Sunday, 21 September 2014

An adjustment technique for sceptical bodies.

I love the Affirmations A-Z post by Lex. It is great to see and express the reality of who we really are." I am..." is a very powerful statement.

At first I cringed away from the mirror and could not keep eye-contact with myself while stating that "I am beautiful... ". Gradually it got better and after a month I could do it with just a little bit of irony shining out from the depths of my eyes.

But it was a painful process to my body saying all those lovely things. It protested loudly. So I was very relieved when I recently learnt that there is another way of tackling affirmations.

Say/write your affirmation. Ask your body if it agrees with the statement and sense the response. If it agrees, fine - carry on to strengthen your body's awareness of how wonderful you are. If it does not totally agree - ask what ever higher power you believe in (your higher self, angels...) to adjust that bit in your body that doesn't agree so that the conflict will disappear (immediately or over time).

For me this technique removes a lot of the stress of making affirmations. I really enjoy it when my body totally agrees. I celebrate my progress. And when it doesn't agree I appeal to my angels to remove the obstacle from my spine and as they do this I feel a sense of calm and satisfaction pour over me. I believe this is called healing.

So here I am sharing this soothing ritual with you all. An extra tip is to say the affirmations while focusing on your body chakra by chakra and that way learn where the blockages are. It is funny when some chakras agree that I love myself completely and some not. My aim is to reach a state when all my chakras agree that I love myself, always.

Actually using this affirmation-adjustment-technique I can get there every day!

Love to us all,

Karin
A Moodscope member.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Evil of Emails.

Oh, there has been a sad falling out my family; a deep and painful rift between two people who have loved each other and been very close for more than forty years.

Now, I'm not going to give details because it wouldn't be fair; and thank goodness that rift is on a fair way to being mended, but there is a very definite culprit here: the email.

There is a formality to writing a letter which leads to a more measured expression of our sentiments. With a telephone call, there is the tone of voice to add expression to our words. In face to face communication we have body language and eye contact as well; all of which help the communication process.

But we tend to just dash off that email and push the send button without properly thinking through how it might be taken by the recipient.

So when there is a lack of sensitivity on one side and an excess of sensibility on the other, it's a recipe for misunderstanding, hurt feelings and a decision never to talk to the other person ever again (or at least until next Thursday week, anyway!)

I'm sure we have all heard (and possibly used) the expression "Sticks and Stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me!" And most of us would admit that it's not true, because words can hurt far more deeply than physical wounds.

The email can be a pretty blunt instrument.

So my encouragement is to pick up that phone whenever possible and actually make voice contact. If you work in an office with someone, why not walk over to their desk? If you want to send a thank you note, then write a card and expend some pennies on an actual stamp, so that the card will be delivered by a uniformed servant of the Queen: it will mean so much more.

And seeing an actual smile on someone's face is worth a thousand smilies. ☺

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Friday, 19 September 2014

How Can You Prove You Are Not a Robot?

When posting comments to blogs, I am often challenged (by a robot) thus, "Prove You Are Not A Robot!"

Recognising numbers in a photo and then typing them in doesn't convince me that this is 'proof' I'm not a robot. I bet there are robots that can do that.

The deeper question is, "What does it take to prove you're 'Human'?" As a student of biology, I know there are seven signs of life: movement, nutrition, reproduction, excretion, growth, respiration and sensitivity... but, once again, I think a robot could engage in a form of all seven. Being human is something way beyond being 'alive'.

I think it is spirit or emotion that causes us to be truly 'human'. And not just any old emotion. 'Man's inhumanity to Man' seems based around emotion - pride, envy, jealousy, malice, bitterness...so perhaps they are not the characteristics of being fully human.

I'm going to place my vote on the good emotions:

Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faith
Gentleness
Self-Control.

The Apostle, Paul, called these 'the Fruit of the Spirit' - something I find fascinating since they are very much emotions with corresponding actions. We say, "That's the spirit!" when someone has the right attitude, so perhaps emotions are spiritual? All fruit begins with a flower and pollination - perhaps stretching the metaphor too far - but this fruit doesn't just happen - it is nurtured to fruition by our thinking. As you think in your heart, so you are! And out of your heart flows whatever is fulminating in your heart!

Whatever we think, the nine segments in Paul's list make a wonderful 'Handbook for Being Human' don't they? I can sense-check my progress each day and the quality of every decision by asking, "Is this the loving thing to do or say?" "Does this bring joy?" "Is this the way of peace?" – and you can fill in the rest.

Staying 'spiritual' it is said that in the Divine Presence is fullness of Joy. So a step out of joy is a step away and out of the divine. So is a step out of love. I don't think you need a spiritual mindset to benefit from this – you can just stay with emotions.

