Sunday, 25 June 2017

Nothing new under the sun.

"Originality is the art of concealing your source."

Attributed to Benjamin Franklin or Franklin P. Jones or Thomas Edison.

The fact the quotation has three possible authors begs the question what is originality and does it matter?

When I write I want to be original and I am sure many people are the same. When I write a blog I want be very original and unique. In reality it is nearly impossible to be original as most ideas have already been used in some way.

Shakespeare used Roman sources Plutarch and Ovid so writers were using earlier sources for a long time. Most people would say Shakespeare was original.

If a book has a similar theme but each writer uses an idea in a different way, does that show some originality? Why is there this need to be original? Why don't we just try to be captivating and engaging in our words?

"Only those with no memory insist on their originality" Coco Chanel

Many people in the creative arts would agree with Coco because they realise people prefer the comfort familiar themes to unknown territory of new ideas.

This  is why many movies have a happy ending, and have sequels and there are many version of the same film, eg. The three Musketeers has had approximately 24 versions made of it. Books are the same, people love to read about the same characters, the same familiar story.

So where does the desire to be original come from. Is because we want to stand out to be better than others?

Edith Wharton said "True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision."

So is it about not coming up with new ideas but with a new way of using them or seeing them?

Remember not many can recall who made up a joke but everyone laughs if it is told well.

I am still confused about originality and the way it is interpreted in many ways today.

Are we all original because we experience our lives individually?

Does it really matter if we get ideas from others and use them in our own way.

Is being original very important to you or doesn't it matter?

Leah 
A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/nothing-new-under-the-sun

Saturday, 24 June 2017

I am NOT worthless.

I find the book "Feeling Good" by David D Burns, MD, extremely helpful. I was dipping in today and came across the following, written by one of his clients.

Feeling worthless is a symptom of depression but just because you FEEL worthless does NOT mean that you are correct! If, dear Moodscoper, you are feeling worthless today, I hope that reading this helps you to realise that actually, you are eminently worthwhile!

"As long as I have something to contribute to the well-being of myself and others, I am not worthless.

As long as what I do can have a positive effect, I am not worthless.

As long as my being alive makes a difference to even one person, I am not worthless (and this one person can be me if necessary).

If giving love, understanding, companionship, encouragement, sociability, counsel, solace means anything, I am not worthless.

If I can respect my opinions, my intelligence, I am not worthless. If others also respect me, that is a bonus."

Can you add to this or make your own list? Put your list somewhere so that you read it every day.

Thinking of you, especially if you are suffering today and sending calm, healing, positive thoughts.

Marmaladegirl
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/i-am-not-worthless

Friday, 23 June 2017

Time to fess up.

I was horrified the other day when I inadvertently let slip to my 11 year old son I was having counselling.

Dashing out of the school gates one afternoon. "Come on," I said. "I'm going to be late for my counselling session."

"What's counselling?" he said.

For the past few months I have been sneaking off on a Wednesday to 'go to the supermarket' or 'nip to the doctors' I'd never told him where I was really going.

I didn't want him to think I was weak, failing as an adult or a bad mother for not coping.
So cue conversation about counselling.

"Mum sometimes worries about things too much and it makes me a bit poorly. It started when your Grandma died long before you were born. "I speak to someone and he helps me sort it out in my head and that makes me feel better."

A simplified explanation that satisfied him and he quickly returned to discussing more important issues in his life - Star Wars and Lego.

In hindsight I should have had this conversation long ago. I should have made mental health issues something freely discussed within our family unit without judgement.

The fact is discussing mental health issues with children is much easier than with adults. It does need simplifying but they do not get embarrassed and do not judge – they just accept.

I plan to keep this conversation going as he approaches his pre-teens. I hope by sharing some of my experiences he won't feel uncomfortable or embarrassed if he has a mental health issue and he will have the confidence to seek help.

There is lots in the media about the importance of discussing mental health issues. Surely it's crucial these conversations also take place with the children in our lives so if they hit difficult times, as children or as adults, it becomes as easy to talk about as... Star Wars or Lego.

Rosie
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/time-to-fess-up

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Choose your words.

Our choice of words to others says so much more about us than we realise. An entitlement air opinions can be confused as an opportunity to open and flutter the peacock's tail-feathers and have ones own ego stroked, or put someone down in an attempt to dress-up 'honesty' with being just plain rude and spiteful.

Respect is not a given in life, it can be lost but it can also be gained. Given if received. How we make others feel with our words speaks volumes as to where we are with ourselves. Some words are transparent enough that they are the windows to ones own struggle.

Thoughts don't always have to be vocalised. Opinions can be overrated and unwarranted. Less is sometimes more and usually it is the unspoken that lingers the loudest.

"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." Dorothy Nevill.

Why spit arrows when taking a step back allows silence to speak for itself?

The Trusty-Yogi
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/choose-your-words

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Mr Fixit.

[To listen to an audio version of this blog please click here: http://bit.ly/2tq88O2]

Just round the corner from the house by the sea where we spend our summers, lived – until his death last year – Bob.

