The Moodscope Blog

27

February

WLTM

Saturday February 27, 2021


I have often wondered if I found myself single (no not wishful thinking ha ha. Sometimes maybe!) how would I describe myself and what qualities would I like in a new partner, temporary or permanent.

I don’t know the full details of how Tinder or Grinder work and it may be that those seeking relationships go by appearance only.

However in some print publications the relationships columns still have descriptions.

I’ve always wondered if I should write that I’m depressed or an insomniac and would like to met someone who is also depressed and an insomniac.

Or should I not mention these things?

The trouble would be that on the day we met, expectations would be high that I’d be cheerful and witty, sparkling etc. I might be having an off day! More than likely.

And do I want to meet a happy clappy cheerful person?

I’m not sure what I would write.

Probably I would warn them that I have tendency to have low moods but I can be cheerful on good days. I wouldn’t want to put them off. On the other hand I don’t want to disappoint on the first meeting so honesty is probably sensible.

Of course looks are important to many initially. And age! Oh dear lies come to mind.

How would you describe yourself to a potential partner, imagined (for me…) or real?

I suppose what I am trying to ask is how do we see ourselves and is it helpful to reveal how we feel to a potential date or should we leave it to fate, chance and surprise.

And what sort of person would you like to meet? Yes I know we’d all like George Clooney or Rihanna look alikes.

Jul
A Moodscope member.



Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


26

February

I want my mummy and daddy

Friday February 26, 2021


Recently I babysat a two and a half year old while her parents were at a wedding. She was fine till bedtime and screamed I want Mummy and daddy many many times.

I thought, how, no matter how old or young we are, whether our parents are alive or not, whether we had a close relationship or not, we may still want or need our parents on some level.

My own mother died 20 years ago this year my dad 14 years ago and I miss them a lot. I do not necessarily need them but when I was feeling the loss of my house and shop, I really wanted someone to comfort me. I did imagine my dad would say, why did you buy a wooden house surrounded by trees.  

A friend of mine whose mum died a year ago and with whom she had a challenging relationship, misses the fact that they could never tell each other how much they loved each other. She found a page in her mum’s diary saying how sad she was that they always argued. My friend misses the mother’s love she never knew but now knows existed.

My partner who was adopted at birth, never met his birth mother or birth father. He did not have a close relationship with the parents who brought him up, said he wished, when he went through the sudden end of his first marriage that he had a mum or dad who could have helped him.

This need for adults often occurs at a time of crisis when the thought of having someone older and wiser there to guide us is important.

I would like to know when you have wanted or needed your parents emotionally or practically? Were you surprised you wanted them?

Or are you someone who seeks out another person for comfort and reassurance?

Leah
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


25

February

You are enough

Thursday February 25, 2021


Life in lockdown 3 feels a little harder. We know people who got seriously ill from covid and those who experienced a mild dose. We know people worrying about every symptom and those awaiting test results. School is online again and those of us with children are living closely together with little chance of ‘time out’. We are exercising but we must keep within 5k from home to do so. We are seeing our friends and family online. Our work meetings are all on zoom. So too are our therapy sessions. 

My teenagers are desperately missing the social interaction with their friends and they are worrying about exams, mock exams and school projects. I miss my girlfriends. I miss the banter of dinners, group swims and book club. I miss the excitement of buying tickets for a music gig and the night itself - full of laughter and dancing. I miss coffee and the chats with my colleagues before a work meeting.

Thankfully, we live near the beach and close to woodland and I am taking daily walks with the dog - and sometimes with a teenager or two! The other day, on the beach, it was cold but the sky was blue and the sea was inviting. The dog and I came to a stretch covered in stones and pebbles. As I stumbled over the myriad of grey stones, my eye caught a brightly coloured one. A stone painted pink with gold around its edge. So pretty and, as I peered closer, I saw a word written in silvery letters: ‘enough’. I immediately suspected someone had painted ‘enough is enough’ and my inner cynic smiled. 

But, on closer inspection, the pink, gold and silvery stone read: ‘you are enough’. Those words momentarily took my breath away. I grinned, I laughed, I giggled. Part of me wanted to pick it up and run. I could have - there was no one around. But the feeling inside me was… dare I say it… happiness. Yes, I felt… happy. Some stranger had painted this stone and placed it there for me to see. Not only for me of course. But for every person who went for a walk on the beach that day. How long would it remain here? Would the tide carry it out? Would the seawater wash the paint off?  I left the beautiful stone there. I would love someone else to feel the happiness and lightness I did when I saw it.

A random act of kindness. I am now looking out for a few random acts I can do for others. I would like to pass on that warm, bright feeling… 

And for anyone feeling low or lonely or lockdown-heavy today, I would like to remind you of the words on that magical stone. 
So simple. So true. 