However, for me, being spiritual is always a bit nebulous. These emotional actions are not nebulous – they can be recognised in a yes/no state or as in an on/off condition. Am I being gentle? The answer is 'yes' or 'no'... not often 'maybe'. But even 'maybe' gives me something to work with.

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Want to work on your humanity today? Measure your day by the nine!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Taking care to care.

In Moodscope, while we are a very caring and compassionate community, we sometimes see the 'result' of someone feeling stressed or simply uncomfortable by something someone said in their blog or even in a comment.

And with so many people on Moodscope who can be challenged by our own lives, on a daily basis, how do we attempt to reduce such occurrences? Especially when many of those who write or even comment, already feel they are taking a risk by writing!

So I offer the following...

We all know how to care. To care for and about others is part of our nature. Yet how we express our care can add more stress to our lives when we confuse care with empathy or sympathy. This becomes clearer when we look at the meaning behind these two words.

Empathy, as defined in one dictionary, is the 'intellectual (IQ) identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another'. And, sympathy (EQ) is defined as 'sharing the feelings of another especially in sorrow or trouble'. Emotional over-identity with another or lack of our own emotional management or even awareness, can turn our care into someone else's stressful feelings of anxiety, anger or worry and eventually drain our energy.

The more physiological balanced state would probably be compassionate care.

What we mean here, comes from the origins of the word compassion: To 'be present' or with or together with another with feeling and not to simply mirror or 'wear' the other's pain or trouble or negative attitude or feeling.

Compassion slows down the drain on our energy stores and releases some of the stress that can come from over-attachment and over-identity. The positive effect of compassion creates more inner balance and is accompanied by peaceful feelings of care, benevolence, tenderness and kindness.

Next time you want to express your care on Moodscope or in life, do an internal check first: Is your care, stress reducing or stress producing?

Whether or not you know why you're feeling stressed or disturbed, take a few slow heart-focused breaths (breathe from your heart) to disengage from any discomfort or stressful feeling. Thus become settled and balanced. Then, and only then, recall and activate a sincere feeling or attitude of compassion or care.

Watch what emerges now and note any differences for future exploration.

Take care of your care.

Les
A Moodscope member.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow.

They say that one of the definitions of middle age is that you still think that you will feel better tomorrow.

While watching the film Annie this afternoon with my husband and children this struck me with particular force, both in the short term and long term.

The sun'll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
there'll be sun
Just thinkin' about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow till' there's none

When I'm stuck in the day that's grey and lonely
I just stick up my chin and grin and say oh

The sun'll come out tomorrow
So you got to hang on
till' tomorrow, come what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow
You're always a day away!

It rings bells for me in the short term as I have had for the past four days now some 'flu like virus that makes me ache all over, and feel utterly exhausted. Each night, downing my painkillers and lemon tea, I am convinced I will feel better tomorrow. Each morning, waking up to more pain, I resolve to give it another twenty four hours (and yes, folks, the GP will now get a call tomorrow even if I'm convinced her counsel will be "Take aspirin and fluids and ride it out").

For the long term, my advice to myself and to others going through depression is "hold on" it does get better – eventually – honest.

But, being strictly honest, it's not always, or often, tomorrow; or even next week. The sun will come out again maybe next month, or next season, or next year.

So until it does come out again, hold on; subject yourself to feel-good films like Annie (for me personally, anything with the toothily charming, but always ne'er-do-well, Tim Curry is wonderful) and if it feels more like a "Hard Knock Life" than "Easy Street", you can probably still raise a rueful grin at the idea that "You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile."

And, you never know, the sun may indeed come out tomorrow. Let's hope it does.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

There's a hole in my sidewalk.

In a counselling session I had, I was given "There's a hole in my sidewalk", by Portia Nelson, and was asked to consider where I was on the journey. If you are not familiar with this work the basic outline is that there is a hole in the road. At first you don't see it so fall in, then you fall in because you pretend you can't see it, followed by falling in because it's a habit. The next step is to walk around it and finally, the last stage is taking a new road.

The hole in the road, to me, represents a particular problem in my life. It's been there for many years so I know this hole very well indeed. I have been down in that hole for a very long time. Occasionally getting out, but ultimately making it my home.

After finally finding the courage to walk away from the hole I am taking steps to leave it behind for good. It's not easy, and often find myself turning back to have a little look at it...sometimes I go close enough to take a look down it. That's usually when I am forgetting what it was really like down there and wondering if perhaps it might be a comfy place after all. I tell myself, maybe it will look and feel a bit different this time. Maybe it could be what I want it to be. So I admit, it can be tempting to put a foot in there...just to see. But then I remember, I can't just put a foot in as I would fall and be back in the hole. I have done this step many times before, and each time reality hits that the hole will never change, it is what it is. And I don't like it.

