Category: Health and Happiness


  1. Growing Old is Obligatory; Growing Up is Optional.*

Sunday 5th April 2015

Berta-The Barber of Seville 1984

This morning I woke up old and I realized, my obligation had to be fulfilled like everyone else’s.

The image I saw in the mirror brought to mind the photo you see: my 30-year-old self, singing the role of Bertha, a mid-60s maid, from Rossini’s Opera, The Barber of Seville.

At the time, I was quite convinced I would never reach such a ripe age. I dreaded both, reaching it and not.

Today, as I scanned the prune-like face in the mirror, I felt, as I often do, so happy and triumphant that I have made it this far!

I dare say I have also kept growing up.

I have grown in wisdom, therefore, in self-acceptance and self-love.

Death doesn’t frighten me as it used to. Neither wrinkles do.

Berta’s aria finishes with the lines:

“E vecchietta disperata

mi convien così crepar.”

And old, desperate

It’s more convenient that I kick the bucket.

First I thought of writing that, Non mi convien cosi crepar,

But then, as I am learning Italian, I checked in the dictionary and crepare also means: to splitting one’s sides laughing. You only need to add “dalle rise”.

Therefore, I will crepar dalle rise, and continue to laugh into any age, genes, fate and my own efforts, take me.

Happy growing old and up!

* I wish the quote was mine. I translated it from Spanish, and I guess it comes from my cheerful 82-year-old brother-in-law, Luis Carlos, who spends a lot of his time sourcing interesting, wise and funny quotes and stories from the Internet.

** For the old or young, but curious, go to my Music Matters… to Me, for some links to Berta’s aria, none sung by me as in those days in Colombia (1983 and 1984), live performances weren’t recorded. You will also find a trip to memory lane from my days with the Colombian National Opera Company.

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Saturday 3rd January 2015

New Year Resolutions… Should I?

Well… in my opinion, “I shouldn’t”.

I don’t know if I understand correctly, but the word itself seems to imply doubt. “I should” sounds to me as if it is something imposed from outside; from society, religion or family, instead of something that springs from the certainty of inner truth.

Therefore, “I shouldn’t”: instead, “I will”.

For example, “I will” write this and other blogs more often, without pestering myself spending a few hours making sure it is grammatically, spiritually and ethically correct, which is the main reason why I don’t write more often. Feel free to correct me!

I am a very wealthy person: wealthy in experience. This is the best I have to give to you, in case it is of any use.

What “will you” do, achieve, strive for this year?

I hope you “will to have” a happy, peaceful and profitable one.

Patrissia

http://www.patrissiacuberos.com
http://www.thethermodynamicsoflove.co.uk
thescienceoftheimprobable.wordpress.com

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up
Tuesday 12th August 2014

26. Between Attempting and Committing

Just yesterday I wrote in one of my websites that it is curious how people talk about attempting suicide, and nothing is said about attempting life.
It is very sad to hear that someone we know off has committed suicide. It is twice as sad if that person has made us laugh as Robin Williams did.
But I wonder if it isn’t sadder to see and know of the millions of people around us who might be attempting life and not committing it.
I must read about Robin, but somehow I have a feeling that he might have committed life; that he might have embraced it all, good and bad, in sickness and in health, in happiness and pain. And that will always be for me, a worthwhile and well-lived life.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission, I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

http://www.patrissiacuberos.com
http://www.thethermodynamicsoflove.co.uk
thescienceoftheimprobable.wordpress.com

 

We all know that growing old has very bad publicity. The fault is not in our stars, but in the advertisers: ourselves.
I propose that we correct that. At the tender age of 61, I am living the happiest time in my life; the easiest time in my life; the most joyous time in my life. Mind you, I planned it that way.
Between the ages of 37 and 41, when I was supposed to die according to the lines on my palm, but mostly according to my mental and physical poor health, I created a plan for accepting the dreaded old age with all its trail of ills and struggle.
I reasoned that I should have something to look forward to. Then I thought that having grandchildren would be lovely. They haven’t arrived yet, and the potential parents are mostly reluctant or too young. However, joy is here!
I decided that I would have an activity that I could carry on or even start in my old age, (I believe lots of people die of sheer boredom!) then I drag out of the bag of memories my 8-year-old cherished desire to become a writer some day, published read and loved. This blog is only my third appearance in front of someone else’s eyes, after a couple of years as collaborator and Editor (once!) of the short-lived Banbury Magazine and a shy appearance in the modest Wheel Magazine. But hey! I am a published writer!
Although the publication date for my first novel, The Secret Life of a God (Book I of The Thermodynamics of Love Trilogy, which started as a single novel in 2000) keeps peeping at me from a forever extending horizon, it will be self-published, hopefully, within the next couple of months. That was a non-disguised attempt at a publicity stunt!
I decided also to do whatever I could to improve my health and therefore my quality of life. And here I am, healthier than I remember in the last 20 or 40 years. Hurrah!
But, along the way I have discovered many other simple, but life quality enhancing, bits and bobs. For example, when I reached 60, I realized I didn’t have to be perfect. I didn’t have to know everything or to have the right answers. It took me that long! I hope you realize sooner than me.
I realized that I could never make my thighs smaller or my boobs bigger, but that thank God, at my age I wasn’t expected to be pretty or beautiful or attractive. Therefore, anything I had and have in those departments is a bonus! I do love when people express surprise when they learn my age. It doesn’t always happen, but it doesn’t depress me or bothers me in the least if they don’t.
I realized that I could take things easy. My level of obligations to myself and others seem to have decreased in inverse proportion to my age.
I wrote this blog every Saturday till the beginning of June come what may. But I have no obligation, and no one is asking for it. If you do, I will be delighted of course.

