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The Enthusiast! Enneagram 7 Guest Post

I love the insights I’ve gained from studying the Enneagram, and here is a Guest post I did which I hope you’ll check out 🙂

unfiltered from the heart

This is a guest post from G of bone&silver, who shares her experiences of discovering her Enneagram as a 7, which is described as the Enthusiast by the Enneagram Institute. If you would like to share your experiences with self-discovery through the Enneagram, please message me through gmail at “Tiffanybeingfree.”

Thank you, G, for sharing with us your journey as a 7!!!

Namaste 

~~

‘Do you know what Enneagram number you are?,’ I was asked. ‘Because I’m an Eight, and if you’re going to date me, you need to know what you’re dealing with, so take this book home today.’

Thus began my in-depth exploration of the Enneagram, which firstly saw me read the chapter about Eights and think ‘Phew, they’re a bit intense, I’m glad I’m not one of those.’

I skimmed through a few other numbers, got a bit bored, then asked a smart friend who used…

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Happy New Year, & what am I gonna do about Social Media since going to Nepal?

bone&silver_sillytowelface

Nothing like a microfibre towel to cheer you up #Xmas #Australia #towel #gift

Hi darling Readers- it’s been so long I know… I hope you all survived/thrived during the silly season, and have come out the other side ready for a delightful 2019?

I gotta confess: I hate Xmas. I can feel the collective stress rising in the air; I know lots of people love getting together, but an equal number of folk find it a very depressing, lonely, combative, irritating, or just all-round emotionally triggering time, not to mention the intense social pressure to spend money we don’t have on crap we don’t need.

Having said that, this year I had a fab time! Mainly because it was low key, with almost no gifts (see photo), and a mainly vegetarian feast for Xmas Eve & Xmas Day- don’t forget it’s hot down here in Oz, so we go for outdoor garden settings & lots of salads. How cute does our Xmas table look, in my Aunt’s courtyard? And underneath that mound of pomegranate seeds and parsley front centre of photo is a layer of yoghurt and tahini basted over an oven-roasted salmon, FYI.

I accepted one present (from The Comet), and enjoyed the inherent ‘cool’ factor which came with it, even while still modelling my microfibre head towel. And check out those arty shafts of summer sunlight.

bone&silver_bwhair

Do I look like Tom Cruise?  #black&white #aviators #headtowel #cool

My son ‘18.5’ graced us with his presence on Boxing Day- it’s always tricky sharing custody between various extended/blended families isn’t it- & my wonderfully quirky family filled me up with love, laughs, great food, no fights, and many hugs.

Can’t ask for more.

Sydney herself turned on the charm, and wasn’t too hot, or sultry, or stormy (there were major hailstorms only 3 days before which left a few families celebrating under blue tarped roofs).

But now what to do with my blog in 2019? That trip to Nepal has dimmed the seductive light of social media for me, and I’m finding screen time less appealing. Or maybe I just need to be more discerning about it?

My favourite Aunty in Sydney has a great saying and uses it frequently, which her daughter found cut into wood in a gallery somewhere so brought it home; I probably need to take her advice. We took these photos on Xmas Day, as I was lamenting my lack of blogging, and the evil reach of the internet:

“You can’t solve all the world’s problems G, get a grip. Relax. Just do you.” [Note: she copied that last bit from our gorgeous young (20-something) family members who use those 3 words as an answer to everything, and rightly so.]

So I will soon upload another post about Nepal, because I really do have stunning photos of the trek up the Tsum Valley. I will try my best to blog once a week; I think that’s my new realistic rhythm for this year, no more, no less. Since being on WordPress less, I’ve read 4 massive books, and that feels good; I miss so many of my fellow bloggers’ news, but I’m going to just read one post a week from each of you, so we stay connected, albeit not every day.

The sweat, dust, silence, and rivers of the Nepalese mountains just made me want to be more still, more simple; until it wears off (if and when it ever does), I have to follow that call. In the meantime, Happy New Year to you all, spread far and wide across our globe. May we all choose kindness & understanding as much as possible, and get a grip when we need to.

bone&silver_grip

#truth #youdoyou #advice #over50

In gratitude for Quiet, Family, and nut loaf, G xO 

Nepal 2: From one jeep to another, via 3 Buddhas

Ready for adventure #over50 #Nepal #croppedout #jeeptravel @boneAndsilver

Ready for adventure #over50 #Nepal #croppedout #jeeptravel @boneAndsilver

Did you miss previous post Nepal 1?

