer and author. I would never have even thought about imagining my book on a bookshelf in a shop, and which 2 books would it be sandwiched between on a bookshelf. And as for hooks, I thought they were something you used to catch fish, not readers.

Those 7 hours, an hour a day bought me such joy, knowing that there is a process to book writing and if you follow it, then a book will appear after a lot of hard work and perseverance. It is now my intention to write a book or two in the next 6 to 12 months. I have even set my intention down in writing and hung it on my intention and gratitude tree.

This post is part of an A to Z Challenge, entitled Finding Joy in Lockdown.

I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please follow more to hear more about my self development during 2020 and beyond. If you would like to join the Aligned with Joy Community on facebook you can do here

Gardening Angels

OK admit it, who likes gardening and who couldn’t tell a daffodil from a dandelion? I will admit that I am able to tell the difference from those 2 plants, but there is where my gardening knowledge just about ends. I wish I did know more about gardening, but I am seriously lacking.

Looking out on the garden where my clinic is, has been an embarassment in the past. I have a double layer of net curtains, mainly to keep prying eyes out, but it has helped to keep the view of the garden hidden from people who come to me for treatment from seeing the state that the garden is in. My husband keeps the grass mown, but apart from that, no gardening has been done for almost ten years. So when he came back one day from cutting the grass to say that the neighbour had offered to get the garden sorted out, it was an answer to a pray, my garden angel had come forward, with rippling muscles where others have wings. He had been furloughed from work, and like all good angels he likes to do good deeds.

Trees were taken down, chopped up, bits were burnt, bits were scavaged for wood burners and some bits went to the tip, once it opened.

During all of this I was spending a lot of time at home, away from the clinic, and thinking about where my business was going. I blogged about the redesign of my business image in Design and Rebrand and there was a lot of cross referencing in the words that I was using, both in the garden and in my business. It seemed like 2 parallel worlds were being created at the same time. Phrases such as “planting ideas” “sowing seeds” and in the whole lockdown fiasco I often found myself “digging deep” to find levels in my soul that I did not know existed. A sense of calm came over me as I learnt to let go of the whole process of life, and surrender to whatever it was that God had in store for me. Just as he had created the Garden of Eden, so he would create a life for me.

During this period of time, I also met in a virtual space, called the Sacred Garden, where I came together with my friends to pray, meditate, contemplate and generally support each other through unprecendented times. The Sacred Garden is a place I go to frequently in my mind when I am looking for inner peace or confirmation.

The garden looks heaps better than it did in March. My angelic neighbour has been called back to work, but I for one will be forever grateful for what he managed to achieve in the weeks that he was furloughed.

This is one of 26 posts entitled Finding Joy in Lockdown.

Did you find an angel coming to your rescue in 2020. I would love to hear your stories of people who went over and above board to help you.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

F is for Frozen Shoulder

Have you ever had a frozen shoulder? I can assure you they do not bring an awful lot of joy. They cause a lot of restriction in the affected shoulder, and the slightest movement can have you screaming out with the pain. The odd thing about them is that once you have triggered that pain, you know it will only get worse reaching a crescendo, before it subsides. Sleeping is a problem as getting into a comfortable position is not easy, they tend to be uncomfortable to lie on, leaving only the alternate side and the back as sleeping positions. Even getting dressed takes a lot of thought, as it is very painful to raise your arm above your head, so it’s blouses and shirts that button down the front. Raising both arms like this is only a memory with one.

Frozen Shoulders Restrict Movement Over the Head.

I had a frozen shoulder in my right one about 10 years ago, so when the early warning signs happened on the left side, I had a heads up as to what to expect. I saw a physiotherapist for my right shoulder, and remember her saying that you need to catch them early and stretch them, which is painful. If you catch them in the first six weeks, then you can stop them becoming a full blown frozen shoulder, and I was determined to nip this one in the bud.

Staying at home on my enforced Spring Retreat @ Home, enabled me to get into a good routine of meditating and stretching first thing in the morning. I discovered the lovely Adrienne on youtube and her Yoga with Adrienne channel. It helped me enormously to get into a daily routine. For years I have told anyone that came to me for treatment that an exercise regime is just something you had to do each day. Include it in with your early morning routine, shower, clean teeth, drink coffee, eat breakfast and

s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

With lockdown I was unable to get out and have any treatment on it. Luckily I have a very caring husband who would massage my shoulder everyday after I had done my stretches. The old adage of “no pain, no gain” is very true where frozen shoulders are concerned.

