So this is the fourth year that I’ve done Susannah Conway‘s December Reflections. They are a lovely way to consider what the past year has been and consider what next year can bring. They were some of my first blog posts back in 2017, and they led me to sharing my monthly Photo a Day collections. So as we approach the end of 2019, time for more reflection.
Day 1 – Through the window
Very similar to last year, the view out of the window looking towards the rising sun.
Day 2 – Sparkle
Intentionally blurred lights at Kew Gardens, always look so sparkly.
Day 3 – Best day of 2019
I’ve been fortunate to have many wonderful days this year so it is really hard to pick just one:
- I went to Cordoba, Seville and Granada and had a wonderful time seeing the Real Alcazar, Alhambra Palace and the Mezquita (pictured).
- I was sung happy birthday by my peers and my heroes & heroines of Fascial Research (including Dr Jean-Claude Guiberteau) as I was attending a Cadaver Dissection.
- I was able to attend workshops in Cape Cod run by John F Barnes, and made some amazing friends.
- I went to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew for their Chihuly Exhibition.
Don’t get me wrong 2019 has also been hard work, but I’ve had some amazing experiences.
Day 4 – White
Christmas ornament, with accents of red.
Day 5 – Best book of 2019
I read quite a lot, and when I’m really good I read “work” books when I’m commuting and fun books at other times. So there was quite a lot for me to choose from.
The book that has probably stayed with me the longest is Why we sleep by Matthew Walker. It is a fabulous book looking at the research and science of what sleep does for our brains (oh so much) and how too little may impact our lives (and most of us are sleep deprived). I wrote about it in this blog post back in February
The other books are a selection of the others that I have read (I have work books to read on my commute and fun books to read before sleep. In the last I’ve been trying to read more works by female authors and NK Jemisin is well worth reading.
Day 6 – Angel
An angel flying high over Regent’s Street in London. I love these angels as they look like a representation of biotensegrity and fascia, but that might be just me.
Day 7 – Favourite photo of 2019
A photo of half of my family taken at Kew. I do just love the tunnel of lights.
Day 8 – Quiet
The Walthamstow Wetlands is a haven of quiet in the midst of London. You can nearly forget you’re in the city, until a big truck or train travels past. It is a favourite place to go and recharge.
Day 9 – Biggest change
There haven’t been any huge changes happening this year (like changing career), so the changes have been more subtle. My word for this year was/is “Flourish” and that probably sums things up: I have flourished.
My career has definitely flourished:
- My Myofascial Release/Sports Massage clinics are pretty much full, which is wonderful albeit tiring at times.
- I have been travelling further afield for courses (Uxbridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Cape Cod)
- I am feeling much more confident in my knowledge (although I still feel like an imposter at times.)
Having written this out, I have suddenly realised that a big change became clear last month (and I’ve just remembered it) in that I feel like I am more than just a student of human anatomy, and that many teachers I look up to now seem to see me as a peer…
That’s going to take some getting used to…
Photo is of me in Cape Cod
Day 10 – Gold
The gold of mulling apple juice with bay leaf, cloves, coriander seed, juniper berries, cinnamon, cardamon pods and lemons.
This mix then gets warmed and poured over a shot of gin: delicious.
Recipe from BBC Good Foods if your’e interested. To be honest the warm apple juice would be lovely on its own.
Day 11 – 10 years ago
I have written about it in more depth here. But 2009 was a year of massive shifts and changes:
- I was made redundant from a job in IT (tbh I really hated the job so it was a blessing in disguise.)
- I changed career, switching to a completely different area and linebof work: bodyworker.
- I started my training as a Sports & Remedial Massage Therapist, which was the best decision I’ve made.
On a home front:
- I* paved a significant area in the garden.
- I* painted the stonework at the front of the house white, finally (after 9 years) of living with a diarrhoea brown on the stone work**.
- I hated having my photo taken, and this is one from a pub meet up with friends, hence the strange face and the bottle of wine. It’s actually from January 2011, but it’s close enough.
*My dad and I both did the work
**It could probably do with being repainted.
Day 12 – Made me laugh
Sharing a house with these three lovelies in Cape Cod was a time filled with laughter (of the laughing-so-hard-I-cried-hysteria variety). It was much needed amongst the hard work (and giggles) of the John F Barnes Myofascial Release workshops.
I am not sure I can consider making homemade pizzas without smiling about frozen mushrooms (fresh ones left too close to the cooling air vent) or ready sliced mozzarella.
David Tennant swearing will also make me laugh (I still have a 60 second compilation to hand)
And the simple card game of Snap will forever also be full of laughter.
Day 13 – 5 things about me
This gets harder each year as I try to not keep repeating myself (but then I’m not actually looking back to check I’ve not shared these before)
- I can sew (having just repaired my yoga trousers) not very neatly, but I can sew. I actually made the curtains in my lounge (with advice from my mother) as it’s virtually impossible to get three metre drop curtains.
- I can be very intuitive when I am working, when my logical mind steps aside (which it’s getting better at doing); however it still occasionally freaks me out and what I refer to the “woo-woo” still scares me a teeny bit.
- I like spending time at my local wildlife area (the Walthamstow Wetlands) and watching nature at it’s best. It helps me relax and revitalise, and I miss it terribly when I don’t get there.
- I like that my musical taste is broadening: I’ve been a bit of a pop prince(ss) for most of my life (think Madonna, Kylie, Robbie etc.) but things have been broadening with forays into Prog Rock (such as Big Big Train, Stephen Wilson), Folk Music (Do check out The Lost Words: Spellsongs; Tallisk; Julie Fowlis; Karine Polwart) and most surprisingly Mongolian heavy metal (search for The Hu).
