January 2014 in the UK, has gone down on record as the wettest for over 250 years. Severe weather warnings continue to hit the headlines, with high winds and rain lashing the countryside, destroying coastal towns, railway lines and leaving the many areas under several feet of water.
Marlow, in the Thames Valley where I live is no exception. The water levels rose dramatically over night, last weekend. Sandbags delivered to various locations disappeared like gold dust. Residence watched helplessly as the waters seeped through their doorways and up through the floor boards at such an alarming rate, they barely had time to lift their furniture. The bungalow, a legacy left from my parents, to my brother and I, my helping hand to new opportunities, after what has been a very few difficult years, was about to go under water!
Today, three days later the situation here has been alleviated through emergency pumps working 24hours a day, pouring the water back into the Thames further downstream. Enough sandbags have been distributed to help people barricade their homes, giving them a little peace of mind, a rest bite before the next band of forecast storms arrive.
Through tragedy and disaster a very positive community spirit has been born. Neighbours, who barely acknowledged each other in passing, have come together to work as a team, to help those around them less able, to build defences to save their homes, lifting moral and friendships to a high. Residences have even set up BBQ’s in the rain, to feed firemen and soldiers drafted into the area to keep the relief work going.
The question on many people’s minds however is did help arrive too late? Should we have been more prepared to prevent this scale of devastation? Should rivers have been dredged, drains cleared, different crops grown on the flood plains to soak up the rain and sandbags allocated weeks before it hit its peak?
Whilst unusual, I’d like now to draw some parallels between flood defences and exercise and cancer! Barely a day goes by without an article being published in the newspapers about the benefits of participating in physical activity, both physically and psychologically, on our health and well-being. Exercise looks after your heart and lungs, improves bone density, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps to keep your weight healthy. It can go further to help reduce the chances of cancer occurring and its recurrence and yet the majority of people, whilst knowing this information still fail to take action, why? They decide not to position the sandbag, to prevent the water coming in.
So much I believe lies in the mind, our attitudes and beliefs our crucial. Are people willing to help themselves or do they prefer to blame others? “Oh, it’s the government’s fault we are in this mess – force the environment minister to resign.” Will that really help? Surely allowing ourselves to become responsible for our own destiny’s, to look for different ways to prevent and manage a situation, are vital.
Cancer and flooding ruin lives, leaving devastation behind in their trail. I have created In Mind In Body to help people physically unable to exercise, through disease and treatment. We have united the benefits of guided imagery/visualisation with physical activity through a series of FREE MP3’s, available on our website. We aim to build a foundation which funds personal fitness trainers to visit the homes of people affected this way, to assess, educate and encourage them to become more active. To fund on-line sessions with guided imagery experts and hypnotherapists to help to become aware of the powerful impact the mind has on our health, well-being and healing.
I am not suggesting that exercise will prevent cancer, nor will sandbags prevent the rain, but there are ways we can help ourselves, to take action, to give ourselves the best possible chance to enjoy life. At In Mind In Body we are offering you the sand and the bag, but only you can fill it. They are FREE. I hope they bring you comfort, hope and belief on your journey.
THINK IT. SEE IT. ACHIEVE IT.