You are enough…

Salt water mum x
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


24

February

The Day I Hated My Husband

Wednesday February 24, 2021


I will start with a disclaimer. Mr Wednesday is kind, loving, generous and hard-working. He’s a good husband. I’m very happy with the man I sometimes call “Himself.”

And now, on with the story.

I have said before that, through this lockdown, my husband and I have taken regular lunchtime walks along the river. Last Tuesday was no exception.
The sun was shining but there was a bitter wind blowing and both the air and the weather forecast carried the threat of rain. We set out late morning and walked briskly.

The day had started well, so I couldn’t quite understand why I was suddenly in a bad mood. My husband made some comment about a neighbour and I promptly bit his head off. He retreated into hurt silence for a few minutes but then, never one to bear a grudge, started the conversation going again.

The poor man had to endure 40 minutes of monosyllabic mutters and empty silences. Everything he said annoyed me. It was a conscious effort to keep my mouth closed over all the rage and venom churning up inside.

We stopped and looked at the river, now back to its placid, pre-flood, gentle flow. I imagined giving him a little push into that cold water – just to teach him. Then, I realised, I’d have to help him out. It wouldn’t be a life-threatening situation, but we’d both get very wet, very cold and very uncomfortable. I decided I wasn’t serious about pushing him in. Not really.

We turned around at the playing field on the edge of town and trudged back. I zipped my lips tight over all the vile vomit of insults longing to spew over him. The walk home was a fuming volcanic misery.

We turned into our road and started to walk towards our house. Two hundred yards away I stumbled. A stabbing pain behind my left eye stopped me dead. The vomit of hatred was replaced by real nausea. As the physical symptoms of the migraine hit, my bad mood evaporated like steam from a kettle. I had to get home fast, and I had to lie down in the dark.

Some people get visual disturbances before a migraine – zigzags or flashing lights; it’s called an aura. My aura is neurological, and I don’t always identify it. If I can catch it early enough and take medication before the physical symptoms descend, then the severity of the attack is reduced. With pain relief, the mood dissipates – almost instantly.

My point here is that my mood – the annoyance, hatred and venomous thoughts – was caused by a physical condition. When people tell us that we can control our thoughts and emotions, sometimes we can’t.

I do believe we can control our actions however, which is why we both reached home warm and dry. And not just because the rain held off until we were safely indoors.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


23

February


How often do you find yourself knowing what you should be doing, but unable to feel it, or motivate yourself to just get on and do it?

The last nine months have been a real roller-coaster of highs and lows that has made me re-examine my depression of the last seven years - that grew out of the existential angst that has been ever-present since my teens - and think whether there are three guys - adding a “high” guy to the low one and the “normal one”.

So while I wait for access to NHS psychological services, I am going through the same old “stories” with a case worker who is there to make sure I am helping myself. But there’s the rub, to quote good ‘ol Hamlet. I know what I should be doing to help myself - I don’t need someone else to do that for me!

I can tell you all about the four pillars of happiness, and explain how my practice of Tai Chi fits all of them - but it doesn’t help me get out and do a “set” first thing in the morning.

I know about “eating the frog” and how to schedule tasks in a day for optimal performance - but it doesn’t help me get started on a day my “get up and go” has gone.

And as for destructive feedback cycles of stories we tell our selves, I am a master at identifying those and how they keep me trapped in unhelpful loops - but it doesn’t stop me repeating them.

I know the theory - what I need in some emotional connection that will help me move forward.

What do you need to help you put theory into practice?

Just some guy, you know
A Moodscope member.

ps. If you are wondering about the title to the blog, it’s another one of those stories. I have grade 8 music theory, but scored less than 15% on my last oral exam! I can tell you all about the principles of chord progressions, but can’t clap a rhythm or sing/hear an interval in my head! Theory over practice strikes again.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


22

February

The Road More Scenic

Monday February 22, 2021


Roads are often used as a powerful metaphor for our life’s journey.

M Scott Peck wrote the famous, “The Road Less Travelled.”
Robert Frost wrote a favourite poem of mine, “The Road Not Taken.”

But I’ve chosen a different road that I’d like to share with you. It’s the longer way to go, which I call, “The Road More Scenic.”

[I’ve recorded a short relaxation video to share these beautiful places with you: https://youtu.be/E6OIAUSZkVM.I hope you enjoy it.]

On business that took me to Woodfalls in the New Forest last week, I deliberately took the Scenic Route allowing me the joy of the Avenue of Beech Trees at Moor Crichel (twice) as well as part of the Avenue of Beech Trees at Badbury Rings (twice though not shown on the video.)

