Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Mindful Wednesday. “Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the Light.” Groucho Marx.

Hello.
Thanks for popping in today.
This Mindful Wednesday blog is becoming quite popular it seems.

It is definitely changing the way I think;
therefore it is changing me!

I’m clearly not the only one 
who has a washing machine head.
Hands up!!
Comforting to know we aren’t alone, eh...


I have a mind that tries constantly to upset me; 
it can drag me back into the past, 
or catapult me into the future.
It can flick the angry switch,
 hit the panic button, or both.
In a nano-second, 
it can make me think about something sad 
and reduce me to tears. 

As John Milton wrote in his epic poem, Paradise Lost,

“The mind is its own place, 
and in itself can make a heaven of hell,
a hell of heaven.”


Simply put, I go to bed and everything is peachy.
“Nighty night. Sweet dreams.”


Then I wake up and before I have even cleaned my teeth,
I hate the world, the house, the furniture, my job, my fat body, 
the weather, the cat, and even Dave.


The point I am making is that
NOTHING HAS CHANGED!
I didn’t wake up in a different house, 
in a different life!

Same house, same partner, same cat, same car.
But a switch in my head has flicked to
Dissatisfied and Discontent.
If I don’t flick it back quickly, it can ruin my day.
And the outlook’s not great for Dave or the cat either!

But as Groucho Marx so succinctly put it,
“Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the Light.”  

This is where Mindfulness comes in.
Because I am aware now, 
that most of what my head tells me is fiction,
I can block the negative rant.

But how?

In the past, I used to try to fix the way I felt with things.
I’d buy into what my head was telling me.
I would try to change the things which were bugging me.
Buy a new dress, buy a new kitchen, buy a new settee,
buy a new car, move house, buy, buy, buy.
Change partners, get a dog. Get two dogs.

Apart from a very brief sense of satisfaction,
(which lasted about as long as fluffing up the cushions 
on the new couch and lining them up properly),
all I gained from my material fixes was a financial headache!
For years I had a sticker in the back window of my car, which read:
“I owe I owe - it’s off to work I go!”

Now I get it.
This is an inside job. 

The only changes I need to make 
are between my ears.

So, when the head goes into spin cycle,
I flick the 
Mindfulness Switch.

These are the things I do to get back on track:

If I have time, I get arty, and make a card for a friend.
If I have to go to work, 
I take 10 minutes, to make a proper cup of tea, 
and take the time to sit down and enjoy it.


In that time, I concentrate on my breathing.
Study a flower,


I think of 5 things I am grateful for, and write them down.
I make my bed before I leave the house.

By this time I have usually snapped myself back into the NOW, 
which is where I really need to stay for the day!
Just bobbing along, going with the flow...


Have you checked out our new website?

Thinkingwithclarity.com

It is dedicated to Mindfulness.
It is a place we can go to, 
to relax, 
to share,
and remember what’s important in this life.
Click the link, and have a look. 
Go to the heart - you will find us there.

much love,

91 comments:

  1. Inspirational dear lady - I believe we all have these days and all beat ourselves about them- you are leading the way in changing our thinking - and thats pretty awesome x

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  2. You're creating a wonderful thing Barbara,I'm looking forward to seeing how your website progresses and hopefully I can flick my switch in time ... xx

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  3. Hi Barbara( just sent a e mail to join the new mindfulness website )( what a ingenious idea I know it will help me as does reading your blog page each day )reading your blog today yes I'm one like you it made me smile that lovely duck at the end so cute . Lots of mindfulness hugs xxx

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  4. Yes I totally get you! been there.....a lot. tat's why I craft, it's my space, my time and I do just what I want, and escpae the triviality of my grumpiness, (I broke my hoover in a temper one day....why ? NO IDEA) But I look back on it and the positive thing that came out of it was I got a new hoover !!! hahaha, my head swims with stuff, perhaps it's the artistic stuff inside raging to come out, I played in a band years ago, and that was a great outlet for my creativity and frustration, So, for now, I know what to do and why it happens, I think.... but aren't us crafty / artisic types al the same? we need to do stuff, you call it mindefullness, it's a great word. I could go n all day , but I won't. Laugh, paint, stamp and colour in teapots, and be merry !! Barbara Gray you're just you and that's blimmin' brilliant !

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  5. Can I come back in now ?!? Seriously though, it was a complete revelation to me when someone told me...."You can start your day over, at any time." I practise this often , and it works, it really does ! Now where did put my gratitude list ? xx

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    1. Ain’t that the truth. “You can start your day over, at any time.” Love it.

