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The A to Z Guide to Life - an introduction. Monday November 30, 2015

At the age of 18, I was in a good place. I'd had a profound spiritual experience, and, as a result, I knew who I was, what I was here for, and that everybody else needed fixing.

Within less than two years I realised that I was the one that needed fixing first! My purpose has remained constant though, even though the focus of that purpose has shifted.

So what am I here for? The verse that 'spoke' to me, that 'called' to me, talks of transformation through new patterns of thinking. Change your thinking, change your World. A free translation would be: "Be being transformed by the renewing of your mind." It's from Paul's letter to the Roman Church, a community of believers who were in danger of staying stuck in the ways of thinking of those around them. They were taking their lead from the wrong sources.

I figure that's a message that's relevant for people stuck in any culture at any age. The culture in which we live can squeeze us all too easily into its own mould. We all need new patterns of thinking to make that metamorphic transformation from caterpillar to butterfly or that leap from tadpole to frog.

Knowing now that I continue to need fixing first, and that I have more to learn than I ever realised as an arrogant 18 year old, I nevertheless have to acknowledge that I've learned some useful patterns of thinking over the years. And so, I'd love to share some of those useful patterns with you. It'll be an A to Z of patterns that bring hope.

I say 'share' because you are very likely to have some better patterns too that would do me the World of good. So let's trade.

We keep these blogs short, so I'll close this one with a pattern of thought that will serve us all well: always keep learning! The moment you think you know enough, it's "Game Over!"

And in that spirit, I'd like to ask you, "What's the most important change you've made in the last year?" And, "What was the thinking that led to this change?"

Lex
A Moodscope member.

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


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Comments

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 5:08am

Hi Mooodscope Buddies...
Audio is here: https://soundcloud.com/user-299834263/0-the-a-to-z-guide-to-life-introduction

Sally Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 5:33am

I do like the way this is written, Lex. Keep em coming! Keep learning is also one close to my heart, as is share: it'll make you feel better . Whether it's sharing money/ things, or information/ tips/news/ your thoughts, sharing is rewarding.
Thank you Lex.

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 7:46am

I am completely aligned with your values there, Sally. What shall we share? L'xx

Maria Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 4:28pm

Thank you Lex for sharing your blogs!

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 5:51pm

One of my greatest pleasures, Maria! Thank you for taking the time to comment. L'xx

Nick Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 6:57am

The most important change for me this year, is to be a little easier on my self, more forgiving of myself. The reason for this, I think, is because I want to be more loving of others.I feel that If I can love myself unconditionally, then I can love others that way too xx PS this is a work in progress!

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 7:47am

Well, Nick, I'm a happy man this morning - absolutely in agreement with you and Sally - and thank you for posting. I think all the shares today will be ones we can all agree with as a community. L'xx

Hopeful One Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 8:08am

Hi Lex- a very thought provoking post. Not so much in cultures but definitely in religion there is a tacit expectation that the followers give up their right to think for themselves and follow the leader or prophet with out question leading to tragic consequences as we see in middle east.

My decision last year? Never ever to give up my right to think for myself.

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:33am

Am with you in this HO...and keep asking questions!

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:34am

How can be be true to ourselves, if we don't allow ourselves to think for ourselves, Hopeful One. I'm with you. Think, Love, Learn, Share... I feel a poster coming on! L'xx

Down the well Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 8:23am

Thank you very much for this Lex, funnily enough it chimes with just what I've been thinking about lately - the way thought patterns become ingrained and the actual neurological functioning of that. And how to create new thoughts! I have a lot of work to do in that respect, some very bad habits of beating self up have loomed large this year. I look forward to some Moodscopers wisdom on making positive change. Definitely agree with continual learning, thinking for yourself and the importance of self-compassion. Have a good day my friends x

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:36am

Yes, Down the Well... we all need to re-wire. Even homes need to be re-wired from time to time so why not the home we dwell in, our body and brain? Some of my old wires I inherited from my parents, and some of that still stands, but other bits have got to go! Having a good day and wishing you one too. L'xx

Lou Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 9:09am

"What's the most important change you've made in the last year?" And,
"What was the thinking that led to this change?"

I have been doing a lot of reading, including The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters, which I have found really illuminating, and the biggest change for me is this: (I have paraphrased in part)

You have a choice to base your confidence on ‘doing your best’. NOT trying to be perfect and get everything 100% right all the time (as this leads to fear of failure).