I suspect 25 minutes was added to my journey (with Lady Penelope riding shotgun). In return for that investment, my spirit and soul were fed, and my body too with a picnic in the car in the pouring rain outside St James' Church, Alderholt... magic (thought sad that St James is no longer, "Open for Prayer.")

Other high points include the Pyramid of Moss and Brick near Hale Park House - I have no idea what this fascinating construction is for. Perhaps you can guess if you watch the video.

Breamore Mill - stunningly squatting beside the River Avon and astride the mill race. The lit Christmas Tree was a nice touch too.

The Tree of Life and Hope at Wimborne St Giles (my title... they may just call it, "Bob," or, "Uncle.")

Ten thousand Snowdrops and enough Mistletoe to bruise your lips for a Century. I’ve never seen so much Mistletoe.

En passant, spotting of the ruined Knowlton Church and the Philosopher's Tower (also not featured), Dorset landmarks dipped in history.

To conclude, the Norman bridge at White Mill, over the River Stour, which is likely to be the oldest bridge in Dorset. On this day, the Stour swollen by so many showers… a raging, rushing, river commuting to the sea.

Then there were Egrets. Egrets? I've had a few...

My point? Enjoy the journey... the destination may be a bit grim and final.

On our route we were overtaken several times by drivers clearly in more of a hurry... but for what?

Press Pause and enjoy the journey.

Now, it’s your turn. What treasures do you delight in when you go out of your way to take The Road More Scenic?

[And if you fancy another uplifting bonus, check out this gorgeous song by Darrell Scott, “And The River Is Me.” https://youtu.be/ZieYi8t_m3M ]

I look forward to reading about your treasures.

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


21

February

Hand-me-downs 

Sunday February 21, 2021


Were you ever compared to anybody when you were young? Did you feel a sense of pride or perhaps dread when it happened? 
 
I was compared to my mother. Everybody said I looked like her even though I couldn’t see it at all. This made me emulate her, even in tiny ways. And each time there was a new baby, there was a round of phrases, which I think people say because that is the expected thing to say, rather that it being the thing they might say, if they thought for just a moment. The phrases did, and do, make me twist inside. 
 
“Oh now, who does she look like?” 
“He looks just like…” 
“She’s got blahblah’s hands” 
“The nose and round the chin, it’s just like…” 
“He’s definitely a [insert family surname here]” 
 
I made sure that mantle was not handed down to my children. Put a little shield around them and I’d cheerfully counteract with “I can’t see it… she’s just herself”.  (Actually, that’s not entirely true, I do remember telling my son recently that he is an elegant man, with elegant manners, like my father.) 
 
It struck me recently that perhaps many of us, perhaps all of us, live with this restriction on ourselves. Have you paused, ever, and considered whether you are living completely ‘you’? Or are you wearing hand-me-downs? 
 
Love from
The room above the garage. 

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


20

February

Button Factory

Saturday February 20, 2021


I was driving to a temporary job since I am forced to supplement my disability income. This was day 3 and the previous day had been so chaotic I nearly had a panic attack and breakdown. So as I am driving there I suddenly hit an invisible wall deep inside. I have three days of dietary work left with little to no direction and cantankerous, foreign staff barking orders through masks and shields. Myself in same garb and getup, cannot hear through the barrier, adding to the struggle. 

So I hit the CPTSD wall again: cannot do it. Cannot go forward. Leave. Leave. Leave. Flight flight flight. Take care of me if no one else. I turn around and I go home. It is not ever a lie to call in sick. Not for me.

Guilt is still overtaking me. Why can't I just do this. I gritted my teeth did I not? Prayed? Hoped? Needed the supplementary income? 

I have considered roommates, but oh the specific roommates they would have to be. Healthier than I for one, as I have zero wish to be dealing with others with unresolved, unaddressed mental health issues, unless they are very aware and are doing what they can to be healthy. It simply hasn't happened yet, but it may help with the loneliness. I will screen screen screen before I scream. 

My life goal of simply marrying a rich country star and touring with him as his harmony singer has long awaited fruition and fulfilment. Screaming crowds and crowded areas with noise noise noise... two triggers of CPTSD right there. That ought to go well. Or not. 

I just want to work alone in a button factory stamping holes into plain plastic discs and inventing fancier ones on good days. Some days would be rhinestone and cubic zirconium days, glittering embellishments carefully constructed to be attached to dress clothes. Some days it would be back to stamping discs. It just depends on what the demon CPTSD is up to.

I even changed the meaning of the words to say Coping Promises To Sustain Direction. And most days... it does. I can. 

Bailey
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


19

February

The time when…

Friday February 19, 2021


I heard a Ted talk where the person said by just writing down the words ‘The time when’ it would help you to remember things and maybe see a pattern. The suggestion was to write down ten sentences, then narrow them down to three that interested you, then pick one to write in depth.

