MBSR (7)

I don’t know how much sense this is going to make since there’s so much flying around my head and I’m writing this just to get it down and give me some space. Funny, usually I’d give myself time to absorb things.

I didn’t write out the rest of week 4 – I had 3 or 4 posts on it. Or anything for week 5. And now we just finished week 6. I didn’t actually think I’d go on to the call today.

A couple days ago when I was trying to do a practice I found it very untethering so I stopped. I did a short practice the next morning but nothing more that day. Knowing how much of a mess my head has been the past week I knew that if I found it destabilising I just wouldn’t do it.

Mindfulness. So I’m really careful to call it mindfulness practice not meditation for mindfulness and meditation are 2 different things.

I’d still like to share last weeks overview. Either I will or I won’t. Today was week 6. Only 2 more weeks.

I told my friends to sign up. I’ve 2 good friends here. Both signed up. Depends on timings if they can do it. If they can I’d love to do it again with them.

I spoke today! Week 6 and the second time I spoke. This time right away I prefaced what I said with – please don’t ask anything on what I say. I did freak out afterwards, but nowhere near to the same extent as in week 4. Week 4 I spoke, and was freaking the rest of the time. Today I was able to calm myself down much faster. My heart rate was seriously amped up (courtesy of my smart watch I bought for running when I can’t run…. my heart rate is way higher than it used to be. I’m eating now. It’ll be interesting to see if it goes down. Also less dizzy so wondering if I’ll be able to take up running again).

Today the focus was on self compassion. I’m such a mixture. As I said in my last post (not an MBSR one) I’ve stopped saying I hate myself.

Something I’ve been doing a lot and have found really helpful is holding my hand to my neck. There’s definitely a term for it. If I ever google it (just after writing this?) I’ll write more.

The first discussion was on what you’d say to a friend having it rough, and what you’d say to yourself. I thought about my friend whose life is chaotic. All my friends lives are at the moment. It’s a bit draining. So yesterday I told M I’m here for her and love her. This is when I shared my thoughts. That I’d say that to someone else. That with myself there is the gap between where I am – self hatred and guilt, and where I want to be. That I write to myself (all the Letters to myself – a few are up here. Some day I’ll copy out some more) and I tell myself the same thing. That I’m here for myself no matter what. No matter what I do I’ll always love myself. And that I’m finding that sometimes in life or journaling I’m saying it to myself. Am more gentle with myself. I think I said less words than that. And I freaked. The next people sharing referenced what I said but I have no clue what I said because as soon as they said E, it was too much and I couldn’t focus. Just don’t talk about me!

We did a loving kindness practice next which really also was a bit much. The practice is 3 parts which is cool. First bring to mind someone you love and who you feel only good things towards. Could be a person or animal. Imagine yourself wishing them well. May you be at peace for example. A few wishes. Then put yourself with the person. May we be at peace. Then at bye to the person and may I be at peace.

I imagined NN. He is heaven and charming. That part was easy (I feel myself slowing down now which I’m grateful for). I imagined my wishes for his peace, joy and happiness to be blankets I was wrapping around him. I’m not visual but it worked. R, the person talking, suggested we imagine our wishes as pebbles in water rippling but wrapping blankets gives more protection. During every pause I added my own wishes.

Then we were told to add ourselves into it. That was much harder. I put NN on my lap and wrapped both of us in blankets of safety, love, compassion.

Then take away NN. Found that last part really hard. I first did it imagining me wrapping it around someone else who’s me but then wrapped it around myself sitting as I was there. By that time I put both my hands on my neck in almost a circle. When the practice finished I was shaking away. So when we had a break I did a 3 space grounding and did the hoop for a few minutes. To ground myself. That’s also why I’m writing this now. Though I’m not thinking about anything I’m saying. I’m slowing down.

WordPress is being glitchy and deleting my words a lot. I hope it’s not added back any it has deleted or deleted too much as then this really won’t make sense.

