Joy from Learning

25 Aug 2019
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[To listen to an audio version of this blog please click here: [http://bit.ly/2U4YSwU]

I love the fact that learning something new can change your life for good, forever. It doesn't even have to take long. Twice in two days I've learned something valuable and life-enhancing in less than two minutes! Whilst 'joy' might be too strong a word for it, it has certainly brought me pleasure and has improved my future.

One was a cooking tip from my friend, Penny. She simply dusts her chicken in flour (no egg, no water – only a bit of salt and pepper) before frying. This locks in the moisture and the flavour. I'm a convert! It tastes so much better! Try it if you haven't already!

The other was a bit more technical, nevertheless it only took a one-minute, twenty-four second video on YouTube to show me how to do something with my photographic software that I've been wanting to learn for ages. Interestingly, the video has been on YouTube for years, but I wasn't looking for the answer diligently enough! Now there's another blog!

Even in the most horrible of times, learning something new can bring us anything from the pleasure of momentary relief right through to full on joy! For this reason, I'd ask you to share in the comments one very quick and easy-to-learn tip that has enhanced your life. It might be cooking, exercising, an attitude, or an activity. Feel free to add links if it's something you too have discovered via YouTube or other sites.

Learning how to be mentally healthy is far more complicated than photographic software or dusting chicken in flour, however there are some quick lessons that pay dividends ever more – and I'd love to know any of those that you have. The number one mental-wellbeing tip for me is 'Gratitude'. Learning to say, "Thank You!" out loud even for the tiniest of 'blessings' constantly recalibrates my attitude in a positive direction.

What are your joyous 'learns' in life? We're listening...

Lex

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Oli

Aug. 26, 2019, 5:25 a.m.

Why even bother attempting to change anything? When I couldn't move because of inertia I don't even know that I was thinking that because I felt too stuck to think. Something changed and something moved. With hindsight it was this: 3:36 The profound bit which is mentioned so casually is worth pointing out: language behaviour. It is *not* about the words themselves! It is about the word-machine which is our mind. I love this video because it is about so much of the stuff I struggle with. E.g. Procrastination. It's all here. https://youtu.be/C-ZuqeyxULM Thanks Lex. And a bonus learn: don't wave your fly swatter around like a tennis racket. Hold in in your right hand (if R handed) and use your left to pull it back to get a bit of tension... aim... ping the head of the swat at the fly.

Reply

Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 7:58 a.m.

Hi Oli... Firstly, I laughed at the evil ping-the-head-of-the-fly-swat vision that your words provoked! Secondly, what a good video! I've subscribed! Thank you my friend!

Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 26, 2019, 5:36 a.m.

Hiya Lex and happy bank holiday Monday! In much the same way as Penny, I dust fish with flour and sea salt and pepper then fry...nom nom nom! And squeaking of flour (look away Moodscopers if this is too much for you 8) ...I have a flour crock and every time I buy a bag of flour, I sieve the flour twice into two bowls then give it a final sieving into the crock - when I need it for baking, the flour is ready to go and light as a feather! This may sound laborious but it doesn’t take long for one bag of flour but cakes are super light and I don’t buy it too often so it’s no hardship :) Also, use YouTube for everything that you don’t know how to...whatever....there are such clever people out there sharing knowledge for free! Enjoy the sunshine with Bear hugs x

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Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:18 a.m.

Hi Bear! Sun just beginning to break through after a very mysterious and misty start. I loved it! I will share your super-sieve technique with Penny (after all, it's only right to give back!) As soon as I read your fish part, I wanted to have a go! I wonder if it works with bacon? As for YouTube, I agree! What an amazing free University! Hoping you have an enjoyable sunny day. Lex hugs x

Orangeblossom

Aug. 26, 2019, 5:42 a.m.

Thanks for the blog Lex. On Saturday I went to a Centering Prayer workshop on the LAmpeter campus. It was led very effectively by three people. We listened to part of a video on YouTube by Cynthia Bourgeault. It was learning to let go. Not clinging to our past. The “letting go” is a muscle we need to excercise in order to strengthen. The lesson is being reinforced by Andy Puddicombe in the Headspace application on ‘Letting go-Of Stress’

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Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:27 a.m.

