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Do I exist? Thursday October 15, 2015

No room! No room! They cried out when they saw Alice coming. 'There's plenty of room!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm chair at one end of the table.

How well I know how she felt, but could I be wrong?

Clearly those around in the table acted as though they did not need or want her presence. And how did that make her feel? Not good, but was their reaction 'reactive'? As in, had no one before ever made that contact with them - that they felt threatened? Or, not withstanding their negativity, was she cheeky to go where she was not invited?

Whatever was going on here, what you and I have to think about is how we react to the world around us:

Is the world so against us that we come out in anger... that someone has threatened us?

Are we not sure anyone is talking to us because we don't think we exist and so don't respond to anything or anyone?

Carefully conscious that we may not be welcome?


Is everyone our friend so we smile at them without knowing their value?

Extreme - ok - but what is in our heads is how we react. The message for me is that if I am strong in my head, I can be strong in my actions/reactions. I might feel weak - but why? Someone has to be brave or we are always at odds! When I am really brave I don't get knocked back many times!

It's not all about us as individuals! Wow. Big thinking! Any interaction, any perception involves two people (minimum) and is a two way street, in what we perceive and what the other person also perceives.

Alice saw seats and was not invited to join but chose to do so, to her chagrin in the end. Maybe she should not have done so... But it was important to the storyteller that she did and the purpose of the story was to draw attention to some of the oddities of life, many and various as they are. And irrelevant as they ultimately are too. After all this is just a kiddie bedtime story...

My message is not kiddie time, it's for all of us struggling to live a proper life, not one dictated by outside influences but led by our hearts and our heads.

We have a habit of making more of things that hit us than we should. I know I need to lighten up, stay in the moment, be grateful for what I am/have, serve others and generally "get over myself" and if I came across such a table. What would I do or you?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Leah Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 8:37am

Alice Alice Alice

Great blog, lots to ponder.
I will focus on one thing,
"but what is in our heads is how we react" this is so true. I can convince myself not to join a table or go out, because I say 'I won't cope , people will stare, I will cry".
If I am confident I can cope. The thing is, what is in my head- sometimes depends on how I have reacted in the past, how I am feeling, and the reactions of others to me.
Curiouser and curiouser . As usual lots to think about. Thanks Alice.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 8:48am

Great Blog Alice. So meaningful to many of us who think too much and suffer setbacks for acting against ourselves, for doing things which we dare to or feel we ought to. For challenging the norm. I once turned up at what turned out to be an all male social gathering (unbeknown to innocent equality minded me). I was met with a sea of hostile male faces. Instinctively I felt I could join them as the only female and survive but the stares and in the end the advice not to stay (from work colleagues no less!) forced me to retreat. I felt awful and silly for days afterwards Nothing was said at work next morning!! A bit like Alice.

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 8:59am

Dear Anonymous, thank you for sharing that awful experience with us. You are not alone and not the first person to whom that has happened, I wonder if it ever happened to a man? But as you wrote it and put it out there, how do you feel now?

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 9:02am

You should feel very proud. Hang onto that thought - that you dared! Am who should really hang their heads in shame? Love Alice xx

Anonymous Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 9:43am

I have just written you a longish reply Alice and lost it. Oh nuisance! I am travelling today so have no time now to say it again! I wanted to say and will say it now that I know not all men are like this. We have lovely men on Moodscope who like my husband thought the disdain I was met with was dreadful. At a University too!! I am not sure if it could happen to a man in exactly the same way. Perhaps a man could tell us here? Thanks for your support A. I still feel sick when I recall this incident. I had to leave!!

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:08am

The peeps who should be totally ashamed of themselves are the chaps who made you feel so dreadful. If anyone who 'wasn't supposed to be at' a doo I was go out of my way to get them to join in and make them feel comfortable quickly. But - as you have said, it's not all men...anyone of any gender etc could be as hurtful. I just hope you can look back and think what tiny minds they fact think if them in cartoon miniature and maybe the incident can be consigned to the bin, after laughing at them. It is hard to remember that the perpetrators of unkindness, are the ones who are wrong...not you, Anon. Have a good day travelling today, Bear x

Hopeful One Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 8:52am

Oh my word Alice what a profound blog! So much in it to ponder and think about its going to take me a whole day!One thought that came to mind. Is it not the existence of the'outside' which confirms our existence to us on the 'Inside" good, bad,happy or sad?

