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Stop, Look and Listen! Saturday June 11, 2016

I remember, as a child, being on a school trip and hearing that we don't look up enough. It stuck with me from that moment on and every single day I find myself looking up. It's true, when you look up there is a whole different world going on that many people miss.

Often there are amazing pieces of a building that go wholly unnoticed until you lift your eyes. As a teenager, there was a particular café my mum and I would go to... it overlooked a gallery and from there we had the surprising view of statues that were built on the gallery roof. Nobody would ever see them unless they happened to be above the gallery roof level.

I believe changing perspective is a huge healer in our horrible illness. It's powerful and it can be very hard to chase. Sometimes I catch it and sometimes not. Sometimes I catch its tail ends and then lose them again. But it is important to keep chasing it. Sometimes a holiday is the only proper time we get to change our perspective but even physically going up a hill and looking down over the village, town or city can be enough to reshape our thinking.

Another way to change perspective is to listen. Really listen. Name each noise you can hear. We never use our ears enough and yet we have two! If you are incredibly lucky, you may also hear something your body is trying to tell you.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

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

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LillyPet Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 6:58am

Morning ratg :)
When I get a chance to sit or lie in the sun, I listen until I've heard 5 different sounds. Number 1 is always birds,singing, sometimes wings flapping, often followed by a plane, or feint rumble of traffic, a dog in the distance. It's surprising how long it takes to get to 5! Ive done it with looking too. Into a river bank from a footbridge and been surprised about the unusual wildlife I've seen by taking the time to look for longer than usual. It's so calming.
I often look at the sky ( when it isnt just lain thick cloud!) but I rarely look up otherwise. I was very tearful over something that wasnt at all serious yesterday, my body was telling me that my hormone levels had changed! I tried looking out of the window, but the upset was too intense and I just stayed with it. Someone talking to me about other things wss a good distraction for short bursts, but I just had to give my body time to settle back down after the upset and knowing that it was hormonal was a big help.
Thanks for your lovely calming blog ratg, I'm looking forward to seeing some new perspectives.
Wishing lots of beautiful sights and sounds to all. LPxx

Hopeful One Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 8:14am

Hi LillyPet- could you please explain to this ignorant male just what being 'hormonal' means? I have heard this expression being used quite often in conversation with women friends but dared not ask what it did or meant as it sounded quite unpleasant.

Tutti Frutti Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 10:03am

LilyPet I hope you are now feeling a bit better. As you may not feel like enlightening Hopeful One on what hormonal means right now I hope you won't mind if I give it a go. Love TF x

Tutti Frutti Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 10:24am

Hopeful one. The female hormones oestrogen and progesterone usually change on a monthly cycle but also change on pregnancy, giving birth, menopause and with certain types of contraception. This drives the obvious physical things in the body like menstruation etc but there are also other changes both mental and physical which change with our hormones. So when we are feeling hormonal we might have some unpleasant physical symptoms like bloating or we might get upset or irritable more easily (probably what people usually mean in conversation by 'being hormonal'. PMS and PMT are referring to something similar.) Some women are even unlucky enough to have a sometimes quite severe depression for part of each month. The hormone changes in and after pregnancy drive things like post natal depression and puerperal psychosis. Women are affected by the hormonal changes we all have to very different degrees. I am usually broadly fine most of the time but was not so lucky post-natally. Aparently post-natal is statistically the most vulnerable time for any woman's mental health though.

Hopeful One Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 11:19am

Hi Tutti Frutti-. Thanks for the explanation. Glad you stepped in to answer my query as I can see that Lillypet may not be be feeling up to answering it given your explanation.

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:12am

Hi LP, sorry you felt awful, I think you did just the right thing to stay with it. Why attempt to ignore when it needs to stay til its ready to go. Good work! And I hope you are feeling a little better, love ratg xx. HO, Tutti Frutti explained it. The hormonal swing is simply the hormones adjusting to prepare to become pregnant and then settling back if pregnancy doesn't happen. Its a bit like depression in that you don't always know its coming, or how unsettled it will make you feel. I love the scientific explanations so that when I discovered the rise in whichever hormone would make me feel really tired but raise my temperature and make a restless night likely, I felt secure knowing it would pass. Love ratg x.