You can guarantee to make your best effort, you can always do your best and deal with consequences, and therefore there is no fear.

It is not an easy change to make as I am of an anxious mind and feel that I should be able to do everything and get it right all the time – impossible for anyone, let alone anyone with any kind of health problems! So being able to think “I gave it my best” and feel satisfied with that – rather than beating myself for what I feel I haven’t done, could have done better etc., is a huge change. And a work in progress!

Great post Lex – and clearly one to get us, and keep us, thinking!

Lou

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:38am

Hi Lou. I am getting recommendations for "The Chimp Paradox" from several sources, so yours clinches the recommendation - off to order it! May you continue to be compassionate towards yourself and be happy with your best. L'xx

Lou Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 6:49am

Happy reading Lex. I wasn't sure to start with but found it really spoke to me. Hope you find it useful too. Lou

Lex Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 9:13am

All ordered, Lou... really looking forward to it. L'xx

LillyPet Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 9:11am

Morning Lex, I think that the most important change I've made this year was to break the cycle of waking up feeling horribly low and negative thinking taking over.
The thinking that led to this change was that it must have something to do with how my brain functions in the mornings and that my brain can be distracted. (Here's to Brighter Mornings blog). From that I realised that just knowing that I had the power to do something that worked made the world of difference, broke the cycle and now it doesnt feel like I'm stuck and helpless anymore. Like Nick, I've been more gentle on myself about it too. I'm bound to be more vulnerable to unhelpful thoughts as I am just waking up and not quite with it enough to realise it's happened! I just dont entertain it for very long anymore!
Thanks for sharing yours Lex. To keep learning is a great way to live in so many ways.I've learnt so much from Moodscope and look forward to reading the responses to your thought inspiring blog. :)
Sending out wishes for a ray of sunshine to all today. LP xx

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:41am

You "Bring Me Sunshine" - LillyPet! It's going to be fascinating to discover the wisdom from our collective community. I've just seen an eBook on Amazon about SleepHacks. Given that many of us have trouble with this, and that it can make us vulnerable in the morning, I'll be looking into that. Keep breaking those cycles, stay perky, and keep shining! L'xx

LillyPet Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:29pm

Will keep trying! :) Looking forward to hearing more about sleep hacks! Being able to get a good night's sleep must be up there with safety food and shelter as our basic needs. LP xx

Lex Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 9:14am

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B017I5F8ME?keywords=sleep%20hacking%20playbook&qid=1448961248&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1

Lex Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 9:15am

I haven't read this but I'm attracted to researching the subject. L'xx

danielle Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 9:24am

thanks for another great blog Lex. I am struggling to think of changes I have made in the last year and upon thinking about it, I have realised I do not keep the changes. I have tried reading books (chimp paradox mentioned by Lou above, Lovign what is by Byron Katie, The worry cure etc etc) I have tried starting meditation, I have tried keeping a mood diary, tried doing moodscope scores, tried a few techniques I was taught at CBT but none seem to stick. Perhaps I have a problem with commitment but I feel like I cannot keep any changes up - does anyone have any tips? sorry to be a complete kill-joy just feeling super fed up at the realisation i will never kick the stupid anxiety if I cant even manage to keep up the techniques

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:41am

Danielle, I have an easy one for you to start with: go easy on yourself. I used to hate that I couldn't read and be interested in all the articles in the major broadsheet newspaper my husband enjoyed. I told him this and he said 'just read what takes your fancy, the rest will follow when you need to read it.' And I sort of did and now read more of it than he does...and even have a stab at the crossword!! Baby steps...no matter how old we are, we just need to be gentle our self and take it bit by bit. I can't keep up writing in a diary; I tried CBT; I sometimes do my Moodscope score :) I don't often get into a difficult book without falling asleep....I just realise I'm not ready for some of these things and may never be ready for them...but it actually doesn't matter. Popping in here on the blog as and when I can does more good so same goes for you, sweetie - start small...but with a BIG Bear hug x x x

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:43am

Hi Danielle, your post isn't a kill-joy, but rather a cause for joy. There is much joy in this community through the opportunity to comment and offer support. I remember wrestling with the same issue applied to time management (not so emotional of course). I couldn't find a system that worked for me - and that's the key - finding something that is Danielle-shaped, tailored just for you. You'll find it, I know. If it doesn't work, it's just not the right approach for you, yet. L'xx

danielle Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:55am

Thanks Bear, you are right i just feel like I cant be good at anythign, cant beat the anxiety and cant even keep to things I am meant to do to beat it! But I think you are right I need to start small and little steps, thank you. Lex - you are also right I need to find something that fits my lifestyle and that works I will keep looking. thank you, the support means a lot today as it does always every day xx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:59am