Anyway, 2 Mums, 2 sons, 4 backpacks, 8 boots and 8 walking poles got into a jeep, leaving smoggy Kathmandu, intent on fresh hilly adventures.

For a whole 15 minutes.

Until there was a loud noise from under the car, and the clutch stopped clutching.

So we all got out, and were sent up the road to a conveniently-placed shiny Buddhist temple, with 3 huge Buddhas.

“If they can’t fix the jeep within 45 minutes, we get another jeep,” promised our guide.

Fair enough. Go with the flow’ is an essential mantra for travel in a developing country, and I’m happy to say I’m generally pretty good at it.

Plus how could we not be grateful and inspired by these spiritual creations? There were no tourist faces around either, just locals doing their daily prayer practices.

I wouldn’t have described myself as particularly religious, but I was moved to tears at the sight of young and old family members walking clockwise round the figures, whispering affirmations or blessings.

Then I got distracted:

How can they possibly function? #Nepal #Kathmandu #powerpole #trust

How can they possibly function? #Nepal #Kathmandu #powerpole #trust

Exactly 44 minutes later we were summoned to our new jeep, including a cheerier driver, all our baggage already transferred, and off we set again.

For a whole 15 minutes.

Until we hit the longest, slowest, bumpiest, horn-tootingiest traffic jam out of the city, which crawled along for an hour and barely went anywhere, except regularly onto the wrong side of the road…

But more of that later.

 

Nepal 1: Kathmandu, I love your charismatic chaos

Above our cheap rooftop terrace (less than $100 for 3 nights for 2 rooms for 4 of us), beyond the dusty haze, tower the Himalayas. Supposedly. Because we never saw them from this busy, dirty, earthquake-cracked city, where pavements disappear, tarmac is intermittent, and power poles are a wire labyrinth.

We landed safely though, ate multiple samosas from a streetside seller, admired grafitti, and did a little mandatory sightseeing.

Just walking around the local tourist district of Thamel and older parts of the city was culture shock enough for my son ’18’, blessed as we are to live in a beautifully natural part of Australia:

And the power poles; I just couldn’t get over the power poles.

#Kathmandu #street #city #Nepal

#Kathmandu #street #city #Nepal

Nepal is in the Top Ten poorest countries on earth, with 29.3 million people squashed into a country 53 times smaller than Australia; almost a million live in Kathmandu itself, which sprawls through a valley my travel buddy can remember being full of rice fields 25 years ago…

Of course, the victims of urban sprawl are the environment, and the desperately poor families who cannot survive in their villages; the pollution was a confronting challenge for all of us, especially when you recognize that the majority of the inhabitants are just trying to get by, with no welfare system or reliable infrastructure.

People work hard. They move concrete, pile bricks, smash stones, scavenge for firewood, eat simply, wash in the river, and watch how the rest of the world lives now via the internet.

While everywhere, through every facet of daily actions, runs their faith. Prayer flags, altars, shrines, offerings, foreheads dotted red with bindi or tikka; it was impossible to separate the spiritual and the mundane.

Despite the constant haze, and the April 2015 earthquake, which killed almost 9000 people, and cost approximately 10 billion dollars, the Nepalese generally beam a kind, calm, humorous energy, never more so than when driving. But more of that later…

After 2 full days of last-minute trek preparations and touristy stuff, including deciding the itinerary with our guide, we were ready. We’d decided to splash out on a jeep to take us as far up into the mountains as we could get before beginning to walk, and so began our adventure. Two Mums, two sons, 4 backpacks, 8 walking sticks and boots, plus trail bars, drink bottles, and the most wonderful gadget you will ever take to a developing country: a SteriPEN, which uses UV light to sterilize as much water as you need every day.

Let’s do this!

#Kathmandu #Nepal #hotel #funny

#Kathmandu #Nepal #hotel #funny

But first we’d better check out of our hotel…

Just kidding.

Although you know what? It could have been.