Hi Orangeblossom! Letting go is so liberating, isn't it? And Andy's gentle approach at Headspace is such a blessing. I've looked up Cynthia Bourgeault on YouTube and thank you for opening that new doorway to insight.

Liz

Aug. 26, 2019, 5:50 a.m.

Hi Lex. A gardening one of mine... how to prune wisteria properly. I had to do it retrospectively so was even more challenging as things had become twisted and I had to go back to the original growth which was a few years old. But basically you don't want the "whippy bits"... With the right video on you tube and close camera work and simple explanation, I did it. I think once you understand the logic of why you are doing something, it falls into place. The long straggly whippy bits are taking all the energy from the plant and won't encourage it to flower. Once you take them away at the right pruning time, flowers will bloom. Also cream cheese melted along with water and/or milk makes a great instance sauce. Say goodbye to the white roux which I learnt at cookery in school. I'm sure I have more pearls of wisdom but I can't think of any more now. Love the fly swat - now I know what to do thank you Oli.

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Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:29 a.m.

Hi Liz! Great tips and maybe even a metaphor! Wisteria is such a treasure, and now we know how to make it shine! I was surprised that it has more than one flowering - there's a stunning one at the National Trust's kitchen garden at Kingston Lacy in Dorset. Now, we can cook the fish, make the sauce and keep the flies off!!!

Katie

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:45 p.m.

Liz I will try that sauce! Re: whippy bits. I used to say to psychologists that I felt like an amoeba with lots of tendrils sticking out, and I just really wanted to pull them in to prevent being hurt all the time. And like the shape of an amoeba, the tendrils changed all the time, one would get longer, another shorter, they would shift positions. It was all pain, but changing. I no longer have the feeling I'm an amoeba at all. The 'whippy bits' that took all my energy were pruned by the therapist I just had, and me, and now I think I'm starting to blossom. Or at least the potential is there for flowers. The pruning was agony. And the whippy bits had been around for thirty years! I feel so much better without whippy bits!!

Liz

Aug. 26, 2019, 5:51 a.m.

I'll admit I was actually scared of killing the wistera but the flowers bloomed wonderfully!

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Frankie

Aug. 26, 2019, 5:59 a.m.

This is so true dear Lex. Learning something new is bringing me many moments of relief at the moment. I love history so I am soaking up many programmes on catch-up, and that has encouraged me to start reading again. At the end of yet another day of inertia, I gain a bit of comfort from being able to say "I now know x, y and z". Frankie x

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The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 7:13 a.m.

Hello Frankie, I presume you have access to French TV? Their programmes are much longer, I love Racines et Ailes, Secretes d'Histoire, and Arte's 'Thema'. At the moment improving my French is the big aim. xx

Jul

Aug. 26, 2019, 7:17 a.m.

Do you ever watch the films? The dramatic comedies are wonderful (with French subtitles). I love France television. TF1 2 and 3. Also O (TV station) Jul xx

Frankie

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:26 a.m.

Sadly, no. Though I will investigate this on my tablet in case I can watch there. Thanks dear Gardener. Frankie x

Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:31 a.m.

What wonderful doors are opening today! Doorways in time through history, and doorways in geography through a clear love of France. I so happy we are finding a doorway to pleasure, relief, and even joy through learning and sharing our sources x (and y and z!)

Jul

Aug. 26, 2019, 6:12 a.m.

Right now the one thing I can think of which has helped me enormously is something Hopeful One said in passing. When we are castigating ourselves (and catastrophising) for not acting or saying the right thing in social situations, for example, we should instead remember all the good things we have achieved in the past. Hopeful One will be able to explain it better but it's something that's stayed with me and as I said helped me get through critical self assessments on many occasions! Julxx

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Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:34 a.m.

Hi Jules! What is it with this inner tyrant so many of us seem to have? I wonder what it will take for us to be (internally) kind to ourselves? I'm seeking to learn the difference between 'toil' at the moment and 'work' - where 'work' is a delight! To be grateful, to enjoy my work, and to alleviate someone else's suffering would be a 'good' day! xx

Jul

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:54 a.m.