I also felt that the blog needed another element. Therefore, I will be starting a series of Vlogs soon with more practical advice, taking stock of experiences that in my view have helped me to Grow Old the Righ Way UP.
If you have any experiences to share that will constitute positive advertising for growing old, do please drop us a line or post a comment here at howtogrowoldtherightwayup.wordpress.com, or on my FB personal or blog pages.
Till next time.

By the way if you are curious at all, have a look at my other blog, the Science of the Improbable, and at my websites: www.patrissiacuberos.com and www.thethermodynamicsoflove.co.uk

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up
Saturday 21st June 2014

23. Grace and Gratitude

I believe I am normally very grateful to life and everyone around me for the abundance I enjoy. However, far too often, I find myself wishing for more money, a house of my own, and in general, for some things to be different to what they are. Thinking of this made me remember a singular moment of gratitude that will probably stay with me forever.
I arrived in England, nearly 30 years ago, with a head full of dreams of fame and fortune and a scholarship that guaranteed my subsistence as a single person only. My husband arrived one month later with a letter of acceptance from Oxford University, no scholarship or grant of any description, holly shoes (full of holes!), U$14 in his pocket, and our two boys, aged 6 and 7. I remember walking the streets of Oxford with my two greatest treasures, dressed in their little blue dungarees, travel present from their poor but overgenerous grandparents, feeling as if I had won the lottery’s biggest prize. And indeed I had, by fulfilling my main dream of bringing my little family to Europe against all odds.
In money terms, we were extremely poor. I went out to clean houses for 8/9 hours, 3 days a week and to London for my post-graduate studies the other 3. Sunday was for the family. My husband wrote endless applications and letters in order to try to get some money to fund his studies and our living in UK.
As Christmas approached, David, our eldest son, wrote a most endearing letter to Father Christmas asking for a Lego Car he was desperate to have. I believe he was very aware of how poor his real Father Christmas was. My husband and I tried to stretch here, cut there, but after the necessary calculations, we definitely didn’t have the £14 for the Lego car. Christmas had only aggravated our situation as the people I cleaned for were on holidays, and there were no gardens for my husband to do or government offices open to answer his constant letters and requests.
However, my son’s eyes bore on us, full of illusion and expectation and we decided to go through the embarrassment of borrowing money in the hope that in January, with the renewal of my cleaning contracts and perhaps the magical appearance of a sponsor for my husband’s studies, we would be able to repay it. Eventually, we did, but it is a miraculous, yet different story.
According to our tradition, on Christmas Eve we gave to the boys all the little presents we had for them, including some from generous friends. On purpose we hid the car under the sofa together with an equivalent present for our youngest son.
Every time a present was read and opened, we could see David’s breath stopping. Each time, he put up with the obvious deception, bravely and graciously.
My husband and I glanced at each other from time to time slightly concerned, but we decided to keep going. When at last it looked as if there were no more presents, David stood up and came to embrace us, making very clear that he was very grateful for our efforts. But his little face said it all. He dropped a very quiet comment on the lines of “I was hoping that dad would have received a scholarship or something and then perhaps Father Christmas would bring me my Lego car.” He immediately checked himself in order to not to sound ungrateful. “But it is ok. All the presents are very very nice. Thank you mum and dad!” And went back to his toys. Then, my husband said: “Wait a minute…” I think there is something else we forgot…” and proceeded to take the Lego car out of its hiding place and another equivalent present for Daniel.
David’s face became bright red and his eyes were as full of tears as mine are, remembering that moment. He jumped to hug our legs saying: “Thank you, thank you…” so many times that it left no doubt that he not only appreciated the present, but that he was somehow aware of the effort it had meant to us.
Perhaps the memory of that moment has always made easy for me to give as much as I can to this grateful child of mine, now a man, who at least twice a year gives me a card that often says that he is very grateful to have me as mother. I have no words to express how grateful I am to have him as a son.
I imagine life, God, the power of our mind or whatever we think brings blessings to our lives, is like a loving father: ready to give. But often, we complain because it is not the right colour or the exact thing we asked for. Would a parent be inclined to give again and again to a child that is never happy with what he/she receives?
That thought keeps me grateful as I have experienced for many years now, that, the more grateful I am, the more I receive, and most importantly, the more I notice whatever I receive. But I still have a long way to go.

