image and quote by Terry Pratchett

A Self-Care Suggestion and Sir Terry Pratchett

Hello good people of the blogosphere, how are you doing? I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I have scheduled this post and am either at the beach or sipping a good cuppa on the sofa. So cheers to all of you ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

But I wanted to share two things: The self-care suggestion by Rachel Kelly in the next chapter of her book “Singing in the Rain – 52 Practical Steps to Happiness” and my thoughts on Terry Pratchett’s anger that Neil Gaiman mentioned in an article by The Guardian several years ago. It also mentions “Good Omens” one of my favourite books by the two and as it happens a new TV series by… Netflix? Amazon? No idea… ๐Ÿ˜‰

But first things first:

You might recognise the situation: Something happened. You might have missed a step and your foot hurts. Your mind goes crazy and develops all sorts of scenarios from having your foot in a cast to having it cut off.

This is what Cognitive-Behavioural-Therapy calls “Catastrophising” and it usually is a strategy that we embraced while dealing with trauma. Mind you we certainly don’t do this consciously. It’s rather that your brain has changed its connections and now expects catastrophes instead of miracles.

Rachel describes a technique to find perspective when something happens that is less than fortunate and might get you into the downward spin:

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Page of Rachel Kelly's book "Singing in the Rain"

She suggests to ask yourself the questions in the above image and then go and create a paper folded boat. Good old origami ๐Ÿ™‚ will help you to get yourย  mind off the catastrophe you are expecting.

There are different ways of dealing with catastrophizing. I usually use something called “Safe Place” but I guess the above questions help to bring everything into perspective much faster. I am going to give it a try.

Maybe you do not consider this self-care as such. Many think when it comes to self-care of a hot bath or something nice to eat. But keeping your mind off the hamster wheel of negative thinking is an important part too. So go on. Give it a try.

That’s it for today. But there is an interesting post I wrote in March 2015 about one of my most favourite authors and here you can enjoy it again:

July 2019

I can’t believe it’s over four years ago that Sir Terry Pratchett passed over to another life. RIP may you have left your anger behind.

Here are my thoughts from 2015

March 2015

Last October The Guardian published an extract from Neil Gaiman’s introduction to “A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-fiction by Terry Pratchett”. I read the article then but got bored and didn’t really concentrate on what he said.

On Thursday Terry Pratchett passed away and this time I fully read the article and these sentences touched a cord:

“…Terry looked at me. He said: โ€œDo not underestimate this anger. This anger was the engine that powered Good Omens.โ€ I thought of the driven way that Terry wrote, and of the way that he drove the rest of us with him, and I knew that he was right.

There is a fury to Terry Pratchettโ€™s writing: itโ€™s the fury that was the engine that powered Discworld. Itโ€™s also the anger at the headmaster who would decide that six-year-old Terry Pratchett would never be smart enough for the 11-plus; anger at pompous critics, and at those who think serious is the opposite of funny; anger at his early American publishers who could not bring his books out successfully.

The anger is always there, an engine that drives. By the time Terry learned he had a rare, early onset form of Alzheimerโ€™s, the targets of his fury changed: he was angry with his brain and his genetics and, more than these, furious at a country that would not permit him (or others in a similarly intolerable situation) to choose the manner and the time of their passing.

And that anger, it seems to me, is about Terryโ€™s underlying sense of what is fair and what is not….” (quote from “Terry Pratchett isn’t jolly. He is angry.” Extract from Neil Gaiman’s introduction to A Slip of the Keyboard)

Video credit: Arts & Ideas at the JCCSF via YouTube

I struggle with my feelings for many years. Especially anger which I have directed at myself in self-harming. I also suspect it expresses itself in grinding my teeth at night which causes an awful lot of physical problems like headaches, shoulder pain and exhaustion.

While doing “Love Is In Da Blog” I realised that it is time to do something about that and not the “usual” way with medication or therapy. I began to feel strongly that I needed another maybe more spiritual approach. It feels like these sentences are the answer to my healing wish.

My anger, acquired when my mother passed away when my father did what he did when I got bullied at school and other things, is not a disease that stops me from doing what I want to do. It is the fuel that powers my creativity but I need to allow it to do its job.