Bob was a real character: everyone knew Bob. He had lived in the area all his life and in that house for most of it. When the big floods came a few autumns ago he refused to evacuate as ordered. "I didn't move for Hitler," he grunted. "I ain't moving for some jumped up snotty nosed council official. That tide won't come over the wall, I tell you!" He was proved correct in this forecast and he stayed dry that night.

Bob could do anything and fix everything and he always had the right tools. Your drains were blocked? Bob had the drain-rods and he'd help you with that smelly job. That funny shaped and rusty bolt that needed to come out? Bob would have, not only the right size spanner, but the grinder to cut it off when the bolt proved too rusty to shift. The electricians who delivered your new oven refused to connect it because the electricity supply was somehow inadequate? Bob would remind you he was a qualified electrician and connect it all up for you. Bob is very much missed indeed.

They say a bad workman always blames his tools. Well, Bob always had the right tools for the job, and was always willing to lend them out. He always had the right spare part – or a spare part he could fiddle with until it was a clone for the right part.

He suffered with depression after his wife died. I asked him how he had dealt with it. He thought for a moment and then lifted his glass to me. "Long walks by the sea," he said. "Long talks with my sons and my sister. Long evenings with a bottle of wine."

I'm not sure about that last one, but I was remembering Bob today and thinking about all the tools we can use when our soul's dwelling is attacked by those terrible twins Anxiety and Depression.

Exercise should probably be the first tool we reach for. A brisk walk in the open air is good medicine for nearly everything (except possibly pneumonia). Some people find team sports lift their spirits (I can't think of anything more calculated to depress mine, but each to their own). Some like solitary running or swimming.

If we can't take exercise for any reason we must look at other tools. Meditation can calm things down and buoy things up. Mindfulness can quieten the screaming squirrels in your brain.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and TAT (Look up Tapas Fleming on You Tube) can help some.

A support network (family and friends) is vital - if maybe difficult to maintain.

Gardening, craftwork and pets can all help.

You will have your own tools and it would be great if you would share them with us in the comments.

We too can be Mr or Ms Fixit.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/mr-fixit

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Love Is In The Air.

It's been a harrowing few weeks for the people of London and Manchester. The recent terrorists attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire has rocked Britain to the core. There is so much pain, anguish, confusion and anger. My heart aches for all those affected. I've cried so many tears. I've hugged my family and friends just that little bit tighter and I've tried very hard not to moan about trivial things in life.

Throughout all these tragic and heartbreaking events though one thing has stood out. Love. I have worked in London for 8 years now and I cannot remember a time when I felt so much love and a sense of community spirit as I have during these past few weeks. Love is very much in the air, from friends to families and from neighbours to strangers. It reaches out across all religions, cultures and beliefs. It makes me feel so proud to work there and now, on every day that I commute to work, I walk a little bit taller. I'm proud of London and proud to be a tiny part of it.

So wherever you are today, and however you are feeling, I hope you can feel love in the air. Because I'm sending love your way today.

Jane SG
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/love-is-in-the-air

Monday, 19 June 2017

Contagious Stories.

Like a good joke told by the next person, or the second person who picks up a Mexican Wave, a great story goes viral when someone else catches it and retells it.

Here's the exciting creative challenge then: to tell true stories that capture the imagination, but that are easy enough to remember for other people to retell.

I train trainers and teach teachers Accelerated Learning (well, that's part of what I do.) When enthusing teachers and trainers about teaching and training being a vocation, way more than just a job, I tell the story of my first chemistry lesson vs my first physics lesson. Those first lessons changed my preferences and my personal history.

The important thing to me is that the story is easy to relate to and easy to tell-on. So, once upon a time...

My chemistry teacher was well over 6 feet tall when we were tiny students going to the BIG school for the first time. We'd walk up the stairs, one-step-at-a-time, whereas he would stride past, one-flight-at-a-time! He was awesome, and his name will be remembered fondly forever: Mr Hill.

Mr Hill had only one eye. The other had been blinded in a chemical accident. He told us this in our first lesson. When we heard this, he had our attention!

The first lesson included a command to go to the back of the room and gather around the bench. On the bench was a galvanised bucked full of water...

When we could bear it no longer, he took some tongs and placed a piece of Sodium into the bucket.

Ker Boom!!!

Mr Hill's experiment peppered the ceiling as the Sodium reacted fiercely with the water and blew up.

"Cool!" we all thought, "We like Chemistry!"

Nobody was hurt, everybody was impressed! Chemistry was 'sold'!

By way of stark contrast, our first Physics lesson began with us all being asked to form a circle around the room and hold hands! Picture a group of young men in their first lesson. Holding hands was not 'cool' at the best of times. The nameless Physics master then powered up the Van de Graaff Generator and sent a charge through the whole group.

...He electrocuted us!

Shocking, I know! But the shock had a powerful effect. I wasn't the only student that day to decide: Chemistry = cool; Physics = uncool!

Now, do you think you could retell that story?

And what about the moral of the story?

My intended meaning is that teachers and trainers need to give their students and participants engaging experiences. The Physics Master meant well. He meant to be interactive and engaging. However, he only engaged pain and fear! We were unharmed but cautious and therefore 'Physics Adverse'! Our Chemistry Master was a warning in himself. Warning out of the way, it was time to play... and play we did.