So now when I go to look at the hole I pour a bit of cement in, to close it up. It's not quite full yet, and what's in hasn't set but I'm working on it. Maybe when it is fully filled I might build a skyscraper on top, just to ensure I don't start trying to dig away at it! But I am certain, it will be filled in, I will not allow myself to go there again. So the journey I am on right now is hard work, it's challenging, it's bumpy...but I'm determined to make it. If I don't, I know that ultimately I will have made a choice to be unhappy. I know there's no guarantees what the different road will bring but at least I will have given myself the opportunity to find out. And after writing this, I have just added another layer of cement and taken a step closer to achieving my goal.

Rosie
A Moodscope member.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Affirmations A-Z.

If "I love you" are the three most important words in the Universe, "I Am..." are the two most important words for getting my attention.

What happens next will often define a person and dictate their future.
"Surely not!" you declare!
"Surely so!" I declare back at yah!!

You see, our brains just can't cope with everything that matters 'out there' so they have to make editorial decisions about what to leave out.

Psychologists call it 'deletion', 'distortion' and 'generalisation' – the ways we simplify our reality.

Well, your inner editor needs a style-guide, and that, my dear friends, is what comes after your 'I Am...' statements.

So, if you decree, "I am crap at maths!" Your brain, your faithful servant, will diligently edit all your experience to verify that it is indeed true that you are crap at maths!

I'm not a fan of my inner critic but this is one area where it can help – to put a watch on my mouth to make sure I release only positive 'I Am...' declarations on my own record label!

Of course, it is much better for you to choose your own declarations and affirmations, but if you're strapped for time, here are some of my favourite A to Z of Affirmations.
Use them as a catalyst but remember, "You can go your own way..."

I am artistic and articulate
I am bold and I am beautiful
I am creative and courageous
I am dynamic and diligent
I am enthusiastic and engaging
I am fun to be around and I am faithful
I am good and I am gentle
I am happy and I am hopeful
I am imaginative and intuitive
I am joyful and non-judgmental
I am kind, and I am Kami waza (dare you to look that one up!)
I am loving and I am loyal
I am me… that's all I need to be to be free
I am natural – always true to myself, I am noble
I am open-minded and I am open-hearted
I am peaceful & a peacemaker, I am patient
I am quiet, I am quick to forgive
I am reflective, I am radiant
I am sensitive to the needs of others, I am sexy
I am trusting and I am trustworthy
I am unique and I am unusual
I am vivacious, I am vibrant
I am worthy, I am wealthy, I am welcoming
I am X-marks-the-spot – a treasure sometimes hidden
I am youthful and young-at-heart
I am zealous and I am zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... asleep!

To say my partner laughed when I shared these with her, would be an understatement.
I had to explain that these were predictions of my future, not scientific descriptions of my present!

Honestly, some people!

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Cubism and sensitivity.

Yes, I know, I'm all about the "highly sensitive souls" but please, indulge me here for a few posts about very sensitive people. I need to purge these from my own sensitive soul and then, I promise, I'll not harp on about the personality trait, HSP, again.

Despite having known for quite some years that I'm very sensitive and despite the fact that I keep a blog site with the words "sensitive souls" in the title, I've only just these past few months read properly Elaine Aron's book entitled, Highly Sensitive People.

It has validated a lot that I've always 'felt' (for starters, it's no wonder my posts are often all about the feelings), but it has enlightened me on a whole lot more besides.

For now though: What exactly is it to be a highly sensitive person? Here's what it is to me:

I recently read an incredible article explaining why the camera could never, nor will ever, be a match for the wondrous design of the eye. In brief, Danny Gregory expresses with clarity that, "a camera sees only from a one-point, locked perspective that creates a single image of a specific vantage point...," as opposed to the human eyes which "constantly move about...Our impression of what we're looking at is actually lots of different perspectives all blending into one undulating picture".

In articulating all of this Danny explained what the Cubism movement was all about and it was this that gripped me. I've re-read it again and again:

"Amazingly our brains take all this information and instantaneously create a sense of what we 'see'. It's not a single picture but lots of different impressions that are all blended together. (That's what the Cubists were getting at, trying to record all those different angles and perspectives into a single painting to simulate the way that we see. They were trying to show the distinction between how humans see and what the camera was introducing. People think of Cubism as abstract art but it actually was an attempt to be even more accurate about literally how we see the world.)"

It hit me in the night why I found this cerebration so poignant. For me, it explains perfectly how it is to feel highly sensitive. In the same way that the Cubists were trying emulate how the eye sees in comparison with the camera, so too the very sensitive soul feels/sees everything as if in 3D; the length, width, height, depth.