For today's blog, I was thinking just go with ‘The time when’. You may want to just keep on writing or you may want to write a few lines beginning with the words ‘The time when’. You may think about what you experienced, what you saw, what you heard, what you felt, or just see where those three words take you.

I find whenever I do this exercise, I get different memories.

The time when my friendship group at high school told me that I was no longer a member of the group.
The time when I was caught in a rip on a beach and was saved by a man on a surfboard.
The time when I was not allowed in an adult singing group that was meant for everyone because the teacher said I was so out of tune I was putting everyone off.

I just wrote moments and did not elaborate. You may want to examine one memory in detail. Up to you. I must admit most of my memories are sad or embarrassing ones. It is funny how I recall those and not the happy ones.

Now it is your turn to start with  the words”The time when " and see where it takes you. Try not to edit, just what pops in your mind. It doesn’t have to be in the first person, or could be about how you observed someone else.

The time when my brother was hit by a car after riding his scooter down our steep driveway after being told not to.

A couple of questions, as it wouldn't be me without a question - how did you feel about what you wrote? Were you surprised what you wrote ?

Leah
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


18

February

The Dating Game

Thursday February 18, 2021


A friend was dismayed when her divorced daughter tried online dating. She thought the usual ways of finding a partner were safer. Her fears were groundless. A suitable man appeared quickly. Now he’s a much-loved son-in law, husband and step-father.  
  
Were the traditional ways preferable?  
  
Workplace Romances. 

My supervisor when I was Saturday girl at Woolworths was smitten with the Assistant Manager, but felt he was out of her reach. He was very dapper, quite the gentleman. One day  he asked if she would like to have tea with his family after work.  

Next day, I heard how it went. She arrived at his house to find his mother wearing just knickers, scrubbing her armpits with a dishcloth, over a sink full of dirty dishes. The place was like a tip. Taken into the “best” front room, full of his squabbling siblings, she  dreaded eating anything cooked in that kitchen.  
  
Thankfully, one of the kids was sent to the local chippie. Eventually , mother appeared in a skimpy nightie, threw a newspaper package at her and said “Yours is two and six”.  Her dreamboat was so engrossed in the television he never noticed her slipping out. 
  
Join a Club. 
 
Despite my father being a card-carrying member of the Tory party, I was easily persuaded by a friend to visit the Labour party social club, having been promised some nice older boys. Indeed we quickly got chatted up by two chaps, Terry and Dave aged around 18, we were 14, but looked older. We agreed to go for a drive into the country and lunch in a restaurant on Sunday.  
  
Eileen and I arrived at the meeting place, each  provided a cover to parents, explaining our finery.  We were hoping for a sports car, or maybe a cute Mini, when a rusty cloud of fumes pulled up, an ancient motor bike and sidecar, WW2 vintage. The two men were in full camouflage gear on the bike, while we, beehives and skirts crushed, crammed into the grotty sidecar.  
  
After a long journey we arrived at what looked like a lunar landscape, thick dust, big craters, hills made of mud. It was a motor bike scramble. The only females there, we huddled on a plank, unable to talk over the noise while our beaus drove around. A miserable couple of hours later, frozen and coughing, we enjoyed a lovely lunch of corned beef doorstep sandwiches and tin mugs of tea in the shack. We declined another date, and Terry sent me a letter saying we were two stupid stuck-up schoolgirls.  
  
Matchmaking friends.  
  
My friend Patsy was an attractive Italian lady, published poet, keen concert-goer. Her ex was a lecherous philanderer, leaving her wary of men. Her good  neighbours insisted she would love Patrick, their widower pal in America. Lifelong friends, they said he was perfect, so much in common. Photos showed a handsome silver fox, a real southern gentleman. He was coming here for work, keen to meet Patsy, see the sights together. Lengthy phone calls preceded  his arrival, ”We really connected, you know?” she sighed.
  
Settled into his hotel, he phoned, and Patsy described the itinerary. Then, out of the blue he said “Honey we have talked about so many things, and I feel I know you already, but I have not asked you the most important question of all. Do you like to F***?” She slammed the phone down in tears, gutted. Her friends were mortified and uncomprehending. 

There was a happy ending though, it came about when a much  younger tree surgeon came to do some work for her.  
  
So come on Moodscopers. Would you leave it to fate, or let the internet find the right person for you? 

Val
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


17

February

High and Dry Ice

Wednesday February 17, 2021


In my teens and early twenties, I went to a lot of rock concerts – many in small venues.

I remember the smoke and fog effects produced by dry ice. The stage would swirl with white vapour, the dusty smell would prick your nostrils, the heat and excitement of all those packed bodies would heighten your senses, and the first notes would fill not only your ears but your whole being, as the band stepped forward out of that mist like eerie supernaturals from another sphere.