After the break he wanted us to write down what we would wish ourselves. I’d been doing that throughout the spaces in the practice as else I’d he everywhere but there. I know what I’d wish myself. Safety. Self love. Self compassion. Self acceptance. Connection. Peace. Serenity. Okayness. Notice I’m not saying a lack of self destruction for that will automatically change.

I didn’t engage much for I knew it was too much. Nor with the practice after because it was the third part of the self compassion and I was already shaky. Not going to do anything to make it worse (makes me laugh as I write this. How I live with such self destruction AND such self acceptance and compassion. I definitely accept my freaking about speaking. A few times I had what to say and didn’t. And this acceptance is natural because I didn’t expect myself to be unable to speak…

The last thing was asking us how we practice self care. I realised that I more practice self soothing then self care. I’ve plenty of distractions that wire me down – like writing this, but much less that are looking after myself how do I look after myself? Maybe through my gratitude journal – I’m up nearly 1500 (different gratitudes). Writing to myself – I use it more to access the part of me that loves myself more than to calm down. When I’m freaking out I tune out as soon as I engage with it so writing doesn’t work. Distraction does. I feel like my entire world at the moment is a distraction rather than prevention. Through journaling and practicing mindfulness every morning which is what I’m aiming to do.

Anyways. That was week 6. The practice this week is to do the 3 stage breathing space 3 times a day. If I’m keeping Judaism I can’t but on Monday to Wednesday I can. And the loving kindness practice once. Again I can on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

I’d love to do the course again.

With Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish new year – tomorrow night, I’m not sure what the next few days will be. I haven’t been sleeping much. The days have been a mixture between up and down constantly. I’m glad to have the weekend now and no school for a few days.

I’ve written in the first or second post the biggest thing this course is giving to me. That is that I’m tuning in much more to where I am and grounding myself a lot more. It could be less self destruction has to do with that, I wouldn’t know. It’s also interesting to see that I still hate the body scan practice. I tried it nearly every day for 5 weeks. I like mindfulness of breath practices – find them grounding. Body and breath, or thought, I have found to be awesome or untethering depending on where my headspace was. I’ve been getting up earlier to do it for a few minutes. I want to get up earlier still to have time to journal and do half hour mindfulness practice if I want to after that. (Definitely better after journaling).

Signing off for real this time.

I’d love to hear how you’re all doing… if you don’t mind to drop a note and tell me…

Kesiva vechatima tovah – may your year be rolled with blessings and goodness.

F:AK – protecting a car from the rain

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I parked my car in an outdoor lot. I forgot to roll up my window, because my mind, as always, must’ve been on other things. I came back a long time later — many, many, many days later. Look what a perfect stranger had done for me, in my absence. ⁠ +⁠ Look at the beautiful poem of love that is this note: “Your window was down and the rain was coming. I did my best to help you out. xx — The green truck next to you.” ⁠ +⁠ By the time I saw this note, the green truck was long gone. I will never know who did this for me. But I love you. Thank you for taking the time to do this kind act for a stranger. I’m sitting here in my parked car, unable to drive because there are tears in my eyes. ⁠ +⁠ I am reminded once more of this sacred truth: Never doubt that thousands of invisible hands are helping you at all times. Love is everywhere, even if you can’t see it. The tenderest care will arrive when you least expect it, and from someone whose name you may never know. Thank you, Green Truck. Thank you.⁠ –⁠ via: Elizabeth Gilbert / Facebook⁠ •••⁠ @globalpositivenews⁠ @globalpositivenews⁠ @globalpositivenews⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #caring #heartwarming #positivepsychology #globalpositivenews #news #somegoodnews #tanksgoodnews #Positivenews #positivenergy #positivity #onemillionactsofgood⁠ #mademecry #imnotcrying #imnotcryingyouarecrying⁠ #kindness #kindnessmatters #randomactsofkindness #actsofkindness #helpingothers #kindstranger

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What acts of kindness have you seen or done recently? What can you do for someone today?

MBSR (6) – overview of week 4

I’m going to try and do this as an overview, as really I have so much to say about every point.

There were only 6 participants this week (plus 2 training practitioners, and the mindfulness teacher who mostly stays silent).

