The EU Referendum Result – Thoughts

Britain has voted to leave the European Union. I still can’t quite believe it. I couldn’t write yesterday because I felt too upset but today I have managed to marshall some thoughts. When I first found out, looking at my phone yesterday morning I was in total shock. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  I was crying on and off through the morning.

Part of my new regime is not to let things get to me so much so rather than crawling back to bed with a bottle of wine as I might have done in the past I put the dog in the car and drove to Felixstowe for a beach front walk. Everything had changed but nothing had changed. Pensioners and mothers were out enjoying the fine weather. As I walked along I actually felt good – feeling the sun on my head and the wind in my hair. Everything was ok. It did me good.The world had not ended – it was still spinning on its axis.

I was really wedded to an idealistic version of the EU. I liked the idea of nations joining together, sharing common aims and values, working for peace and prosperity. I liked the idea of free movement and the fact I could settle in any of the member states if I chose to. I thanked the EU for the peace we have enjoyed in Europe since 1945. I liked the way they seemed to provide a brake on the worst excesses of the Tory government. This was why I was so sad to hear the news that a majority of the British people had voted to leave.

It is hard to know the reasons for doing so. Much of the media has blamed working class racism. Others have said it’s not really about that. I am from a working class area in the north. Some people certainly were racist when I was a child. Asian people arrived in some numbers in the late 70s. They were universally referred to as “Pakis”. Nobody would live next to them. If they moved next door people sold their houses. This ended up with a kind of voluntary segregation. I don’t know if attitudes have changed as I haven’t been back for years. Probably they haven’t. Since then there have been plenty more waves of immigration – refugees from war zones in Africa, Eastern Europeans looking for work, Asians looking for a better life. Looking at the north of England vox pops on Channel 4 news most people mentioned immigration as the number one issue in the referendum. I am not sure why they are so worked up about it. Maybe they think the immigrants have taken their jobs, or driven down wages or taken up housing. It could be these things. It could be that they see their own culture declining. I have never quite understood what British culture is. I am not sure that a lot of people have one. Anyway, worries about immigration seem to have played some part. This does not mean that all those who voted Leave are racists as some on social media have tried to make out.

It may be a kind of protest vote. They feel neglected and powerless. Their areas have been in decline for years. Politicians of all stripes ignore them. This was their chance to stick it to the Establishment and they did. The media don’t seem to understand working class communities. Journalists seem well bred, public school educated types and I grow tired of their simplistic takes on areas they don’t understand. Many of the media are blaming “the poor” for Brexit with an undertone that they are too stupid and ignorant to understand the issues. This is divisive talk. They had their reasons, whatever they are and they should be listened to by the elites, not dismissed.

What has largely been ignored in the many newspaper articles I have read is that wealthy swathes of southern England also voted to leave. They are not poor, not dispossessed but doing very nicely thank you. Why on earth would they rock the boat and leave the EU? I have absolutely no idea. It is these people that I can’t understand. I currently live in a prosperous market town. It voted to Leave.

We are entering uncertain times. The pound is in free fall, the markets jittery, businesses are threatening to pull out. It is all scary stuff. What terrifies me is that Gove, Farage and Johnson et al will get what they wanted: an unfettered free market where they can treat the workers like dirt without a worry about European Union regulations. It will be like Thatcherism gone mad: Maggie on and acid trip. It is horrifying.

But hey this is the new me. The me that is not going to get depressed right? That means I am not going to wallow in worst case scenarios or mope about the result.

The people have spoken. They want to leave the EU. Fine. Let’s get on with it.

So what’s the plan? How do we stop the ultra right from getting what they want? By making the progressive Left stronger. All partied on the Left must join together to defeat Boris and his ilk. We need co-operation and understanding. We need to listen to people and  to understand their concerns. We need decisive action and decisive leadership. Maybe Corbyn can do it. Maybe he can’t. Someone must.  We really could take this as an opportunity to build a new Jersusalem. We could build a country to be proud of based on egalitarianism and equality of opportunity for all. We could face out to the world instead of facing in and make trade agreements with Africa and Asia. We could strengthen bonds with the old Commonwealth and find a new community of nations to belong to.

Comrades let’s work for a truly green and pleasant land. We will be so great Europe will be begging for us to come back. Does that sound like a plan?