You are there for us when we need it so this is us bouncing ideas back at ya, my liddle squirlie x x x

susan Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 11:47am

Danielle, I've been trying stuff for years...just like you...and lots of it just didn't suit me. This is normal so don't beat yourself up, please. Just pick and choose bits and pieces here and there, letting your intuition guide you (like Bear's hubby says). It could be one thing that shifts you, or it could be a combination of things that add up to a Danielle-shaped (Lex)routine. xx

danielle Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 1:34pm

thanks Sue :) I think the issue is I try and do several techniques all the time and its just too much, I either forget, dont have time or just cant bring myself to do it then beat myself up for not managing it all. I have a meditation app called headspace which i have found very useful in the past but havent managed to do it for 6 odd weeks. After all the lovely comments this morning i did a meditation session from the app and felt much better. I think I will try and do one each day, as well as read the moodscope blog but leave it at that. Once i have made this small step a lasting habit then i can do one more thing and so on. hopefully that will be less demanding and more manageable on the bad days. the help from you all is so much appreciated and a little glimmer of light xxx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 4:13pm

Wonderful news, Danielle...onwards and upwards or even just sideways...keep going x x x

Norman Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 9:49pm

Valued member of Moodscope? (4,2,6,5)

LillyPet Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:32pm

So glad you found something to start with and a managable way forward Danielle. Do you sleep ok? LP xx

danielle Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 7:54am

oh moodscopers you are so lovely :) LP - I get to sleep in a matter of seconds - i could sleep on a washing line, but often it is scattered with vivid and bad dreams but i do feel very lucky that i can get to sleep 99% of the time as many cannot. xxx

Debs Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:35am

Great blog Lex, very thought-provoking.... Like Danielle says above I tend to try knee-jerk changes, or things I've read about in books or people have told me, but then after a couple of days I get disheartened and give up. But a few weeks ago someone said that training the mind is no different from training the body and it takes small actions repeated daily to make a real difference over time. So I changed my thought from 'I should do this' to 'I must do this' and have committed to three things - exercising at least three times a week, practising yoga and writing a positivity and gratitude journal every day. And even when I miss a day, or a week (or a month!), I keep coming back to my three committments and doing them again.

Of course I still beat myself up when I feel I've slipped but I tell myself everyone does that and its not about falling off the horse its about getting back on ;-) It took me years (really, I mean years!) to learn to drive, I was an anxious mess, scared of everything and couldn't even dream of ever being a driver. People kept telling me it would all fall into place but I didn't believe them. If I'd given up after a few lessons I never would have made it but I kept going (for about 5 years!), sometimes I had to change instructors because I hadn't found the right fit, at one point I shifted to automatic lessons to make it less stressful, and I had lots of scrapes, terrifying moments, crying fits and rages.

Skip forward five years and I am now a very confident driver, I whizz around in my little car and love the freedom it gives me. I did it, I conquered it and I am proud I did it. But I also know that if I don't drive for a few days or weeks I lose the flow and it suddenly needs a bit more concentration and effort. Its the same with the mind - it takes small repeated effort over a period of time to make the difference. Nothing will work overnight. So stick with it, keep going and keep repeating the patterns (this is advice to myself as much as anyone else!) Only then will things start to change. Soon your mind will be sailing along the motorway in full flow ;-)

Sending love and stength to you all xxxxx

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:46am

Debs, I love this... great words for Danielle but for ALL of us. You are such a good writer and an encourager. Thank you! L'xx

danielle Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:58am

Thanks Debs - the encouragement is much appreciated and I will think of you struggling with your driving and now whizzing around - the encouragement that I need to realise that hopefully one day I will conquer these things! its all about the little steps and repeating patterns xxx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 10:53am

Hi Lex....muchos gracias and thankees for a thought-provoking blog....most important changes have been coming off meds - still struggling and just about coping, but hey, am here!