And we did end up staying in pretty rough places a couple of times on the trail… But more of that later…

 

Saying yes to a surprising adventure with my teenage son after final exams

Ready to fly to Nepal with my teenage son to trek over 50

#grateful #Nepal #travel #over 50 @boneAndsilver

By the time you’re reading this, we’ll be at the airport. By ‘we’, I mean teenage son and I; he towering above me, and thus carrying 2 extra kilos for me in his backpack. Where are we going you wonder? Well I can’t quite believe my surf-addicted ’18’ has agreed to this, but he did, so we’re off to trek in Nepal!

Remember the stressful exams and dessert-eating he’s we’ve just been through? All the weeks days hours of study he we sat through to get this burden of his our school life finished  forever?

Somehow we clawed our way across the challenge, and now a new chapter awaits.

But first, a little thing called ‘Schoolies’ here in Australia has to happen. We live near the Gold Coast/Surfer’s Paradise, where approximately 22,000 teenagers descend for a week of festivities and alcohol-fuelled celebrations, renting out every hotel, motel, Airbnb, and dodgy villa they can find, determined to party relentlessly along the 3-kilometre beach strip.

*Shudders

Ready to fly to Nepal with my teenage son to trek over 50

#grateful #Nepal #travel #over 50 @boneAndsilver

Some parents send their young adults to Bali, or Thailand as an alternative though, so when a special friend asked me if I wanted to join her and her son on a 3-week trip to Nepal, including a 12-day mountain hike, at ‘Schoolies’ time, I jumped at the chance,  then realized ’18’ would be free to come too, if he wanted.

Which I didn’t think he would- see previous ‘surf-addicted’ comment.

So with minimal expectations, I ran the idea past him… to which he replied ‘Hell yeah!’

Which brings us to the jamming of borrowed thermals into borrowed backpacks, piling down jackets on top of polar fleeces, sweating profusely in the humidity while we do it. My cousin brought me back the Nepalese prayer flags I’ve photographed from her trip there 3 years ago; I’m making sure I leave a little space for some new ones.

I’ve never been to India or Nepal, as Europe usually entices me, partly because of Mum, but mostly because of France. I did trek this year for 4 days in Tasmania though, and learnt a lot. Quite specifically, how to NOT carry 15 kilos in my bag if I ever go hiking again. Which I am now… so a condition of the free airfare/food/accomm deal for ’18’ is that he carries an extra 2kg for me.

Genius, I know.

Ready to fly to Nepal with my teenage son to trek over 50

#grateful #Nepal #travel #over 50 @boneAndsilver

My friend however has gone half a dozen times before, so I’m content to follow along behind her while she arranges permits, guides, hotel stays and route timetables. I’ve no idea what to expect, and have deliberately not looked at any photos or videos of our chosen hike- unlike ’18’, who has watched the whole trail by GoPro on YouTube.

*Rolls eyes

Meanwhile wildfires still rage. Politicians continue playing silly dangerous power games, and the majority of the population works too hard for too little reward. I’m going to switch my phone off, forget the internet, fill my lungs with mountain air, and relish this unique travel experience with my darling son, before he flies the nest for good.

And what better place for him to stretch out those wings than the top of the world?

Teenage Tuesday: ‘Exam revision eating’

Me: Honey, I’m going to cook all your favourite foods for these 2 last weeks of your exams OK? Any requests?

18: Great Mum, thanks! Veggie lasagna… nachos… tofu laksa… oh and your apple & rhubarb crumble for dessert, such a treat.

Me: You got it babe. I’ll do anything if it helps you actually do some study.

[Spends almost 2 weeks cooking (including exponentially improving fruit crumbles/washes up/wipes up/empties bins/feeds cat/does all remaining chores silently so as not to stress out revising son & various visiting ‘study mates’]

Me (leaving for work): Can you save me some of today’s crumble please, it’s my best one yet?

Me (returning from work a mere 3 hours later):

Fruit crumble disappears fast with teenagers around

Teenage boys have big appetites #hungry #teenager #over50 #crumble @boneAndsilver

I met one of my un-lived lives at a party last night

I may be over 50 but I love my Doc Marten boots

These boots were made for walking #docmartens #punk #over50 #cool @boneAndsilver

She was tall, nearly 6 foot, and her long strong legs ended in tartan Doc Marten boots. Her outfit was various shades and textures of black: cotton cut-off shorts, ripped lace tights, fishnet top over a lycra bikini halter neck, and finished with a belt made from an old horse bridle, including the rusty snaffle bit.

Her hair was shaved at the sides, but long and part-dreaded down her back; the delicate sequinned handbag was the perfect match to multiple silver earrings and nose hoop.