Started with a 3 stage breathing space. We were meant to do that 3 times a day every day. I did it once during the week… We first looked at how we are wired to live with a negativity bias

Negativity bias scale - 3 positive stars on one side, a small negative on the other, the negative holding the scale down.
Image of character telling the brain to look at a pile of good things, the brain responding not now can't you see I'm busy - whilst looking with a magnifying glass at something negative.
Image showing that we live with a cycle of looking for and solving negative experiences whilst the positive just enters and exits the brain.

We then watched a neuroplasticity video

We split up into breakout rooms then to discuss home practice for 10 minutes. I was with 2 new guys, one whom I feel more comfortable with than the other. We spoke about what we did over the week, and anxiety, and how being aware either lessens it or makes it too much.

Back in the main room we shared what we discussed in the breakout rooms and when asked I said hi. We looked at unpleasant experiences and being that I was anyways freaking out after saying hi I stayed with it (I’ll write more about it). I decided to try use driving as a mindfulness activity. When I drive I get so frustrated behind other drivers or red lights – feeling trapped. Mindfulness (not listening to a practice!) may help. It will be interesting to see.

Next was looking at pleasant experiences. We can focus on pleasant experiences, and what they will do. Then did mindfulness walking – I did it for a couple minutes, then just curled up and listened as the others walked. No space in my toom and I couldn’t do it… so I didn’t.

We had a break. After that we did a mindfulness practice observing thoughts. I shared what I thought after and wasn’t understood but left it (that will be another post. I was so brave speaking!!). And ended off with a FOFBOC practice – grounding yourself by placing your Feet On the Floor, Body On the Chair and being aware of it, before reading this image/poem – autobiography in 5 short chapters. (I had a lot of thoughts on this).

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
II.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I still don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
It isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
III.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there, I still fall in.
It’s habit. It’s my fault. I know where I am.
I get out immediately.
IV.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
V.
I walk down a different street.

This weeks homework is 3 stage breathing space 3 times a day, filling in pleasant experiences diary, mindful walking, mindful activity, and mindfulness practice every day. This morning I listened to some practices for an hour. When I go downstairs now I’ll try be mindful of my walking. I can’t do 10 minutes mindful walking since 10 minutes walking usually leaves me dizzy.

F:AK – Paying it forward through hope and life.

Michael, 15 years old, started baking when he was 11 and had to quit school due to his epilepsy. For each pastry someone buys he gives one away to the homeless or poor. He’s taken his life challenges and is using it to help others…

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Michael Platt, was diagnosed with epilepsy in 6th grade, and when his seizures became too severe and frequent, he had to quit school. Michael’s mom, Danita, also quit her job to home-school Michael and take care of him full-time. ⁠ +⁠ "It was a very, very difficult time," Danita said "He had to stop everything he loved: gymnastics, climbing trees, diving. So that's when he kind of threw himself into baking."⁠ +⁠ When Michael was just 11-years-old he started a baking business in his family’s house to help homeless and hungry people in his hometown of Bowie, MD. For every pastry a customer buys, Michael gives one to a person in need.⁠ +⁠ Every month Michael, now 15 y.o., hands out dozens of baked goods to kids, adults, and families in domestic violence and homeless shelters. He also bakes to raise money for nonprofit organizations that fight hunger such as ‘No Kid Hungry’.⁠ –⁠ h/t: Washington Post⁠ Photos: Michael’s Desserts / Facebook, @michaelsdesserts⁠ •••⁠ @globalpositivenews⁠ @globalpositivenews⁠ @globalpositivenews⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #caring #heartwarming #positivepsychology #globalpositivenews #news #somegoodnews #tanksgoodnews #Positivenews #positivenergy #positivity #onemillionactsofgood⁠ #mademecry #imnotcrying #imnotcryingyouarecrying⁠ #homeless #homelessness #helpingpeople #bakery #homebaking #epilepsy #kidsarethefuture #faithinhumanity #selfless #feedthehungry #desserts #michaelsdesserts

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Visit Michael’s Instagram page here.

Michael’s website.