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 9:00am

Wow, now you have me pondering. Thank you HO, Alice xx

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 8:55am

Leah, you have it exactly! How can we control our heads - positive thinking; mindful thinking; living in consciousness? No one technique fits all. That you say you are CONFIDENT that you can cope says to me that you are already there. Thank you for your positively. Alice xx

Debs Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 9:18am

Great blog Alice, I love it!

Oh how much time we waste thinking what others might be thinking about us and then what we should be thinking about what they might be thinking and what they might think if they knew what we thought... ;-)

Every new interaction and every new situation is a new chance to be the person you want to be. I am trying to hear the noise in my head that tells me all the rubbish (the machine I call it but it's sometimes called saboteur or monkey mind because it's our primitive brain trying to keep us safe), say 'thank you machine but I'll be okay' and then getting on with the event, gathering, work situation, whatever...

More and more I've also started to take the vulnerable approach by telling people what has been going on in my head... mostly they say 'oh god, I thought that too!!" , it breaks the ice and an instant connection is made. After all, we are all the same, my thoughts are yours - as is proven by wonderful Moodscope and the fact we all find we face the same challenges.

Have a lovely day Alice and thank you for such a thought-provoking blog, this week Moodscope has been a treat for the brain ;-) xx

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:18am

Just seen your last response from yesterday and have replied! ...and moving on to is incredible how many peeps feel the same as we do and it is only when we show some vulnerability that they might show theirs too - but not always. I know from a friend's behaviour over the past two years that she is depressed and even though she knows what I have been through, she won't admit it or accept any when we do meet up, I drip feed handy hints so she can use them or not. Off to do some more ninja gardening whilst the neighbour's are out!! Tee hee! Bear x

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 9:29am

Oh Debs, what a wonderful response! I love everything that you have said and am with you all the way - right down to telling people what's going on with my head. More people than one can ever imagine feel just as we feel! I am going to put your quotes in my reminder book....thank you. Alice xx

LillyPet Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 9:32am

Morning Alice,
Wow, your blog reminds me about how uncomfortable I have become in these close group situations. Family gatherings and work gatherings. A minority of people (one in each in fact) that I'd rather not spend time with. My response is to withdraw if I possibly can. I know I have strong negative emotions towards those particular individuals, so I put up and shut up, follow the social rules and try to make the best of the times when I have to be there. My negatives are the underlying focus, making the whole situation overshadowed by anxiety and resentment. Where there is a choice, I avoid the social situation. I'm told that I am welcome, that I'd be missed if I weren't there, but they would surely be more relaxed without my awkwardness draining the atmosphere.
Helen Mirin has recently said that looking back on her life, if she could change anything, it would be to have told more people to ( fill in the blanks!!!!) :)) exactly how I feel! Just a couple of people! Now if we were in Wonderland, I'd do that heartily, then sit down to join the tea party with a happy grin, not in delight at having been unpleasant, but with the relief of not being fake, not playing the stupid game for everyone elses sake! And in Wonderland that would be just fine, I'd be yelled at for being a grumpy old so and so and we'd probably end up in a hilarious food fight!

