Meditation – My Silence in a Stream of Chatter

In the mornings and before bed I have book ended a special part of my routine. I unroll a yoga mat, sit cross legged on in and silently blot out all my thoughts. Sometimes I even use a little music that I found specially from YouTube

2015-07-31 15.04.21

I never really thought of meditation as important. It was just something other people enjoyed, or it was part of a culture I wasn’t privy to. But when I started to practise yoga meditation seemed to come as part of the deal.The benefits to me were clear.

From the second my family awaken until the second the last one falls asleep, I am constantly bombarded with a stream of chatter. Have you made my sandwiches, change the babies nappy, feed the cat, do your Alien from Wanda and the Alien impression.

Jobs, requests, demand, question after question after question.

Work is no respite either. I run my own business as an Estate and Lettings agent so from the second I get in someone is talking to me, about leaky boilers, or late rent payments, or invoices owed or whether they should market their property furnished or unfurnished. Even my colleague (actually my mum, its a family business) contributes to the stream.

Jobs, requests, demand, question after question after question.

This is by no means a complaint. Most people have to deal with this everyday. This constant stream of voices is a necessity, part of life and a sign of a good and healthy social standing. Any parent/person when really proposed with the alternative of constant silence would relish the idea of such company.

Still, It can build up and I found sometimes I couldn’t cope, after all so much can lead to stress, anger, frustration. You can just hear your mind saying I just want some peace. Sometimes you can hear your mouth saying it too.

In a dizzy whir of voices, just as yin needs yang I find it important to quieten everything, including my own inner voice, for at least 20 min a day.
It it refreshing and it seems to help my mind organise all the jobs, tidy up all the requests I received, deal with all the demands and answer each and every question I have took on board that day.

A tidy mind is a happy mind, so next time I’m in a sea of voices, all wanting my attention, I can give it freely, calmly and productively.

If you feel overwhelmed at any point in your day or lives, I would recommend it. I only sit for 10 min in the morning and 10 min at night and I found I manage a lot better. There are loads of mediation channels on YouTube and Guided meditation can target key areas like stress, depression, confidence.

Give it a try.

Thanks for visiting
Berg

A Cornish Mum
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Book Report – The Beach – Alex Garland

This week I re read my favourite book of all time. The Beach by Alex Garland.

I read it first at a time when it was relevant, it had just came out and I was in university leading an adventurous lifestyle. As a rebel the thought of travelling to a forbidden beach full of daring and lust really did appeal.

Despite Decaprios best efforts the book is way better than the film in every way. The characters are quirkier and edgier, the main character has more flaws which makes him deeper.

For those of you unfamiliar, the story recounts the journey of Richard, a traveller who is sick of seeing travelling spots weighed down with tourists and is in search of a purer experience. Cue the dark Daffy Duck who tells a story of a hidden beach in a nearby island. An urban legend among the travelling community. Not on any tourist route it is difficult to get too and forbidden. Not only that but he leaves Richard a map.

This sets Richard and his newly found friends on a dangerous trek, swimming a perilously long way in the sea and hiking blindly through jungles and a very special field.

I love how the hero’s mistakes unravel in this sinister plot, which leads to the novels very dark climax.

I won’t spoil the tale for you because I enjoy the suspense the book brings. But even if you have watched the film, I recommend you read the book as it is a different experience, the end of the book is so much more grisly. I also got the impression that if I was an experienced traveller, or familiar with the Thai culture that there would be a lot more subtle references I could have took from it.

If you like a story with, grit, adventure, suspense and true consequence, this is a book for you.

Enjoy.

MamaMummyMum

The Park or the Space?

Where we live is on a street with a park in it. It is full of children playing constantly.

Since we had a previously lived on main roads our kids had never really played out with other kids before so they relished being called for and going out in a gang. It was brilliant.
But then we had a chance, an offer to move house, and I was worried. For a good couple of years they had got used to playing out on the park, I could see them from the window so I could even keep an eye on them and have a brew. Was all that set to change.

Still we needed the bigger house, the baby wouldn’t stay in her Moses basket forever and the other two youngest where catching up the oldest. We needed space.
My other problem was that my son had just been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This was already a big big change. He had one of his school friends across the street, his parents were our friends so we had a good network here. Would the disruption be too much.

In fact we fretted over it so much, that at one point we had decided “No we couldn’t leave. We would sit it out. Buy bunk beds. Squeeze them in”.