Love, light and glitter

F:AK/WATWB – The joke that gave his wife a kidney

Friday acts of kindness/We are the world blogfest.

Rex Scott was driving the bus and joked to Valerie that he takes tips in the form if kidneys. It just so happened that Valerie has been prepared to give her kidney to someone who couldn’t receive it. Here was someone who walked into her path….

Read the story here https://www.goalcast.com/2020/02/13/stranger-kidney-donor-saved-womans-life/

Woman donates kidney to stranger in Indianapolis

How many of us listen to meaning behind the words and act of them?

I’d love to do so.

What aft of kindness can you do for someone? What act of kindness has someone done for you?

Let’s spread light….

Love, light and glitter

Journaling 103 (6) What do I need in order for it to change?

I dialogue journalled last night for at least a couple hours. There’s both what I need in order to stop, and what I need or needs to change so that I don’t need the destruction.

In order to stop I just need support. What that would look like is people checking in with me. Believing in me. Telling me they believe in me. I don’t mean that they need to be updated on what/why. E would do that for me. She’d email me a short couple lines every so often.. As long as she doesn’t feel responsible or see it as a burden knowing it’s okay if she doesn’t, that would be okay. I just need people to be there. E would be. I can and have asked her in the past. I don’t know who else would.

And people who’ll stay in the loop. People who’ll be happy to be in touch however often works for them. Be there in whatever way works for them… just people. I need people in my life.

Support also looks like therapy. Not to process or change anything. Just someone to be there. Who I can share all I write with. Who I can drive crazy. In the way it was with my ex therapist AH. I’d email/whatsapp him a lot. That’s really where most our communication took place.

To be able to live life without using I need to be able to handle living life. How?

Mindfulness, being present, helps lots. And lots. Which is why I’m so grateful for the MBSR course I’m doing.

ACA may help – they’re doing a 6 week introduction starting in a few weeks. It’s a 12 step programme. I just don’t have the energy to look for people who have been in ACA for over a year who are living recovery. I did try to look but can’t at the moment. I do think it’ll help some though.

Journalling. That’s actually the biggest thing. Writing helps me process my world. I’ve always been told that my writing is the best therapy. AH used to tell me that a lot upon reading what I wrote. A couple other therapists I’ve been in touch with in the past said the same. I don’t process my world through talking to others. Which is why I’ve never wanted and would never use therapy to talk or process through talking. That’s what journaling is for.

Some way of learning skills. Either with a therapist (ideally) or through workbooks. Just needs to be with someone for I won’t actually do it on my own. Skills isn’t the right word. Primarily on learning to identify, recognise, and handle emotions and feelings. At the moment I believe I’m lying whenever I say I think or feel anything. Because it doesn’t stay or isn’t true a moment later. Sometimes I do stay with what I feel. Most times I don’t. Most times as soon as I engage with whatever it is, it just isn’t there. So mindfulness helps with being present. But more than that, I need to learn what/how etc. I want to experience emotions in my body and then be able to handle them. I thought I was learning to do that. Maybe I even was. Then I decided to try destroy my life (yeah, I blame myself for the destruction). I want to stop zoning out or freaking out. Whenever I try engage with myself I either zone out or freak out – cut off or it’s beyond too much.

I’m pretty certain I live with anxiety. But if that ever comes up I’ll deal with that then. I’ll only know if I do or don’t when I live with my feelings experientially. I think I do because that’s the only physical sensation I experience – not breathing or shaking


There are 2 main things that aren’t conducive to getting to a place of okayness.

1. Living at home. Mainly refererring to my mother and special needs sister. My other sister who lives at home I’m so grateful for. Yesterday I was dialogue journalling, making a plan for what I need and how to get there etc. Because I want to stop using. I came home in middle of journalling (I was away). When I picked up journalling my response was; I don’t know if I’m ready to stop. Why? Because I need it when I’m home. Using gives me a grip and handle on my world. Not eating does too. And when I’m home I need that grip so much more. My sn sister talks pretty literally all the time. I can’t not listen to someone talking to me. She needs attention all the time. She, and my mother, just use so much energy that I don’t have spare. It’s not healthy for me to live in my room. Being with them isn’t healthy either…

Living at home I don’t have the freedom to be myself. I can’t be myself. I can’t explore or learn who I am, would be, or want to be. That’s not as much of an issue as above. It’s something I’ll have to deal with some day. Whenever I leave the culture I’m living in I’ll destroy my father. My father is a really good person who doesn’t deserve to be hurt. Again that’s not for now. There’s also a lot of pressure and constant negative feedback at home.

