Mummy May I

Mummy, May I =

 

Mummy, May I have a biscuit?

= No, Dear, it’s nearly Tea

Why, Mummy Dear?

= Because it will spoil your appetite!

Why’s that, Mummy Dear?

= Because there will be no room in your tummy for anything else?

Why, Mummy Dear?

= Because there is only so much space in your tummy at a time!

= That’s why we have Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Supper and, when we’re feeling posh, Dinner!

Why, Mummy Dear?

= Because that’s the way God made it so!

Why, Mummy Dear?

= Ask your Father!!

Daddy, please may I have a biscuit?

= Why, Dear?

Because I’d like one, Daddy Darling, of course!

= OK, My Love, then you’d better have one!

________________

= Result!

 

 

Vinnie the Bouncer

Imagination and the Bouncer

Like many of us, I have a passion for writing. Many writers hope that some of their sayings will become quoted by others – something we call a “signature quote”. Like the “Just Do Its” of the World – our sayings can become part of our brand – part of our legacy. One of my favourite sayings is, “‘Reality’ leaves much to the imagination.” I’m hoping that’s deeply profound! And I hope it captures your imagination!

This saying reflects not only my experience but also my understanding of perception. The brain ‘makes up’ a lot of information in order to make sense of World about us fast enough to make split-second decisions. We ‘fill in the gaps’ in what we really sense in order to function effectively.

This works amazingly most of the time, but sometimes we can have an over-active imagination. Feeling low, is often an aspect of over-imagining that happens to us – and what will happen next. We use imagination to fill-in-the-gaps and extrapolate our assessment of circumstances into possible future scenarios – few of them happy ones! We make up meanings too!  [You know the kind of thing, “When they look at me like that, that means they don’t like me!”]

It’s almost impossible to stop this but I’d like to introduce you to Vinnie, The Bouncer (or Boncer?) Vinnie, modelled on Vinnie Jones, is the Bouncer in my Bonce. Sometimes I have to throw out some of the imaginations from the Nightclub of my Mind. Vinnie acts as an interrupter of unhelpful thoughts. He says, “Oi! You! That’s not my thaut! [tought], get arrrt! [out] of me ‘ed!”

Of course, this is ridiculous, but it’s actually the interruption I’m after – to interfere with an unhelpful pattern of thinking. And it works.

Vinnie’s for hire. If you’d like to borrow my Bouncer and let him allow only best-dressed thoughts into your mind, go ahead, be my guest!

Admit Emit Omit

“How are you?” The truth is not always welcome here.

For many people, asking, “How are you?” is mere punctuation to aid the flow of conversation. There are certain phrases that are like warm up shots in a game of tennis. They are not the real thing.

For these types, it is best to omit the truth. However, you can tell a truth without compromise. Instead of saying, “I’m fine” (which for me means, “I’m about as low as I can get!”) or the even worse, “Not too bad” (very English), I say the honest, “I’m doing good, thank you!” This wonderfully ambiguous phrase is my truth. Every day, even the worst days, I still seek to do a little bit of good for some other soul. (Yes, I’m a righteous dude, I know!!!) Of course, the listener reads this as I’m OK, but that’s OK, isn’t it?

For others, they need you to play a role. Some are not ready for the truth. They need you to be amazing or at least OK. A good example is children. So the, “I’m doing good, thank you!” answer works well for them too, but needs a little extra magic. This is where I think we need to emit the ‘truth’. Emit means to discharge something, especially radiation. My children and my grand children, and my listeners to my radio shows, need me to emit positivity, hope, sparkle. While this hasn’t always been my practice and sometimes seems impossible, it is always my intention. Like a cheetah running, I can usually manage short bursts before needing to recharge!

And then there are the rare few who welcome the truth. When I ask you, “How are you?” I want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I want you to put your hand on a metaphorical bible and in the court of love, tell me how you really are. Why? Because I am genuinely interested in your well-being.

And by “I” I mean “Moodscope” – we are genuinely interested in your well-being. That’s what our blog support structure is for – to help you deal with your truth.

In this small, safe environment, it is safe to admit the truth – it’s welcome here because you are welcome here.

So, how are you today?

 

Planting Trees

Planting Trees

The wise teacher asks, “When is the best time to plant a tree?”

I can let you into a secret: the answer they are seeking is, “20 years ago!”

So, when is the second best time to plant a tree? Of course we could say, “19 years ago…” and so on, but the answer I am holding onto today is… “Today!”

