flowers
blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

A New Year and Dealing with Intense Emotions

Happy New Year 2021 png

Christmas time may be a source of stress or joy. Compounding those yuletide stresses, the Covid pandemic continues to rage, so there was little cause for joy in many parts of the world.

Marlene inspired me to think of the year’s outcomes in terms of ‘gifts,’ some good and of course, some bad. We’d do well to focus on the better aspects for our own well-being. So, what if any, positives can be noted?

Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on Pexels.com

Lessons from the Pandemic

Whether we like the lessons or not:

  • This awful year has taught us patience and more appreciation for things at home.
  • This dreadful year has been a godsend for parts of the environment and animal world.
  • The pandemic afforded us time to develop or re-discover DIY home projects.
  • This deadly virus has potentially increased family tensions but has given extra time with loved ones. I will take as a blessing option, thanks.
  • Rates of family violence and alcohol consumption rose, yet levels of air pollution diminished due to fewer vehicles on the roads. The night sky was/is full of stars hitherto unseen in cities, as air quality improved.
  • Peak hour traffic congestion eased and commuter accidents lessened.
  • Workplaces were forced to become more flexible, benefitting those caring for someone, at home.
  • Money from saved travel and workplace costs, (uniforms, ancillary items, office durables and rentals), could instead be spent on other items that bring joy.
  • Extroverts suffered from social isolation but many introverts thrived.

..some Australian online [alcohol], retailers have reported 50% to 500% increases in sales compared to the same period in 2019.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7300689/#dar13092-bib-0018
Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

Negative Impacts of the Pandemic

This pandemic has uncovered a festering mal-contentment at the interplay between politics and society and offered diametrically opposed opportunities and grief.

Unemployment rose sharply and many lost businesses, their livelihood, or their lives. In some places, political decisions and divisiveness led to civil unrest. Financial ruin became rampant. Mental health nosedived.

For each one of us, the impacts may be very individual. With no short term end to Covid in sight, the heightened emotions the pandemic brings, remain uncomfortable and difficult for many folks to manage.

How do we deal with those difficult emotions?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Dealing with Difficult Emotions

Write Down Your Thoughts

Sometimes it can be cathartic to transfer those strong emotions into written words. Blogging can be great therapy.

female writing

Slow Down and See Each Moment

Ironically, the pandemic has made me feel grateful.

Grateful for things I DO have and it ensured I did slow down and appreciate the individual moments that pass by.

Grateful for our country’s relative safety bubble.

We can be grateful for modern science working hard to solve the virus riddle.

Grateful that I have not been touched by financial ruin, separation or Covid itself.

Grateful that even though my workinglife ended prematurely, I now have time to enjoy retirement activities with the Moth.

Grateful that I have daily incidental conversation with the adult children who came home due to financial reasons.

Grateful that I can let unimportant things slide.

Grateful to have the awareness I am so much more than just my emotions/feelings.

Grateful that emotions and feelings change as the world moves and changes. Everything must change for, just like bad weather, nothing ever lasts.

2021 Mantra

In this New Year of 2021:

If I feel sad, I will sit with that feeling of sadness.

If I feel loss, hurt or rejected, I will accept that feeling, not deny or think that I ‘shouldn’t,’ feel that way.

If I feel frustrated or inadequate, I will sit with that until the feeling passes. I won’t feel tormented that these emotions are wrong or bad, but rather let them ‘slide.’

Let it slide.

Not quite the same ‘sliding,’ as the lyrics of the song suggest, but the personal reminder is contained in that catchy melody; the melody that is today’s earworm.

“Let it Slide.

Happy New Year

Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

Dissatisfaction

Are You Expecting Too Much? Is it time to evaluate or eliminate unreasonable rules and expectations.

When we are feeling a bit dissatisfied with the way life is, we tend to make judgements about other’s actions that are somewhat misaligned or skewed.

We might miscontrue their intentions, place expectations on others and inadvertantly set up rules for how life should be, when there may be an alternative explanation.

Do you ever catch yourself thinking:

“He was late, so he must not care about me.” – Or –

perhaps he just got caught in traffic.

“If I can’t do this correctly, then I must not be smart enough.” – Or –

perhaps you just need more practice.

“I haven’t heard back from my doctor, so the test results must be bad.” – Or

– perhaps the lab is just really busy and your results aren’t available yet.

Marc and Angel

Inventing rules like these about how life must be, based on stubborn expectations, may lead to dissatifaction. We must deal with the world the way it is, not the way you expect it to be. 

Life is under no obligation to give you exactly what you expect. 

This isn’t to say that you should never expect anything at all from yourself and others such as diligence, honesty, ambition, but rather that the rules that govern your expectations should not steer you toward unreasonably negative conclusions.