Ha ha Lex. You made me laugh. You ARE grateful and you alleviate someone else's suffering each day I am sure. But working to earn a living is surely always a toil?? Particularly for those like you who help others, with your personality. Don't change who you are Lex. Please. Better to be yourself and find work a toil? Jules xx

Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 9:36 a.m.

You're lovely! What I'm seeking to articulate is that I really love working - when that work is aligned with what I'm suited to. I meet so many people who are watching the clock so that they can leave work. That I think is very sad - and, of course, I've done that too - for way too many years. To find satisfying work is the perfect antidote to boredom and frustration! xx

Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 9:36 a.m.

You're lovely! What I'm seeking to articulate is that I really love working - when that work is aligned with what I'm suited to. I meet so many people who are watching the clock so that they can leave work. That I think is very sad - and, of course, I've done that too - for way too many years. To find satisfying work is the perfect antidote to boredom and frustration! xx

The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 7:11 a.m.

Hi Lex, you can pay professionals or learn to do itself - mostly in the bodge or cheat line. Our vet in UK said if you did not learn something new every day you might as well be dead. He was a wealth of information - theocracy was one, yet never seemed to read a book. He was president of everything, the local agricultural show, Percheron horse society. He always like my articles in local rag and church magazine, though not a church goer, he took it, and he was no flatterer. Have to learn to use a tablet tomorrow. enjoy the bank holiday, not one here in France.

Reply

Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:38 a.m.

Hi Gardener! To be a polymath is a path to depth of experience, isn't it? I've been delighting in Ecclesiastes over the last few days - what a realistic assessment of life!!! I am reminded of one of the sayings, "Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body." But we love our books and our studies, don't we?!!! I suspect the secret to success is in pacing oneself to learn, integrate, rest, learn again!

The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 9:11 a.m.

I borrowed a book from a VERY learned friend, Professor Screech's 'Laughter at the foot of the Cross', my brain definitely could not cope. He provided me with 'Psalms of the Reformation (and a CD) for a history project.

Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 9:30 a.m.

Some folks seem to be able to think at a completely different level, don't they? I find some poetry like that. I scratch my beard and think, "I just don't get that!" I persevere though!

Valerie

Aug. 26, 2019, 11:09 a.m.

I am not greatly fond of poetry as a medium of expression.My favourite "poems" are song lyrics.***

Molly

Aug. 26, 2019, 2:06 p.m.

Gardener, good luck with the tablet. Using a desktop/lap top for many years, it took me ages to get used to my tablet. There are many advantages but many disadvantages in my opinion. I still prefer to use my desktop for many things. Tablets and smart phones are great for those that never used a computer! I will be interested to hear how you get on with it xx

The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:12 p.m.

Molly, matter of having to. Must rationalise my luggage - my lap-top weighs a ton. Today has sent my poor brain into stratosphere anyway. I have two desk-tops and two lap-tops anyway (reasons complicated and technical) xx

Molly

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:30 p.m.

Yes much lighter to carry Gardener, you might want to buy a case for it if you haven’t already, for your travels, there is my tip for the day! Xx

Anonymous

Aug. 26, 2019, 8:50 a.m.

Hi Lex, Thank you for this useful reminder. I have been in the wars recently with a broken shoulder and then a wrist so learning to be patient has been my bag. Try it sometime...It is actually very difficult. Fancy having to ask someone to help you put your socks on?! And learning to type and write with my left-hand has been an interesting challenge but I am improving all the time... The Duolingo language website has helped to while away the boredom and teach me something new. As for joyous learns though, these two spring to mind. Common sense it might be but learning from someone that it is easier to change a duvet cover if you 'inside it out' first, and then put two hands within - whilst holding the duvet - then flicking the cover over, has revolutionised my bed making skills forever! Again, for gardeners with autumn sown broad beans, pinch off the tips of the broad beans before blackfly appear to avoid a favourite feeding point. This also encourages better growth. More yummy beans with butter...Thanks again, Lex, as ever, for your encouragement. MA

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Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 9:33 a.m.

