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Vinnie The Bouncer. Monday November 16, 2015

[To listen to an audio version of this blog:]

Like many of us, I have a passion for writing. Many writers hope that some of their sayings will become quoted by others - something we call a "signature quote". Like the "Just Do Its" of the World - our sayings can become part of our brand - part of our legacy. One of my favourite sayings is, "'Reality' leaves much to the imagination." I'm hoping that's deeply profound! And I hope it captures your imagination!

This saying reflects not only my experience but also my understanding of perception. The brain 'makes up' a lot of information in order to make sense of World about us fast enough to make split-second decisions. We 'fill in the gaps' in what we really sense in order to function effectively.

This works amazingly most of the time, but sometimes we can have an over-active imagination. Feeling low, is often an aspect of over-imagining that happens to us - and what will happen next. We use imagination to fill-in-the-gaps and extrapolate our assessment of circumstances into possible future scenarios - few of them being happy ones! We make up meanings too!

It's almost impossible to stop this but I'd like to introduce you to Vinnie, The Bouncer (or Boncer?) Vinnie, modelled on Vinnie Jones, is the Bouncer in my Bonce. Sometimes I have to throw out some of the imaginations from the Nightclub of my Mind. Vinnie acts as an interrupter of unhelpful thoughts. He says, "Oi! You! That's not my thaut! [tought], get arrrt! [out] of me 'ed!"

Of course, this is ridiculous, but it's actually the interruption I'm after - to interfere with an unhelpful pattern of thinking. And it works.

Vinnie's for hire. If you'd like to borrow my Bouncer and let him allow only best-dressed thoughts into your mind, go ahead, be my guest!

All the bestest.

Lex xx
A Moodscope member.

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

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Alex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 6:22am

I love this. Love, love, love it. So practical, so helpful, so "something I can do!" ....something that works.
And am adopting it, as of now.

Thank you with bells and whistles and chocolate and beverage of choice.....

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 7:29am

Thanks, Alex... I like bells and whistles and chocolate and creamy coffee (I'm raising one to you now!)...oh, and puppies and kittens... and the quiet now that Vinnie has done his job! Lxx

Barbara Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 6:37am

And so well written!

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 7:29am

Thanks Barbara! Lxx

Kristen Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 6:45am

Great article :)

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 7:30am

Thanks Kristen... always appreciate encouragement. Lxx

Paul Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 6:46am

Excellent blog again lex, really good and very accurate. I really like listening to the audio version. Don't know if it's just me but I found the music a bit distracting. Please don't get me wrong the music is great but my mind can't listen to the music and the words at the same time. I'm easily distracted.

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 7:32am

Hi Paul. I'm experimenting with the music - if it has a point. Tried some without. What I'll do is do a version without music from now on (it's an easy thing to do) and send it to Caroline for uploading. I appreciate that you like the audio version. I'm meeting a lot of people who have a preference for audio over reading, so I'm hoping we'll find a way to match as many preferences as possible. Next up, video? lol. Have a great day! Lxx

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 12:46pm

Hi Paul, here's one without music:

Paul Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 7:34pm

Many thanks lex much appreciated. Paul

Hopeful One Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 7:55am

Hi Lex- Thank you a well written timely blog providing an additional tool for me to deal with those ANTS(automatic negative thoughts) and NUTS( negative unconscious thoughts) where I suspect many of the 'imaginings' arise.

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 8:05am

Hopeful One, I'm behaving myself today, but I'm sure I know a song about that... lol, Lxx

LillyPet Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 8:05am

Morning Lex, another great blog, thank you SO much.... I really need a Vinney in my life! (well bonce anyway!) I love the idea of my mind being a place where I choose, with humour who I let in. I'm really struggling with these 2 negative "intruders" at the moment and it's draining, making me ill, having to keep working on it. Unlike any other aspect of my life it' s so easy for unwanted stuff to get in! I think it's easier for the mind to be " off guard" and the imagination to roam free, yes sadly in a negative way, first thing in the morning when your imagination has roamed free over night!
Thanks for Vinnie! I'll leave him in charge of that bit today!
Have a great day! LP :) xx