Alas, I either have to play the games or withdraw myself. Maybe the first step would be to give those individuals less power and turn them into ridiculous Wonderland caracatures in my mind! Imagining that the cups of tea were custard pies!
The next step, learn to lose my attachment to their ill chosen words and actions. I'm allowing those two individuals to rain on my parade!
I'm probably way off the mark with your blog Alice, just airing my personal response to it!
Enormously helpful.Thank you for showing me what a ridiculous tea party these situations can be! A little part of me is actually looking forward to the next one ;)

The sun is out peeps! Love and light to all :) LP xxx

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:24am

Ah Lillypet....the games we play.....I too find the company of some peeps at gatherings to be upsetting and I want to stop going to these events...but then the other side of me says 'who are they to stop me or make me feel uncomfortable?' So I continue to go, I continue to be as nice as I can to them and sometimes go out of my way to include them. Some of the problem is mine as I think I let peeps walk over me... but because of the way they choose to speak to me, running me down or speaking over me, I want to get up, tell them they are rude and just walk away, with maybe a little foot stomping action!!! Grr Bear grr! Bear hugs x x

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 12:18pm

Dear Lilly, there is no such thing as off the mark in Moodscope! That's one of the things that makes it wonderful. Your take adds to the thinking and does not distract! I personally would endorse losing your "....attachment to their ill chosen words and action..." Not to let them rain on your parade and to enjoy your next tea party! There is also something in "Feel the fear and do it anyway" S.Jeffers about looking hard in your head at your relationship those people who loom large in your life and trying to heal the hurts and the wounds with white light. Trying to wish them well and perhaps cutting through all the poo to see clearly (without our fears interfering) what is really going on there. It may work, it may not, but has to be worth a try! If all else fails, I love the idea of your turning them into cartoon characters! I had a boss who once told me to imagine the person I had problems with sitting on the loo. Suddenly they weren't so pompous! Love, Alice xx

LillyPet Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 8:07pm

Hi Alice, :)) I love that losing attachment quote you shared with us! Not so easy I realise, no where near it yet! Defo going with which one will be the Queen of Hearts! :) xxx

LillyPet Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 8:15pm

All too familiar Honey Bear! Hugs xx

LillyPet Fri, Oct 16th 2015 @ 3:54am

All too familiar Bear! LP xx

LillyPet Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 9:34am

Whoops! *Helen Mirren :)

Jennifer Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:15am

Great blog Alice. Loads to think on.. By the way I recently bought an old second hand copy of Alice in Wonderland after reading your previous Alice inspired insights. It has wonderful illustrations by Helen Oxenbury and I look forward to reading it x

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 12:27pm

There is great wisdom to be found in the oddest of places........

Jennifer Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:18am

Formerly Jen ......... since recently had to make room at the Moodscope table for all those other Jenny's! Hello all hope this day finds you well x

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:27am

Hi it...have that record in my head again from last week when all the Jens in the Moodscope world's a good job this table is massive...come sit here, next to me please, I have space here! HuggyBear x x x

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 12:19pm

Wonderful Huggy Bear and you Jen/Jennifer! xx

Mary Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:20am

"We have a habit of making more of things that hit us than we should." Oh yes (heartfelt sigh). I am still chewing over what might have been a throwaway comment made to me in the summer. That comment caused me to examine my actions microscopically to see if I had behaved inappropriately. I don't think I did, but still that comment undermines my confidence. Move on Mary, move on.Your conscience is clean, your heart is pure. Other people's stuff and their conclusions are their own. You cannot be responsible for what other people think. Thank you Alice for this profound and thought provoking post.

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 12:19pm

Thank you Mary.

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:36am

"Is the world so against us that we come out in anger... that someone has threatened us?"

Sometimes, depending on our mood, we react SO differently to any given situation. This morning I was a bit of a grumpy bear because I had to keep picking up things that members of the family had dropped here and there and all I wanted to was get out on my dog walk. Yesterday, I might have left the flipping things where they were or picked them up after the dog walk....but today is bin day, so the stuff had to go. Now! Grr!! Silly bear! Our moods change so much on an hourly basis. Other peeps might just get on with their day and not let silly things bother them, but then, they might not have depression to cope with and the minutiae of life might just go over their heads.

