This is the tenth year of running guided walks on Ithaca and I am so excited to be returning this summer, particularly with the new Folklore walk, now have the keys for the Shepherds hut. It was difficult and sad not to be there this winter as the weather has been glorious, bit worried about all that hard work in the garden and how many plants may have died. Heard it has now started raining, the first since October. How different could the weather be here in the UK? Still today the sun is shining. It was also difficult not to be there, when I heard of the awful earthquake that hit Levkada, Kephalonia and Ithaca; two people died on Kephalonia and many houses were damaged. Talking to friends, not normally the nervous types, they were very worried and anxious especially with the constant aftershocks. I felt very bad not to be there and just asking “is my house still standing” felt like a betrayal. That is one of the big downsides of this half half life, which was the reason I left my flat in London, so that I wasn’t half half. Still that’s how it is for now. I did not expect to end my relationship with my Greek Partner, Dimitri and I did not expect to be with Neil, neither did I expect for his mother to have a major brain bleed and still be alive but with no cognitive function, four and a half years later. She did not smoke and she did not drink, she did worry quite a lot but really how much control do we have, one way or the other? The government here are making it sound that our health is all our responsibility and that if we do what they say we will go on living forever and ever. I really am glad not many people pay attention, there are far too many good pubs closing every day as it is.

Practising mindful movement along with some great and very diverse Yoga classes every day seems to be having an affect on my addiction to nicotine and depression – linked for me. I did talk previously about my depression, openly and I have to say I am shocked how that was used against me by one particular person. She seemed to take my openness about mental ill health on this website and in my blogs as a way to get at me, of course fuelled by a few others who think depression is some condition that you can use against people. Defending themselves by calling another mad. Why is this, it would not be acceptable to do that for many other conditions.So, yes in 2017 it is still stigmatised and not treated with compassion. How did I get on to this, yes well I am not going to stop being open about it, because pushing addictions down, pushing depression or any emotions down and wanting to be somewhere else or be someone else is a road to certain well- dis-being.

I am finding dancing, moving, Yoga in all its abundant styles and walking is easing periods of down-ness, alot to do with Neil’s mum’s health and the caring role we are in but also the distress of her condition. Maybe they are helping because they are teaching me acceptance and kindness and non judgement of myself and I have noticed that the more I accept myself and don’t push or pressure,not only the less anxiety but the less judgemental I am of others.

Often I can feel hedonistic, indulgent; just going for a walk, or taking myself off to do some movement, meditation, chanting, or endorphins technique…as if I am just taking time to make myself better..not that that is what I am doing it for ..to be better…but it is having the effect of creating well-being which makes me calmer, more assertive, clearer in my relationships and the more I love myself in my body work the more I feel able to love others….

struggling a bit with the woman who used my mental health issues against me though, still Yin and Yang;love and hate. And maybe in being clearer with love, I can also choose to,if not hate, avoid and dislike.

How to be in the moment, stay true to yourself, defend and protect yourself and still be a fighter against injustice. More on that next week. For now enjoy what you do enjoy as fully as you can without beating yourself up for being selfish or hedonistic…keep nurturing yourself, creating joyful cells, you won’t live forever, sorry, but you may enjoy the journey a bit more…

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