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Pearl Fisher or Pearl Crusher? Monday June 26, 2017

In the last century, I learned a beautiful concept from Time Manager International (TMI): to choose to be a Pearl Fisher! The inspirational Claus Møller, founder of TMI, teaches two choices in life: to be a Pearl Fisher or to be a Pearl Crusher.

Will You Choose to Fish for Pearls, or to Crush Pearls?

The beauty of natural pearls hides their unpleasant beginnings. A pearl is formed in response to adversity and irritation.

Pearls are formed more often in response to a parasite rather than the proverbial grain of sand. This fits the message even better than a grain of sand. The pearl secretes a fluid called 'nacre' around the foreign body, as a defence mechanism. Layer of layer builds up until a beautiful pearl is discernible.

When we manufacture pearls, a beautiful description is used: a 'Cultured' Pearl. I feel we're being rather posh today, aren't we? It takes three years for a cultured pearl to reach a sufficient size for it to be harvested.

I'm sure the moral of the story is clear: an irritant, even a parasite in our lives, can act as a catalyst to create something of beauty, if we have a creative response.

Is there an 'irritant' in your life? Perhaps this irritant is a person, a person who is so demanding that they might even, on a bad day, be described as a 'parasite'!

Let's learn from the Wisdom of the Oyster's creative response. Let's cover the irritant in our own 'nacre' and give it time. It takes at least three years to see the value emerge.

Ask yourself, "How can I turn this relationship into a thing of beauty?"

...the Pearl Crusher

A Pearl Fisher, then, is someone who creates a pearl out of every irritant and parasitological relationship! A Pearl Fisher creates value out of trouble.

But what of the Pearl Crusher? The Pearl Crusher does the opposite. The Pearl Crusher finds adversity and irritation in every pearl.

No matter how wonderful the day or experience, the person who has chosen to be a Pearl Crusher, will find a problem with it.

I suspect we have all indulged in pearl-crushing behaviour from time to time. Some people, however, are professional pearl-crushers. Some have a black-belt in the marital art of pearl-crushing! You know the type... whatever you try to do for them, they find fault. No matter how brilliant your idea, they'll find ways to suggest how it will fail.

In other blogs, I've suggested these people should be removed from our lives. But what if we cannot 'remove' them (legally, at least!)? With those parasites and irritants who are here to stay, let's get nacred! I'm pretty sure I've just made that word up, but it tickled me!

There are many actions we can take in response to these thoughts. The first is to catch ourselves quickly when we indulge in pearl-crushing thoughts and behaviours. Stop it!

Another is to learn to become a Pearl Fisher - to find value in every irritation.

There is a better way.

Get Nacred!

A Moodscope member.

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

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Molly Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 1:31am

If only.......

Frankie Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 7:54am

I feel the same Molly regarding my sister (the alcoholic) ... SO easy to be a Pearl crusher ... However I have started playing "Nicky patience" - I give myself a point each time I succeed in not responding to her manipulating comments. If I get to 5 points, I get a bonus of doubling to 10. I scored 10 for the first time in our last conversation! (I was exhausted afterwards with the effort!). Now I (just!) need the patience to wait for that to transform into a pearl ... Frankie

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 8:17am

Hi Molly and Frankie, I'm sure this is easier if you realise I am a professional Pearl-Crusher... in recovery! My family 'script' is to always look on the dark-side of life. As always, I write a blog that I need to put into practice - not necessarily, a blog I find easy! However, having the intent, like Frankie's 'Nicky Patience' game, really does help shift the focus. Here's hoping...

Nicco Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 9:49pm

Frankie, thank you for sharing re your 'Nicky patience' - I have never thought of doing this. I think it's a really good idea and I would like to try it myself. I actually lose patience with things very easily - something I really don't like about myself and which I have been trying to change for years - and, as my own name is Nicky, I am going to try 'Nicky patience'!

Molly Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 12:47am

Thanks for your responses, Frankie and Lex. Frankie, you seem to be doing amazingly well with your sister, you obviously care alot for her to use this patience technique. I do not have much patience at all these days. Lex, not sure what to say, but I am definitely a pearl crusher (I think) whilst trying to work out this whole anology!! Nicco, I was sad to read how things are hard for you at the moment, relationship breakdowns are so destroying but I like to think that everything happens for a reason and that your life will go onto better things. I believe things work out how they are meant to. Sending my best to you. Molly xx

Marmaladegirl Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 6:48am

Good morning Jane SG - I left you a message at the end of the comments for blog on 24th June (You are NOT worthless). Thinking of you today and for the days to come. Wishing you, and all Moodscopers, well. MG xx

Orangeblossom Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 7:38am

Thanks for the blog Lex. It provides informative food for thought. Today I shall try to provide a climate to enhance pearl-fishing. It is a glorious day in West Wales & we are going to the seaside.