I am now well on the road to recovery. It is my joy to report that I can now chose any item that I wish from my wardrobe, as I can get my arm over my head to put sweaters and t-shirts on.

This post is part of the A to Z challenge “Finding Joy in Lockdown”.

Thank you for reading and I hope you will read the other posts in this category.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

E is for Essential Oils

These are my love and they bring me such joy. I qualified as an aromatherapist in 1993, and I have used them daily ever since. I use them in my shower gel, my shampoo. I use them in a diffuser in my clinic room, to keep the air clean. The are my go-to when I have sprained or strained any pat of my body. They are my first aid kit when I burn myself on the stove. They truly are remarkable things, and they are my medicine chest. I wrote a whole A to Z challenge on them several years ago on my blog

During the weird goings on of 2020 I used them as a way of staying sane too. I have often used them for the effect that they have on my mood.

Bergamot: This has a long history of being a mood enhancer. Raising the spirits when you feel a bit gloomy. I always make sure I have some for the months early at the beginning of the year, January and February when the winter blues hit. I swear that Bergamot is the reason that I do not suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder Syndrome (SADS)

Frankincense: Long used for it’s aid in meditation. I love to blend this oil with a citrus oil such as tangerine, orange or lemon. Frankincense is my oil of choice where apprehension, fear, insecurity and perseverance is needed in difficult circumstances. As you can imagine I have been using this essential oil in copious amounts this year. Frankincense is also useful in situations of grief, and it is an oil which I can see being used a lot as people deal with the grief that is ultimately what people will be left dealing with, at the end of all this. Grief for loss of life as we know it.

Of course we need to remember what this whole episode in history has been about, and that is a virus: SARS-Cov-2 to give it it’s correct name, although you could be forgiven to think it was called “coronavirus” or even Covid 19.

Essential oils are very good at being both anti-viral and antiseptic. The most widely known are those that we find in products that we can find at our local chemist. Oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, pine and lemon.

If we go back in history, we are led to beleive that the thieves who went about robbing the bodies in the Black Plague carried a mixture of herbs and spices in posies. These included Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Lemon. Some of these oils are very stimulating and should be used with care.

Link to ebay shop on picture.

Do you have a favourite essential oil? I would love if you shared with me, along with the reason why.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Design and Re-brand

in 2017, when I decided to come off the General Chiropractic Register, I was no longer allowed to refer to myself as a Chiropractor, as it is a protected title in the UK. Up until then my business name was “A Joy of Chiropractic, the McTimoney Way” but I had to rebrand, and so I became “A Joy of Health”, but that name never really sat joyfully with me.

2020 for many people, was a time of contemplation and reflection, and I took a good hard look at where my business was and where I would like it to go. Like many people I have often thought about writing a book, or two. I don’t want a block-busting bestseller, but I do have a wealth of experience that I want to share with others. 2020 gave me time to seriously look at this as an option.

In the book that I am in the process of writing, I describe my own experience of coming through trials and tribulations and learning to listen to my body and what it is saying to me. Along with that, it includes stories that I have collected from my 40 years of working in the health professions, and listening to the words that people use, and the physical symptoms that they are exhibiting. Since 1998, when I qualified from the McTimoney College of Chiropratic I have been physically aligning people, and using the words that they use to address the psychsocial issues that may be underlying their problems, and therefore helpng them to bring joy into their lives.

Aligned with Joy seemed like a perfect rebrand. It incorporates both the physical and emotional aspect of all branches of my work, both now and in the future.

I was very lucky to be able to work with a wonderful graphic designer who worked with me to design a logo which I am extremely happy with.

It all started back in June when the BLM protests were happening, and the world looked like it was turning into a very dark place. I sat meditating one day, and thought that the only thing I can do is be a tiny flicker of a flame in the dark. I also wanted to incorporate the infinity symbol. Many times in life I found myself coming back to the same point, before going off in what would seem like another direction, only to find myself back in the same place, wondering if I’d learnt anything at all from my experiences as they seemed to be repeating themselves. My tag line ” from my heart to yours” I also wanted to be shown.

My first attempt, (which was my own) had people tellling me that it looked very phallic, which is when a graphic designer offered to help me out. This is the result. We have 2 logos, very similar. One is for my physical work, and the second is for when I write the book and it gets published.

What do you think?

