We awaken to who we are

Posted on July 1, 2020 Posted by Lorraine Cole

We awaken to who we are

True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There’s no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected. -Thich Nhat Hanh

We awaken to who we are

I am a self-aware sentient human being. In other words, I am a living, breathing, blunder-making, person who, for the most part, has it together. I am by no means perfect nor would I ever claim to be. That’d be foolish and egotistical of me. I am, however, aware of who I am. I am aware of what I stand for and where my boundaries are. I am aware of my flaws and traits. I am my person and make my choices based in part on my past experiences and part by my best guess as to where I am trying to go with my life. Sometimes, the Universe gives me a little nudge now and then if I stall out. I was not always so sure-footed in my identity, I did not figure this is where I’d be in life or what I’d be doing with my time if you’d asked me ten years ago. Hell, two years ago I was still a hard living, whiskey-bent hell-raiser with a mouth like a trucker. Well, I still love a good glass of whiskey, and I’m still a bit of a cuss-word connoisseur. However, I had an experience I’ll call it that thrust me out of my delusion that I knew anything about myself in reality. Like most of us, I had an image of myself built up in my mind that was quite far from the truth. I was, to say the least, inspiringly uninspired and floating just above rock-bottom, but far from treading water. I had no idea of what it was that moved or inspired me.

Transition by circumstance

I thought I was pretty happy. I had a decent place, a relatively good job, and I was in love; though that was not to last and neither was my assumed happiness with my job or my place. As my “stable” relationship fell apart, so did my concept of who I was deep-down. I began to question if I was happy. I was not. I began to wonder what I was meant to do in this life that could make a living wage and also alleviate the massive longing in my soul. The more my relationship faltered, the less I trusted myself. The less I trusted myself, the more I deviated from my usual sense of self. The more alienated I was by my narcissistic mate, the less I felt I knew which way was even up any longer. This disconnection caused me great anxiety that built and built until one day the relationship finally crashed, and I snapped! I couldn’t breathe; I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t stomach leaving the house; I couldn’t even be bothered with calling in sick to work or checking Facebook. Unable to function, I sat. I sat there at the kitchen table from morning till night. Through the evening, I sat in the dark unwilling to turn on a light and face the reality of what was gone. But, the emptied room and barren walls were merely a metaphor or a stark-naked reminder of what else was gone. I had lost myself, my sense of self, and my awareness of me was totally shell-shocked. Through the night, I sat in the dark unwilling to turn on a light, unwilling to face the reality of what was gone. But, the emptied room and barren walls were merely a metaphor or a stark-naked reminder of what else was gone. I had lost myself, my sense of self, and my awareness of me was totally shell-shocked.

Finding rock-bottom was a blessing

This once strong and proud man had broken into a lost and lonely child who was terrified of his own shadow. Panic attack after anxiety fueled panic attack I struggled to grasp at anything that could pull me out of this hell I found myself. Then, one day I sank even lower than I had been. I sank deeper until there was nowhere else to go. I had bottomed out. Almost out of a job and being evicted from my apartment, I found the stable ground I needed to push off of and gain some verticle movement. I began a morning ritual of self-care and reciting mantras to boost me up to leave the house. I started writing each morning as a way to deal with my anxiety on the train to work. I never had any actual direction for it; I just let the words flow and to my surprise, they made sense, not only to me but others found solace and healing in the automatic writing exercise I performed each morning. Time would reveal that most of my writing was not even about my life or what I was going through but somehow was aimed at helping others. Time would show that most of my writing was not even about my life or what I was going through but somehow was aimed at helping others. Eureka! I had found my groove in the act of helping others to overcome what I was going through. This very blog poured forth from this experience. I found what drove my heart, and that helping others through their darkest times is what I was put here to do. “Well, great!” I thought. Now I had to figure out how to make a living with it, but that is where the gift of writing becomes a labor of love and a new freelance writing career. However, I still write The Daily Kickstand because it is a part of who I am and it is a part of what saved me. In service of others, I found my true self again and at that moment I found my connectedness to all that I was missing. I found strength and purpose. I am happier than I’ve ever been, I am a confident and mindfully empowered soul on his correct path once more. In one of the darkest corners of my soul, I found a calling to help others, and a chance to create a beautiful life for myself and others. I am not lost anymore. I am not broken. I am no longer frightened. I-am-one.