 

Yogi Cameron Diet

Today I woke to the good news that I have lost some more weight. The scale now reads 57.7 kg. I am very pleased about this. There was rain overnight and it was still raining in the morning. The weather is not helping me sustain a happy mood.  I had to spend the day packing for the imminent house move. The exchange was meant to happen today but didn’t. Yet another delay. I have been waiting to move house for five months. I had an energy dip in the afternoon. Thankfully, all my caffeine withdrawal pains have gone. This diet appears to be working.

Food and exercise:

On waking: lemon water

Dog walk: half an hour

Hot marmite

Breakfast: strawberrries

Meditation.

30 mins yoga

Lunch: white rice with daal.

Mint tea

Dog walk: half an hour

Dinner: rice cakes and peanut butter

Another benefit of this diet is that it is very cheap.

My non-violence topic of the day was not gossiping behind people’s backs.  I really wish every body would stop doing this. I had a hard time controlling my frustration about the house move. I need to work on my patience. I spent time turning my can’ts into cans. I can write. I can get a good job.

Meditations on Bullying

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

 

I have been thinking a lot about bullying lately. It is such a big issue in our society. It seems to me that it just continues regardless of educational initiatives that have been put in place. It is not just a school issue but extends to the workplace and can even can be found within families.

I have suffered bullying many times. Amazingly, I didn’t really suffer from it at school. I was bullied in the home by my sister. I can still hear her nasty voice in my head whenever I am trying on a new outfit or having my hair done.  You look a mess. You are ugly. That doesn’t suit you. On and on. Evil. Bullying in childhood has lasting effects. I have also been bullied in the workplace more than once. If it is colleagues you have the option of telling the boss not that this will always work. If it is the boss you are screwed. If you try to stand up for yourself as I did you will get nowhere. Believe me I know. You just have to leave. It can be serious stuff. Some have committed suicide. I have not but I can understand it. It damages your confidence so you think you are no good at anything. It can be hard to go on and recover. I am still in the process of recovery.

What is important is to figure out how to stop it. As a society we don’t seem to have achieved this at all. In the papers you can read stories of bullying every day. The first step is to try to understand it and I have tried to do this. Some people seem to have lack of empathy. Why are they like this? What makes a person enjoy inflicting pain on another person? One must imagine they are deeply unhappy themselves. There is a comforting website bullyingonline which suggests it often jealousy or envy. In the workplace capable people are singled out for bullying rather than the incompetent. These are good thoughts  to hold onto if you have been bullied.

Why do people behave in this way? Is it something about our society? There has been a fall of religious feeling. Dawkins has us all as selfish genes, swimming about in the Darwinian muck trying to get as much for ourselves and ours and damn everyone else. Is it any wonder that bullying takes place if this is all you think of yourself as? I often think if there was a more spiritual approach to life people would not feel the need to behave so badly.

If society could have a spiritual revolution we could be more harmonious. Bullying would lessen. We need to learn to be less materialistic, less selfish, less concerned only with our family. We need a sense of an obligation to a wider society, to understand that we are all one. Everything in the universe is connected. If you hurt someone else you are only hurting yourself.

Is there any sign of such a thing happening? I am not sure. Maybe. With the collapse of our economic system people are looking for alternative values. The free food movement is such  a phenomenon. I think it is brilliant. This is what we need more of.

It seems hard to change human behaviour. It’s an overwhelming task. Or is it? You can start with yourself. Practise non-violence every day, not just physical but verbal. Be kind to yourself and then you can be kind to others. A tiny change can start an effect.

Be mindful. Overcome your past by being conscious of it and processing it. This is what I am trying to do. Little by little. Every day. Just start with yourself.

 

Yogi Cameron Diet

I woke up to the good news this morning that my weight was down. I am now 58.3 kg which means I have lost a kilo since the start of the diet. I am pleased. Weight loss is always slow for me.

I had quite a lot of energy to begin with today. My mood was lower than yesterday. I think it’s because the weather is so dull. Sunshine definitely affects my mood. In Britain this is tricky as the sun doesn’t shine that often.  We have had a lot of rain lately – more than is usual for the season. I think it must be something to do with global warming.

I did lots of exercise and walking and stuck to the diet. By five I was pretty bushed and just flaked out.

On waking: lemon water

Dog walk: half an hour

Breakfast: strawberries

Meditation.

30 mins yoga

30 mins HIT cardio workout

Lunch: organic potatoes with broccoli. Butter

Dog walk: one hour

Dinner: two rice cakes with peanut butter

I drank a lot of water. I have two hot marmites.

