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Today comes only once in a lifetime. Tuesday September 8, 2015

Depression often means our mind feels like a landfill site. Picture that. Mine does. I regularly crumble under the weight of my landfill mind and so I decided to zip on a white forensic boiler suit and try a little eco-mind. Recycle some rubble. And create a conveyor belt of sorting.

Meditation is not coming easily to me but I have seen significant benefits in a very short time and so I am committed to daily practice of 15 minutes. Andy Puddicombe talks into my ear every morning when I wake up and I really thank his wife for lending him to me.

It doesn't really matter how you take mediation. Yes, ideally you would sit in silence and run through a guided or unguided focus of anything from ten minutes upwards. But if you feel at this point in your mental battle it is either too daunting or just not for you, you can look for it in other ways. It can be a daily walk, a daily read, a daily dance, a daily good deed, a daily look at the horizon, a daily logging of landmarks or pavement marks on the daily commute, daily nutrition, a daily bath, a daily write, a daily friend, a daily smoke, a daily whisky, a daily game, a daily nap, a daily gym, a daily dessert. I have now said the word 'daily' so much it sounds weird... I used to love doing that as a kid!!! Daily, daily, daily, daily!!

Karen wrote a brilliant blog on alcohol back on the 9th of August and Norman's comment struck me. He was describing how he found, at that moment, the pub was bringing him some solace in a tricky time but that he knew it might not be good for his depression. My view is that whilst I needed to address my drinking because it was making me ill, it is ok not to live like a monk or a nun. If you give something your full passion, daily, it will bring you joy. If you enjoy a daily drink or a daily feeding of the birds and it brings you passion, peace and happiness... ENJOY IT! It is only if it is bringing you, or others, down that it needs to go.

The key word is DAILY. Whatever we commit to daily will bring us success. And be aware that if you commit to daily self-loathing or daily self-praise, you will succeed. Daily.

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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Leah Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 7:13am

You have an incredible gift in the way you write in an honest and helpful way that is full of wisdom yet accessible to those of us whose brains regularly go on strike.
I have failed meditation 101 and mindfulness despite having bought a few books, a CD, and a DVD.
I am going to work on extinguishing the self-loathing which seems to appear when I can't sleep. So instead of reliving all the mistakes of my life I will try daily to think of happy thoughts and past events. I have tried before but I will try harder Daily.
Thanks again Ratg.

Debs Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 7:30am

Fantastic blog hun and I read it lying in bed trying to convince myself to get up and meditate! Ha! I love the principle of repeat practice of something (anything) and how this can bring us solace. I wonder if repeating anything daily gives our brains the reassurance that we are ok, life is on our side and there is nothing to fear. Ok, time to get up and meditate - thanks for the timely encouragement ;-) xx

Zareen Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 7:44am

Thanks for the Blog which really resonated for me today!
I also use Headspace & usually try for 15 minutes per day. I have found it very beneficial.

Lex Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 8:30am

Carpe diem... but let's carpe a good bit of the day. Great blog RATG... You're my SuperHero.

Hopeful One Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 9:08am

Hi RATG- you have hit the jack pot with this blog.

As fellow Moodscopers will have gathered I am a great fan of meditation.

In intractable cases of depression electro convulsive treatment(ECT) is often prescribed as a last resort measure. It has a good track record of lifting one out of a depression . But it has unacceptable side effects which are only tolerated in the context of a its efficacy in the treatment of depression. Although there is no evidence I can offer for this I believe meditation works in a similar way the 'shock' being self administered, entirely physiological and without any known side effects. It is for this reason why I believe it works in depression( and many other mental dysfunctions.

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 10:37am

Ah RATG, a brill blog of the most brilliogs kind! Daily acceptance of where we are is a good place to start.
Thank you for mentioning the blog from hit a few raw nerves.
I'm still trying not to over-indulge with my friend (or should that be fiend???) alcohol, and when I fail I feel utterly devastated...but the meetings are coming less often as I understand and accept the side effects are damaging and I am trying hard not to meet up as often!
Alcohol had become a bad daily the evenings' to relax whilst cooking supper or to just chill. Now though, on mornings after non-alcoholic evenings, I see that I have slept quite well, I remember stuff and can live the coming day more easily!
I have a daily routine of dog walking and then the usual home stuff...I owe a lot to daily routines, some meditation, gardening, cleaning and a huge amount to having my dog! K x

danielle Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 10:48am

thanks for the great blog, do you use the headspace app? i use it too and find it really great for calming me down :)

the room above the garage Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 11:49am

Hello Danielle, Karen, HO, Lex, Zareen, Debs and Leah,

I do use the Headspace app. I am a book fan but when depression took over my mind, my ability to read was sorely affected (now I manage one, maybe two books a year). And so the app is instrumental in my learning and, as I seem to learn best with company, its gives me a voice to take me through it. That has been key for me.