Having seen the Dalai Lama recently, several important matters became far clearer to me. One was that “Happiness” is definitely an inside job. Happiness has surprisingly little to do with external materialism. The undoubted value of material wealth is nevertheless eclipsed by: enriching relationships, being in the now, learning, growing, appreciating, giving, and creating a sense of purpose and direction. If I win the lottery this week, I shall be joyful, but that material wealth will only serve to fuel the other elements I’ve listed. Poverty, of course, can severely impact relationships, our ability to learn and grow, and can even sometimes make us reluctant to give. But money clearly isn’t the answer it’s been made out to be. It is not of prime importance.

A second important matter was that emotional change takes time. Becoming resilient takes time and experience and review and reflection. Resilience, like a tree, needs nourishment and nurturing. And so does learning to be happy.

I’d thought of planting financial trees that would help me in my later years, but I hadn’t thought of planting the seeds of becoming more happy, more resilient, more at peace. I certainly hadn’t considered that these trees might take 20 years to come to maturity. Of course, many trees can bear fruit within a few years – so I might be surprised by joy earlier than expected! However, the important lessons for me were that happiness really is up to me, and I need to be planting the seeds for the harvest I want now. With nourishment, those seeds can then grow and bear fruit year after year after year.

What trees would you like to plant? If money isn’t the answer we’d been promised, are we focusing on it too much? Is there a better use of our time?

No One Spoke

Brilliant on so many levels. Lovely prose that kissed my imagination.

Storyshucker

Friends and I enjoyed sun, sand, and surf with other beachgoers on a recent Saturday. Sitting slathered in sticky sunscreen beneath our umbrellas, we pointlessly brushed sand from our legs as we discussed evening plans. The seagulls overhead laughed louder than the swimmers splashing in nearby waves while those of us on the beach napped, read, or simply watched people. My friends discussed how relaxing it was and how nice it would be to sleep late the next morning.

Sleep late? I mentioned to them that we only get so many sunrises in a lifetime. Shouldn’t we get up to look at a few?

They stared blankly for a second then shook their heads in unison. No.

In the wee hours of the next morning, alone in the dark, I started the short walk from house to beach guided only by dim lights above the boardwalk. It was eerily quiet at…

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Rhythms Cycles and Ripples pt1

Rhythms, Cycles and Ripples

Sammy Davis Jnr said it,

“And the rhythm of life is a powerful beat,
“Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet,
“Rhythm in your bedroom, rhythm in the street,
“Yes, the rhythm of life is a powerful beat.”

[Song, “The Rhythm of Life.”]

There’s a rhythm and a cycle to your year, your Seasons, your month, your week, your day and night.

Every moment has its own rhythm.

And your personality has its own “Signature Rhythm”… something that sets ‘you’ apart by the way you walk, the way you talk, even the way you shrug your shoulders.

Or to sing again…

“The way you wear your hat.
“The way you sip your tea…

“The way your smile just beams.
“The way you sing off-key.
“The way you haunt my dreams…

“The way you hold your knife (do-do-do-do do-do).
“The way we danced until three.
“The way you’ve changed my life…”

[Song, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”]

There are many messages here, but I’d like to begin today with drawing our attention to circles that ripples make.

Life happens. Events happen like dropping a stone into the pond of our lives. The effects ripple out.

Some things we can control, some things we can influence, and some things are outside this in what we can call “The Circle of Concern”. Knowing the difference between these ripples or circles can really help respond with resilience. By focusing on what we can control and what we can influence, we can feel empowered. It’s not always possible to let go of those matters that are outside our control and influence yet still weigh upon our concerns. However, time is mercifully finite. If we choose to invest our finite time in giving attention to the circles of control and influence, the positive ripples will spread out and even tranform the ways we see the circle of concern.

To conclude this first in a series, I’d just say that there will be a rhythm and cycle to your day – a time in the day when you’ll feel more able to deal with ‘stuff’. I’m stronger, sharper, more effective in the morning. I know this. So, getting in-synch with this rhythm of life can make all the difference to working on what you can control and influence.

Here’s to perfect timing.

Joining the dots

Genius! Am I collecting more dots or connecting more dots? Love it!

asideview

My first blog was written in March 2014 and was partly inspired by the NHS Change day initiative, which encourages individuals, groups and organisations to make a pledge for positive change. Now a year on I’m reflecting back and looking at new connections made since then.

The whole initiative really captured my imagination, as I firmly believe in the power of one individual to inspire others and then through connections and networks to set off a chain reaction for the better.              People-Bulbs-1-01

This March 2015 Change day took place again and I made another pledge, which this year is to promote and share good
practice in patient experience in health and social care by using positively my personal experience as a patient with long-term conditions and my professional and voluntary connections. More detail can be found here.

http://changeday.nhs.uk/user_action/joining-the-dots/

I’ve recently, in February 2015, become…

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