Pockets of joy
One hot and sticky night over the recent long weekend, I scrolled through my Instagram feed to take my mind off the discomfort and was rewarded with images of absolute joy. At the same moment that I sweltered through a heatwave in Sydney, friends in the UK were waking up to snow. Watching these videos instantly cooled me down and filled me with happiness.
There’s not been much joy in the world lately, especially for my friends in Europe who are in struggling through an extended lockdown and a gloomy winter. But that morning bought so much cheer.
Adversity continues to teach me that while I can’t always control my environment, I do have agency over my own reactions. One moment I was grumpy and uncomfortable, the next bubbling with happiness. My body was still hot and sweaty but I’d stopped being aware of it.
While I might be taking a hiatus from making plans right now; staying mindful, seeking joy and having fun despite the current limitations, is still very much on my agenda.
Heatwaves have always been a worrying part of the Australian summer and climate change is only worsening their occurrence. I’ve wrangled a heap of tips to help you stay cool on hot days.
In addition to the heatwave-friendly recipes in the link, I’ve revisited an old favourite. This cooling tahini sauce enlivens the simplest vegetables, felafels or kebabs and only takes 5 minutes to whisk together.
The C word
It was an honour to be featured by Maridulu Budyari (SPHERE) on World Cancer Day and be an accidental poster girl for a second year.
My cancer consumer and advocacy work continues to grow. It’s a joy and privilege to collaborate with researchers like Prof Deborah Marsh. I’m learning so much about cancer, science and medicine.
While most of my projects are very much rooted in conventional medicine, I’m surprised at how it sometimes complements the way I support naturopathic clients. Working on advisory panels and directly with researchers keeps me up to date with the latest trials and even opportunities for personalised medicine, especially for gynaecological cancers. It’s humbling how generously the researchers share their knowledge and connections.
One cancer specialty where complementary medicine shines is survivorship. So often after treatment is finished, as patients we’re sent away with little support or guidance on how to recover from all we’ve been through. My naturopathic toolkit has some much to offer at this time.
I’ve well and truly settled back in to life in Sydney. Therapy Cat quickly forgave me for my absence and is enjoying saying hello to everyone on my Zoom consults.
While New South Wales has been relatively safe of late, for now all naturopathy and mentoring consultations remain online. I’ve been consulting this way for over seven years, as many of my clients and mentees are interstate. One gift from 2020 is that almost everyone now sees the benefits of this way of working.
I’ve kept some of early (8am) appointments that I bought in last year, as many clients find this time convenient. If my current hours don’t work for you, please email me so we can find another option.
Hang in there
Despite hoping it would be otherwise, 2021 appears to be as unpredictable as the previous year. My thoughts are with Victorians and Aucklanders who find themselves in lockdown once more as I write this update in mid February. Along with those in the UK, South Africa and much of the world enduring and extended lockdown, this is an incredibly challenging time.
Take one day at a time, be kind and stay strong.