Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

A Happy Chappie
June 9, 2019

I am living life gently since coming home from hospital on Friday, 31 May.

In between naps as I recover from surgery, I have finished this soft toy which had been waiting for a face for a long time.

The big grin shows how happy I am to be back home with my pets and able to sleep in peace in my own bed.

Walking through the Storm
May 27, 2019

You’ll Never Walk Alone might be the anthem of a British football club, but right now it is my anthem also.

Life has been challenging since I was diagnosed with breast cancer recently.

I go for surgery at Bendigo Hospital on Thursday, 30 May. Eventually, there will radiotherapy followed by hormone lowering medication.



Gerry and the Pacemakers are the band whose version of this song plays in my head. I first heard the song decades ago.

I know I am in good hands and I am being well looked after.


Yoga Inspirations
March 7, 2015


On Tuesday mornings I travel to Mt. Franklin about 25 minutes from my home to attend a gentle Dru Yoga class in my teacher’s studio on her rural property.

The class is attended by 4 mature aged women.  Dora adapts the yoga postures and movements to accommodate our abilities.

Yoga encourages the quality of mindful presence. The attention is focused on the movements of the body and the breath which can allow us to engage more deeply with how we are feeling in our bodies and with our emotions.

During a recent yoga class two of the sequences proved to be especially powerful on the day.

I had the vivid experience of the image I have drawn during the Tree of Transformation sequence

There was a sense of complementary pieces locking together to form a harmonious whole, the energy of which generated the shining light.

Whilst performing the Salutation to the Four Directions sequence, we were asked to concentrate on the qualities we wanted to have in our lives at present. The qualities which manifested for me were:

Power – self mastery, standing in my power

Gratitude – acknowledging my gratitude for the good things in my life

Compassion – for myself and others

Play – making sure there is a healthy dose of fun, play and creativity in my days.

The Shield
May 29, 2014


Relations with one of my neighours continues to be difficult.

Once again I have used art to express my emotions about a recent incident.

This time I feel a strong need to defend myself and my home.


Collage: Dancing in the Rainbow
September 14, 2013


Dancing in the rainbow

Our bodies smile with joy

Our hearts sing their delight

Blissfully, we are united in the dance.

Dancing in the Rainbow is one of the Qi Gong exercises we do in the final 15 minutes of the Tai Chi for Arthritis class I attend. It is one of my favourite exercises.


In this picture which combines collage and drawing, I have depicted my old friend and companion, Spotty, who died on the 24th of July.



Perhaps one day, we will be united in the dance once more.


  A new canine companion has entered my life and so, I commence my journey with Katie.


I have included this card, which was given to me by a friend on my 60th birthday, as it has a rainbow and I laughed when I read it.


Collage: Reiki Flowers: 20th August 2012
July 28, 2013

DSCN2414This recently completed collage reminds me how reiki can open our hearts and minds to new possibilities.

If we become deeply relaxed during a reiki healing, the normal constraints and barriers of our thinking may fall away giving space for new ideas, altered attitudes, creative solutions and new perspectives to emerge. Walls we have built around our hearts may dissolve allowing us to feel openly and deeply in a safe, nurturing space.

This collage is inspired by imagery experienced during a reiki healing.

Now Castlemaine is my home, I am seeking ways to practise reiki in this community. I am interested in using reiki in a volunteering capacity and in sharing reiki healings with other practitioners.


Diabetes and Me
October 6, 2012

My diagnosis of Diabetes Type 2 was not a surprise but still unwelcome – like an unpopular family member moving in to stay. I had all the risk factors: fifty, family and fat. The immediate effects were emotional – anger and resentment and psychological – grief and depression.

The greatest impact was on my relationship with food. There is nothing about food I don’t like and I have a sweet tooth. Now, it seemed food had become my enemy. Too much of certain kinds of food mean higher blood glucose levels which can lead to long term poor health.

I was strongly encouraged to shed kilos. The food buzz words  became low fat, low sugar, low salt and small portions.

Consequently, my relationship with food has been evolving over the past eight years and is still a work in progress. My diet has been changing and I have been trying new foods. After a trial period, I have rejected those foods which for me are unpalatable. And yes, I still eat, in much more modest quantities, those foods which I love.

My sister, a pharmacist, was very supportive. She arranged a blood glucose monitoring device and membership of the National Diabetes Services Scheme and recommended I contact my local community health centre to arrange to meet a diabetes educator.

I’ve also had the help of a podiatrist who knew about the benefits of a Continuing Care Plan. I learned as much as I could by obtaining information from Diabetes Australia and attending an information session for people newly diagnosed with diabetes at the Knox Community Health Centre. It was challenging and depressing – but helpful.

Now I walk daily and have added gentle yoga and strength training classes to my weekly level of activity.

Until I was 50, I barely saw a doctor from one year to the next. Now appointments with health professionals litter my diary. Adding to my support team, a new G.P. who is proactive and knowledgeable about diabetes has been a big bonus.

Whilst attending a Better Self Management of Chronic Illness course conducted by the Knox Community Health Centre,  I met a small group of women who have become my friends. It is great having support from people who know the ups and downs of living with a chronic illness.

I have been strongly motivated to manage the diabetes as my plans for the future depend on remaining as healthy as I can. Getting my blood glucose levels under control meant the unexplained lumps, rashes and fungal infections which existed prior to diagnosis disappeared. To date, I have not experienced the health complications which can occur over time.

It is important to me that I manage the diabetes. I am responsible for my health. I need assistance, but ultimately I am the one who needs to determine what works for me.

This is the edited article ‘Diabetes and me: Margaret Griffin’ which appeared in the  July 2012 edition of the ‘Bayswater Buzz’, a local community newspaper. 

What has really helped over the years since the diagnosis of diabetes has been:

  • Supportive family and friends
  • Getting the facts from people who are knowledgeable about the disease
  • Ignoring well meant but ill informed advice
  • A proactive GP who is willing to refer me to relevant services and government funded schemes
  • Access to the services of the Knox Community Health Service.

The support of these people made the decision to go onto insulin injections much easier.

Having plans about how I want to live my life has meant I focus on health and living rather than on illness and disease.

I have included this drawing of lilies as they represent the optimism I feel at present.