I HOPE YOU, YOUR FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES ARE ALL SAFE, WELL AND PROTECTED.
I started last month’s blog with “ This month has been weird.”
Well March surpassed that statement on all counts. The loss of the dearest of friends and postponement of all work were not seen on the horizon and has come as a bitter blow.
Also I have to face the fact that I am going to have to cut my husband’s hair at some point, something that fills me with trepidation and I have to accept I will look like a sheep dog in a couple of weeks unless hubby can miraculously learn to cut my hair in this unique time, this is a great time to learn new skills!
I accept I am happy to cut his toenails because they grow like talons and that isn’t natural! Also it’s a chance to use up those annoying hotel soaps, shampoos and shower caps, the ones that fill every available draw in the home.
An experience I am enjoying is wearing clothes I’d be too self-conscious to wear in public. Strange colour schemes, old favourites, odd combinations, glamming up and dancing round the house totally uninhibited like a banshee. I just have to make sure I don’t knock any teeth out. The dentist is out of the question.
The landscape of our lives will be changing forever and what I mean by that is once we have conquered the virus we possibly could all be completely different people.
My parents never recovered from the experience of the 2nd World War and as a child I didn’t fully appreciate what it was like for them to have no control over events, now I am starting to appreciate what they went through.
Last year I was so overworked I was fantasizing about taking a year off. NEVER would I want time off like this again and not for this reason, the virus. Work wins over this enforced domestic lock down.
After a very difficult first week, in a really dark place, going through grief for my work, especially the Toyah/Hazel Electric Ladies Tour having to postpone and feeling utterly trapped with the domesticity of it all, I realised this needed to be turned into a chance to look inwards and address everything I actively dislike about myself.
The first of my personal hates is having grand ideas and not seeing them through to fruition. I want to use this time to breath life into everything I promised myself I would achieve.
I am determined to come out of this having mastered the keyboard to a point I feel like a player, master creative writing to a far deeper degree and master my mind when it goes into automatic thought patterns to do with lack of confidence. Naturally we all externalise, looking to the outside world for reaffirming responses when some times the enemy of the peace is within.
As I am getting many, many e-mails asking for help, either in the form of video messages or advice, I thought the most creative thing I could do is a TOP TEN OF LOCKDOWN TIPS.
TOYAH’S TOP TEN TIPS FOR LOCKDOWN ——————————————————
Silent space: I am not used to seeing one person all day, every day and it’s rattling my cage sometimes. My suggestion if this is the same for you is find that silent space and that silent time. You have a right to ask for this wherever and whatever your situation.
Once in this space focus inwards. Examine how you feel, what and why something is making you anxious or angry and except it, seeing it often helps put perspective on a situation. Then allow your thoughts to create your perfect place, be it an island/ a beach/ a mansion and build on this internal visualisation. If any negativity creeps in banish it and keep banishing it, because it is only past negative programming tripping you up, this is your safe place. Every time you revisit this image take it further, making sure you allow yourself happiness and calm in this space.
Cook and clean together. I am adamant we will have one large meal a day made from totally fresh ingredients, this is our lunchtime, so we can work it off.
In the beginning I had the greater knowledge of cooking and cleaning and this on top of running a company really stressed me because I had to be two different people. Once I gave hubby the opportunity to learn off me he flew with it.
I taught him the basic principles of food preparation and the basic ingredients of flavouring ie: onion/ carrot and celery. He is now cooking, vacuuming and even cleaning the toilet…. God bless him.
So share the good times and also share the chores if you are able.
Posture: it’s easy when not moving freely to forget about posture. Check your posture in the mirror and straighten your back, pull your shoulders back and use this as a stretch. Hold your head high. You deserve to look proud around the house because you are getting through this.
Sweets: If you want to avoid putting weight on. Absolutely no chocolate, sweets, cake in the house. So many friends are texting about the amount of chocolate they are eating. STOP!
This is a chance to lose those treat induced inches because technically we cannot pop to the shops, just avoid stocking up on these addictive and yummy items. I have a sweet tooth, so jelly cubes make a good alternative to large portions of cake. Even chewing gum staves off the sugar cravings. That said I am still reaching for the honey.
Learn: This is the greatest opportunity to learn we may ever get. My working life has kept me from my passions. I have chosen to improve my piano playing and music theory as well as understanding colour spectrums and paint for my artwork. There are fantastic tuitions online.
Inventory: We were in desperate need for hand sanitizer so I searched through old bathroom cupboards and not only found hand sanitizer I picked up at concerts but also latex gloves and anti-septic wipes that where only a year old, it was a huge relief. Take a look in your draws and cupboards you will be amazed at what you fine.
Finding it impossible to purchase Rubbing Alcohol for cleaning, I’ve resorted to using cheap high alcohol content Gin. I am not sure if this good advice but it must be better than nothing for cleaning surfaces down and the house smells like a gin den.