And the high bit? Well, there was more than just the smell of dry ice and warm bodies, so I assume many people around me were high, or at least a bit mellow. I was honestly far too innocent in those days to even notice.

It was an entirely unconnected thing which put me in mind of those old days: just the title of this blog.

My husband and I have a daily walk along the river. The Ouse flows just five minutes away. It is a broad and deceptively gentle river most of the time, but after rain it runs fast and mean, and breaks its low banks, spreading a sheet of water like polished pewter over the flood meadows as far as the eye can see. Our usual walk along the river is unpassable even in wellies, and the woods resemble mangrove swamps; the tops of the wooden benches along the path sticking up from the water like ribs and staves of wrecked and abandoned ships.

The weather has been bitter, and the floods iced over. When the river levels dropped and we could again take our walk, we noticed something: where the surface of the floods had been, the ice was still there, without support and no with water beneath, hanging high, dry, and brittle as frozen leaves.

It made me think of the things I bring from the past that are useless now; even things that are harmful. As a child, living in my grandfather’s austere household, emotions were not tolerated. Children were seen but not heard, and mealtimes were a terrifying ordeal as we children ate in silence, hoping desperately not to be noticed. Children could not show anger and weeping was not tolerated. This learned behaviour has carried on into my adult life. I stifle anger – which leads to hidden, boiling resentments – and rarely shed tears, so my children think me cold and uncaring.

Those emotions are frozen, like ice.

Ice has a function, it acts as insulation for the water beneath, thus protecting plants and aquatic life. Repressing my anger and tears as a child performed a valuable function too, but it no longer serves me and is now harmful to my adult relationships.

I remember those rock concerts with great affection, childhood mealtimes less so. But it makes me wonder what other behaviours from my past are like that ice, left high and dry; dangerous to me and to those whom I love.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


16

February

Plumbing the depths of boredom

Tuesday February 16, 2021


I’m bored! What shall I do? First, write about it, might produce a solution, and use up half an hour before going shopping (car still an igloo). Add ‘treats’ to shopping; spending nothing, I don’t need to haunt the ‘Special Offers’ shelves. So, why the sudden ‘angst’, when I thought I was ‘coping’, and learning the real meaning of the word ‘acceptance’?

I had a phone call on Thursday, from the manager of a ‘Residence’ for the elderly, not an actual Care Home. He said they were ‘open’. I was most surprised, because virtually nothing else is. He said I needed to have a Covid test. So I booked in, and e-mailed my GP re vaccine and testing. He phoned me back yesterday, in absolute horror. He said I must not consider such a venture, he reckons this wave of Covid has not reached its peak in France, and an old people’s home the worst environment. I asked him how they could make the offer, thought it was against government policy. He said these establishments were desperate for money, and were taking risks but not with me, he stipulated. He asked why I wanted to go, he’s a super doctor and a good friend. I said I was desperate for somebody to talk to. I was preparing books, computer, knitting, aiming to grab people to improve my French as soon as I got there. I am going to him on Monday re: vaccine, I have official notification. He says he will talk to me about measures taken about ‘solitude’ then, did not know there were any - should be interesting.

Having seen a bit of ‘light’, that is human contact face to face (don’t know how they deal with social distancing, bit of a puzzle) I now feel let down with a bump. So, nothing has changed – except the four days of snow have seen me seriously ‘imprisoned’. I dared not go out, roads not cleared, watched small boy slide down my road on ice. There are younger people in my road, but nobody enquired if I needed anything; they were out and about – leaving me muttering more than ever about lack of community spirit around here.

I have quite a list of people regularly in phone or e-mail contact – but once a fortnight catches up on what news we have. If I talk on the phone for an hour I get a sore throat! Will lose the use of speech! I have very complicated knitting, necessitates concentration. Wide choice radio programmes. Crosswords, SUDOKU, logic puzzles – going through the books ‘dumped’ on me. Chucked one out, Colin Wilson’s ‘The Outsider’. Described himself as a ‘phenomenological existentialist’, sort that out. The Future Learn courses (thank you grand-daughter) have been a real saving grace, inter-active. Gardening is off – endless rain, now snow. Not just that I am a ‘fine-weather’ gardener. But rain has swollen door to garden so much can’t even get in! Suggestions on a post-card please.

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


15

February

Towards Mood Mastery

Monday February 15, 2021



Lex has provided us today with a reminder of how the Moodscope test can help everyone. I hope you have a chance to watch the video (https://youtu.be/gnTDUFLqF6s">https://youtu.be/gnTDUFLqF6s) or listen to the podcast. (https://www.buzzsprout.com/1396123/7855498">https://www.buzzsprout.com/1396123/7855498).