Dear MA... loved your tips (we always wrestle with the duvet, and Penny is nuts about beans!) Really feel for you, though. I've had the odd back issue over the years where I can't put my own socks on, so I know about that frustration. Broken shoulder and wrist sounds dreadful. If it is even the slightest comfort, know that, because of you, I am actually looking forward to the next duvet change!

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Mj

Aug. 26, 2019, 11:11 a.m.

I've been detaching from the current political climate in all our republics. Even on those days I cannot get out of bed there are always plenty of books to read. I’m reading the intellectual fodder of the 18th century that was occurring on both sides of the Atlantic that led from the Glorious revolution to the American Revolution and finally to the French Revolution (Bernard Bailyn & Gordon S Wood). We are all cousins and we will get back to fully realizing that fact. A bit of a bumpy ride right now. Detaching has helped to free up psychic energy for creativity for making my humble abode more beautiful mostly by appreciating the old stuff I have from the last few generations and being grateful for how soothing it all can be. And YouTube and Pinterest have been real friends for ideas and instructions. Lastly, in addition to her lace doilies I've recently unpacked, I remember now Grandma used to flour her best-ever chicken too!!!

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Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 1:17 p.m.

Hi MJ! From 'Flour' to 'Flourishing'! I am SO glad you are cherishing the stuff from the last few generations.

Valerie

Aug. 26, 2019, 11:31 a.m.

Hi Lex, My favourite tip for duvets is to position the two furthest corners,then fix with clothes pegs.Put the rest in place,shake,remove pegs. I have saved a lot of money on vet bills with some home remedies for minor problems.A mixture of half Listerine (original golden one) and half cheap baby oil is great for animal skin "hotspots",and cleaning pads and between dog toes. Instant mash powder sprinkled dry on dinners will help mild "runs". The pet's ear lotion I found online years ago has been wonderful,and many friends and strangers have agreed with me.It is far better than anything I had from the vets. Sudacrem is amazing for many things,animal and human.No home should be without it. Fabric conditioner and hair conditioner are interchangeable in an emergency. White vinegar spray is the best window cleaner I keep a small smooth pebble in the freezer for puffy eyes. Salty water or dry salt can kill weeds. Spock has watched videos enabling him to do block paving,brick laying,replace sashcord windows,clear blocked drains etc.His latest one taught him that if the sprocket on the handle of a double-glazed window is jammed,it could prove costly.However,some cunning trick with a wire coat hanger can release it,enabling a DIY repair to be carried out. Sorry,gone on a bit! ***

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Sally

Aug. 26, 2019, 12:11 p.m.

Thanks Val. Constantly amazed at how sensible and practical people are ( lacking those genes I’m afraid when it comes to seeing the beeping obvious - to -others). Good tips.

The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 12:12 p.m.

Valerie, is Spock for hire? Flooded, de-frost freezer (bought 3 years ago) Irish passport, Nat West (card and savings account) bolt on door, hang curtains, repair 4 lights, find out why French TV playing up (high pressure) etc etc ***

The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 12:15 p.m.

Perhaps you could up-date Mrs Beeton - and was it Shirley Conran, wonder woman or something?

Lex

Aug. 26, 2019, 1:20 p.m.

WOW! Valerie!!! This is a book, and a set of laminated cards, and a TV series! What wonderful suggestions! ***

Molly

Aug. 26, 2019, 2:09 p.m.

Lots of helpful tips there Val xx

Valerie

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:06 p.m.

I think it was Superwoman? "Life's too short for stuffing a mushroom".I am starting to feel that way about all domestic work now.xx

The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:14 p.m.

You're right about Shirley Conran Valerie. It's the friends that matter, not the show. Simple, good, nutritious, that's me. xx

Valerie

Aug. 26, 2019, 1:07 p.m.

He speaks fluent French TG,so if you would like a lodger? ***

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The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 1:46 p.m.