Someday I hope to arrive to a state of constant and graceful gratitude.
.

http://www.patrissiacuberos.com

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 11th January 2014

2. The Three Pillars of Good Health

They are in my view, Faith, Hope and Charity… just joking for now but we will actually come back to those in due course. If you are at all curious about my approach to religion and spirituality, please continue reading till the end of the post.

Last post was about The Posture of the Soul and the Tree of Life. But for the time being, in order for this blog to be a practical guide, and not too esoteric, let’s move into the physical aspects although as I warned you in my first post, physical/spiritual/emotional will be all jumbled up in these pages.

The Three Pillars of Physical Health

1. Posture

2. Breathing

3. Movement/Rest

1. Posture.

I consider that posture is a sort of coded message. In the majority of people, it reflects their general state of health, their energy levels, the way they feel about themselves and the way they relate to the outside world.  In turn, it is the most immediate aspect of our physique that other people perceive, even if that is often done in a totally unconscious way.

I suggest a little task, which is for you to reflect on the following questions.

1. What does my posture feel like?

2. How does my posture make me feel about myself?

3. What does the image on the mirror tell me about my posture?

4. How does my posture make me feel in relationship to the outside world?

5. What do I think is the message I am giving to others with my posture?

6. Last but not least: Does my posture reflect the direction of my growth? Am I still growing the right way UP?

You are very welcome to share your insights with me and others, or ask any questions you might like to ask. I will probably have to sort out a forum or some sort of interactive site… We’ll see.

 

Religion and Spirituality: my view as a sceptical believer

I describe myself as a sceptical believer: I doubt everything and I believe everything is possibly.

I don’t follow any organized religion or specific spiritual movement, because in a way, I follow them all.

Just to clarify my position, whereas I find in all religious and spiritual organizations/movements, very important and essential ethical principles and directions for life that are useful, beautiful, and that should ring true to any member of humanity, I find also that too many wrong and unethical deeds have been and are constantly performed in the name of religion. I often find that ritual replaces feeling; rules and duties, replace natural, humane spontaneous behaviours, often jeopardizing spiritual growth and true compassion for oneself and for all the creatures in the Universe.

I find that organized religion has often been at odds with progress, with curiosity, with our rights to create, re-create and make of our world a better world for the present and the future.

Therefore I am happy to follow any aspect/rule/claim of any religion or movement, that increases my sense of well being and happiness, my awareness and correction of my behaviour and the constant striving for compassion, humanity, solidarity,

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible  and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

I was born with a heart murmur, double hernias, a weak liver and no prospects for a long or healthy life. My childhood and young years were plagued by chronic anaemia, fevers, sickness, pains, parasites, rickets and visits to doctors and hospitals, operations, injections and a pretty constant feeling of unwell-being.
However I will be celebrating my 61st birthday in less than a month and I feel, and I am sure I am, far healthier than throughout most of the last 60 years.
To celebrate, I want to share with whoever is interested my own brand of tips on “How to grow old the right way up“. i hope they help.
A page or extract will be published in my website http://www.patrissiacuberos.com hopefully once a week. If you would like to subscribe in order to receive it directly to your e-mail address, please fill the form at the bottom of the page or contact me directly with any comments and questions through my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/patrissia.cuberos  or via e-mail to patrissia.cuberos@yahoo.co.uk

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible  and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

So here it goes:
Image
Saturday 4th of January 2014

1.

The Posture of the Soul and the Tree of Life

Mind/Spirit/Emotions/Body

How to separate them? I think with my mind. I might feel  or recognize a feeling by its physical expression through some part of my body. A thought, a feeling, an emotion, might make my heart beat faster or slower, or my solar plexus contract or expand. However I can only recognize and label it, as thought, or feeling, purely intellectual, highly spiritual or basic, physical/ animal, through the description my mind cares to make of it, based on its experiences, culture and intellectual development.
So I will have to jumble them all up… we will see what happens.
Let’s start with posture:

The Posture of the Soul
The posture of the soul, I would suggest it to be erect; not looking too much up, or too much down. Just level, forwards, regarding the world and all fellow beings as equals. Equals as the leaves of a tree are equal in their contribution to the life of the tree, between themselves, and in comparison to the roots. Are the roots that take nourishment from the soil any less than the leaves that suck nourishment from the sun and the air?  or the trunk that protects and counts its years, any less than the seeds that will reproduce its life? We are all equal and all of us contribute in equal measure to the beauty, the health and the present and future of the tree of life. Let’s be erect, upright, sincere in intention, alert in attention. Let’s allow the “gravity of goodness ” the attraction of the bright and the beautiful, exert unhindered its influence, so we can keep “growing old, the right way up.”