The other big thing is work. Work is good because it gives structure. I can give myself that structure through volunteering. It’s not good because I don’t have the headspace. I’m using all my energy to just hold onto the world. To just stay okay. To try make the right choices – and constantly feel as though I’m failing. For I’m still using and I’m destroying myself. As long as I’m destroying myself I can’t really be trying. Or I’m not trying hard enough.

I teach. If I’m not giving my students my all I’m failing them. Also, I don’t teach the easy students. I teach those who need the help and support. I teach those who need 110%. I’m finding it really hard to focus on anything at all for long. I get distracted really easily. I’m not finding it easy to concentrate. I’m not really sleeping. I don’t know. Not really a point thinking about it. For I’m going to try… try give it my all and see. I am working less hours and not doing the part of my job I did last year that I hated. I’m going to be earning very little. Definitely not earning enough as it is. I’m still paying off a course that I haven’t done. Education that I really want but have no headspace for.


So in a few lines what does this leave me with?

In order to stop I really need to have more people as a support in my life. For various reasons most my friends aren’t an option. They’re friends and I’m grateful for them. Some of them are definitely a reason I don’t want to kill myself. They’ll want me there. E will be via email. Another E who I don’t know well would be also, just dunno what to ask her for. Support as in people not only friends. If my GP puts the referral through to the HBTT (home based treatment team) it would give me the pretty much 24/7 help I’d need to handle stopping. If not, I don’t know.

Learning – mindfulness I’m doing. Hopefully will do ACA. And I don’t know. I don’t know how to learn the rest… if the NHS will offer any of it. If they don’t could ask someone I’m thinking of privately, just not relevant as long as there’s any risk factors in my life. Which as long as I’m using there are. (Food or any other self harm isn’t a risk factor in that way).

Living at home isn’t good for me but I don’t have another option at the moment. Working isn’t good for me but unless I have some way of getting money it also isn’t an option to just stop working.

Random sorta unrelated positive comment. I’m thinking of buying myself a new expensive phone. Been pushing if off in a large part because it’s a waste of time to buy it if I may not be around to enjoy it. But I will be. Or as I said to TC, I think I’ll get to 2700 gratitudes when I’m 27 (I’m writing out gratitudes, aiming for 2700 different ones for when I turn 27), and it’s kinda amazing in a neutral way that I actually envision myself turning 27.

Sunday sunshine and sparkles: 100yr old veteran raises millions to help those impacted by covid 19

Tom Moore completed 100 laps of his garden to raise money to help those struggling because of the virus. He was aiming for a thousand before his 100th birthday on the 30th April 2020 but he far surpassed his goal.

Image of Tom in his garden. Screenshot of just giving page showing he raised 32 million, 796 thousand, and 357 pounds to help NHS charities.

Tom’s walk inspired 90 year old Margaret Payne to climb her 17 stairs a total of 282 times – 2,398 feet – to raise money. You can still donate to her campaign here.

I’d love to see your sunshine and sparkles…. please write, or share.

Love, light and glitter

F:AK – Landlord helps tenants instead of evicting them.

Wes Moberly lost his job and couldn’t pay his rent. After 2 months his landlord Ellery Lewis went to check up on the family. Instead of evicting them he gave the family $100 towards their necessities, taking a load off their shoulders, and will work out a repayment plan with them- and all his other tenants who can’t afford to pay rent due to Coronavirus work difficulties.