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 8:18am

Hope you catch some pearls, Orangeblossom! Happy seaside.

LP Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 12:35pm

Ooh, sounds lovely! Xx

Orangeblossom Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 6:25pm

We went to ABERYSTWYTH, but the sun had stopped shining & was totally covered by clouds. We had a dental check-up & then did a big shop in Morrisons. No seaside in the end. I loved the blog & appreciated the comments. It has been a difficult two weeks but am battling on. Love to all.

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:17pm

The destiny of the Orangeblossom is to bloom. Bloom on!

David Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 7:38am

A well-written blog and good luck to us all in Pearl Fishing.

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 8:18am

Thanks, David. Would be great to share some small victories today... or even big ones!

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 8:13am

BIG article in the Mail on Sunday magazine about mental health apps... no Moodscope that I can see. Perhaps we can write to them???

Marmaladegirl Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 8:22am

How can they make such an omission? Someone should definitely wave our flag... I nominate you Lex. Also thanks for the new verb - to nacre. I will nacre as much as I can today. MG xx

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:02am

Get Nacred! It sounds naughty but nice, doesn't it? xx

Anonymous Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:18pm

Thanks for highlighting it Lex - they obviously didn't do their research very thoroughly!! I'll try and get in touch. Carolinex

Lex Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 9:05am

I'll see if I can get a copy of the article, Caroline, and thus some contact details. x

LP Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 8:31am

Hi Lex,
What a lovely idea! It makes so much sense.
The irritants are intruding and I can't get rid of them, so rather than just allowing them to fester and spoil my shell, I'll leave them in the nacres yard, where drip by drip they will get smothered with the stuff until the irritant can't do any harm or even be seen!
(I've been picking at this one, rather than smothering it with salve and leaving it to heal!)
It makes sense too that it takes so long. It's a calming thought that it doesn't happen overnight.
I find it hard to think about giving anything nice to such irritants, but I can go back to where I was, allowing a better way to be seen drip by drip.
Thanks for a wonderful blog Lex, a perfect start to the week.
Let's not let the crushers grind us down. Am off fishing for pearls!
Lovely morning here in London too :) LP xx

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:03am

Hi LP, you sound in perfect form for a cultured approached to layering on that nacre. As we support one another, I'm sure we'll find the strength and resilience to persevere. xx

LP Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 12:43pm

By chance, without expecting to the universe provided me with a rare opportunity to have a conversation with the aforementioned irritant at the end of which I added "Have a good day." My first drop of nacre, which seems like delivering a drop of nectar! :) xx

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 4:04pm

They are almost anagrams of one another! You say, "Nectar," I say, "Nacre," you say, "Potato," I say, "Potarto!" ;0)

Eva Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:25pm

Ha ha nacres yard, I like it! Glad you got to start nacring LP, it's a start :)

Leah Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 8:40am

You love analogies!
I think I am a pebble collector and a pebble thrower.
I collect and appreciate little things that others may see as worthless.
I sometimes throw a pebble into calm waters.
Analyse that!!
Never seen a real pearl in my life and not many metaphorical ones either- pebbles I can deal with.
(wonder whether you have pebbles in UK?? or you call them something else!!)

Tutti Frutti Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 8:58am

Yes we have pebbles on UK beaches. Love TF x

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:04am

Hi Leah, you're not alone in loving pebbles... and skimming! It's like skipping on the waves for pebbles!!!

Dolphin Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 11:16am

sorting through pebbles and feeling their smooth surfaces is incredibly calming for me. And a lovely way to describe yourself - thanks for the reminder of appreciation of small creations....

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 4:04pm

OK, let's confess, am I the only one who gets a kick out of buttons too?

Freya Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 6:33pm

Nope, you absolutely are not the only one! Anything smooth and regular works for my (only a bit) OCD mind!

Nicco Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 9:53pm

Lex - I love pebbles! They are so interesting - in fact I have a window sill full of them. I also enjoy buttons - I used to love playing 'sweet shops' with the contents of my mother's button box when I was little. The big brown ones were always toffees!

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:03pm

HI Freya and Nicco - yes, it's the boxes of buttons that excite me kinaesthetically - there's a sound and a texture to them cascading through my finger-tips - a bit like the mountains of gold in the Hobbit!