Also diet...lost many pounds then stones and yes, it'll be a bit of a struggle with so many tempting challenges to come in the next few weeks with vino collapso, pagne and delish food...but will keep going and in the words of E.T.....I will 'be good!'
Bear x

danielle Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 11:02am

good for you Bear our little ray of sunshine :) One of my close friends has always battled with her weight so I see with her how difficult it can be - you have done amazingly well to lose all of that. I don't really drink so when others are on the vino I have what we call 'posh squash' - in most of the big supermarkets you can get cordials (like the bottle green ones or belvoir) the supermarkets do their own brands which tend to be cheaper and in glass bottles. I like the tesco finest apple and elderflower and mix it with tonic water. Okay it is still sugary but no where near as bad as vino and feels like a grown up soft drink! another good one i have found is banana cookies - a friend told me about them as I am terrible for snacking, 2/3 ripe bananas, mash them up, add raisins (or any dried fruit) and oats - keep adding oats til its a nice sticky dough then roll into balls and squash into cookie shapes on a baking tray. They are tasty and very filling for when that sweet craving over christmas comes. could try adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg too. keep at it though, youve done so well. clever bear :)

danielle Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 11:03am

forgot to say - you do need to bake the cookies (doh!!) about 15 mins til golden brown :)

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 11:03am

Good Bear! Good Bear!! Think of all those things you'll wear; Things that are your rewards and treats For all those things you didn't eat!!!!! L'xx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 4:14pm

Yes, thankees.....must buy more clothes!!! x x x

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 5:52pm

And shoes. Always more shoes.. L'xx

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 10:05am

Nah hate shoes...must be the only woman who hates shoe shopping!

Norman Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 11:23am

a) I gave up alcohol indefinitely; because,
b) in my cycle of depression it felt like the weakest link or the one where I had most control.

Haven't read much Paul, my favourite book of the Bible is Eccelsiastes 3.

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:14pm

Ah Norman! A time for everything, eh? A Time for Everything There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. L'xx

The Gardener Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 11:28am

The most daunting change in my life. Became 80, husband's mental and physical state deteriorated, hospitalised 3 times, and I bought a new house and acquired a second garden. The new house is to accommodated my husbands changing needs - and for my advancing years. As everything that can go wrong has, the only word is 'adapt'. Another change has been almost cessation of social life, very hard. Using Moodscope as an incredible 'prop' has been a change, brought in friends I can communicate with even if I can no longer go out or travel.

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:15pm

Hi Gardener, it's important for us all to remember and cherish the connection we have through Moodscope. You remind me of that as well as inspire me. Hugs. L'xx

susan Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 11:34am

Morning, Lex. Here's to everything and anything that helps us to keep on keeping on. About a year ago I watched a video by Natasha Campbell McBride which, in an moment of complete comprehension of what an amazing universe exists in our gut, made me commit to looking after it better https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_0NvcJZwa8. That and pilates has made a difference. Am also learning to stop and rest, even for 5 minutes, when I feel stress levels rising. Once levels get to a certain point, the anxiety and depression kick in SO FAST. Of course, Life too often gets in the way and I can't always get there in time...but the combination of awareness and resting will hopefully become second nature. Still have to tackle the morning horrors and not entertain them for so long, as Lillypet says. Moodscope's lovely people have helped me be more patient with myself. And more understanding, for sure. Thanks for the blog...always great to see you! xx

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:20pm

A.R.E.... Awareness, Rest, Exercise??? Shall we do a Pirate's Pilates video? Aharrgh! Lovely to have your insights, Susan, and am about to check out your YouTube links or record it to listen to for it is over and hour and I'm sure it would be good company on one of my long journeys. L'xx

The Gardener Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 12:06pm

St Paul mentioned - feel a great affinity for him - traveller, linguist, and did not suffer fools gladly - sure we would have got on, and he provided my favourite reading

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:20pm

Love never fails... L'xx

Mj Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 12:10pm

Thanks Lex. I have been doing the strangest thing. I have been learning to care for myself as if someone loved me. I knew a lot of spiritual and emotional neglect and abuse growing up. At 60 now with a therapist who is a perfect fit for I am learning to set boundaries and build a life worth living. Small things mostly. Some are big and cause a stir with those used to using me as a door mat. 2016 will be an interesting year!!