Karen, in my own changing of habits, I find I can't learn a flame is hot until I've shoved my own hand in there a few times!!! Its returning and returning and returning to the lesson that makes it stick. You are doing fabulously well.

There is nothing better than knowing someone has found something in your blog which helped them in some small way. Thanks for commenting. HO, if you're still around...may I long is your daily meditation? When and where do you do it? You are my mentor!!

Lex, pants over tights always. I trust you have yours on under your trousers? Small cape in the top pocket?

Its good to journey on with you all, love ratg x.

Julia Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 3:03pm

Hi ratg. I looked up Andy Puddlecombe and see he is connected with Headspace which i have heard of many times. I have signed up. I guess I will have to upload his app onto my smartphone and get some headphones and that way I can listen to him in bed. I must get organised. Is this how you listen to Andy, ratg? Like Leah, I suffer from poor sleep and therefore find my enthusiasm for things dwindles after along bout of insomnia. I will try a daily exhortation of positiveness. Thanks ratg

Hopeful One Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 5:23pm

Hi Ratg- I meditate for at least 10 min everyday usually before bedtime with rare exceptions . I suffer from adorn of insomnia called advanced phase. This means I wake up too early. I have determined that I need a minimum of 5.5 hrs sleep at 90% plus efficiency if I am to be alert and refreshed the next day. I calculate the shortfall divide that by 2 and do an early morning meditation of that length. This is because I have through experience worked out that 1 minute of meditation equals 2 mins of sleep in terms of being alert and refreshed for the next day. So this may work out as 0 requirement for a meditation session to at most 45 min. I do the sleeping meditation ( you will find the technique in Andy' book). I reached this session period by slowly increasing my normal meditation so I could tolerate longer sessions which require a good posture to avoid fatigue it loss of concentration. Iit works for me and I offer it here if other Moodscopers are in a similar situation. It is important to remind one self that meditation is just that. It is not a competition so no need to compare one's experience with anyone else. Also there is no such thing as good or bad meditation as there is no jugdement involved. If one MUST judge than the best yardstick is whether one is aware or in aware. Ten minutes is the minimum for any effect and one can meditate anywhere where one can sit comfortably , unsupported and u disturbed.

the room above the garage Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 10:15pm

Hi Julia! Funny, you are the person who keeps coming to my mind when I think of who might benefit from meditation, specifically this app. Do take the ten free sessions (Take Ten) as its a very enjoyable way to open up to the idea. Thereafter there is a foundation course before you open up the whole library into a variety of things. As reward for doing 30 days in a row, they sent me a voucher for a month free for a friend. If you like the first ten days, you can have that month. I have a passion for good sleep and I'm really keen to see if this might help you. The idea is not to stop feelings or increase positivity but rather to stop and let the mind have a chance to exist. For me, I've found my mind continues to jump around both when I meditate and during the day but I'm becoming aware of it much quicker and returning it. It feels like my mind was a messy desk and that now someone is filing things. That's allowed me to feel free and I'm seeing things more clearly, approaching things very differently. I'm hoping your insomnia might be due to a whirring mind, which this might help...? If your insomnia is more due to physical things then maybe not. My gut feeling is that this might work for you. I'm excited :-) love ratg x

the room above the garage Tue, Sep 8th 2015 @ 10:22pm

HO that's fascinating. I'm not comparing, just really interested in others experiences now that I've dipped in a toe. I was hoping that you slept really well from regularly meditating and I'm sorry you're not. Have you investigated sleep cycles of 90 minutes? The idea being that if we wake at the end of one we may be better off not trying to sleep more, depending on how many hours have been had. There's a great little calculator I'll try to link in here if I have the technology...

Hopeful One Wed, Sep 9th 2015 @ 6:32am

Hi RATG- thanks for that. I will look into your suggestion.

Julia Wed, Sep 9th 2015 @ 3:46pm

Hi ratg. This is so very kind of you. A huge thank you. I will look into it all and let you know how I get on and meanwhile honestly, if you know of someone else who might benefit from your free voucher, please don't hesitate to give it to them. If not, I may well accept your kind offer. xx

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