Just because it didn’t turn out like you had envisioned, doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly what you need to get to where you ultimately want to go.

Marc and Angel

If you feel dissatisfied or let down by an outcome, then you might have been thinking or expecting something quite different. 

Were your expectations too high/narrow?”

“What new truths have you learned from this experience?”

Keeping an external focus allows us to find a lesson somewhere from every experience. When we find the lesson, we can grow from such an experience, rather than retreat into misery or unhelpful mindsets.

We must be careful to see and accept things as they are instead of allowing ourselves to be upset that things are not as you hoped, wished, or expected them to be. 

Acceptance can be empowering.

Community

Sunday Sayings – Feelings of Enlightenment

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog, which morphed into Sunday Sayings.

I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.

Mostly anonymous, proverbs are a portal through time to generations past and echo a diverse range of cultures.

They speak of the experiences of many lessons learned and the wisdom from thousands of lives already lived.

They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

viking horse

“A donkey carrying a pile of holy books is still a donkey.”

Zen Proverb

There are many paths to enlightenment.

Be sure to take the one with a heart.

Lao Tzu


What we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.

Mark Manson

Do you agree with the words shared today? Do they resonate for you?

What is your opinion of them?

Join in on the discussion. Everyone’s opinion is valid.

Mental Health, Motivational

Sunday Sayings – The Present Moment

Nothing in life is constant.  Like the force of the ocean, life fluctuates between a wearing away (negative or sad feelings) and a building up (positives).

The Arch great ocean road

As corny as it sounds, the way we think does determine our ‘world,’ our ‘present moment.’

If you are willing to appreciate that this moment is far better than it could have been, you will enjoy it more for what it truly is.”


(source: Marc and Angel)

When our mind is not focused on a task, we tend to live in a world of reflection. We can work through problems, remember experiences and plan for the future. There is nothing wrong with reflection, as long as it doesn’t become set to “critique”mode. That surely results in negativity and for some people: depression. 

It is rare to have absolute happiness or absolute sadness, so our moods oscillate somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum. At any given moment we are comparing how we currently feel to how we felt at another time – comparing one level of our contentment to another.

Negative comparisons can distract you from happiness around you if you notice it.

pensive thoughful looking upward

Since it is our mind that directs and controls the body, it’s the way you think that eventually makes you feel good or bad. The way we think also allows us to dismiss and give up but also to dream, hope and ponder. Increasing our awareness of the present moment can increase our enjoyment and lessen the melancholic reflections of our mind.

Life is not all black and white, but oscillates in between

What do you think? Do you agree?

Everyone’s opinion is important.

Something to ponder about this Sunday.

Community

Sunday Sayings – Empathy

Not my circus,

Not my monkeys

– Polish proverb

Credit to Ally from The Spectacled Bean for this proverb.

Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action.

It’s the impetus for creating change

~ Max Carver

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes

This is the only way forward if we are to avoid fear, hatred and at its extreme, racism, prejudice and extremism.

cool peace sign-girl-melbourne-graffiti


Empathy is defined as : having an affinity or rapport with, sympathy with, understanding of, sensitivity towards, sensibility to, identification with, awareness of, fellowship with, fellow feeling for, like-mindedness, togetherness, closeness to something or someone.

Postcards from over 100 years ago

It is closely linked with compassion.

Do you think empathy is intuitive or can it also be learned?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

Everyone’s opinion is important.

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog.

I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.

Mostly anonymous, proverbs are a portal through time to generations past and echo a diverse range of cultures.

They speak of the experiences of many lessons learned and the wisdom from thousands of lives already lived.

They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.


IMG_7722//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
mountain
Community

Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures.

They speak of experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

The doorstep of the palace is very slippery

– Polish Proverb

palace warsaw 20160702_103444

 

“The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everybody is watching.”

-Dave Chappelle

 

Bergen view

 

What do you make of the Polish proverb?

Is it a warning against brown-nosing the elitists or those in authority?   

and as for the Quote this week:

Do you agree with Dave Chapelle? 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this week’s sayings.

Please feel very welcome to join in the discussion, by leaving a comment, below.

 

StPA

 

Linking also to the Three day Quote challenge.

If you wish to join in, check out Purple Pumpernickel for the Rules.

BlogNow posting on Fridays

 

 

bird-talk-yell
Community

Proverbial Friday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures.

They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Friday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you will too.

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

 

When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

Indian proverb

 

 

 

Photo by shy sol on Pexels.com

 

 

“They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, I told them they didn’t understand life.”

–John Lennon

 

 

 

Feelings are like chemicals, the more you analyze them the worse they smell.