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:22pm

This sounds transformative, MJ. I like a range of sizes when it comes to changes... bit like that line from a song, "We love our love in different sizes..." so also I love my changes. I hope you experience a tipping point in good things this coming year, with a great foretaste even before the end of this year. L'xx

Jennifer Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 12:15pm

Great question Lex thankyou. Biggest change for me is..... Be Aware to Beware of unhelpful thoughts with Slowing Down really helping to see/hear the real low down on what's going on in my head.By that I mean trying to really concsciously notice when my thoughts are running away in a certain cycle or pattern of ideas I don't like or that I know won't be helpful to how I'll feel about myself or a situation. Ive heard it called doing a 'Thought Experiment'. It helps to take another breath or feel the shoes on your feet whatever works for you. I have done this to the point where I can really see how any feelings of anxiety I experience is generally preceeded by unpleasant thoughts. It takes practice. But then when mild psychotic symptoms have returned on a number of occassions in recent weeks that's a pretty big motivator for me to keep learning new skills! But I have had revelatory moments where I have very conciously felt/seen the shift in my feelings for the better x

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:25pm

Hi Jennifer, this sounds just like what I need too. The ability to have sufficient 'distance' from my own thinking to observe and listen to my thoughts, and interrupt them when they spiral the wrong way. I am encouraged by your progress in the shift of feelings. L'xx

Mary Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 12:47pm

Two big changes for me. The first one is identifying myself as a writer. Thanks hugely to you lovely people on moodscope for that one. The second and more fundamental one is accepting my condition and not beating myself up when the black hole swallow me up but just resting and being with it. In some ways I have even been able to enjoy the enforced rest. Even now as I recover and can do a little more I have learned to take it easy and not to push myself too hard. A third thing - I am giving up alcohol for Advent!!! I will see how that one goes but again, the many of you who have managed this greatly inspire me.

the room above the garage Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:08pm

I used to drink to numb my feelings. I learned it brought me a whole army of other ones and that took a long time to change. Now I can have the odd glass and it doesn't have control of me any more. I'll do advent with you, not one drop, there is none in my house! In my experience, there is no good time for these things and having one last cake/heroin hit/drink does nothing for the quest...start tonight? When you wake tomorrow you will be ahead of the game, always a fantastic feeling!! My top tip is when you feel you want to pour a drink, ask yourself "what am I feeling and what do I need?" I realised I felt crushingly lonely at the time I was cooking dinner for everyone, and I needed a break. Being a solo parent there was no option but to keep going, but once I realised what I felt and what I needed, I could make other changes. Now, cooking dinner is one of the last things I do instead of continuing to work into the night. It's non negotiable for me (except for emergencies!). Advent Club anyone?

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:27pm

This could make an amazing Advent Calendar, couldn't it? A great question per day like, "What am I feeling and what do I need?" Thanks Mary and RATG. L'xx

Lynn Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 3:42am

I agree with Mary. Gave up drinking for Lent in 1986 and haven't had one since. I don't do it alone though. I don't have that kind of power. It takes a community of people who are working at it together. ( I'm in a 12 step program. It has become an important part of my life and given me a host of friends who "get it".... kinda like moodscope :)

the room above the garage Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 1:46pm

Hello Lex (et al!)
I've been rolling this around in my head since I opened it around 6am...do I have a important change that I've made this year? I think I have. I've stopped caring as much about what I think. I still have the thoughts, they're usually based around feeling hideously inadequate as a person. But I've stopped caring as much about that thought. So I suppose I have accepted that I feel hideously inadequate as a person. And that allows me to see that I only feel it...I am not it. That's quite big for me! :-D
Yours BIG x

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:29pm

Big? That's a HUGE shift in awareness. "I am not my feelings, so I am not what I feel." I love it! That's up there with, "I am not my past." Or, "My past is not my potential." Fab insight, thank you RATG. L'xx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 4:28pm

Dearest Big RATG, wow and wow again with a huge wow thrown in for goodly measure! I know now that I NEED to stop caring about the awful thoughts that whizz around my bonce on a continuous loop, the ones that tell me how badly I cope etc, etc...the Moodscope page isn't long enough for the list I have...it's longer than Santa's list! Thank you, BIG BEAR HUGS x x x x

the room above the garage Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 8:55pm

Yes beautifulbearwiththelargebrain...care less! (To that one thing). It's that which has kept me writing and in there has been a little pocket of salvation. Have the thought by all means but then don't care about it. Mmmmm, for a bear who cares this could be both a challenge and a brand new exciting freedom!

the room above the garage Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 8:57pm

'I am not my past'...Oooh Lex that's lovely to see in black and white.