Self-acceptance is real empowerment

The moment we put down the illusions that we carry of ourselves, or the moment someone or something comes along and crushes them, destroying the carnival mirror we are used to seeing ourselves through is scary as hell, I won’t lie. But, it is also there in the darkness and despair that we can find our true self-  standing there before you, waiting to be reborn again. Accepting one’s faults and flaws and seeing ourselves as we are is a painful yet amazingly powerful and awe inspiring moment. Because it is at that moment when we are most vulnerable and most open that the universe can bring us to where we were supposed to be all along. It is the letting go of all control that we are once again found and righteously on our path.

The fallacy of self-awareness

The truth of the matter is, there is no self-awareness. There are only the true self and its energy which eternally ties us to all that is. The Universe birthed us in the cosmos eons ago, we are as old as the stars, yet what is truly scary is how little we know ourselves and how very little we trust the guiding energies within us. We cling to our rigid control fallacy of self-awareness and our sense of self when that feeling of individuality is the very thing that haunts us. Tear down your facades, throw out your defenses, and stand before yourself exposed to the core and love yourself enough, to allow your true self to guide your heart and soul back to that original connection to all that is. In doing so, as you reconnect to the world around you, as you synchronize with the Universal flow once again, you will have found yourself stronger, wiser, and more able than you’ve ever been.

We awaken to who we are

Posted on July 1, 2020 Posted by Lorraine Cole

8 of the Best Insoles You Can Purchase at a Pharmacy Today

Your foot anatomy is unique to you. Shoes produced on a commercial scale are at best, not made specifically for your foot shape, or at worst, damaging your foot health. Most of them have flat soles and poor impact cushioning around the heel. Orthotic shoes are generally old fashioned in style and downright ugly. Using orthotic insoles gives you the best of both worlds, a shoe of your choice, fitted perfectly to your foot shape. With so many on the market to choose from, we have selected the top 8 best insoles to keep your feet healthy.

1. Powerstep Original Full-Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles

These insoles are the highest quality. They come in a range of shoe sizes, so you do not need to cut the insole to your size, rather the insole is fitted to your foot. The heel part of the insole supports your heel and ankle and acts as a shock absorber. This can help with foot pain related to painful joints from arthritis. Powerstep created this insole to fit a range of shoe styles so you can wear it in your trainers and dress shoes thanks to the thin, low profile of the insole. The anti-microbial properties of the material make it ideal for sports shoes as fewer bacteria equals less smell.

2. Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue Technology Replacement Insole

Timberland is a well-known brand for their professional, yet comfortable boots. The boots are long lasting and great for jobs that require extra foot protection. These anti-fatigue replacement insoles are a hidden gem in the Timberland range. The insole is designed to absorb shock in those hard-wearing places on your foot. They have a unique cone pattern on the underside of the insole which mimics acupressure points of the foot. The full-length insoles have flexible arch support which molds to your arch height with time. Timberland insoles are perfectly suited to work boots and shoes that normally have limited sole cushioning.

3. Physics Gear Sport Orthotic Inserts

Physics Gear has specifically designed these insoles for high impact physical activities like running. Running 1 mile causes 60 to 90 tons of force on each foot. This seriously impacts on your lower limb joints. Whilst the body is designed to cushion this force, more cushion can’t hurt. These insoles are made with medical grade EVA foam making them hard wearing. An anti-microbial top layer prevents odor, bacteria, and fungus developing, leaving you free from athletes foot. This insole is extremely light and thin. It will fit into any athletic shoe comfortably without adding significant weight.