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 8:08am

Hey, LillyPet, and he's a bit of eye-candy too... perhaps! If not, he's got loads of other stars who can be your Bouncer of the Day. Happy Bouncing! Lxx

LillyPet Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 9:41am

Lol! You're hilarious! Not bad for a bouncer, but my bodyguard of choice would've been Kevin Coster back in the day! :))

Jennifer Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 8:10am

Thanks for making me smile! I think hearing my own poor attempt at the accent in my mind will make this all the more effective and amusing. I won't b reflecting on how bad I am at faux cockney impressions but how good I am at doing them badly!! X

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 12:49pm

That's so funny, Jennifer, 'cos I was listening back to my attempt at a "Vinnie" Voice and was thinking, "Don't give up the day job, Lex!" I think Vinnie is safe. But I really, whole-heartedly agree. The funnier this becomes, the more effective it becomes as not only a pattern-interrupt but also a mindset-shifter. Have fun with Vinnie. Lxx

Mary Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 8:14am

Great post. Well, Vinnie has never done it for me, but I do know a number of handsome and hunky guys who I definitely wouldn't mind living in my head ready to strong - arm any negative thought out of the door. I'll be holding interview later!

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 12:49pm

...and all those thoughts have got to be best dressed! I was thinking of you, Mary when I wrote that!!! Lxx

danielle Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 9:15am

Great blog Lex, thank you. I vividly remember through my whole life, especially as a youngster having a very wild imagination and being able to create a story out of any situation. I grew up an only child and sometimes if I was bored I would sit and think imagine what the world would be like if we all had mermaid tails not legs, or something equally as crazy and ludicrous! I still have moments like this now where I will imagine some sort of fantasy world. I love that I have this imagination but have wondered if the two go hand in hand, wild imaginations and mental health problems? does anyone else experience this? I have heard before of very creative and expressive people experiencing mental health problems and I am sure there is a link. It can be our best friend and our own worst enemy xx

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 12:53pm

Imagination is a two-edged sword, Danielle. I'm convinced that mental health issues require an active (but destructive) imagination to continue. This is why I think we must learn how to harness our imagination for good. I REALLY wanted a tail, a prehensile one, for years... you've reawakened that idea! I shall re-engineer my DNA with my imagination! Great for carrying an umbrella AND the shopping. Love, Mr Tumnus

Norman Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 4:25pm

That's interesting Dani. At primary school the youngest class would often send for me (out of the top class) to tell them a story. And I'd stand there and just make one up on the spot, they loved it and the teachers enjoyed the break. Sadly having no literary, dramatic, artistic or musical talent whatsoever I have found it increasingly frustrating not to have a creative outlet.

Lex Tue, Nov 17th 2015 @ 7:13am

Norman! I must challenge what you say! If you captured the hearts of the children, you've got all the talent you need. Water the seed. Lxx

Lou Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 9:22am

This is a fantastic idea - I shall be employing Vinnie when I spot my imagination is trying to run away with itself. Really great image to hang onto;

""Oi! You! That's not my thaut! [tought], get arrrt! [out] of me 'ed!""


Have as a good a day as possible fellow Moodscopers!


Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 12:54pm

Go Lou, Go... and bad imaginations, out them throw! Lxx

the room above the garage Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 9:37am

"Your name isn't on the list, you're not getting in"...oh I like! Yes please, is like someone burly in me 'ed! Thank you x.

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 12:55pm

You got it, RATG... "Not on the list?... Out!" Have fun with this today. Lxx

tony Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 9:49am

many thanks Lex - a very nice imagery, I like Vinnie!

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 12:56pm

What's not to like about Vinnie... I bet he's a softy really, but we like a bit of a rough exterior when we need protection, don't we?! Have a great day, Tony. Lxx

Anonymous Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 3:50pm

Hello Lex, I only wish I'd found this earlier today. Those darned gatecrashers in my head took me down a pretty bleak path this afternoon. Thank you for this great imagery. I too will be employing back up from now on, because some of those intruders can dress quite well. This afternoon, I invited them to join me, believing they 'genuinely only had my best interests at heart' and were 'helping me see reality'. It seemed so believable (and so caustic and self destructive at the same time). My bouncer will spot them next time though. No more free passes. I'm too much of a softy myself.