The Moodscope Team

In my lifetime, in this country, my generation has enjoyed peace as the dominant state of the Nation. The majority of us have enjoyed prosperity beyond all generations before us, and we have experienced plenty. These are generalisations but useful ones.

Outwardly, we have peace and plenty, yet inwardly the majority still lack peace – leading, instead, what Thoreau described as lives of quiet desperation.

Moodscope is an instrument that points us towards Mood Mastery. The test can be accessed as often as we wish, and it scopes out how strong we are on 20 indicators of ‘Mood’. 10 are helpful in moving us towards Mood Mastery, and 10 will set us back on the path to inner peace.

In the video and audio version of this blog, I will walk through the 20 indicators in depth for the sake of those who have yet to discover the value of Moodscope and how it can help them.

In this blog, meant for existing members, I want to offer new hope. It is my personal hope that I am moving in the direction of Emotional Mastery, that I will finish my life’s journey in better emotional health than at any other time in my experience. I can imagine this like a huge arrow pointing towards future inner peace and well-being.

Pointing in the same direction are 10 arrows when I am interested, inspired, excited, active, determined, strong, proud (in the good way of being pleased with an achievement), enthusiastic, alert, and attentive.

Against these positively energetic friends are set 10 fiends, hell-bent on stealing my energy, killing my joie de vivre and destroying all hope for peace. They are the arrows of hostility, feeling afraid, scared, irritable, nervous, upset, distressed, jittery, ashamed, and guilty.

Here’s the fresh hope IF, like me, your BIG arrow points in the direction of inner peace and well-being. The hope is that only a slight change can win the day. If we have set our hearts upon emotional mastery – that is the dominant course for our life. Knowing our friends and our foes means that we can intentionally pay them attention one at a time.

Anything I can do to increase my interest in life will help tip the balance in favour of positive change. Anything I can do to decrease my sense of feeling hostile will also help tip the balance in favour of positive change. Strengthen my friends, weaken my foes – both ways work.

Thus, my call to action for myself and to anyone else who is keen to see a shift is to use the test to ‘test’ our current position. Then to choose a single mood indicator – fair or foul – to shift today. Choose a realistic target. For example, I am unlikely to feel excited for a long time because of our current challenges but I can well imagine feeling proud of something I’ve achieved. I may set out to achieve something I can feel more proud of to lift that score.

I know that walking in Nature reduces any sense of being jittery or irritable, thus I may decide, instead, to go for a longer walk than normal.

The same psychologist who came up with the arrow model – Kurt Lewin - also discovered that sharing goals made it ten times more likely that we will take action. If you choose to, you could share your single intent today so that we can cheer you on and cheer you up!

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


14

February

Love, age 9 

Sunday February 14, 2021


I remember receiving my first Valentine card. I’d be somewhere around age 9. I was in my room when I heard something slip in through the door. Then I heard the gate click shut. A white envelope had been posted, and it was unsealed, just folded to hide the contents. My name on the front. I opened it. Inside was a piece of red paper. It had been cut into the shape of a heart, folded in half with the long part folded again so it would fit the envelope. It read “to the lovely Room, from someone Coles” and there were four kisses. I laughed, it was the loveliest thing! Owen Coles was the most handsome boy I’d ever known. Twinkling eyes. An enormous smile. He had sent ME a piece of red paper. Cut it out himself. Written it himself. Posted it himself. 

He has passed on from this world now. And I will never, ever, forget him. I will never forget how his smile could literally light you up. And not just because I was in love with him, but because he was that kind of person. Old, young, male, female, friends or strangers, everybody he met would fall a little bit in love with him. I will always be a little bit in love with him and I will never, ever, throw away that piece of red paper, or even its envelope.

This Valentine’s Day I do not expect to receive a card or even a piece of paper. I’m not sending a card either. But I will take a little trip down memory lane, remembering cards received before. I’ve kept them so I might even dig them out. They’re beautifully tacky things, one of them is padded (and in a box!) and one is enormous, but they remind me of fun times, when love’s young dream made efforts to sneak declarations of love to one another. There is something to be cherished from the youthful, carefree but utterly bold, and meant, declaration of ‘love’.

Go on. Take a trip down the lane. Who did you send a card to? Who sent you a card? Who did you wish had sent you a Valentine? Did any dreams come true?

Just for a moment, let’s dip into a bit of escapism - it’s restful in here!

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


13

February

Stuck!

Saturday February 13, 2021


Have you ever been stuck in a toilet? I have been stuck twice. Both are funny after the event but one was funny at the time too!
 
Our downstairs loo is built in under the stairs so it’s not the biggest of spaces, but it’s not too claustrophobic either.
 