Luckily, one of our friends informed us that, “You are mad” Not the first time

“The support network that you have will still be there, it will always be there, you need the room.”
So we had look at the house and the area and we were astonished at how much room there was. We took the plunge.

We needn’t have worried. With Facebook, and Twitter, and the telephone and Whatsapp, your support network is a big or as little as you make it. It can be a once a week chat or a constant feed.

The neighbours here are a lot more involved in the community here so Mrs Berg was able to find several like minded mothers from day one. The extra room was well received and the kids play right outside our window so I can see them while I’m having a brew and watching TV. And speaking of kids…

I have never seen so many.

We have always been the crazy family with too many kids. Not here. In our block of 4 houses the other three houses each have 4 children each. Thats 17 children on our block alone. Also the ratio of girls to boys has severely been altered. Meaning that my son has his own gang of lads they all know about his diabetes and they all accept him for it. He is so happy.His old friends still visit too.

We are just a gorgeous 10 Min walk from one of our favourite hangouts, I have wrote about it before, and as for the park that I missed, well I heard they are building one on our street before the end of the year.

Until next time

Berg

Reflections From Me

Lessons about being a Man

Lessons about being a man…

Ha ha. Not from me. I am merely a student of true manliness.

I refer you to the legendary Brett Mckay. Author of a popular blog called the Art of Manliness.

This post is partly a referral and partly a thank you.

Firstly the referral. If you have never heard of the art of manliness and you are a man go and check it out. www.artofmanliness.com.

Put simply it is a guide to all things traditionally manly. It is a blog dedicated to the pursuit of the exploration of what it means to be a man in this modern age.

Brett Mckay, the blogs author, is king among men who raised the site from scratch. He discusses everything from how to dress for a job interview, to lessons of manhood from Vikings and the virtues of Benjamin Franklin. I read an article on the sleeping patterns of Robert Reagan and then how to get in touch with my inner caveman. There is a mix bag of manhood, a wealth of manly information and ultimately something for everyone.

But really this is thank you, because at a time when I was looking for answers, looking to self improve, I found answers within this blog.

I have improved on my self reliance, on my writing, on my virtues, and on my life goals. I have learned a lot of different extra things just be reading random articles. I have learnt that to become a life learner is essential, and I have done it in the most manly way I could. Only today I have completed a life plan based on McKays methods.

Within my blog I hope to pass on some of the lessons that Brett Mckay and the Art of Manliness have taught me. But for now here are some of my favourite articles to get you started.
http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/03/04/live-life-at-the-limits-how-to-hack-your-flow/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/04/13/stop-hacking-your-life/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/01/01/jumpstart-your-journaling-a-31-day-challenge/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/02/07/the-importance-of-roughhousing-with-your-kids/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2009/06/17/30-days-to-a-better-man-day-18-find-your-n-u-t-s/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/03/18/how-and-why-to-become-a-lifelong-learner/

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I was thrilled this week to be nominated for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Mackenzie of Reflections From Me. I have linked up with Mackenzie a number of times using her #mummyandus link up. I find her posts inspirational and her photography excellent. She is an established blogger with some excellent posts. Please visit her blog you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you very much Mackenzie for thinking of me and taking me in every Monday with your link up. As a new blogger it was a big surprise and so nice to be thought of in that way.

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award is passed between bloggers as a way of making new friends and to get to know each other, and as such Mackenzie has provided me with 10 Questions to answer.

So, nervously, here are my answers…

  1. Where did your blog name come from?

Well I used to have a man cave with all my stuff in it, but as we acquired more children my man cave got smaller and smaller. Until it was just one side of a couch, (not even a desk). So I was thinking of this when I was thinking about blog names and I thought every man should have his space, which was the tagline. I imagined a sports bar where people came to talk about Ice Hockey and what was going on in their lives, but the country lodge seemed more appropriate as it more family orientated.

  1. What is the most embarrassing thing you have done lately?

It’s difficult, because I do a lot of embarrassing things all the time. Generally it is my kids that get embarrassed as in true Dad fashion I wave or dance to them in front of their friends. My latest was I told a “Dad” Joke to my eldest when she was having a chippy tea at her friend’s house. I told her, my battered cod had bitten me… it was ‘fish’-ious.

  1. Would you travel to the past or future? Why?

I love this question because I’m a real Geek and love Doctor Who, Back to the Future, anything like that. I think that it would be an adventure whichever way you went. I would love to see my kids as adults, but I think it would upset me if there was anything wrong. Plus I love history so I wouldn’t be able to resist  in seeing the past.