LillyPet Mon, Jun 13th 2016 @ 7:06am

Hi H.O. I'm so glad you asked! I was fine just busy, so thanks to Tutti Fruiti and ratg for stepping in for me with great explanations! I suppose in evolutionary terms as ratg said were preparing for pregnancy and the hormones heighten our sensitivity to threats in the environment. I have tended to get edgy, tearful, impatient and angry more about things. I am aware though so can usually remember that it's not all about the situation causing me to feel so emotional. Alas the price we pay as women! Please always feel free to ask or chat about anything, I'm so glad you felt comfortable enough to! LP :)

LillyPet Mon, Jun 13th 2016 @ 7:10am

Thanks for your reply ratg, yes knowing it will pass is so reassuring. Xx

LillyPet Mon, Jun 13th 2016 @ 7:13am

Thanks so much TF, I was fine but had to rush out for the day, so am so glad you answered HO for me. Always feel free to chip in anyway though. :) love LPxx

the room above the garage Mon, Jun 13th 2016 @ 10:24pm

I'm doing a thumbs up :-)

LillyPet Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 7:01am

Typo "Plain"

Leah Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 7:05am

Another blog that makes me smile and think! Thanks so much.
I sometimes lie on the floor, carpet, grass, dirt, sand etc and look up and around. A totally different perspective and it is strangely calming as long as you avoid ants nests!!
( For those more delicate types who prefer use a towel,groundsheet,etc)
Changing my perspective physically is a lot easier than mentally, but I am trying to work on that.
Take care Ratg , Leah xx

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:14am

Hello Leah, made me laugh thinking of the ants! I used to love lying on the floor looking at the ceiling as a kid. Loved seeing how big the room was without furniture up there and I'd imagine walking about it. I'm glad you still do and perhaps its time I reinstated my practice! Love ratg x.

Orangeblossom Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 7:23am

Thanks for the reminder to look above & change our perspectives. I heard someone speak about developing a good inner climate so that the turbulence outside isn't detrimental to our sense of wellbeing. Easier said than done I thought at the time. I think that I am slowly getting there by practising mindfull meditation. I have registered with Headspace and often speak of it as going on my headspace journey. I aim at cultivating calm & clarity with the hope that it will lead to contentment. I believe that it is an going process. The first ten sessions are free.

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:15am

A Headspace fan here too Orangeblossom, I find it really, really helpful. Glad its helping you too. Love ratg x.

Hopeful One Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 8:03am

Hi RATG- spot on with your blog as usual.Looking up does no end of good to one's posture and just the act of standing upright with chin up does wonders to the psyche.

The Squadron decided to break its pre exam radio silence as your quote prompted it to look up its humour log.

Annual Stella Awards

The Stella Awards are named after 81 year-old Stella Liebeck of New Mexico who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's. That case inspired the Stella awards for the most frivolous, ridiculous, successful lawsuits in the United States. Here are some past winners:

7th Place: Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.

The others will follow after the exam.

Tutti Frutti Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 2:05pm

A well deserved award which amused me. Best wishes for the exam. TF

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:18am

I've never heard of the Stella Awards and I'm laughing and horrified at the results! You will pass this exam with flying colours HO, I feel it. Now, I've never asked...what IS the exam? :-D Love ratg x.

Anonymous Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 8:46am

Hi ratg. I do notice things and often when I see what is an ugly building, I'll frame part of it and see some beauty in the small section I look at. I guess this can apply to ourselves. We each have good points which we know about but tend to see ourselves as one awful mess. It's a very important reminder to us to look around us and see what maybe others and we too have missed in the past. I think that looking at an object, or life, from another perspective is an interesting challenging thing to do. Thanks ratg Jul xxx

Tutti Frutti Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 10:56am

I've never thought of it this way before Jul but that's a useful point. Thanks TF x

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:21am

Too true Jul! I do think of myself as one awful mess when I must look at my fragments and be happy with them! I do make a point of never putting myself down in front of my kids despite the voice in my head. I think I learned to be sorely self critical by hearing it a lot. We must stop the chain if possible! Lovely to see you Jul, love ratg x.