I don’t normally shut the door fully when using the loo but I did on this occasion. This was the cue my cat needed to start one of his attention seeking antics - clawing the carpet outside the door. He knows it’s bad behaviour and will run away in that way that naughty cats do - a bit sideways at speed taunting you to chase after them but with their tails up to signify friendship. Only this time there was no way I could chase after him because the door wouldn’t open! He had clawed the carpet in such a way that it had lifted from the grippers and created a very effective block. If he had clawed at the hinge end of the doorway I might have been able to open the door, but his choice of location was perfect to lock me in. I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation - how ridiculous to be trapped in the loo by a cat!
 
He returned to the scene of his crime and miaowed at me through the door. I acknowledged his presence and we had a short conversation about what a naughty boy he was - those with “talking” cats will understand this, everyone else will think I’m mad.
 
I knew I couldn’t get out of this on my own so started to bang on the door and shout “Help!” in the hope that my partner would hear me. At least he was in. After what seemed like an eternity (but was probably only a couple of minutes) I was released from my temporary prison. He thought it funny too, but said at least I had something to sit on, access to water from the sink, and of course access to a loo if I was stuck for any length of time - there are worse places to be stuck in.
The cat was nowhere to be seen of course!
 
There are no real lessons to learn from this but I hope you found it funny and it helped to lighten your mood today.

Have you ever been stuck somewhere and found it funny?
 
Little Drop
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


12

February

Talking to myself

Friday February 12, 2021


I read recently that writing in the 3rd person in one’s journal helps one to organise ones thoughts.  3rd person is to say Leah or she did this rather than I did this which is first person.

It also found that by silently talking to yourself in the third person during stressful times may help you control emotions without any additional mental effort than what you would use for first-person self-talk - the way people normally talk to themselves.

Talking or writing in the 3rd person may help people get some distance from their experiences, which can often be useful for coping with  emotions.
This research makes sense to me as I have often talked to my self in the third person and over the years have written letters, now emails to myself. I have written a blog about it.

I have found that writing to myself in the 3rd person especially when I am upset makes it easy to explain how I feel and to try and work out what is happening.

Sometimes I am amazed by what I discover when I use the 3rd person. Since the fires I have used writing letters to myself as a way of expressing myself. Sometimes issues that I thought did not worry about come up and I realise I have not really coped with them but just buried them.

The results suggest that third-person self-talk may constitute a relatively effortless form of coping with emotions.

I realise some people will feel uncomfortable with writing this way so it is not for everyone.

I thought it was interesting that there was research into something I had been doing for years but felt it was maybe a bit weird!

I wonder if you have ever tried talking  and or writing to yourself as if you were another person? Did it help or did it feel uncomfortable? Would you consider trying it?

Leah
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


11

February

Breathing and being alive

Thursday February 11, 2021

My psychiatrist caught me in the waiting room writing away. He said if you do at least three of these a day you're doing okay:

Exercise. Communication. Learning and giving. 

He made me think that day and I have done these things ever since. 

Age fifty seven and after early diagnosis of depression and anxiety, borderline personality disorder, bipolar, PTSD and OCD and now complex PTSD from my person centred counsellor. Also a mention of Dyspraxia because of Irlens from the eye doctor.

I’ve finally cracked it, determined to escape the feelings of mistrust and anger and anything to do with fear that was blighting my very existence and desire to live.

For 11 months now I have been medication free and can actually say I love being alive. My psychiatrist rang me out of the blue and I thanked him so much. 

Exercise… Bike riding and walking. Tick
Communication... Daughters and now Moodscope. Tick
Learning... Welsh. Headspace app.Tick
Giving… That was a hard one originally, but he said you give to your daughters. Now I also give the local woodland a tidy up five days a week and now I can add MOODSCOPE! Tick

He concluded I didn't need medication but said he couldn't say I never would. Which has made me all the more determined to carry out these four daily things.

From

A little light house
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


10

February

The Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Jar

Wednesday February 10, 2021


When I wrote my blog on gratitude last week, this story came to mind. Perhaps you might know it already, but I will give an abbreviated version here.

There once was a woman who lived in a vinegar jar. It was small and cramped and she was very unhappy.

‘If only I could live in one of those little cottages on the hill, with roses around the door and a garden, how happy I should be!’ she cried.

The Happiness Fairy flew past and heard this cry. She decided to make the woman happy and granted her wish.

A year later the fairy checked up on the woman and was distressed to hear she was just as unhappy as she had been before.

‘Oh, if only I could live in a neat town house with a maid to open the door and do the cooking and cleaning: oh, how happy I should be then!’

So, the fairy granted her wish.

The next year she wanted a house in the country and her own carriage; the year after that, she wanted to be a duchess in a stately home, and she ended up in a sumptuous palace as queen of all the land.

She was still unhappy, however, and finally the Happiness Fairy gave up.