  1. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you wish you could change?

I was a night owl that is slowly turning into a morning person. I do stay up late watching Netflix and reading books. But lately I have been getting up at 6am and really relish that time to get my head together in the morning.

  1. Why did you start your blog?

I have always wanted to be a writer, since I was in primary school. But I never finished anything. For years and years I was frustrated about never writing enough. About a year ago I started my positivity journey, correcting all these frustrations in my fitness and work life. My lack of writing was one of them. I found that I wanted to tell the world about how brilliant my kids were, give advice about Ice Hockey, and share my fitness goals and stories. Facebook, I thought, just wasn’t enough for me; I wanted to write something properly. Now I also want to help people get through their worries about fitness, diabetes and coeliac by telling stories about someone who has experienced them. Hopefully in will make people realise they are not alone.

  1. Were you a blog reader before you started one of your own?

I read loads of blogs in my positivity journey. I have so many links in my bookmarks list. And since I started my blog I try to keep up with everyone else’s blogs who I befriend on twitter. I found that there was a lot of help in the blogs I read that really changed my life in a positive way.

  1. Would you rather have smelly feet, smelly armpits or green hair with purple poka dots for a year (and you have to choose one).

I would definitely pick the hair. I would say it was something people would expect me to do. Ha ha. When I smell my feet and armpits I wouldn’t want to wish that upon anyone, so I clean them immediately, with Tea Tree shampoo; because it’s tingly.

  1. Blog post you are most proud of writing in your blogging career? (make sure you provide a link to it).

My rant about Coeliac Disease was probably the one I was most proud of because that was one of the more serious posts, It made me feel grown up and a bit like a Journalist.

  1. Blog Post of yours that you were surprised to see a great response to?

My Harry Potter post has had the most views to day. It seemed that it was a normal thing for me to do as a parent so to get some good comments reflected well on my parenting so that was nice.

  1. What is it about writing that you love?

I love the fact that I can express on “paper” a thought or idea. That my words can inspire someone, make them laugh or cry.  I also love the art of storytelling, of passing on an idea so that others can be part of your journey.

Ok so now I have to nominate 7 other bloggers and provide 10 questions for them to answer.

So guys these are the rules as given to me.

The Rules

Thank the blogger who gave you the award & link back to their blog.

Answer the 10 questions given to you.

Nominate 7 bloggers for the award.

Write 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

Display the award on your blog or post.

My 7 bloggers are (in no particular order):

A Cornish Mum

Inside Martyn’s Thoughts

Gemma the Family Girl

Mama Mummy Mum

Blogger Mumma

The DADventurer

Cardiff Mum Says

Thanks guys you have been nominated so if you chose to accept here are my 10 questions. Have fun.

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?

2. What is your favourite thing to write about?

3. If you could change one thing about yourself what would you change and why?

4. If you could have one superhero power, what power would you choose?

5. What advice would you say to your younger self?

6. Where is the best place you have visited?

7. What would your last ever meal be?

8. What is your favourite blog post and why?

9. Do you have a special skill and if so what is it?

10. Name one thing that makes you smile.

I hope you guys have as much fun answering these questions as I did answering Mackenzie’s. Please let me know if you accept so I can read your replies. Thanks.

Thank you again Mackenzie for nominating me. It gave me a boost to know that someone thought enough of me to give me this award.

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Daddy the “Big Meanie”

This week I’m a big meanie because we went to a petting farm where there were rabbits. My oldest daughter had been asking the owners some questions and found out that the particular rabbit she was holding was for sale.

lots-of-bunnies

She was very insistent that she was going to get this rabbit by the end of the week.

I stuck to my guns and she didn’t get the rabbit.

I do sound like a big meanie I know and really I was, but this is the story why I will never again own a rabbit.

Once upon a time we bought a rabbit. We were a young new couple with our first and only baby girl.

What we didn’t know as we brought it home from the animal shelter was that it was pregnant.

We put it in its single hutch and went to bed, dreaming of our little girl being able to play in the grass with her new friend, just like on teletubbies (seems along time ago now doesn’t it).

When we came down the next day there were 8 new born rabbits in the hutch.

We were so excited. We named them all and got them out in the front room to play with them. They would all hop around and our new baby girl would giggle and grab as they came near. It was idealic.

But our first problem was where to put them. We couldn’t afford a hutch straight away so they grew up all in the same hutch until a month later. The space inside gradually getting more and more cramped. Even with two hutches there wasn’t enough room and soon our problems grew.