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 6:02pm

Hello Anonymous, I've got a friend who has a great word for those imposters: "Frenemies"! I'm confident that you'll spot them and bounce 'em... Just say "No!" Lxx

The Gardener Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 5:44pm

Norman and others - making up stories. Our 5th grandchild was a 'handful' and at his brother's christening it looked as though he would be banished to his room. I could not bear the idea, and had to think of something that would not alienate his Mum. I took him on my knee - and somehow out poured stories 'More Granny, more'. Got to five, remembered them all, printed and illustrated. He's just about to receive his Master's degree in Australia, but he still has the books! But the bouncer is another matter. Shattering day, 4-day visit from two offspring due this week-end, to visit their Dad (he may not recognize them if they wait much longer) and to help me with some jobs. They laid down 'terms', nothing like 'let's go and comfort Mum'. Up-shot, not coming, son 'delicate' (he has had a lot of depression). He says his health is more important than the emotional risk of visiting his parents. Now, I need your Vince to drive out, with a bull-dozer, the thoughts 'all I've done for that family' plus the fact that I lashed out 500 pounds for psychotherapy this summer. These are not good thoughts, what's done is done, but bitterness and lack of hope are uppermost. So, Lex, a bit of magic please?

Lex Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 6:11pm

Hello Dearest Gardener... I hope you know you have a lot of friends here. I use the word "hope" - even though I know that you do know this, simply because we sometimes have to borrow hope from others. When it gets very difficult (and we've followed your posts with a mixture of great concern and greater compassion), we sometimes need others to hope for us, and to give reassuring words. In my mind, I take you upon my lap and tell you a story that you can look back on and see that it was true... Once upon a time there was a Wise Gardener whose heart was full of the richest soil in which the finest of flowers, herbs and trees could grow. The Gardener was so good that she was asked to care for other people's gardens. Soon, her own became neglected, but for the best of reasons, the finest and most noble of reasons. One day, an amateur Gardener noticed the state of her Garden and said, "I have loved your work in so many other gardens - I can always tell it's you... Would you do me an enormous favour and spend some time in your own garden?" And they continued, "To help, I'd like to lend you my friend Vinnie - who is most excellent at weeding and at repairing the walls necessary to keep out predators." The Gardener smiled at the foolish amateur and said, not unkindly, "It is impossible, I have too much to care for..." but the amateur just grinned like a Cheshire Cat and said nothing beyond giving The Gardener a lovely long hug. And in that moment, in the magic of ImagiNation (the most magical nation on Earth), The Gardener felt a glimmer of hope...

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 11:06pm

Lex - brilliant! Carolinex

susan Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 11:34pm

Lex, I don't think TG was the only one sitting on your lap, soaking up the comfort and magic of your words. Hope you didn't mind a crowd, TG. We are all there with you. Xx

Lex Tue, Nov 17th 2015 @ 7:10am

Thanks Caroline and Susan... and I've a lap to match my heart for us all. I love our community. Hope it's OK to do lap share too, though, 'cos I'd love to sit on someone's lap! Lxx

Anonymous Mon, Nov 16th 2015 @ 10:33pm

i've been doing this recently. i've a terrible habit of using my imagination in negative ways, making stories up in my head, things that haven't happened. haven't quite been using vinnie but i'm acknowledging the thought as soon as i can recognise it as negative and unhelpful. accepting i thought about it and moving on, congratulating myself on catching it. i catch it quick sometimes, sometimes i've let it go too far but will keep trying. ah the imagination ,

Lex Tue, Nov 17th 2015 @ 7:12am

Hi Anonymous, isn't "capture the imagination" an accurate cliche. It's so important. I'm glad for every victory you have, and, if you're like me, I hope you'll have the gentleness with yourself to realise that any setback is just a glitch - it will pass. Lxx

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