A friend told me her name was Lizzie, and that she played keyboards in a local punk band.

*sigh

That could have been me.

All right, 25 years ago, yes, but still- I could have lived that life. Just a slightly shorter-statued version perhaps.

I was mesmerised, watching her stomp round the art opening in those big boots; suddenly my own 60’s outfit with 70’s leather boots seemed tame. I wanted to be in a band, sneering at normal dress conventions. I had complete ‘punk lifestyle envy’, and felt the urge to be living in an anarchistic share house, hassling for gigs, notoriety, hand rolled cigarettes, skull accessories, and a sense of complete freedom, sleeping with whoever I wanted, and laughing at expectations like jobs, marriage, or even children!

*sigh

No less than 4 people approached me during the evening, to compliment my vintage dress, with one woman delighting in its similarity to seersucker tablecloths, including stains; however the praise fell on deaf ears.

Was it really too late for me to embody that alternative careless, carefree, charismatic persona?

Then I remembered I hadn’t yet transferred over the latest mortgage payment, that my 18-yr old son would soon be home clamouring for dinner, and that this weekend was probably my last chance to sand and oil the front deck before it got too mouldy.

*deeper sigh

What’s one of your ‘un-lived’ lives? What would you wear, and how would you spend your time? 

In gratitude for flights of fancy, and Doc Marten boots, G xO 

“There’s life in the old girl yet”; unbelievable update about Mum

Being playful keeps you young, over 50 or over 80

Grateful for my still feisty Mum #gratitude #wisdom #crone #wellbeing @boneAndsilver

No one wants to be a downer blogger. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty cheery, positive person, while also being sensitive to the cruelty and grief of merely being alive. My 82-yr old Mum (who lives in England, while I’m here in Australia) has Dementia, as most of you know, and I had a challenging time on my visit to her in August. She was still living alone in her rented flat, albeit supported by 5 Carer visits a day, and categorically refusing to even entertain the possibility/probability of needing to move to a group Home…

Except events came to a head, as they are wont to do, and the Police were called a few times while Mum was wandering the neighbourhood feeling completely disorientated. I chose to keep all that quiet here, partly out of respect for her privacy, and also because I didn’t want to be a downer blogger.

So she was recently moved into a small temporary Home nearby, for her safety and wellbeing, much to the family’s relief. But for her, the ‘shit hit the fan’.

She spent a week throwing furniture, yelling at staff, being utterly incompliant, and trying to escape at any opportunity. The 2nd week calmed a little, but she was still essentially defiant.

But guess what? By the fourth week, she knew her way around, was making friends, could contentedly sit in the garden without fleeing, and was putting on weight with the regular meals provided.

Most excitedly, she was happily singing in the ‘choir’, laughing and joking with the singing teacher, PLUS making a special connection with another resident called ‘David’.

As in, flirting and hanging out together.

Being playful keeps you young, over 50 or over 80

Grateful for my still feisty Mum #gratitude #wisdom #crone #wellbeing @boneAndsilver

Go Mum! Apparently the staff needed to ‘manage’ their interactions, making sure they weren’t left alone…

I felt so proud: not bad for 82 huh?

The Home have offered her a permanent place now, if we want her to stay there rather than move to Wales; we’re still wondering what to do. A dark cloud of concern lifted off my shoulders at this turn of events; we still now have to deal with the contents of her flat, but when I last spoke to her and asked if she missed her old place, she told me over and over that no she didn’t.

So what do we do with a lifetime’s collection of ‘stuff’? Do the paintings, books, china and jewellery of my childhood memories really matter? It’s such an interesting question for me, and I’m appreciating the opportunity to truly investigate my responses. In the meantime, Mum is happily singing, flirting, and munching her way through the Autumn days, and I will no longer have to worry that she’s warm enough, bored silly, or that her tummy is full.

In complete gratitude for group Homes, the welfare state, & social services, G xO

So proud and grateful for my followers on WordPress

Well this is an exciting milestone number isn’t it?

My niece captured me perfectly #portrait #black&white #snapshot

bone&silver’s G, happy in France in 2017 #over 50 #blogger #writer #authentic @boneAndsilver

I remember when I first started this blog, in September 2015, just about to head to an old Barn in France with my son ’15-then’. We were planning to sit around in the French countryside, reading and writing for a couple of months; the birth of bone&silver was a perfect way to keep in touch with family and friends, but also commit myself to more regular writing…

And we did just that. We read so many books between us, and I wrote two of my favourite ever posts:

Creatively- “France is a desperate party girl.”