I am really enjoying the yoga. The cardio is really tough but I need to do it. My meditation was quite deep today. I felt calm and relaxed.

 

Yogi Cameron diet – Energy

Well today was probably the best I have felt on this diet. I had quite a restless night due to the usual aching legs but by the morning the pain had gone. I did a lot of exercise and felt well. I was optimistic and happy. The sun was mostly shining and I think this does have a great effect on me. I kept to my diet. I have also begun taking Femergy tablets which contain maca, ginseng and ginkgo biloba. I am not sure if it’s the diet, the lack of caffeine or the tablets but my energy levels have improved.  I also managed to write a synopsis of my book. Feeling good!

Food and exercise:

On waking: lemon water

Breakfast: skyr yoghurt with flax seeds and chia seeds with a teaspoon of honey.

One hour dog walk.

Half hour yoga session. Meditation.

Half hour HIT cardio session – it was tough.

Lunch: crushed potatoes and haricot beans with butter. Banana. Hot marmite.

Two hour dog walk.

Dinner: two rice cakes and peanut butter.

My Day as a Yogi – Writing Exercise

I wake early at six. My legs are heavy. They have been aching overnight. It’s the caffeine withdrawal. Less than yesterday though. It is leaving my system. I am detoxing. I am drug free. I feel sleepy. I return to sleep. I sleep in until eight. Neil tells me it’s time to feed the dog. He is going to work.  I go down to the kitchen. Didi runs ahead of me excitedly. He is looking for signs of the cat. Why can’t he get on with the cat? I have made no progress here. He has a chase instinct. I let him in the garden and he bursts out. He is energy. I feel the grubbiness of the kitchen. However much I clean it it always looks grubby. I chop up the dog food. Meat. I don’t eat meat. Didi eats meat. How strange I buy it for him. He has to have it. Samsarra. I put it on the floor in his steel bowl. It is gone in seconds.

I pour myself boiling water. I take a lemon from the fridge – half a lemon – already cut. I cut another slice and pop it in the cup. Lemon water. Health. My body is a temple. I go back up stairs, up the dark staircase to the second floor. I crawl back into my bed. I sit up and drink my lemon water. Didi curls next to me. I love the comfort of him. He is warm against me. I can hear birdsong. It is raining. Refreshing rain. Too much rain this year. I can hear it hitting the window. My skin feels soft and clear. My diet is helping me. I read the news on my phone – the Guardian app. I flick down the articles. I only read a few of them. So boring. So predictable. Journalists with their worn opinions. The news is all about the referendum. Lots of news is doomy. They are always trying to scare us. They. The machine. We must be kept in fear. I look at Twitter. It is the same as the Guardian. I keep thinking of the film I watched last night:  The Aryan Couple. So sad what happened to the Jews. But the ending was happy. For them at least. They escaped because they were rich. Money rules in this world.

I toss away my phone and concentrate on drinking my lemon water. I am proud I have given up caffeine for a week. I must keep it up. I will wake naturally and tire naturally. It will be better. I will find my natural rhythm.

I shower. I love the shower in the en suite. The water is forceful. It is a good feeling. I am awake. I rub coconut oil all over me. My body is a temple. Didi stands near and eats the fallen gobbets of oil. He likes coconut oil.

I dress in my dog walking clothes, my old green cords. I dry my hair quickly turning my head upside down. I tie it into a pony tail. I am annoyed about the roots. The roots didn’t take. The henna only covered the rest. My roots are too dark.

I go downstairs. I take my barbour from the peg. I wear my leather hat because of the rain. I put Didi into his harness and I clip on the lead. He shies away from the harness. He doesn’t like it but he lets me put it on. We venture out. It is raining.

We walk around the park. It is all shades of green. I love the green. There are wildflowers in the uncut grass. The may weed is beautiful: big daisies. Didi forges ahead, sniffing, rootling, rushing on. He is busy. He is always alert. We pass people. Only the old people say hello. Most of them don’t. Is it me? I think they are just like this. People don’t speak in the south. They are not in a city though. It’s a small town. they could speak. They don’t.

We go back. We are wet. I have muesli for breakfast. I have almond milk with it. I am not sure if almond milk is allowed on this diet. Is it a processed food? Probably. I feel better than yesterday. I am getting used to it. Every day is better.

I load the dishwasher. Always so many dishes. Where do they come from? It takes three and a half hours to do its eco cycle. It would be quicker to do it yourself. It rattles and bangs. I don’t understand what it does.