I leave the house and I see, feel, hear, absorb everything. The cornices, design, era of every building I pass; the character of people by observing their gardens, wheelie bins or recycling boxes; I see pigeons swooping down invisible hills in the sky; aircraft flying overhead; I hear a police siren getting closer; I feel the moods of people that pass me by; the skinny cat from down the road - 'is it cared for?'; I smell freshly mowed grass; I could go on and on and on here.

I've always seen this as a positive trait: observant. For the first time in my life, however, I grasp why walking into a room full of people, people I may know well and love, can be totally overwhelming. It's a stimulus too much. It's overpowering and often something has to give: I'll turn on my heels and head back for the door, or, hide in the loo until I feel I can make another attempt at joining the throng.

It puts me in mind of watching a film in which someone is losing consciousness. As he or she is fading, things become exaggerated to him/her. The music seems distorted, the person talking to him/her become a kind of grotesque, wide-mouthed creature, talking too much and standing too close.

This personality trait makes no one any better, or indeed, any weaker than anybody else. And, as with any trait, there will be varying shades of it. Once again though, doesn't it go to show how learning about ourselves can be helpful, comforting (I'm not 'a mess', my senses are just more quickly aroused), and can assist us to become more successful in handling daily life?

Sensitive and successful? A post from me soonly.

Suzy
A Moodscope member. 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Life is a road trip.

I came across the road analogy on Facebook.

The different roads we take may lead us to a busy highway, a lovely beautiful country lane, a frightening dark alleyway, or even a foreign land where we need a map.

We may encounter multi-lane roundabouts, one-way streets, pot holes or even breakdowns.

Are we driving or is there someone else at the wheel?

Are we navigating?

Are we in our car by ourself or with our partner? Is our car filled with kids?

Is it well-maintained?

Have we run out of petrol?

Do we need to invest in an upgraded car which is more reliable and easier to maintain?

Do we need to take out a loan? Do we need to wait, plan and save for our dream car?

Do we rush out and get the flashiest car in the lot and take out a costly, high-interest financial plan?

My perfect vehicle would be a brand new, customised VW Van/Bus! It would be painted with my (and my husband and kid's) favourite artists designs, and their colourful art. It would have state-of-the-art fuel economy, sustainability and be environmentally friendly. Leather seats. A sound and entertainment system. GPS. Internet. A cosy 'snug' for reading and writing. Comfy beds. The ability to fly! Space for all. Picnic sets. Outdoor furniture. Cashmere throws. Cushions. Funky furniture. Bikes or a small car to pop in to town with. Maybe even a driver! :-)

I love dreaming. It is so much fun.

Theresa
A Moodscope member.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Try and connect with someone every day.

Some people are and some are not, I am NOT a morning person. However back at the end of July my 19 year old son got himself a job in our nearest big city, which because of the logistics of living in a rural community in the UK meant I had to get up at 6.15am and drive the 5 miles for him to catch a bus.

Every morning when I do this I swear to myself that I will take him down then come straight home and go back to bed. Every morning my little personal trainer, who is black and tan, answers to the name of Ember and is a bitza (a mongrel) persuades me to put her in the car and take her as well. On the way home we stop off in the park in the town and she has her morning run. The park is a gift from a Victorian altruist and whilst half of it is laid out to formal gardens, half of it is a massive open green space surrounded by a path and a belt of trees around the edge.

Ember and I walk round the edge, Ember chasing her ball most of the time, occasionally being distracted by the glimpse of a squirrel in the trees which she is convinced she can catch.

As we have been doing this for a while now we have started to recognise some of the other early park users. There is the builder with his springer spaniels who always has a little chat. There is the lady with the puppy cocker spaniel who Ember loves to play with and there is the woman with her three Labradors who we have to give a wide berth to as they play rough and knock Ember off her feet.

Then there is the old chap who sits on the bench and does the crossword in his paper. He never speaks, even though I always say hello, but he smiles when he sees Ember trying to figure out how to climb a tree after a squirrel and I like to think that in some small way I have made his day just a little bit less lonely and maybe given him his first smile of the day.

My walk is more of an amble, sometimes the other park users lap me as we go around, but it gets me out of the house for a while and in contact with other people. This lifts me just a little bit to be able to face the world for another day and maybe Ember and I have touched the other park users as well and given their day a little boost.

Now, I would not advise that you start your day at 6.15 with a walk in the park, but I would recommend that you try and get out and connect with someone everyday, even if its just to say hello to someone you pass by. It may give you a lift and you never know what it will do to that other person, as the old poem goes:-.

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu, 

When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. 

I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized I'd passed it on to him. 

I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!

Penny
A Moodscope member.