- I love my job as a Myofascial Release therapist/Sports & Remedial Massage therapist/Reiki Master/Yoga teacher and the fact that there seems to be an endless selection of things for me to learn about the human body/mind really excites me.
Day 14 – Floral
Day 15 – Best decision of 2019
I think the best big decision I made this year was to attend more training in Cape Cod, USA with John F Barnes, taking three more courses over 11 continuous days in his Myofascial Release approach.
I got to learn so much about myself and my body during this time, and also spent time with these wonderful ladies who also made me laugh so much.
I had a nightmare getting there (a direct flight London to Boston was cancelled and I ended up going via Chicago arriving 20 hours later than planned), but I’m glad I persevered.
A close second was discovering how wonderful floating in an isolation tank is…
Day 16 – Hot
Day 17 – I said Hello to
I said hello to lots of lovely new friends and members of the wider Fascial Family through a number of different courses, and workshops that I have attended. There have been almost too many to remember all of their names, but I have been so blessed with their friendship.
Day 18 – Favourite photo of me
Having a lot of fun, and silliness, and laughter in Cape Cod. The picture is blurry as I managed to shatter the front of my phone when I was there
Day 19 – Cold
The weather today isn’t cold or anything useful or attractive, so here’s a photo of me trying to get warm when I had a cold recently (I’m better now)
Day 20 – Memorable meal of 2019
My most memorably meal was not a fancy one, but one full of hysterical laughter: with the lovely ladies in Cape Cod. We were making quick ciabatta pizzas and it wasthe occassion where fell about laughing frozen mushrooms, and ready sliced mozzarella. We all had tears streaming down our faces from laughing so hard…
…and the pizzas did taste great.
I also considered my first taste of Clam Chowder, after my horrendous journey from London to Boston which meant I was tired and hungry and the chowder tasted so good, but the laughter won.
Day 21 – I said goodbye to
This has been a pretty good year, and I am lucky not to have suffered any major bereavements. So wondering what I said goodbye to this year was not easy, but I said goodbye to:
…a few clients who have moved away from London.
…a sense that I understand my fellow British people: the recent election where lies where believed and excused (I still feel positively ill each time I consider it); complaining about TV shows that didn’t turn out the way they wanted them even though the clues were there…
Day 22 – Solstice light
After a very wet and wild night, the sun makes an appearance over Walthamstow.
Day 23 – A secret
I have more products for my beard than I do for the rest of my body.
Day 24 – Paper
Bound together and covered in words is how I love my paper.
Day 25 – Today is…
Christmas day dawned with a beautiful clear sky.
Day 26 – Delicious
The Christmas dinner I cooked (even if do I say so myself)
Day 27 – 2019 taught me
That I love learning, which I already knew, but I am not as young as I was, and so I can’t keep bouncing from one course to another with few breaks: I need time to fully recharge. I was better than previous years, but could still improve. Next year I need more than one holiday…
2019 has also taught me that I have learnt so much and have so much experience that I am no longer a beginner, but edging towards an expert and someone looked towards for answers and teaching by my colleagues and peers. It feels a bit weird and I need to start believing it.
The photo is of two wonderful teachers (Carol M Davis and Ruth Duncan) who l had the great pleasure of learning from this year (amongst many others)
Day 28 – My wish for 2020
I hope that the next year brings me many wonderful opportunities to meet interesting people, to learn new things, to travel and still feel wonderfully rested and refreshed.
I also wish that the world starts to take the climate crisis as seriously as it seems to warrant, and that we all work together to get things changing for the better. Including getting our politicians to value the natural world as highly as they do oil and money.
The photo is part of an art installation for the finale of Waltham Forest’s year of being London Borough of Culture.
Day 29 – Home
Inside the front door.
Day 30 – Thank you for…
All those I met on the path I trod through 2019, and the support and care they gave me.
I am thankful for the opportunities I had to learn more about myself and for my work and just learning because I can.
I am thankful for having a roof over my head, food to eat, and a significant other who provides me with so much love and support.
I am thankful for living in a country where I feel safe and free from danger, although I am concerned where it is heading.
I am thankful that my health continues to be good, and long may that last.
Day 31 – My word for 2020…
After a year of POWER in 2017, I needed the integration of WEAVE in 2018 (not that I completely enjoyed the process) and I have enjoyed the FLOURISH of 2019, some of which has crept up on me.
2020 feels like a year that I will need both my own internal strength, as well as my physical power to help me negotiate what the year brings.
My job is quite physical, and it is growing busier so I need to be able to keep it going and growing, but with also the internal strength of being able to say ‘No’ as necessary. The way I work and the approach I favour (Myofascial release) can allow emotions to surface, and so I need to be a calm, solid rock for my clients, and for me to face my own feelings when I get treatment.
I am saddened by and honestly I fear the state of the world and so I need strength to face what is to come, but with the strength of bamboo or a tree or the ocean to respond to whatever happens.
I also have three supporting words of:
– Inspire, as I am looking to learn to teach my peers; I hope to inspire others and be a light in the darkness,
– Explore, witthe hnew areas of learning and discover new places, widening my boundaries and increasing my comfort zone.
– Space, to beathe, to recharge, to clear the clutter, to just be.
And then behind these are yet more supporting words, and more in the layer under that…
So that’s the month of December Reflections for 2019. I hope you like them and if you want to join in next year than I suggest following Susannah Conway on Facebook or Instagram and see what other wonderful things she does. I particularly enjoyed her Photography course and her blogging course.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope I’ve not shared too much information with you.