Thank you for reading this post.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

C is for Clinic Chaos

A Joy of Health Clinic

With over 20 years experience working as a qualified McTimoney Consultant Practitioner, I have never had so much chaos in the clinic as I did in March 2020. When the news hit the UK of a mystery virus hitting our shores, people started to get nervous, and in the first third of March, bookings were being cancelled at an alarming rate. Initially I was concerned but once we had sat down and worked out the finances, it turned out that I could sit back and enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine and not worry too much about a vastly reduced income coming in. After all, we had finances set aside to go on an Alaskan cruise as mentioned yesterday in Broken plans, that were now put back into the coffers. With restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, retail all closed too, there really wasn’t much we could spend our money on, as long as I stayed off the M&S online shop.

I contacted peole to say that I was here for them, if they needed me, but most preferred to stay at home, and once the “Stay at Home” orders were given on the 23rd March, then that was it.

It took several months before there was a trickle of enquiries from desperate people, who were now in such immense pain, it broke my heart to hear how they had been suffering the whole time. It appeared that I was the only therapist of any modality working for several miles around. How dare the government play with the health of the nation for a virus which for a lot of people, it is a positive test after being tracked and traced, they have no symptoms.

The chaos that the stay at home orders enforced, made me re-evaluate where I was in life as I tried to make order out of the chaos. Tomorrow you can read what steps I took and how my business has changed.

Thank you for reading this post which is part of an AtoZ Challenge. You can join the Aligned with Joy Community on facebook.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

B is for Broken Plans

I read earlier in the year that a 2020 planner was the most useless thing that someone had bought in 2019. How I resonated with that, do you?

I had so many plans for 2020, including continuing my Craniosacral therapy training with the Upledger Institute, which involved travelling to a couple of places within the UK, a cruise in the summer to Alaska, and a winter cruise spanning Christmas, New Year and my 0th birthday in January 2021. These plans now lay broken on the cutting room floor. My 2020 diary has so many events pencilled in, rubbed out, rearranged that it hs completely metamorphasised into a completely different creature to the one that was designed for this year.

The first plan that was broken was my training. I was due to fly down to Brighton on Tuesday 24th March 2020, the very day that the UK was advised to stay at home. I loved Boris on that day. He used the words “stay at home”, he did not go for the emotive “lockdown” word. He, like me, preferred to use the stay at home phrase, an attitude I echoed in A is for Attitude post.

I could be bitter and resentful, but what good did that ever do anybody? Instead I sat on my half finished decking in the glorious spring sunshine and counted my blessings. Yes Alaska would have been a wonderful experience, but so was sitting at home, chilling and thinking of all the greenhouse gases that were not being omitted by the planes that regularly criss-cross our planet. The birdsong was glorious each day, for we could hear it now, so often in the past drowned out by the morning rush hour, or we were too busy rushing about our morning routine to notice it. There was much to be joyful about. As time went on the joy at hearing the birds and watching the amazing amount of blossom on the trees made me realize that it is the simple things in life that bring us the greatest joy.

Did you have any big plans in 2020 dashed? Did you make the most of it? Did you adapt your attitude towards it, for good or not so good? I would love to hear about it.

Thank you for reading this post as part of the AtoZ Challenge, the theme “Finding Joy in Lockdown”.

You can join the Aligned with Joy Community on facebook.

Blessings and Joy, Joy x

A is for Attitude

The way you approach things will have a tremendous effect on how they affect you. Take the most recent issue, that has virtually had the whole world staying at home under orders from their government, all for a silent invisible enemy, SARS-Cov-2, to give it it’s proper title.

When the UK government finally decreed that we must stay at home, on 23rd March 2020, the writing was already on the wall as far as my health business was concerned. My clients had already contacted me in their droves to tell me that they were staying at home, as they had been scared by the main stream media into not leaving their homes.

How many times have you said to yourself “I wish I had more time, then I would do x y or z” Now was the time to do all those things I had promised myself when I had more time.

Spring Retreat @ Home

And so began my Spring Retreat @ Home. That is how I chose to look at it, I was not locked-down, locked-up or locked-in. I made a conscious decision to call it a retreat and treat it as such. Over the coming month I will share with you how I discovered joy and myself in that time. During the month of September, I am going to write a post a day under the AtoZ challenge. This is A is for Attitude.

Thank you for reading. You can join the Aligned with Joy Community on facebook

Have a blessed, joyful day.

Joy