Humorous- How to never end up at Shit Creek

I had maybe 20 Followers at first, then a few more once I shared it to social media a few times, or emailed friends directly. I got more serious [i.e regular postings] about this blog once I began dating ‘H’ in Melbourne, so February 2017 is when I feel I really hit my stride; we used to dream about when I had 200 Followers, or even 500.

“One day you’ll have a thousand, for sure,” H gently said… 

And look: now I do.

So proud and grateful for my followers on WordPress

This feels like a significant milestone #grateful #gratitude #blogging #over50 #wordpress #followers @boneAndsilver

Thank you so much to those of you who have followed me since the early days, and the dear friends who have loyally read [almost] every post. Thank you to the more recent readers for jumping onboard the eclectic bone&silver blog train, but most importantly, to those of you out there on WordPress who leave comments, offer support and advice, share my trials, delight in my joys, and literally make my body smile and feel full of gratitude for our connection.

The number is a significant one, yet the much smaller number of genuine, heartfelt interactions I have here are infinitely more important.

Blessings on all our creative endeavours, and may we continue to blossom in whatever ways we need.

In utter gratitude for words, & my WordPress community, G xO

The Top 7 kidney ‘bad boys’, & I’m sure making a lot of green pulp too

This kidney & adrenals cleanse uses a lot of celery juice for health and wellbeing

Seems like a shame to waste all that fibre #celery #cleanse #adrenals #wellbeing #justsayin’

Week One done of my 4-week Adrenal Recovery Program, and it’s a good thing I love celery: 500ml every morning first thing is a LOT of celery, and includes the leaves. Mmm, green and bitter, just how I like to start my day…

There are also 7 Big Bad No-Nos I have to avoid at all costs- They’re not in order of importance, and call me Fussy, but it looks like 10 to me really #justsayin’-:

  1. Gluten & dairy
  2. Soy & corn
  3. Pork
  4. Eggs
  5. Canola oil
  6. Caffeine (tea & coffee)
  7. Alcohol

The hardest one for me is eggs- I’m mostly vegan at home, but vegetarian when I’m out; sometimes I just crave a fried egg on [gluten-free] toast to fill me up in the morning. Without doubt, the other participants are struggling most with coffee and alcohol, which makes me super-grateful once again that I’ve somehow missed getting those vices.

Any differences in my energy or sleep? I must admit the ‘Eat-every-2-hours-especially-fruit regime’ seems to suit my metabolism, and I have felt more consistent energy levels so far during the day. I would also have said I’m sleeping well, but last night I woke up at 12.30 and was still crankily tossing and turning at 3.30, so please don’t speak to me about rest and vitality today!

Another key component is ‘Screens-off-by-8pm’– I have pushed this to 9pm a few times I admit, without even realising, but definitely feel calmer if I’m reading my book for an hour before bed instead of scrolling.

What about you- do you have a ‘screens-off’ deadline? And do you notice an effect?

As I mentioned in my last post ‘Then-together-we-walked-peacefully-off-into-the-sunset-my-kidneys-&-I’, I’m doing this to assist with menopausal symptoms, mainly restless sleep and warm/hot flushes. It feels too soon to notice a difference, although I did have a wonderfully deep sleep on Sunday night… I want that every night *stamps her foot like a spoilt brat*

I’ve also had my consultation with the Naturopath; we agreed it seemed fortuitous to get a range of blood tests for hormonal levels/iron/B12/thyroid etc, as I haven’t done that for at least a couple of years, and a lot changes with Menopause. The Kinesiology session was yesterday afternoon, and I felt very relaxed/tired afterwards, but then slept poorly, so I’m withholding further comment or judgment until later. What’s Kinesiology you ask? Better click that link 🙂

So off I trot into my 2nd week, well-aware of the luxury of my Western lifestyle, and the freedom to experiment with my food in a land of plenty; I would gladly live on celery alone for a year if it would help get the refugee children out of detention and off Nauru, but that’s a whole other post.

In gratitude for the blessings of green fibre, compost bins, and health knowledge passed through generations of East & West healers, G xO