Irish passport people remarkably helpful, just ordered my Mum's full birth certificate on line. I have 8 bedrooms! Still stupid about duvet covers. Papers on desk multiplied, got one big headache, and have not started on NatWest. How soon can Spock get here? xx

Molly

Aug. 26, 2019, 2:11 p.m.

Seems she’s keen to get rid of him, she tried to palm him off on me as well :-) xx

Valerie

Aug. 26, 2019, 3 p.m.

**** it,you've seen through me! ***

Molly

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:38 p.m.

:-) lol ***

Molly

Aug. 26, 2019, 2:28 p.m.

Hi Lex, some good tips here. I can’t actually think of anything useful. The only thing that comes to mind, and I was reluctant to say this, but I’ve learnt a lot about attempted suicide from members of this site and from reading a lot of articles on line. It was important for me to try and understand it due to recent events. In a strange way, I’m glad that I have educated myself on the subject. I’m very interested in mental health overall. Still being gloomy I’m interested in programmes about murderers and what goes on in their minds. if anything! But let’s lighten things up. If I think of anything useful, or will come back to you. But yes You Tube and Google. What great tools!! Molly xx

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Lex

Aug. 28, 2019, 10:50 a.m.

Hi Molly, I was thinking today about sweets! I wondered who was more valued, the person who makes the sweets or the person who shares them? I reckon it is the person who shares them! You and I don't have to come up with original ideas. We just need to find a couple we like from other people and share their 'sweets'! xx

Valerie

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:11 p.m.

You can't beat a good serial killer on Netflix to lift depression.Just finished The Assasination of Gianni Versace,now back onto Mindhunters series 2.***

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Molly

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:19 p.m.

I don’t have Netflix, I think I might be the only one who doesn’t ***

The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:29 p.m.

Molly, loads of stuff I don't have, lost in the 20th century somewhere. Grand-children try very hard, but reckon I am a lost cause. When I 'google' our family name shattered at how much 'Big Brother' seems to have gleaned.

Molly

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:45 p.m.

Hardly Gardener, you have just bought a tablet! But yes it does feel like big brother is everywhere xx

The Gardener

Aug. 26, 2019, 3:26 p.m.

As relaxation I only watch Midsomer Murders, so unbelievable. I saw a cartoon, a board for a newspaper headlines 'Midsomer man dies of natural causes'. I never watch anything where the ad is mass violence, not pusillanimous, just makes me think of Trump and the real thing in the US all the time. I did enjoy 'Summer of Rockets'. Just read 'The Dogs of War'. Ironic applying for a Southern Irish passport to try and avoid the Brexit fiasco. Must be a message somewhere?? xx Thanks Lex, lost in here somewhere.

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Lex

Aug. 28, 2019, 10:48 a.m.

I LOVE your use of language. Just in case anyone else needs to look up, "pusillanimous," it means showing a lack of courage or determination; timid.

Sally

Aug. 27, 2019, 1:46 a.m.

Lex, wrote a comment which got lost when I went back to check something. Should’ve just posted. Basically said: great blog, very interesting and uplifting and my tips: ASK FOR HELP. ( So often I haven’t trusted. But most people are sympathetic and want to help. You’ll be pleasantly surprised where this gets you) FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS ( my OH is a great as a sound checker but occasionally I dare to be different, follow my way/ instincts, with best results.) KNOW YOUR LIMITS ( it is alright to say “No, I can’t “ OH uses : “I have another commitment “ and has found that no one ever challenges as to what that commitment is. It could be “ commitment to self,” time out, and so on. It really doesn’t matter, so long as you commit to yourself . Try it! It works. A student of mine used to quote a verse ending in: But I am a wee Scottish thistle And nobody sits on me. I’d love to know, if anyone’s heard it before, where it comes from. And if it’s well known. She used it, years ago, to mean “ don’t let people put upon you”. I’ve never forgotten this Scottish woman’s strength and humour and self belief.

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Lex

Aug. 28, 2019, 10:47 a.m.

Oooo, Sally, I'm loving the Thistle! Never heard that before. And three great tips to live more authentically - thank you!

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