Eva Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:26pm

I'm banned from bringing home pebbles, I have too many

Leah Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:35pm

Lex We have something in common at last! I love buttons, my mother used to have jars and jars and tins and tins of them, I also used to have lot to sell in my shop. A local chemist book a book about buttons years ago as he was doing a lecture and said using buttons was a good way to talk about different materials as buttons through the centuries had been made out of an amazing number of different substances! To tie back to the pearls there were peers like shiny buttons that people would wear. Sorry I got everyone a bit off topic but this what's great about a blog you never know where it will take you or end up!! Thanks Lex

Lex Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 9:06am

Let's share our favourite buttons! I have some ceramic ones, made in Italy, that have Starfish on them... and since they are miles away, I'm now missing them! lol

Molly Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 7:08pm

I used to play with marbles when I was a child - and pretend they were little people. I had so many different colours and I knew each and every one of them, if someone took one out, I could tell which one it was. Funny how different comments remind you of things. I also played with ribbons and they were my children and I was the teacher. Oh dear, I cannot believe I have just admitted that xx

Jul Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 8:51am

Good morning Lex. I feel I am constantly having to say to myself.."On balance the relationship with so and so is beneficial" when I feel otherwise. I look at the friendship/ relationship overall and in the long term. I also have to look at myself and ask if I am an irritant! However what I do find unbalanced in my life is the effort I put into making relationships work, blaming and analysing myself in this context where the other person just goes ahead glibly without thinking too much about things until I crack and tell them how it is for me. Then things improve temporarily. So what I'm saying is.,, why can't everyone think about pearl crushers or similar helpful analogies when in a relationship? Why does it always have to be me/us?! Julxxx

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:10am

Oh Jules, this is the age old dilemma I hear so often from kind people. For example, "Why is it always me that makes the phone call?" My hope today is that we can be proud (in the positive Moodscope meaning of the word) that we are the ones who make the effort! The comfort for me was in the duration and the small steps the Oyster takes. Low effort over a long time reaps a reward. I was also comforted by the fact that the Oyster doesn't get rid of the irritant, just the irritant's effects. I hope you find freedom in those thoughts too xxx

Jul Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:16am

Ah wonderful Lex. Thank you. xxx

Tutti Frutti Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 9:02am

Hi Lex
Thanks for this blog. I really like it. Definitely a comforting image when struck by troubles - and a timely reminder to fight against always seeing the negative.
How are you doing now as I think you had been through a tough time not so long ago?
Love TF x

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:12am

Hi Tutti Frutti, thanks for asking. Dramas continue. Mum has an emergency heart bypass last week, so I'm up in Dorking to be able to visit daily. She will have quite a challenge to turn this into a pearl, but we all know life will be much easier for her after this procedure... if she does what she's told by the Doctors! x

Tutti Frutti Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 6:49pm

Best wishes to both you and your Mum Lex as she recovers from her surgery. Love TF x

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:06pm

I'm sure she'll be fine if she walks as she's being strongly encouraged to! x

Caroline The Moodscope Team Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:22pm

Hi Lex, so sorry to hear about your mum. As you say, if she does as the doctors say, she should be fine, it just takes a while to get over. My dad was a different man after his. Love to you all. Carolinex

Lex Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 9:07am

My heart is at peace that she'll begin to feel better soon. Thank you for your encouraging support x

Dolphin Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 11:13am

So many useful elements in this blog - thanks Lex. The most calming for me is the reminder of how long it takes to form a pearl. I've had a relationship break in a way that has left me angry and resentful about the hurtful way I was treated. My head knows that the way the breakup was handled by my ex reflects his patterns and his failings and doesn't mean anything about my worth. However, every night I have dreams in which I am treated badly mostly by two people in my past (including him). I wake tired and shaky and the emotional hangover lasts well into the day. It's useful to remember that you don't just snap your fingers in understanding and walk away happily. But how much more grit is needed to make a pearl? Enough already!!

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 4:07pm

Agreed! Enough Already! Time to swim with different brain waves, dear Dolphin! Is there anything you can add to your night-time ritual that might interrupt this unhelpful cycle of dreams? Different sleeping position? Music before you sleep? Music when you're disturbed? This pattern can be broken or over-written.

Dolphin Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 5:22pm

Thanks Lex. I'm going to tackle this head on. Maybe some peaceful meditation before I sleep.

Nicco Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 9:57pm

Dolphin - Not sure if this may help but I find doing the 'muscle relaxation' technique when trying to get to a calm peaceful sleep really helps me - I often find I fall asleep before I've got through them all. I start with my toes & work upwards relaxing all the muscles in the body. I have also cut out & stuck Marmaladegirl's suggestions in her blog in various places around my house (bathroom mirror, fridge, near my pc, bedroom mirror, etc), so I can remind myself that ...'If I can...I am not worthless' - maybe that might be of help to you too - just suggestions. x

Dolphin Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:16pm

Thanks so much for the suggestion - I will keep trying till something works!

Eva Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:30pm

Hi Dolphin, the Calm app has some good sleep meditations including relaxing body scans and muscle relaxation programmes.