They tore up the garden and made burrows everywhere. One was so deep that it went into next door. And they would hide and not come out until we flushed them out with water. Even so we were going to get even more in trouble.

Always think where sayings come from. The one me and Mrs Berg had overlooked was “breed like rabbits”. This saying came to pass because, as we were about to discover, rabbits breed with anything, anytime, anywhere. Soon we didn’t just have the 9 rabbits anymore but at the most count (and this is a real number) we had 42!!!

Now we were overrun and without being able to sex them quick enough there was no way to separate them into boys and girls.

Ultimately we had to make a decision to make. There was a petting zoo near Horwich in Bolton that received 39 baby rabbits one day. That was a lot to take in and we were extremely grateful. We kept the original 9 rabbits. And split them into 3 hutches and hoped that they would not breed again before we could get to the vet.

However that is sadly not where the story ends.

A few weeks after we awoke to massacre. Our hutch was broken, the door torn off. A litter of rabbits lay dead across the garden.

My heart sank as I took in what I saw. Around 5 bodies were recovered from the garden. They looked like they died of shock. 1 of the babies was missing. The big mother of all the rabbits was also missing, we never saw it again.

We genuinely couldn’t work out if a fox had got in and took away the big one and the baby in the night. Chasing the others to death. Or if more sinisterly they had been stolen by a human. Whichever the monster, we were devastated.

Only 3 survived. 2 girls and one boy. Sooty, Daz and Cole. They had hid in one of the tunnels and emerged to tears of joy later in the day.

We sadly buried the other rabbits but a week later we had to reopen the grave and add Cole to the earth. He was half ate by a fox also.

By this point I had really had a heartbreaking experience with rabbits. Luckily the last two lead a happy and fulfilled life with us until only a year or so ago. It was a nightly ritual to catch them and I thought “feed the rabbits” was Mrs Berg’s catchphrase at one point.

They were very good pets and when they finally joined their brothers and sisters. As a family we are loyal to our pets and they quickly become family, I will never forget the ones we lost.

It is for this reason I will not have any more rabbits and I will have to be a big meanie for a while longer.

Reflections From Me

Too Tired

Currently Mrs Berg and I are running on empty. It’s a struggle to get up. It’s a struggle to focus. It’s a struggle stay focused.

It’s all due to the time old affliction every parent (except that one friend from the school yard pick up, we all have one) experiences, good old sleep deprivation.

tired

Because it’s summer, the older kids are up later. The baby keeps us up all night and the younger 2 wake us up early.

In my sleep deprived haze I am beginning to believe they have collaborated to ensure one of them is up and keeping us up at all times.

I imagine board meetings where they plan a rota and strategy,

“So you have them 6-9 then I’ll wake up 9-1”

The night time baby shift is the worst, because that is where I get in trouble.It is mostly assumed that I get a good nights sleep between 1 and 5 because 9 times out of 10 I’m not handling the baby.

The baby is still post breastfeeding and enjoys more of the same, can’t help there, or she has a bottle and is really insistent that this is mummy’s job.

It is not me insisting this, she has Mrs Bergs stubbornness and is quite forthright about letting me know that I’m not Mrs Berg.

So I get in trouble.

But really I might not be able to help with the feed sometimes, but because I’m a dutiful father I do get the bottle ready, do the nappy, do my sons night time blood glucose checks and generally stay on alert in case I’m needed.

Neither of us get a full nights sleep.

It is difficult to keep going. Especially when you forget what you were doing midday, or leave a crucial piece of kit at home and have to go back.

So annoying. It seems like the more you forget the more jobs you have to do, going back revisiting the places you’ve just been. Which obviously gets you more tired.

It is a constant, exhausting cycle which can build up stress, resentment, anger and frustration.

One of the most difficult things to do is keep going. The morning child has no concept that the baby kept you awake, he was still sleeping, he just wants to watch Thomas the Tank engine, and if you don’t watch it with him he will find someone who will, like his little sister you spent all night getting to sleep.

My tactic in this situation is usually damage limitation, get the child downstairs quickly and get Thomas on. While he snuggles up to you engrossed in the engines adventure maybe you can get 10 minutes or so in. If your lucky you might get through Mr Men too.

After that its coffee all the way. Caffine is holding me in good stead at the minute. Its keeping me awake while Mrs Berg has her nap. Hopefully I’ll get my sleep shift in soon.

*Baby crys from cot.

Or maybe not.