You can read more here or here.

https://www.boston25news.com/video/hot-video/landlord-allows-family-stay-house-free-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-struggles/MTGATADHPOQ7JWKWLUN4M5QEDQ/

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During the lockdown, Wes Moberly and his fiancé used all of their savings to take care of their twins. Both are out of the job, and when it was time to pay rent, they had $0 left.⁠ +⁠ The family was afraid they would be evicted, but their landlord Ellery Lewis kindly surprised them. He let them stay and even gave them $100 for urgent expenses.⁠ +⁠ "He has two daughters. I happen to have two daughters as well, so I put myself in his shoes, and if I was in his shoes, I would want someone to do the same for me," Lewis said.⁠ –⁠ h/t: News Channel 9⁠ Photo: philhearing / Unsplash⁠ •••⁠ @globalpositivenews⁠ @globalpositivenews⁠ @globalpositivenews⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #caring #heartwarming #positivepsychology #globalpositivenews #news #somegoodnews #tanksgoodnews #Positivenews #positivenergy #positivity #onemillionactsofgood⁠ #kindness #kindnessmatters #randomactsofkindness #actsofkindness⁠ #helpingpeople #helpingothers #struggling #landlord #landlords #landlordlife #awesomepeople #kindpeople #amazingpeople #unexpected #unexpectedgift

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Letter to myself: 16th August 2020. I love you and I’m glad you’re here.

Dear E

I’m glad you’re here. I’m grateful to be on this journey. And I’m hopeful for where this journey could lead.

I’m with you always E, and I will be with you always. Through the ups and through the downs. Keep rebuilding. Take the pieces and create something new. You get to choose what your life will look like. Build something beautiful E. You are beautiful. I hope you can let your life reflect that beauty.

When you shatter your world into pieces, you get to choose which pieces to pick up. Which pieces to include into your life. You can discard all the parts that harmed you. Don’t use them as part of the infrastructure. Use just the good. Just the helpful.

I’m so proud of you E. Proud of you for holding on through the destruction, and not letting destruction take over your world completely. As you said, you can always go back to destructions embrace. I’m proud of you for reaching out to others, or trying to. I’m proud of you for all the learning and processing you are doing. A candle in the darkness shines so much light. I’m proud of you for believing in yourself, in hope, in your ability to create a new life for yourself. I’m proud of you for choosing life.

Yes, you’re living with destruction in some sense. You’re not eating enough and you’re ODing daily. You’re also eating more. You are also eating all foods. Maybe not enough calories, but you’re eating all foods, bot just 2 or 3. You’re trying to use less. Go for longer stretches without taking any cocodamol.

You want to reach out more than you have. And you don’t know how to. You don’t know what the right thing to do is. And E, you’re trying. Is trying enough? I don’t know. I don’t know if trying is enough, but trying is all there is. Trying is all there is.

And yes E, you reached out. Think about the people who were here for you. Who held a light that showed you ‘there is a world beyond destruction’. They could only do that because you reached out. Because you were honest and vulnerable. Yes, GP has failed you. That is NOT your fault. Trusting his advice not to go privately isn’t your fault either. You can make new choices.

Life is a choice. And it’s the most important choice. I’m glad to have you here E. I’m glad to have you on this journey. I’m grateful to be on this journey with you.

Ignore those who don’t understand you. Let them laugh at you or be afraid of your thinking. That is their problem. Not yours. You do what is right for you. When what is right for you will destroy others? I don’t know. That can be added to the list of things you need some practical advice and guidance on.

I love you E. I love you so very much. I love you with all my heart. And I will always love you. There is nothing you can ever do that will ever take away my love. My love for you is not conditional. My love for you is unconditional.

I love you E. I see you. I see your beauty. I see your pain. I see your love. I see your heart that holds everyone else’s hearts. I see your loyalty. I see your fear. I see your terror. I see the little girl E. I see the fear and knowledge she will be alone. I will always be there for her. I will always be here for you. Remember what I said to you? (Dialogue through hope and destruction) I told you I want to be your friend, and whenever you are ready for me to, I will be your friend.

You are beautiful E. With all the good. Light can’t shine in the light. It is your dark that makes you beautiful.

Love always,

E