Paperwork: your paperwork in order because once life returns to normal and it will, you will be rushed off your feet with the joy of life. If you haven’t done a WILL yet, do one, get it out of the way, it protects your loved ones in the event anything happens to you.
Get your utilities all into one file, save your love letters (yes they do still exist for those romantics out there) and compile a list of To Do’s to make your life what you have always wanted it to be but never got round to because once the virus is beaten…… you will live like never before.
Kindness: An act of kindness connects us to all the good in the world. I am overwhelmed at how kind people have been online / on Skype/ on e-mail. The support has been overwhelming. I sincerely hope I can return it ten fold. My office looks out over what is usually a busy, bustling street, full of wonderful small businesses and shops, plus two bus stops.
Two Sundays ago I witnessed the shops shutting down and emptying their goods into vans. Nothing prepared me for the grief and sense of loss this image brought into our lives. Then at the bus stops there would be solitary old people and again the sense of grief and helplessness was overwhelming.
Acts of kindness are the lifeblood of the community at a time like this. Notes/ messages/ letters of thanks go a long way to acknowledge someone’s pain and difficulty at a time like this and there is an opportunity to connect every second of the day
Journal: I think one of the best ideas I have heard coming out of this period is people keeping COVID-19 Journals, with sketches, thoughts, poems, pictures. This is a unique time in history. The big marker point for generations to come. All our experiences are unique and precious.
Routine: In the first week my mind was racing, I couldn’t anchor a thought or an action down. My mind just didn’t know how to cope with the lack of freedom and all the new information coming in daily. Also the fear of my husband getting ill really crushed me.
Now my day starts with Posture realignment exercises. Very simple floor based exercises to correct my posture. This improves my confidence. Then I go into the garden, where there is a river and I meditate in the form of prayer. I pray for the NHS and all who are putting themselves on the front line, the victims of the virus, my family, those who have passed and then I meditate for the future and this is where I build a picture of what I would like Toyah to be in future.
FUTURE VISUALISATION is vital, it allows the universe and the future, both tangible things, to find you……. it works.
The past weeks have been hectic, busier than pre virus. Huge amounts of e-mail come in asking for stories to be written, songs to be sung. So many things to do and there are a lot of nice surprises planned. The Toyah band are planning a concert on line, we just need to finalise the date and the technology.
Every day concert promoters and venues touch base and assess the news of the day, hats off to them, they are totally on top of this and all shows this year have been rescheduled and all tickets remain valid. Some are not announced yet, that is because the news changes daily about when we can all return to normality. Oh to get back to work……. what a joyous day that will be.
Most of you will know Bill Rieflin passed away on the 24 March 2020, my dearest friend and respected leader of The Humans.
Bill outlived his cancer prognosis by almost 10 years. His dedication to meditation/ visualisation / diet / sheer will and tenacity kept him going as well as a lot of chemo, I am amazed he survived as long as he did. I sat with him last November, in Seattle as he had his weekly chemo, he went from bright eyed to grey as the liquid dripped into his vein.
In the beginning Bill asked us all not to talk publicly about his cancer but towards the end he realised so many could learn from his journey. For the past ten years I have driven Bill to healers around the UK, in an effort to help him. They taught him about diet and meditation and I like to believe it all helped.
I even connected him to NASA technology via G-Labs who run our diets, NASA developed technology to study astronauts DNA while in space and believe it’s possible to alter DNA triggers t
hrough diet and minimise inflammation, this may have helped prolong his life, but I am no doctor.
Whenever I was near a landmark cathedral I stopped and prayed for him, I don’t go to church on Sundays, but when a loved one needs prayers this leads me straight to a church. Durham Cathedral became my port of call. The shrine to St. Cuthbert, within the cathedral, has been my go to place at least four times a year for the past ten years. Bill liked that I did this, he would tune in from Seattle at the same time.
I saw this beautiful man go from supreme masculine health to being eaten by the most terrible pain. He did not complain once, he just stated facts. Bill never told us his timeline but the fear in his eyes gave it away in recent years. He was on borrowed time for at least 8 years. One comforting fact is Bill was surrounded by angels, physically, friends who loved him, saw, listened and where there for him all through this journey. The nurses at his oncology ward where totally dedicated to him, He would be his beautiful snippy self and they would bat it right back at him, which is what he loved.
Bill was fabulously critical. He was the perfect critic, truth would fall from his mouth and the fact he was perfectly imperfect himself just added to the magic. This supremely talented and beautiful man was everything I ever wanted to be as a person. Whoever met him, from all walks of life, where profoundly affected by him.
I thank God I knew him, worked with him and looked upon him as my greatest friend. Now he is my Angel.
STAY SAFE EVERYONE YOU, ME, WE, WILL GET THROUGH THIS.
BE LOUD, BE HEARD, BE PROUD LOVE TOYAH XXXXXXXXXXXX