4. Dr. Scholls Athletic Series Running Shoe Insoles

If you are on a budget or not sure if insoles can help, these are the ones for you. They have a deep heel that cushions impact created from athletic activities. SweatMax Technology ensures that your feet stay cool and dry. They come in men’s and women’s shoe sizes. Whilst they provide cushion and good support, their low-price tag is what makes them so attractive.

5. Superfeet Orange Premium Insoles

If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, then these insoles are a must-have item. They have a high arch and deep heel to provide ultimate support to flat feet. Due to this extra support, they have a 2-inch height. Good news if you’re on the shorter side!

6. Dr. Scholl’s Comfort & Energy Massage Gel Insoles

These insoles are good for those with sore and tired feet. They are made from rubber and mold to your foot when you wear them. They can be trimmed to fit an unusual shoe. Like other Dr. Scholl products, these insoles are good value for money.

7. Spenco PolySorb Cross Trainer Insoles

Perfectly shaped for people with flat feet, these Spenco insoles are formed from EVA foam which provides exceptional shock absorption. They are another popular choice that comes in both men’s and women’s shoe sizes.

8. Dr. Scholl’s Party Feet Range

Not technically a full insole, Dr. Scholl’s Party Feet is a range of small stick on products that are designed to help people wear high heels more comfortably. In their range is stick on heel protectors. These stick to the inside of the heel of your shoe to prevent your foot from slipping out of the high heel and to avoid blisters. There is also a ball of the foot pad that sticks into the shoe right where the ball of the foot would be when wearing. This gel pad alleviates some pressure from the ball of your foot and makes the high heel experience more comfortable. The stick-on foot arch support is useful for those of you that need to wear high heels for a long period of time. The arch can be stuck to the sole of your shoe inside, exactly where you need extra support to avoid that dreaded foot ache when you wear high heels.

Where to Buy the Best Insoles

The best insoles are widely available to purchase from most pharmacies and supermarkets if you are out and about. Many pharmacies will also be able to deliver the products if you have mobility problems.

Foot Health Is Important

If you are considering getting insoles for your foot condition, it would be best to consult a podiatrist or physical therapist. They will be able to advise you on what your foot problem is and the best insoles to support the issue. For more information on foot health and common foot conditions, click here.  

