A bit different

Bring me sunshine.

In your smile.

Bring me daylight from 6am (ish) until 6.30pm (nearly) all the while… yeah, it doesn’t quite fit… but woop for spring!

I had a good weekend which was also unusual in a number of ways, and not just because it was warm enough to ditch the winter coat.

On Saturday, we went to a day of different “taster” workshops aimed at riders. Our third one (just to be awkward, I’m doing it backwards) was with a Bowen therapy practitioner, who works on people and horses and who demonstrated the technique on two of the group during the session… it was interesting to see how much they’d improved, even from just a few minutes’ treatment.

The second hour was pilates. It’s helpful for riders anyway because its principles, of core strength and balance, are so important, but now there are lots of trainers and resources dedicated for riders, with especially beneficial moves. The session was brilliant because we did exercises involving moving one leg while keeping the pelvis and body still, for example… and if you can’t move your legs independently, from each other and from the rest of your body, you’re going to struggle riding. I found some of them hard. Hmmm 🙂

But the most interesting workshop, I thought, was neuro-linguistic programming or NLP. As I understand it, and this is just part of a huge thing, I think, it’s about how much your way of thinking, especially in your unconscious mind, impacts on absolutely everything to do with who you are and what you can do.

In relation to horses, for example, if you keep saying what a rubbish rider you are, your unconscious mind will start “believing” that and you’ll probably ride badly. If you talk about your horse refusing a fence, you’ll have that picture in your mind and chances are, the horse will refuse… it’s like self-fulfilling prophecies. It’s not as simple as just visualising success, although that’s part of it, it’s about finding out why your unconscious mind thinks certain things, changing that and therefore changing behaviour.

I volunteered for one demonstration, for which I had to say (and sound like I meant) something like: “I’m strong, I’m confident and I can do this”. As I did, she tried to push down my outstretched arm and couldn’t. I then had to say: “I’m sad and weak; I can’t do it”. As I said that, she tried pushing my arm again – and it went down easily… it’s amazing stuff.

I’m not saying that just thinking is enough to get someone winning a marathon without training… but if, say, a footballer’s preparing to take the deciding penalty in a World Cup final, with millions of people watching, and he suddenly panics about sending the ball into row Z, although he never has before… what’s likely to happen?!

It was a great day with a lot to think about, in a very interesting way.

Then I went to a Beatles tribute gig, where there was lots to think about in a music-and-vodka way. Different again 🙂

And yesterday, I made cookies.

Granted, that’s no different from usual, except it was because it involved this:

I used my carrot cookies for guidance…

90g chestnut flour

20g sorghum flour

15g cornflour

60g brown sugar

2tbsp rapeseed oil

2tbsp milk

1/2tsp vanilla

1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda

Mix together the oil, sugar, milk and vanilla till well combined. Sieve the flours and bicarbonate of soda together and mix really well. Bring together as a ball, wrap and chill for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 175C. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, and with a floured rolling pin, to about 1/8″ thick, cut out shapes and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes, till just golden, and leave to cool and harden on the sheet.

They may not look very interesting, and they are fairly plain, but I wanted that, to let the chestnut flour give them its flavour – and it was really good. Nutty (not surprisingly!) and rich, which went perfectly in these not-too-crisp cookies. I’m now officially loving chestnut flour, and coming up with other ideas for it 🙂

But as this is probably the most rambling of all my rambles so far… I’ll leave it there! More chestnuttiness to come. Fact.

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24 Responses to A bit different

  1. Alexandra says:

    Ahhhh horseback riding is so amazing 🙂 Glad to hear your weekend was great! And I’m so intrigued about the chestnut flour, I’ll have to look for some at the store one day! Can’t wait to see future recipes!

    • The flour’s great; it gives more of its own flavour than any other I’ve tried. I bet it’d be great with chocolate, one to try when Lent’s over!
      And now spring here, riding’s much better; not so much of a fan when it’s -5C 🙂

  2. I think NLP is very interesting. On a very basic level I like to think of it as the power of positive thinking. For me, things like visualisation really help me.

    • That’s pretty much it, is’t it – what’s great is that it isn’t psycho-waffle, just common sense really, although sometimes it’s so hard to think in the common sense way! Visualisation’s key though, something I’ve tried to do for a long time.

  3. I’ve never even heard of chestnut flour! Although after reading so many blogs, nothing surprises me 😉

  4. I love NLP, I did a course with work and found it very beneficial it really helped me change the way I think about a lot of things. We work very closely with an NLP practitioner that works for a charity that helps veterans with PTSD and its amazing to here how it helps them. Your day sounds so interesting!

  5. Maria says:

    I have never even heard of chestnut flour but I suppose you can get most things made into flour now 🙂

  6. I can’t wait to see what else you come up with for the chestnut flour!

  7. Awww that elephant pic is super cute. Sound like you had a very and packed interesting day!

  8. Errign says:

    Chestnut flour? Sounds interesting! I’m going to give Pilates a go soon at school…

    • I think it’d definitely be better to do classes in it than a DVD; I’ve tried a pilates for riders DVD and couldn’t really get the hang of it; much better when someone’s there to show you how it’s done properly… hope you enjoy it!

  9. Weighting For 50 says:

    I LOVE the photo at the beginning of this post. LOVELY! Have a great weekend.

  10. i’ve never been horse backing riding but it’s on my bucket list!

  11. oooh….genius! chestnut flour cokies. Now they sound pretty darn good 🙂 haahaa your comment made me chuckle 🙂

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