The result? I took 'A' Level Chemistry... and we all lived happily ever after.

Go, tell good stories... stories that others can catch and tell-on.

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/contagious-stories

Sunday, 18 June 2017

I lost my mind.

But not in the way you might have initially thought. I've been losing my mind very happily over the last 6 months or so...

Like many of us, I have a constant chatter pecking away in my head. Mostly I am so familiar with it that its presence does not even register. I use meditation to not only help me deal with the chatter but also to simply become aware of it. The chatter has been damaging me for too long, just another aspect of this hideous ill, and I am calling time on it.

However, even after committing to regular meditation (with regular pauses and no apologies, its life) I still found myself at times fretting, having whole conversations in my head, replaying problems of my own as well as age-related and very normal problems my children were having. Not helpful. Upsetting and damaging.

Then I fell into territory I hadn't realised was such a gift. I fell into paradise! I fell into Desert Island Discs (A BBC TV programme in the UK: http://bbc.in/1v36Gxy). There are parts of my working day when I need to be with people, be quiet, still and concentrate. And there are other parts when I can turn up sound and be more free as I work. In those times, I started listening to Desert Island Discs.

Not only have I heard some songs that I adore. Not only have I heard new songs to adore.  Not only have I been enchanted by the host and her skilful, tip-of-a-pin precision interviews. I have also heard from people from all manner of walks of life and parts of the world, heard bits of their joy, their work, their sorrows, their history, their future, their honesty, their guilt, their life, their hopes and regrets. And for 30 minutes (which is a godsend to those of us who struggle with concentration due to this ill) I can do practical tasks which can run alongside audio well and I can listen, learn and lose my mind to the life of someone else. It has been a godsend.

Chatter silenced. Happy ears on. Peace becomes me. For a little holiday, I urge you to try it. Podcasts are available for historical episodes or you can tune in weekly. And I will be extremely interested to receive your 8 chosen tracks, your book and your luxury.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/i-lost-my-mind

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Do I sound like that?

It seemed like a simple task. I was asked to record some stories for a woman who is losing her sight. I like reading, I like talking, what could be easier. I thought I would find a cassette recorder (now those who are technologically advanced will see my first problem.) How did I know that the digital recorders were so tiny that my chubby fingers could not operate the delicate dials?

So, I finally got the recorder working and then tried to play it back. All I heard was this screeching voice nagging at my partner - who could that be? Not me? I had no idea of how awful I sounded - in my defence I was trying to explain to him what to do.

I have never liked hearing my recorded voice as I sound like a cross between a patronising kindergarten teacher and a bossy prison guard.

There is that saying about seeing us as others see us but I heard myself as others hear me and it was not pretty!!

I know I can nag a bit well maybe a lot at times but I never knew how horrible I sounded.

It really was a wake up call. I would like to say that I have never nagged my partner again but that would be less than truth.

I try to catch myself and remember how awful I sound. I still hate the sound of my voice but before I start complaining/nagging I try to remember how really awful I sound.

Do you ever see/hear how others see or hear you? Are you ever surprised?

Has it changed your behaviour?

Leah 
A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/do-i-sound-like-that

Friday, 16 June 2017

Post 'pain body'.

Some time ago I wrote a blog about the 'pain body' (around 2015).

'Pain body" is a term coined by Eckhart Tolle – it is what comes alive when we are triggered by some event, or atmosphere, or place, or person – particularly any disappointment. We are then literally in pain of some sort – whether fear, anger, sadness – some overwhelming emotion. I had been reading a book by M Rafat (Inside the Pain Body) - he said to transmute this pain body "Observe it – be centred – have one foot in one's centredness and one foot in the pain."

Two years later – I realise I have come a long way from those days of being completely taken over by the pain body. After two years of study and practice to become a coach of Katherine Woodward Thomas' Calling in the One and Conscious Uncoupling processes – I have learned a new way to deal with all the triggers of daily life:

I ask myself what am I feeling and list the feelings that I hear myself say (eg sad, scared, worried etc) and I mirror these back to myself "I can see you are feeling... sad etc".  I ask myself where in my body I feel this. How old is this part of myself. What does that part have to say to me – "I am... (perhaps alone, abandoned, not good enough)", "Others are... (perhaps untrustworthy, hostile, unreachable)" and "Life is... (perhaps not there, dangerous, a lonely place".

I can then imagine myself as a mature wise adult speaking to this younger self – perhaps she was 7 or 4 or even a baby. I say "Of course that is not true – eg. You are not alone, you are deeply connected to others and all of life – it is just that your parents were so busy at that time." And I tell my younger self the truth about others "They appreciate your presence" and "Life has always been on your side bringing to you what you need when you need it."

Even half way through this process – the big triggered emotion – that scary "pain body" will have disappeared and I am back relatively in balance in the more peaceful middle fulcrum of the see saw of my feelings. Now I also know to do this when I am over-excited about something – so long as I remember!

Melanie
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/post-pain-body