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Other People’s Fears – how hard is it to have empathy?

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Often the fears of others, may seem irrational and disproportionate. I once had a young work colleague, who was so fearful of needles, that he fainted, if he caught sight
of an injection, being shown on a television programme. He had no bad health experiences, as far as I know, that would trigger this reaction.
 
Fear of needles is a serious handicap if it keeps people away from having medical procedures, including going to the dentist! In the pandemic, people who are not afraid of the vaccine itself, may be deterred from receiving it, due to fear of the needle used for the injection.
 
One of the most common fears is that of spiders. Are you a Miss Muffet? Although the nursery rhyme identifies a female, who is put off her curds and whey, the fear is not confined to girls! It probably stems from the days we lived in caves, when we feared intruders, like spiders and snakes.
 
 My daughter, when she lived in a top floor flat in Hong Kong, encountered a large tree spider. Obviously it lived in the tree and decided to explore the nearby building. She disturbed it lurking at the bottom of her wardrobe!
 
 Removing it was not the job of a glass with which to cover it, as the creature was close to a large crab in size. Help from friends was summoned by using her mobile, and somehow or other, the spider was captured in a bag and set free.
 
I myself am wary of dogs I meet, when our walking. I tend not to give them the benefit of the doubt and give them a wide berth. If only dogs could be more like cats, with whom it is possible to have a few nice words and move on. Chances are that the cat will have run away first!
 
Luckily I am not scared of squirrels, or I would be in real trouble! It is impossible to go out from my house, without soon running into them, coming out of the woods and running along the footpaths and fences.
 
If you have trouble having empathy with the fears of others, such as leaving the house itself, imagine that whatever it is that you fear, is waiting for you outside the front door – Would you open it?

In the nineteen sixties I worked in London stores. Worked as an Insurance Clerk in the City of London during the nineteen seventies. Divorced in the nineteen nineties. Now I am a retired Civil Servant, managing home and garden and escaping onto social media whenever possible.

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Food

Coconut oil, how to use it in the kitchen

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Coconut oil is a versatile household item with a long list of uses. It can be used for cooking, as a beauty product, and even as an animal product. Coconut oil is really useful in the kitchen for frying or baking and can be used as a healthier alternative to butter. In the beauty routine, coconut oil helps keep skin hydrated and healthy by being applied topically to the skin or hair.

Coconut oil is a natural product that is a fat, of which 90% is saturated. A spoonful contains 130 calories and 14 grams of fat. Coconut oil has been popular throughout Southeast Asian countries for centuries due to its many benefits such as being an antioxidant, soothes burns, hair conditioner, moisturizer and more.

Coconut oil is a nearly magical food that can be used as a substitute for practically any other fat. In cooking, one can also use it instead butter, but keep in mind that the latter has a higher water content.

There are two main types of coconut oil on the market: virgin and refined. The first is a pure oil that has been cold pressed and extracted without the use of solvents. The second type is refined, which has been processed with solvents to extract all fats and oils.

Coconut oil is perfect for cooking, baking and frying. It can be used as a replacement for partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to help reduce the amount of trans fat in foods. It’s also a low-calorie alternative to butter and margarine.

Refined coconut oil is more suitable for frying or cooking at higher temperatures. One of its peculiarities is that it has low levels of saturated fat and high levels of polyunsaturated fat. Coconut oil, especially virgin oil, is rich and tasty and is an excellent alternative to butter or animal fats, and therefore it is suitable for many vegan recipes. It should be kept in a cool and dark place and used in cooking to give a light flavour and a sweet coconut aftertaste.

It’s good for so many things from salad dressing to making smoothies, just give it a try.

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Health

Some people use Bach Flower Remedy to lose weight

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I tried Bach Rescue Remedy during a crisis and I didn’t notice anything, I didn’t feel better. Other people swear by it, I suppose I am a bit of a sceptic.

Bach flower remedies are natural remedies which are made of flowers, minerals, and various therapeutic substances. Bach Flower Remedies is an alternative therapy that has been used for many centuries to treat various mental and physical health issues.

The creator of the Bach Flower Remedies is Edward Bach. He was a medical doctor in England during the 1920s who was discouraged with the state of health care at the time, and decided to take his practice in a different direction. He combined his knowledge in homeopathy with ancient Chinese theories to create an alternative therapy based on floral essences.

Bach Flower Remedies work by helping you feel better emotionally and mentally as well as physically. The theory is that your body’s energy centre or chakra system can be blocked because your emotional energy has been blocked

Now apparently, you can use them even to lose weight, but not so much to actually lose the pounds but to help you emotionally maybe when you crave food, or you feel down. To actually lose weight you have to physical exercise and follow a good and healthy diet.

Undoubtedly, anxiety, stress, guilt and other factors can make it really difficult for us to follow a regime. And apparently Bach Flower Remedy can help in this case. They might support us psychologically during the path to lose weight, they help us to control emotion and nervous hunger, they break that vicious circle in which the more stressed we are, the more we would like to eat.

There are moods that often stop us from making any progress, pushing us to use food as a source of pleasure or as an anti-stress. And then the motivation is not always strong enough to allow us to maintain a constant diet over time, which is the only way to really lose weight.

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Health

Bridge Over Troubled Water

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I once had a friend called Harry, and I can only wish that if you are going through a time of extra stress, that you find such a friend as Harry. Harry was a good listener and responded with empathy to whatever misery was being offloaded onto him. He had learnt to cope with his own difficulties, by cultivating a calm contemplation of solutions and practising tenacity.  If it is not possible to make time for yourself, as Harry recommended, people will inevitably find it increasingly difficult to cope.  A job that is over demanding, or caring responsibilities at home, when there is no respite, will take their toll.  It is not always possible to set reasonable goals, without considerable social support.It is over thirty years since I last saw Harry, but I remember everything we discussed.


There is a fictional character I like called “Drop Dead Fred”. The 1991 film starred Rik Mayall. Besides over the top comedy, Fred encouraged assertiveness in a young woman, lacking in self-confidence. Faced with her unsupportive mother and faithless husband, she summoned the imaginary friend of her childhood, “Drop Dead Fred” for assistance. Finally, Fred told her that he had to go, when, job done, he had inspired her to be able to cope herself. 
Paul Simon was inspired to write the beautiful song “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, which has given comfort to many people in hard times.  There are times when we all need a friend.

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