Adrian Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 11:22am

Wonderfull Lex - you are a lovely pearl and all the better for struggling to avoid crushing.
A x

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 4:07pm

Thanks, Adrian. I do know I appreciate more the victories I have worked for! x

Mary Wednesday Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 2:16pm

I remember writing a blog with a not dissimilar message, about mining for silver in those clouds. Another message is the pleasure taken in heaping burning coals onto the heads of those who annoy and upset you. I think I like the Pearl creation (get nacred!) better!

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 4:09pm

The real issue, dear Mary, is how we writers shall pronounce 'nacred' - is it like 'sacred' or 'naked'?!!!

Dolphin Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 5:24pm

or knackered !! (Is this word recognised in the UK? - I feel knackered today ie exhausted, battered)

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:07pm

Oh, yes, this is a key word in the UK! I wish you restoration and replenishment of your energy.

The Gardener Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 3:52pm

Thanks Lex - I am in the same situation as Frankie. Great joy at visiting family hoping that they would lessen my load, provided much needed social life and make Mr G more confident. Sadly, he is going so downhill that the visit of a son is provoking more stress and confusion. We were in the old house, Mr G in lovely conservatory, son and I tackling wisteria just outside, and Mr G started shouting for help. But I do have the 'nacre' increasing numbers of people who 'prop me up'.

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 4:11pm

Hello Dear Gardener. I think 'nacre' is going to take many different forms, and form many layers! Here's to friends and family who help, to pets who understand and empathise, to books which offer escape, and to food and drink that refreshes and sustains... oh, and to gardens, that delight the senses!

Nicco Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 9:40pm

Thank you for this lovely blog, Lex. I am feeling the grit engulf me atm, due to the relationship breakup, but ast I am finding I can do more than I thought I could, which is encouraging. I even managed a little gardening today - just a bit of dead-heading, pruning, and ripping up of old dead stuff that needs composting. Maybe there's an analogy there too?! I really like the word 'nacred', and that's what I'm trying to do, although I get a bit 'knackered' too!

Lex Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:10pm

There is joy in word-play, isn't there?! And, yes, I think there is a powerful analogy there. I think this is one of the reasons Feng Shui seems to work. The physical discipline of 'clearing' seems to have a psychological impact too. I wish you success in getting rid of all that needs dead-heading and composting! May wonderful new things grow in your life.

Eva Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 10:38pm

Hi Lex thanks for a great blog, I love this analogy. I was miffed the other day, it's been so long since I got miffed because I haven't had the energy to do so, it was quite surprising but also a little disappointing to realise that I hadn't outgrown my need for recognition and credit. So I guess sometimes it's our own selves that are an irritant as well as outside sources. However I feel happy that I've been able to accept, yeah, what the hell, why shouldn't I be recognised? And also how wonderful to even have the energy to get miffed!

Lex Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 9:08am

Hi Eva - I think we should be recognised. It's a core part of the feedback loop that builds society. I also think it's a currency - a fair exchange for a fair contribution! Getting miffed can be cool!

waterfall Mon, Jun 26th 2017 @ 11:26pm

Loved your blog, couldn't believe how many people replied, well done you.
Wanted to say I've just read The Curious incident of the dog in the night-time, it was my sons copy, (he now lives in France), had been on my shelves for sometime, I'd never read, for some reason thought it was not a book I would like, how wrong I was, thank you for nudging me to have a go.
Don't sleep very well always wake about 3am find it difficult to get back to sleep, I have just bought a CD Transform Your life Deep Sleep, here's hoping I can dream of being a Pearl Fisher. Oh! just pressed "something" thought I'd lost this blog, go away Pearl Crusher you didn't win this time.
Bye for now, Thanks Lex

Lex Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 9:10am

Hi Waterfall (and do you know just what a powerfully positive effect your name has on me? Guess you do now!) I've got to get that book! I've been looking in 2nd hand bookshops. I will find it. I will read it. We will have a shared smile. Here's to crushing crushing! And to great fishing today!

Molly Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 7:03pm

Lex, it is only £5 or so on Amazon.

S Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 8:11am

Lex,I hope this isn't too late.I really like your blog and that it comes from a place of having been a pearl crusher - it gives us hope! Nacring things is a lovely idea and one that can be applied in small steps - I am starting today. I try not to be a pearl crusher and feel I am constantly trying to balance things - probably because I worry about what people think of me. I have loved the comments about buttons and pebbles - I love both of those too. Sorry to hear about your mum and sorry to Nicco and Dolphin to hear about your breakups Sxx

Lex Tue, Jun 27th 2017 @ 9:12am

Hi S, you're not too late! I must say, I'm getting SO excited about pebbles and buttons again! It releases the inner child for so many of us. I always take delight when I see a toddler bend down and pick up a pebble as if it was a great treasure... and to them, and to me, it is! xx

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