~ Charles Kingsley

 

 

 

Charles Kingsley was a English clergyman, university professor, historian, and novelist, who must have had some strong feelings that greatly disturbed him. I am certain that thinking for too long about something might be a curse, in that one sometimes feels that there’s never a moment of peace, in one’s own mind, from the self-talk.  The memory receptors, in our brain, work by reconstructing events, and with each recall of memory, there appears to be a slight change or enhancement of the memory, so if they are recalled often, they might be far from the reliable truths we regard them to be. More often, we find memories are often peppered with an individual’s own particular bias, rather than a precise itinerary of events.

But the Indian proverb, refers to something completely different, don’t you think?

Or can you see a correlation between quote and proverb?

 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Please feel very welcome to join in the discussion, by leaving a comment, below.

 

 

 

Linking also to the Three day Quote challenge.

If you wish to join in, check out Purple Pumpernickel for the Rules.

Blog

Now posting on Fridays

Indeed this is something for us to ponder about

Community

Poetry Writing Tips and May Challenge

Poetry Writing Tips included below:-

Time is almost up for posting poems for the A and I Poetry Challenge for the month of  May. Have you written your poem, yet?

Post a poem with a linkback to my blog and Ineke’s before the 28th May, so I can easily find it and include it in the next monthly Poetry Challenge post.

 Poetry Challenge –  May Prompt

*Write a poem using this photograph or one of your own as inspiration.

 

N.B. If you choose to use your own photo, please post the photo along with the poem.

 

You will find the full post on the May prompt and guidelines here

 

A and I Poetry Challenge

Poetry Writing Tips

I will discuss more about using concrete language in poetry next month but here is a taste to get you thinking and writing in a more concrete way.

Tip: Use concrete language instead of abstract language

The key to writing great poetry is to write focused, concrete poetry. But many beginning poets write poetry based around wide themes such as love, life, and anger, generalizing their writing.

By using strong language, active verbs instead of passive verbs and concrete language instead of abstract, you can capture a reader’s interest and captivate a reader’s imagination. Poetry, as something others read, should be at its best interactive, and at its worse, straight forward and clear.

Here is an example:

Abstract vs concrete Example 1

 

Concrete words describe things that people experience with their senses.

  • orange
  • warm
  • cat

A person can see orange, feel warm, or hear a cat.

Poets use concrete words help the reader get a “picture” of what the poem is talking about. When the reader has a “picture” of what the poem is talking about, he/she can better understand what the poet is talking about.

Abstract words refer to concepts or feelings.

  • liberty
  • happy
  • love

“Liberty” is a concept, “happy” is a feeling, and no one can agree on whether “love” is a feeling, a concept or an action.

A person can’t see, touch, or taste any of these things. As a result, when used in poetry, these words might simply fly over the reader’s head, without triggering any sensory response. Further, “liberty,” “happy,” and “love” can mean different things to different people. Therefore, if the poet uses such a word, the reader may take a different meaning from it than the poet intended.

Change Abstract Words Into Concrete Words

To avoid problems caused by using abstract words, use concrete words.

Example: “She felt happy.”

This line uses the abstract word “happy.” To improve this line, change the abstract word to a concrete image. One way to achieve this is to think of an object or a scene that evokes feelings of happiness to represent the happy feeling.

Improvement: “Her smile spread like red tint on ripening tomatoes.”

 

A and I Poetry Challenge

Writing poetry is something to ponder about

buren church
Community

What is in the Box?

Imagine if you had a box, and it could contain anything, anything at all.

But the contents are things one can not pick up.

What would be in your box?

This was an exercise given to primary school children, aged 7- 12 years. The text in BOLD  italics is mandatory and the rest, part of one’s own fertile imagination.

A great exercise for kids to use their thinking powers to fill an imaginary box. It focuses not on the usual kid’s wish list of Xbox or Barbie Dolls, but rather on abstract thoughts.

A gift that is free.

I pondered about what would be inside my box, which I call:

The Moose’s Box

I will put in my box –

the freedom of children to dream and aspire.

the fortitude and perseverance of a nanny goat,

the sound of boots stomping in freshly laid snow,

the anticipation of holidays and travel.

I will put in my box –

empathy and altruism,

emotional intelligence and joy,

extra doses of joy and happiness,

extract of a young pup’s exuberance.

I will put in my box –

a shifting fog,

wild windy weather,

a thousand giggles,

and the sky at twilight.

I will put in my box –

a black unicorn hiding behind the rainbow

and the toes of a fish or the fins of a horse.

My box is –

shaped like a moose’s horns

and is a kaleidoscope of colours and sounds

tied with imaginary bows of angel’s breath.

In my box –

I will understand the meaning of life and find contentment and love.

What would you put in your box?

Just a little Something Abstract to Ponder About  – What could you put in your box if the contents could not be materialistic?

2013-19-1
Norwegian wood box