I suspect I let it do its job when I decided out of nowhere to do “Love Is In Da Blog” and it has transformed me. It has kick-started a development which end I do not know yet. But I do not need to know it. I trust the process. I trust that the great creator knows where I am heading and that my intuition will guide me the right way.

At last, I know where to go: I go with the flow ๐Ÿ™‚

image and quote by Terry Pratchett

image source: AZQuotes


Just in case you don’t have enough yet from reading blog posts:

Please check out the blogs of these great people:

Beckie

and

I am my own Island

And if you feel very generous towards me then please share my Dreamstime profile where I sell some of my photoโ€™s:

(its an affiliate link btw)

Bee Halton on Dreamstime

Have a wonderful day and donโ€™t forget
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Love & Rage my friends Love & Rage

Developing our Voices or how to Manage our Worries

Two years ago I signed up for Rachel Kellys Newsletter (sign-up is at the bottom of the page). Rachel is an embassador for mental health and has experienced crippling depression about which she talked in the FutureLearn Course “Literature and Mental Health” by University of Warwick. If you live with a mental health condition then I can only advice you to take this course. It is for free (you can upgrade later for a small fee) and it gives you many many literary tools to ease the pain of bad mental health.

Last year Rachel was looking for beta readers for her latest book “Singing in the Rain” and I signed up to give feedback which was an incredible experience. Since several months the book is now available for example on Wordery and I had started to share its brilliant “exercises” on my “Mindful Music Monday Mug” series which currently has a break. I still want to share Rachel’s workbook though and hope I can entise you to buy it and get some more helpful advice on how to manage your wellbeing and mental health. It is great fun and offers great advice.ย  That is why I want to share a little more about her book here and there and today is one of those days ๐Ÿ™‚ .

But first some words by Rachel about “Singing in the Rain”:

copyright: Rachel Kelly via YouTube

I am now at a new chapter in the book which is called “Developing your Voice” and the first part in this chapter is “Managing Worry”. Here Rachel explains her way of dealing with her worries frist thing in the morning. The chapter made me smile because she describes how according to family history her first words were something like “I worry about…” ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Rachel gives her worries a so-called “Worry Window” first thing in the morning when she writes down all her worries of that day. She then figures out which worries have priority: Her mothers chemotherapy is more important than what to wear for the day. Now she focuses on the worries which have priority and figures out if she can do something about them or not. For those she can do something about she creates an action plan. If her worries come back later on she can focus on doing something as she writes all of it down rather than using up her energy for worrying.

What I really liked about her suggestions is how she deals with those priority worries that she can’t do anything about: She acknowledges that these worries are part of her mental landscape and acts upon them with compassion. Her preferred way is doing a meditation in which she concentrates on her breath and on the following words:

May I be safe from harm
May I be happy just as I am
May I be peaceful with whatever is happening.

I usually try to suppress these sort of worries and with that they become bigger and bigger. I suspect giving them a place in my mental landscape and being compassionate with myself will make them lose importance. Working with Mindfulness exercises have a similar effect.

Her book is a work book and so Rachel suggested how to write your worries down in the worry window:

photo of bookpage in "Singing in the Rain" by Rachel Kelly explaining how to write down worries and how to deal with them.

Copyright: Rachel Kelly

So if you are a worrier rather than a warrior then try out Rachels suggestions or better buy the book and gain lots of material to manage your wellbeing and mental health.

Happy Sunday to you all

and

Love & Rage!

 

DISCLAIMER:

I am not a health professional. My posts describe my thoughts, my experiences and my conclusions about life, mental health and self-improvement. My described actions always go alongside therapy and do not substitute professional advice by a health professional be it a doctor, therapist or counsellor.

I invite you to try out self-care tools, however, if any of these make you feel uncomfortable please stop and do not go further ahead. Also, if any of the tools suggested bring up issues that need dealing with do not hesitate to reach out for professional help. To recognise when you need to stop and when to reach out for professional or any other help is one important part to learn when it comes to self-care.

Please look here if you need further guidance:

UK:
Mind
NHS

USA:
MentalHealth.gov
โ€‹
Canada:
Government of Canada