Leah Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 11:42pm

RATG have you been inside my brain. I wake up most mornings feeling down and inadequate and had tried so many ways to counter this feeling- breathing, mindfulness. I too have accepted in the mornings I feel worthless and inadequate but unlike you RATG, I have not made the next step of saying I may feel this but I am not this!! Very hard to sound positive and happy with tears staining my cheeks! Les thanks for a great thought provoking post.

the room above the garage Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 12:40pm

Hi beautiful Leah, you run your own business, you mother, you partner, you write and it inspires, you are not afraid of facing your fear, you use your experience to throw out a hand to the next person...take your place on the step...you may feel inadequate but you are not. I admire you and I love having you here.

Jennifer Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:27pm

I totally identify with Rtg comment above about feeling inadequate but not being that. Having just
started back at work after a year on maternity I could clearly hear that old voice back....you're not as capable as colleagues, you're not clever, you're not worth what they pay you etc etc. But just because I feel or think these thoughts does not make them true. Big for me. Trying to stop sabbotaging myself. Turning the volume down bit by bit hopefully x

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 2:42pm

...and play something else in your head. The joys of the mp3 player of your mind!!! L'xx

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 4:37pm

Jennifer, Congratulations on going back to work. You should first of all, give yourself a huge pat on the shoulder for coping with the enormity of that - and actually physically doing it!! Ve ve hard to leave liddle juans behind. Secondly, you are MORE capable than many of your colleagues as you juggle more than one job.....and I bet you do justice to all. Remember to do yourself the same justice and be kind to yourself. Try playing 'What have you done today, to make you feel proud?'...in your mind's mp3, and I bet you'll have a list as long as your arm! Bear hugs x x x

the room above the garage Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 9:00pm

What a huge accomplishment Jennifer. I really don't think enough credit is given for how hard it is to do this. Please remember 'do not judge my path until you have walked a mile in my shoes'...you can play that inside your head whenever you need to. Xx

Maria Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 4:46pm

Thanks Lex for a brilliant blog! The biggest change I've made is to love myself...first. It is much easier to give to others that way :)

Lex Mon, Nov 30th 2015 @ 5:53pm

That's a lesson we all need to learn, Maria. Love never fails but it does begin within ourselves! L'xx

Lynn Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 3:33am

I'm a day behind so this comment is a little behind the time. The things that have helped me the most are to be grateful for each new day ( which changes my attitude) and try to help others (that gets me out of my head, which is often a bad neighborhood in which to be alone). I don't do them well or all the time but that's why it's called practice. Hopefully I'll get better the more I practice. I talked to the people I knew who seemed to be the happiest and this is what most of them said to do...it's worked pretty well so far. Think I'll check into the book mentioned above (the chimp principle..I think, I'll have to check back in the comments above... my senior memory seems to be working the way it usually does). Love the blogs! I've starred many of them on my phone. Thanks for the understanding and encouraging words :)

danielle Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 8:02am

Lynn, this is a great idea, I will try being grateful for each day, this morning I awoke feeling sorry for myself so reminded myself i was lucky to have the heating on, lucky to have a hot shower and lucky to drive to work vs train/walk. it helped a lot! helping others is also a good one. My psychiatrist told me to try MAGIC every day - i need to restart it. M=mindfulness, so just be aware of how you feel and spend a few moments being mindful, this could be the feel of a hot drink on your lips, the sound of the wind, what ever works. A=active - some days this could be a nice long walk, some days for me it is a brisk walk across the office, G=giving - giving time to someone, paying a compliment, give them help with something, I=interested - find something you dont normally pay attention to and be interested - could be a news article youd never normally read or learn about the ingedients in one of your lunch items, C=connected - connect with someone you dont normally, a colleague at the coffee machine, send a text to a friend etc. They dont need to be big things but act as a great distraction and can be a powerful sense of achievement on days when it feels impossible to achieve anything. xxxx

Lex Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 9:16am

Blog it, sister, blog it! L'xx

Lynn Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 3:48am

Just found it....the chimp paradox. Now to find it!

Lex Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 9:18am

Oooo Ooooo Oooo... that's the best Chimp I can do for now, but I'm practising... paradoxically... L'xx

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Dec 1st 2015 @ 10:13am

Or should that be 'ooo, ooo, oo, I wanna be like you-oooo, I wanna walk like you, talk like you-ooooo-oo....'???? What a great blog, Lex. And aren't peeps here just magic? Will have to get a practising paradoxical chimps out of head now! Here, have a Bear hug - free to good home x x x x

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