8 of the Best Insoles You Can Purchase at a Pharmacy Today

Posted on July 1, 2020 Posted by Lorraine Cole

Trend Alert The Complete Guide to Gold Vermeil Jewelry

Gold-filled? Gold plate? Gold vermeil? If you like gold jewelry but can’t afford the real thing, you’ve got plenty of options for alternatives. But it’s not immediately obvious what the differences are. We’re going to break them down so you can make buying decisions with ease. We’ll also walk you through the wonderful world of vermeil. In fact, vermeil is so versatile that there’s even a vermeil wine cooler in the Vermeil Room at the White House! But what is gold vermeil jewelry and why should you buy it? Read on to get the lowdown. What Is Gold Vermeil Jewelry? Vermeil is sometimes called silver gilt, though it’s a type of gold plating. The jewelry starts out as a well-crafted piece in sterling or fine silver. A gold coating gives it the vermeil finish. If the gold isn’t at least 10k, and at least 2.5 microns thick, then it isn’t vermeil. If you know your gilt jewelry, you might already be confused. The process sounds a lot like both gold-filled jewelry and gold plate. To make gold-filled jewelry, jewelers roll a sheet of gold onto the silver. This makes gold-filled jewelry more expensive because it uses more gold. But jewelers use electrolysis to make vermeil. They submerge the silver piece in a bath containing gold particles. It gives an even finish across the whole piece. And it differs from gold plate because vermeil must be on a sterling silver base. Gold plate could be any metal, such as steel or brass. Where Did Vermeil Come From? Vermeil is a centuries-old technique, even though it seems new to many jewelry buyers. It’s also pronounced ‘ver-may’, due to its French origins. French metalworkers invented the vermeil process in the 18th century. Before they refined the technique, they used mercury which struck many jewelers blind. The French government ended up banning the process for a time. The Victorians perfected the electroplating process which was much safer. They favored vermeil and used it on all kinds of silver objects. It suited both their love of gold and financial sense. You can usually spot antique vermeil from its rosy tone. Jewelers added more copper to gold in the 19th century. To get the same look in a modern piece, choose jewelry in the 10k-12k gold range. Modern vermeil looks more like regular gold jewelry. Even the Olympic gold medals are vermeil! Why Would I Buy Vermeil Jewelry? It offers durable jewelry at a more affordable price point than solid gold jewelry. And if you have any metal allergies, you’re in luck. Most sterling silver is pure and doesn’t contain nickel, chromium, or cobalt. When the gold coating wears off, you’re still left with a nice piece of hallmarked silver jewelry. If you buy gold plate, the coating is thinner and can chip away over time. Vermeil also comes in different kinds of gold. Prefer yellow gold? Great, you’ve got plenty to choose from. And rose gold hit the trend list in 2016 when Pantone named ‘Rose Quartz’ its color of the year. Check out this blog if you want more proof that you should own gold vermeil jewelry. What Should I Look for in Vermeil Jewelry? Look at the price. Vermeil jewelry is more valuable than gold plated jewelry because of the silver base. A low price can show it’s not real vermeil. Or check for a hallmark, which guarantees the presence of silver. Many vermeil pieces use 14k gold (or more). If a listing says a piece uses 10k gold, it might be gold-plated. Does Vermeil Wear off or Tarnish? Gold doesn’t tarnish because the metal only reacts with halogen gases. But silver does oxidize, which causes the black tarnish. And the vermeil can wear off. Though that depends in part on how often you wear the piece. And how much contact it has with your skin. Thankfully, the thicker the gold plating, the longer the vermeil can last. But the purity of the gold also affects its durability. Pure gold is soft. The higher the value, the more it can suffer damage or scratches. Likewise, the lower the value, the harder the coating. That makes it more resistant to scuffs or scrapes. How Do I Care for Gold Vermeil? Wearing jewelry against the skin causes the gold coating to wear off over time. That’s because of the oils your skin contains to protect it. It is possible to care for your jewelry in a gentle way to preserve the coating. Avoid using polishing cloths which can be too harsh. Instead, you can use mild dish soap in warm water. Swish the dish soap in the warm water. Leave your jewelry to soak for around 15 minutes. Use a soft toothbrush to lift away any dirt. Rinse the piece with clean warm water and dry with a lint-free cloth. Wipe down your jewelry before you put it away. That’ll stop a build up of oil from your skin or dirt. It’s best to store your vermeil jewelry wrapped in a soft cloth or an airtight box. Take it off before you go running or swimming, have a shower, or wash any dishes. Avoid using sprays like hair spray or perfume after you’ve put your jewelry on. How Do I Wear Vermeil Pieces? If you’re new to gold vermeil, start off with a small piece. Rings and earrings make great starter pieces for your collection. Slim stackable bangles can let you introduce vermeil alongside other materials. Try combining it with sterling silver or even wood! Or if you’re feeling brave, try a statement piece. A vermeil pendant, a watch or a bracelet can set off your outfit. Enjoy Your Vermeil Jewelry Gold vermeil jewelry makes a great choice if you like gold but you don’t like its price tag. It’s a sterling silver base also makes it more valuable than other gold effect pieces. Make sure you take care of it and it’ll be a staple in your collection for years to come. Looking for more advice about fashion and accessories? Check out our blog for more tips.

Glamorous Tyler Candles

Stylish Vera Bradley

Brighton Jewelry