Tag Archives: Sunlight

Sun Flowers

Sunflowers 3Sunflowers 1

Southern Israel, near the coastal city of Ashkelon.

In the desert, you can remember …

“In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain”
(And no noisy and flashy distractions or temptations.)

Sleepy weekend afternoon.
A gathering of friends.
A two-hour ride away from Tel-Aviv.

Peaceful quiet outside.
Sandy soft yet bright light.
A warm-dry breeze caressing body and soul.

Disturbing political issues seem far away…

“…
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain”
America, A Horse with No Name – Lyrics and Explanation

 

 

Floor Relax-Restart

For quite some time now I have been unblessed with various back pains, hip hurt, knee problems, and other bone aches. These stem from early childhood ailments and accidents, from biking injuries, from my tendency to stumble into and over things, and from getting old.

Three things have proven very relaxing and soothing for my entire body (and soul!!):

  1. WARMTH – summer; hot showers and baths in winter; a cozy blanket; bone-penetrating warming sun rays; a hot-water bottle (the old-fashioned rubber ones); thermal springs.
  2. SWIMMING – I mean head-under-water swimming (and back swimming). Desperately trying to keep your head above the water to avoid hair getting wet or because you haven’t learned to breathe right while swimming will cause even more back and neck pain. I swim only in summer-warm water – many of the heated indoor swimming-pools are not warm enough for me, something that probably varies from country to country (and from person to person).
  3. Unwinding, unbending, stretching, and loosening up on THE FLOOR.
    Just lying on the floor (at home I have a small, thin carpet – when not at home, I find something else to lie on) with eyes closed, turning from side to side, stretching in all directions, consciously relaxing each and every part of the body, exploring where it hurts, doing some exercises to relieve the pain. I have my exercise routine, everyone can compose his own, from classes or the internet – there are many great you-tube videos. In summer, I enjoy just lying there and daydreaming away… I can even fall asleep on the floor. Gravity is no longer a burden on my body because I’m as close to Earth as I can get.
    The benefits of flooring, in simple words, and a great stretching exercise video: http://antranik.org/lie-on-your-back-for-comfort-now/

collage persian carpet

(Featured picture from here: http://www.orientalcarpetbrokers.com/about/news/)

What A Year

I have just completed one year of psychotherapy* with an amazing clinical social worker, accompanied by psychiatric/psychological follow-up. Today, at 54, I am as mentally and emotionally strong as maybe never before in my life.

Until less than a year ago my life was a mess. And that of my son even more. Our home was a mess, and I am not even going to begin detailing.

After another psychiatric hospitalization of several months, my 26-year-old son (who is struggling with psychotic OCD) has been living in supervised housing for the past 6 months and he is learning to live an independent and socially healthy life.

I have moved to a new apartment with my cat and have begun studying psychology and working with children with special needs.

The love of my life (who is also coping with emotional-mental complexity) has evolved into my best friend.

Things are far from perfect, but they are steadily improving.

AND, most days are sunny and warm in this country.

 

* State-funded, I didn’t pay a penny.

Light Stimulates Us

I thawed today. Ahhhhhhhhh, it felt soooooooo gooooood, sitting in the sun and letting the rays penetrate the four layers I was still wearing from the night – a thick undershirt, a turtle-neck, a woolen tank-top with a hood, and a(nother) hoodie – to warm my stiff limbs! After some time in the warmth I took off the hoodie and the tank-top. And I raised the bottom part of my sweat pants for the sun to get to the skin of my legs and stimulate some vitamin-D production… brrrrr.

Things are slowly returning to normal after a week of freezing cold, crazy rainstorms, and meters of snow and hail in many parts of the country, leading to flooded and blocked roads, water leaks in buildings (including our sweet two-room, one-level home) and power failures, leaving thousands of families without heating, warm water and light – not to mention internet, radio, and TV. Israel is simply not equipped to deal with such weather conditions.

Hail in the Holy Land
Hail in Kfar Saba, ‘Arim’ Mall, Dec. 2013
fox home rain drops2
Water dripping from the ceiling in the FOX home accessories store in Kfar Saba. The rain was just too much. Dec. 2013

But now the sun is back, last puddles are drying up, the birds have resumed chirping and tweeting, and light and life are filling the air again.

First sunlight above my bed. That is how I always want to wake up!
First morning sunlight above my bed, two days ago. That is how I always want to wake up!

I don’t think I could live in a place where the sun doesn’t show for weeks on end. I would probably become an addict of some mind-dulling unhealthy substance.

Light and Sun – why are they so important to us (besides the fact that they are necessary for photosynthesis in plants, which are the basis of all life on earth)?

“Light does have an effect on a person’s mood. The amount and wavelength of light affects the different functions of the brain, including the regulation of a person’s thoughts and feelings. With this knowledge comes a realization that simple adjustments in lighting in homes and offices can make a lot of difference to the way a person thinks and feels. Having this in thought, wouldn’t it be equally right to advice a depressed person to ‘get some light?’ ”

http://yourbrainatwork.org/lighting-and-its-affect-on-your-mood/ (A great site BTW. With lots of other interesting articles, like “10 Reasons Why People Never Reach Their Goals And Tips…”)

“Sunlight triggers our circadian rhythms, our sleep-wake cycles. When sunlight hits the optic nerve, the brain cuts down on the release of melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep, and increases production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter tied to wakefulness and feeling happy. When the sun sets, this cycle is reversed, with more melatonin produced and less serotonin. The more sunlight the body receives, the more serotonin the brain produces. In addition, the body also creates vitamin D from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. High levels of vitamin D help our bodies maintain high levels of serotonin.”

http://www.sharecare.com/health/emotional-health/how-does-sunlight-affect-mood

“Lighting can help create excitement in a themed environment. Lighting can help a person navigate through a new space. Lighting can help to bring about a sense of calm and peacefulness in a sacred setting. Lighting can help to add mystery in a theatrical production. And, lighting can cause us to strongly dislike a room which we would otherwise find appealing.”

“…changes in the lighting produced significant changes in the response – impressions such as spaciousness, visual clarity, privacy, pleasantness, relaxation, complexity. By linking lighting to these impressions, Flynn demonstrated that architectural lighting plays a much more significant role in the human experience than simply as an enabler of task performance.”

“An environment that we call, “stimulating,” is one that is both arousing and pleasant, while one that we call, “tense,” is also arousing but a bit unpleasant. A “relaxing” space rates low on arousal but relatively high on pleasure, while a “dreary” space is also low on arousal but elicits a response that is low on pleasure as well.”

http://www.litecontrol.com/emotional-responses-to-lighting

And here are some photos (click on them to enlarge) I took in sunny and very warm November at the Herzlia beach and marina:

opportunistic hooded crow herzlia beach

beach3Elevator to the BeachYam Sheva2Yam Sheva7Papagaio rest

Marina Herzlia