Richard Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 10:32am

Thankyou, The Room Above The Garage.
You're absolutely right about the unnoticed parts of buildings. I've sang many a song to windows whilst busking.
Throw in, folks, when you see your next busker.
Peace & Love,

Mary Wednesday Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 10:02pm

I always do, richard. Partly because I think of you (and the many other musicians Io know) but mostly because the music lifts my soul and spirits and £1 is a small price to pay for that.

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:23am

Like Mary, I do. Music is a big part of my life and I love it in all forms and at all times! I love a busker, it takes great courage to stand up and stand out and I love the rawness of just doing it. No lights, nothing regimented, just real music. Wonderful! Love ratg x.

Tutti Frutti Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 10:37am

Hi RATG Thanks. Great blog. I totally agree that changing our mental perspective is so important to improving how we manage our mental health. The stuff about physical perspective is interesting too and a useful reminder to be mindful. You and others have made some lovely comments about the stuff we can see and hear when we truly focus. To add in my own bit on that - a few years ago we went to Paris and went up to the roof of Notre Dame. The views across Paris were obviously worth seeing but the bit that made it for me was seeing the gargoyles up close and seeing some bits of the roof of the building that you can't see at all from the ground. The huge queue to go up was unfortunate but I think it was probably my highlight of the holiday!
Love TF

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:25am

You've taken me back to a wonderful time I had at the Sacre Coeur...thank you for bringing the memory right back, I'm enjoying it all over again, love ratg x.

Skyblue Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 12:35pm

Hi ratg, what you write is so true and so helpful to remember. Another area where a change of perspective works for me is food preparation. I cook from scratch every night and usually there is joy in this (something I've had to learn) but sometimes I'd rather starve than be in the kitchen. At this point, it's time to eat out. It seems to adjust my chef hat and often my mood. We can get into ruts so easily, in all kinds of ways (what we choose to see, hear, etc.) Budgeting to eat out once a week has proven to be a wise necessity. ps LillyPet, I love your 5 Rule. xx

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:26am

What a great idea to budget to eat out regularly, it will help you prepare food on the other days, knowing its coming. I sometimes treat myself to breakfast out, alone. Find it amazingly therapeutic. Love ratg x.

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 8:17pm

Hi RATG...walking home with doggit, I noticed a clock on the outside wall of a house I pass every few days. I mentioned it to my husband as we walked up the hill passed the house - it's been there for months, he said. But because they have so many other things in their garden...gnomes, twig birds, rocking horses...I never noticed the clock....I do look, but sometimes I don't see!
Lovely blog...good reminder. Hope you are feeling grand where you are, RATG.
Bear x x x

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:29am

Hello darling Bear, great to see you and I love to hear about your walk with doggit and husband. It sounds peaceful and rich. Love to you, ratg x.

The Gardener Sat, Jun 11th 2016 @ 9:17pm

Looking up to the swifts screaming round the houses - old-timers could them devil-birds because of the racket. the gargoyles up on the church. Although we have little sun the sky above the church tower is always interesting. Looking up from the street at the 33 metres length of our little retirement home - 8 windows to have hanging plans on next year - if I have the money AND the strength AND the will - people, when they stop swearing at water dripping on them will, I hope, enjoy the flowere - street never been flowered. Went to church - given 2nd reading at very last meeting, just woken up from 2 hours exhausted sleep - St Paul to the Galatians - usually like St Paul - this did not seem to make sense, convinced read some twice. People's kindness! A son here, such a relief to share Mr G with somebody - to 'new' restaurant (running it in!) proprietor said, on a busy Saturday night, that they will make sure I have every assistance to enable me to eat out sometimes. Swifts flying at ground floor level, insects must be low. RATG talks of our 'horrible' illness, I've been through depression - and the need for the comfort and love of all around you is just as important as in my different position - it's the only way we survive - the kindness of friends and strangers alike. But we have to be open with and accept this help - which can be difficult - pride, shyness or just plain hate the world.

the room above the garage Sun, Jun 12th 2016 @ 10:35am

I think you've hit the nail on the head TG. And when that love and kindness can't come from the one closest to us (I have that too) then if we can find it in the kindness of strangers or friends, its both hugely beneficial and appreciated. I'm glad your son is there, love ratg x.

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