Great blog, Alice!
Love Bear x x x

LillyPet Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:59pm

Hey Bear, that's not small stuff if you're doing it regularly! I made a joke of "the light dusting of museli sprinkled over the sink area adding a certain je ne sais quoi to the dishes..." followed up by "cant cook dinner till next on rota has cleared kitchen!" That did the trick! ;) LP xx

susan Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 11:34am

Hi Alice, you're feeding our heads this morning (Jefferson Airplane) which is a good thing as mine is barely turning over. Projecting myself into the Alice scenario, a confident me would centre myself, feel my feet on the ground and my arms by my side, and quietly sit down at that table. I would then take the next few minutes to be in the moment and assess what kind of vibes were flying around and then choose to stay or leave depending on what i encounter. I would be smiley and generous and open until the decision was made. My depressed and no-confidence self would hopefully not be at the gathering at all!! but if it was would probably either sit down and give off the impression of being hostile or aloof (not helpful)or try to find some rock to hide behind (not helpful either). Ideally, that no-confident me should try to adopt the positive method, too, ie get a sense of myself in the body, bottom on chair, etc. with the hope of finding refuge and guidance there. No telling what the outcome of that might be but there would probably be nothing to lose and everything to gain. Big red roses and lots of hearts to you this morning, Alice. Thanks again. xx

Alice Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 12:25pm

Thank you Bear and Susan for adding to the discussion. I am going to be tied up for the rest of the day so apologies all if I don't get back to you till later. I sometimes think that people's comments stand on their own anyway but politeness tells me to at least try and acknowledge a contribution to my initial thoughts even though I may have no wisdom to add. It is very gratifying when people take the time and the trouble to respond and enlightening when they shine a torch on some new ideas and share their experiences. Thank you all xx

LillyPet Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 8:18pm

No worries at all Alice, thanks again for a great blog! Xx

Tim Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 12:37pm

As with so much good creative writing, it's mostly about human psychology. Or human politics, if it's science fiction.

The Gardener Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 2:33pm

Mary's reply to my last 'missive' last night was cheering, when I so need it. Husband now blind in one eye - coped with him last night, but this morning grim - respite day, decided he would be better there. Everybody was most concerned - but I left him, head in arms, crying, and shrugging off any comfort I try to give him. Trouble is, with the double 'whammy' of Alzheimer he cannot conceive what has happened, so each time he wakes, from a nap, or during the night, the shock comes on anew. Spent day re-organising life, how to keep him out of total despair (and me). Enough, except, back to Alice (the fictional one) 'It's no good going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then'. We have such sadness next door - the couple, each married before, had two children between them, she having won custody of son by first marriage. This boy and stepfather did not get on - we could hear the hysterical crying from the poor boy. The solution was to send him back to his natural father. This left his half-brother bereft - they were inseparable as brothers and chums - the younger lad, still next door, has NEVER had a friend, never played sport, you never even hear music. He mooches round the town, talking to nobody, failed 2 years Uni. When I think of my mob, the racket, the endless (different) noisy music, the demands for sleepovers (chez nous, naturally) the demolition of cakes, the inventive games, my heart goes out to this 20 year old. But it's the place at the table - always has been with us - budge up a bit, more bread from the freezer - I've emptied a freezer before now. Our eldest son and his wife are the same - table and house somehow become elastic. Even in the farm office, among mud, wellies and broken bits of machinery the coffee kit is always there. When we left our second house we decided on a 'house cooling party'. Said to 5 kids and the lively au pair 'just invite your friends, give us some idea of numbers'. Coming down the stairs, I met 4 strangers coming up. I greeted them in my best hostess manner, and asked who they were with. 'Oh, nobody, just heard there was a good party at yours'. Perhaps Alice would have been at home.

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 6:20pm

Alice, Cheshire cats, Uncle Tom Cobley and all would be welcome at your parties me thinks, TG...I love it when peeps arrive, even unexpectedly and they just fit in...elastic tables are essential! Sad that Mr TG is having so many more problems - you are being a brave old brick, Bon chance! Bear hugs x

Dave Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 2:37pm

Do not really have anything to blog today, so I got to thinking well shoot I will just wish all of you a positive and wonderful day

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 6:17pm

Why thankees, Dave....and the same is wished to you!

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