‘Well, you are no happier now than you were in your vinegar jar,’ she said, and promptly popped the woman right back where she had started.

It is said the secret of happiness is not to have what you want, but to want what you have.

This does not mean merely accepting our lot or relinquishing ambition, or the desire to improve things. Humans are hard-wired to reach for more than we can grasp; it is why we no longer live in caves. It means instead recognising that achieving an ambition or obtaining a desire does not necessarily bring happiness with it. For me, I know the feeling of pride or joy I experienced on passing my exams or finishing my first novel lasted less than 24 hours. At the end of that time, I had a new goal or new desire; writing ‘The End,’ only meant another four beginnings.

It is more difficult for those who had what they wanted, and it was taken away from them, by illness, by bereavement, by fire, flood or pandemic. They may feel happiness was stolen from them. I have never suffered such a loss and feel utterly inadequate talking about happiness to those who have.

Yet, we all know people whose life circumstances are bleak, but who continue to exude peace, serenity, and happiness; and we all know people who seem to have everything, yet complain bitterly about the colour, flavour and scent of that everything.

I feel incredibly grateful for all my many blessings. I want my happiness to be now and not based on some future dream.

I don’t want the Happiness Fairy to get impatient with me!

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


9

February

Confused

Tuesday February 9, 2021


As you may know from my previous blog posts, I’ve been receiving therapy - 16 weekly sessions and these have now finished. I guess I felt better on some occasions during therapy but at other times worse! I don’t seem to think that it’s completely helped to be honest, I write this today feeling completely lost in my mind.

I’ve also now got the keys to my new home and also in flux as haven’t started my new work position. So I’m writing this feeling confused. Lost. Upset with work because I can’t seem to have the constant motivation as some other colleagues do. I hate being depressed, hate how I don’t seem to be able to understand my depression or what exactly triggers it.

So new home, new job (soon)… should I not feel some achievement or contentment? I’m confused!!! What do I have to do to feel any kind of normality? Depression makes me stupid, makes me numb and makes be the person I’ve never wanted to be.

So I continue to be depressed…

Does anyone else feel like this?

Hugo
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


8

February

Wisdom vs Wishdom

Monday February 8, 2021


[To listen to an audio version of this blog post please click here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1396123/7720555]

Are you ready to allow something wonderful to happen?

Dreams, goals, and control are all good things. It’s great to work hard towards a specific goal and then to achieve it, and even better to enjoy what we achieve! This is good. It’s rather magical when our wishes come true through our own efforts – we deserve it. I call this “Wishdom” – the pursuit of our dreams regardless of the wisdom of them.

But, “Be careful what you wish for.”

It is also potentially deceptive. Too much success using this system can deceive us into thinking we can control more than we can. We can even believe that we can achieve anything we want to. This is not the whole truth. And along this path disappointment awaits in ambush because it doesn’t always work. We can even come to believe that because we have worked hard, we deserve our desired result every time. The concept of ‘worthiness’ can too easily become a curse.

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I’m too busy”? Do you remember when your children or children you knew were rushing about so much, they couldn’t hear you? Too often, too many of us are too busy to listen. We use force to achieve what we desire and believe we are driven to achieve.

For much of the time, this is good. It takes force to develop muscle strength. Developing skill takes practice! Birds, too, expend effort to capture their food. My favourite example is the seagulls around here who have learned to paddle the grass to replicate what the worms think are rain. The worms arise and meet their demise! The seagulls invest effort and are rewarded.

I have also seen force fail. I remember watching children, learning to crawl, who would crawl in reverse. When they got stuck, they would simply apply more force – ineffectively. No amount of extra force – working harder – would produce what they wished for. Their wishdom failed when adult wisdom would have prevailed. They needed an alternative strategy.

Birds work hard. They are really focused. But they also experience the joy of discovery and they learn to sing. Every day, the fact that they pause, look, and listen leads them to surprising sources of new food. Who knows what benevolent gardener will decide overnight to commit to feeding the birds? The day before, only a bare garden… next day, a feast day. Thus, the pause, the listening, the looking leads to discovery. This is undeserved. This is not worked hard for. This is allowed.

Where did the energy come from with the example of the Benevolent Gardener? Not with the birds! They could only allow the opportunity to emerge. They did not work for this, they only allowed themselves the pause and awareness to discover it.

The birds learn to find the flow where the energy goes.

If you are working hard at the moment and getting nowhere, it may be that you are like the toddler crawling in reverse who has got themselves stuck. No amount of extra effort, extra hours, or extra money is going to get you a good result. Press Pause!

Become quiet.

Listen.

Look.

Discover.

Wisdom is always whispering.

Step into Wisdom’s flow and allow success. This will give you more faith in yourself and in Benevolence in the Universe… a Universe waiting to support your true direction.

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


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