I drink hot water.

I go upstairs to the living room. I drink my water. I am calm. I do meditation. I don’t go deep today. Didi tries to distract me, licking my hand. I have a rest. I read some internet articles. I do yoga. Today I choose Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. It is a gentle day. I feel good. I can do it. I am in the moment. Didi bites a hole in my yoga mat. He doesn’t like me doing yoga. He want to play with his cuddly snow leopard. I break my practice to play with him. He is content to chew it now.

My new resolution is to do more exercise. I choose a thirty minute HIT routine with Fitness Blender. It is hot and sweaty but I can do it. It must be good for me. I am tired now. I rest and look at my phone. I look at Twitter and WordPress. I read some more articles.

It is time for lunch. On this diet lunch is the big meal of the day. I have potato and spring green curry. These are the only vegetables I have left from my organic box. I don’t have rice as I am not losing weight. I pour the spices. They are beautiful – all shades of brown and orange. I pour water over and wait. I listen to the radio. Someone is moaning their baggage got lost in South Africa. I turn it off again. I enjoy the curry and I have it with mango chutney. I don’t think mango chutney will be allowed on this diet. It is out of a jar. I have it anyway. I feel full. It is good.

I go back upstairs. I read. I feel sleepy. Didi is looking for trouble out of the window. He is looking for things to bark at. Next door woman blames him for barking. I have heard her bad mouthing him in the garden. It is her chihuaha that starts barking first. She has an Essex accent. It is ugly. He is restless so I take him for another walk. It has stopped raining. There is a sliver of sunlight. The sky is grey. We walk to a different park. There are dead things on the path. Nobody is out. It feels good. Didi is busy, darting for squirrels. He lunges at a man passing. He takes a dislike to some people. I thought I had trained him out of this but I haven’t. I must be a better trainer. I can’t let him off the lead. He is too naughty. Unpredictable.

We come back and I have marmite in water. It’s a good substitute for coffee. It tastes rich and beery. It tastes alive. I tidy the kitchen. I load the dish washer again. I put washing on. Two machines are whirring and banging now.

I have my last meal at four: rice cakes with peanut butter. It is good.

I finally sit down to write. I am writing this. The house is quiet. I am flowing. I need to do this earlier. I need to write every day. I need to write my book again. I need to have faith. I need routine.

I am enjoying my diet: the One. I know it is more than just eating. I need to get a lot of sludge out of my head. Then I can write. I need to figure out what to do with my life. I must find my place in the world. Maybe it is to write. Maybe it isn’t. I don’t know yet. My mind is clearing. Mind and body are working in harmony. I am more productive today than usual.

The book says to think about not yelling at people today. I haven’t yelled at anyone. I have in the past. I ask forgiveness.

It is  a good day.

I have tried to be a Yogi for a week. I am a Yogi. Yogi in training.

The Yogi Cameron Diet – Week One Review

I have been on the Yogi Cameron diet for nearly a week now. I am determined to stick with it as  a complete lifestyle change. I want to live according ayurvedic principles in order to gain good health and higher spiritual awareness.

It hasn’t been easy. I have had headaches and leg muscle pains. I think this is mostly due to the caffeine withdrawal.

The diet emphasises fruit, vegetables and grains. There is no alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine allowed. I have stuck to it pretty faithfully. I am working on the principle it is going to get worse before it gets better.

I mostly had fruit in the morning, a vegetable curry and rice for lunch and a light dinner such as fruit or more rice. So far I have only lost a pound over the week. My weight fluctuated but this morning I am still 58.8 kg. I am disappointed that I have not lost more but I am determined not to give up like I have so many times in the past.

Today was Sunday so I had a treat and went to my favourite curry house, Orissa. I had pineapple curry and rice with dahl and saag paneer. It was very gorgeous. As it was such a big blow out I have not had any dinner.

I have been thinking about how to lose more weight next week and have decided to cut  my portion sizes down and introduce more exercise as well as yoga.

My mood was very good today and my energy level was medium. This is the best I have felt all week.

Food and exercise:

On waking at six: hot water

Dog walk for an hour.

Breakfast: banana

Lunch: Pineapple curry and rice, dahl, saag paneer. Two fruit juice non-alcoholic cocktails.

Dog walk for an hour.

Dinner: none

Meditation and yoga.

I drank hot and cold water throughout the day.

Spiritually, I was thinking about non-violence and meditating on the question: Do I call people names?