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    2. Excellent like that concept x

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  6. Your mindful Wednesday are an inspiration and it is something I am trying to start and practice for myself as that switch in my head is often flicked. I too like the fact that you can start the day over anytime it's so true. I'm off to check out the new website now.
    Jackie x

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  7. I like the ideas behind this Barbara and the ways to calm ones inner demons, and I definitely think the colouring book is a great idea. I have just been over to visit the new website and did press the 'find out more' button for the book but nothing happened so assume this is still a work in progress but I am sure you will be telling us more soon. x

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  8. Loving this mindful stuff! For a long time now my mantra has been ' just breath Jilly! ...... And breath. '. Works for m e switches every thing off! Then i turn on the bits i want! I try not to do this whilst driving or operating heavy machinery.... Could be disasterous! Lots of love xxx

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  9. For me this one never fails.
    Philippians 4:6-9Contemporary English Version (CEV)

    6 Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. 7 Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

    8 Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. 9 You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.

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  10. Barbara, one thing I have learnt from Wednesday now is as soon as I start to think back, I say look forward, you can not change the past but you can the now future. For me thanks to you this works. going to look at the new site now, positive move forward.

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  11. Ohhh!! you are talking my head again ...

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  12. I love to say my prayers, and it instantly soothes me

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    1. Think it is great you can share with us, the more the merrier! I wonder how many of us got into crafting as a result of mental health problems. I certainly did, found it was my cure and worked better than the pills prescribed. Is there a link do you think between the demise of making things and the increase in stress and mental health issues? Maybe in the past the rhythms of creating were the natural solution to our headspace problems. Who knows but whatever, the ability to know we are not alone in feeling the way we do is the first step in being able to deal with our problems in my opinion. Good luck and well done for being brave and sharing.

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  14. My mantra for a long time now has been just breathe take your time. I had mental health problems and had to finish work and retire, used to be a busy staff nurse and I loved my job. Mention mental health and most people just switch off unsure of what to say. So I shall be reading and joining the mindfulness website. By the way I don't usually tell people about me but reading everyone's comments made me want to share. Hope you don't mind. Julie xxxxx

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    1. Hi Julie, welcome to our crafty extended family :-). I've got a list of mental health diagnoses as long as my arm, to go with the Asperger's and CFS and who know what else! There's nothing to be afraid of (far easier said than done, I know!), we can't help being ill, and why should a broken leg be fine and depression/anxiety/anorexia/OCD/agoraphobia/social phobia /(can't remember the last one) not be fine. I think being open and honest about our illness/es is the only way people are going to learn to accept and understand and not shy away from sufferers. Hope that helps you feel better about sharing :-) xx

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    2. Hi Julie, hope you enjoy coming to this blog full of people ready to chat, and support you. I love coming here and chatting with my Clarity friends, hope you can feel confident enough to post again. Xx

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    3. Hi Julie good of you to share I also have mental health problems /c.f.s./m.e. Diabetics too Baby steps I was taught amongst many other things ,but my crafting (even on days I cannot craft myself ) I read this blog I don't think Barbara realises how much clarity has kept me going and now with groovi and mindfulness too it's so good to know we are not alone in our quest to get through each day big clarity hugs to us all xxx

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    4. Welcome Julie. I do hope you enjoy being a part of this family. Thank you for sharing xx

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  15. Mindful Wednesday is really wonderful Barbara. I feel like you've been instead MY head and written down just how I often feel. With your help and that of everyone here, I hope to follow your inspirational example. xx Your new website is on my Favourites.

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  16. Sometimes it is just reassuring to hear someone else say exactly how you feel yourself some days. I am by nature a fairly happy person and not much gets me down but yes some days I do wake up and the gremlins have been at work. Poor Fred, now we have retired he is usually in the firing line, luckily after about an hour I am fine ( and so is he). Craft helps so much focus my thoughts on what to make next.I like the new website, will be great to see how it progresses. x

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  17. Hi Barbara, well me too is all I need to say ;-). Except I've never done the spending part, but that's another mental health thing! I just beat myself up, internally (and, as you know, externally if it's bad enough) Not cracked this Mindfulness yet though, fine when I'm not in a mess in my head, I get it a wee bit, and I think it's added in to helping me try to get back to proper crafting. But when I'm in a state, nae chance. But I keep trying and keep trying to learn from you, maybe one day it will click and I can start to use it when I need it most. I don't get Dave's you can start your day again at any point, you can't, you can't go back and do it all over again, I soooo wish you could for most of my life, but you can't it's gone and you're stuck with the consequences and that's it. Thank you for being so open and honest to share with us and help us Barbara, that's huge, and I'm sure it's going to help many people. Helps me in lots of ways, and it helps me to be brave enough to be so open and honest about my problems. Thank you, love Brenda xx

    I'll be back in a bit Donna, did you manage to colour in your fields? xx

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    1. You are amazing Brenda, I wish i lived nearer so could come and give you a big (gentle) hug. I love reading your writings, keep going as you bring joy to a lot of people

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    2. Hi Brenda, yes my ploughed fields are done. Sadly not much left now is there. :(

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    3. Wow, thank you Lynne :-)
      Making other people happy is one of my top favourite things to do :-) xx

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    4. I'm guessing this is me being really stupid - signing up for the mailing list on the new Mindfulness website, the thing that starts info@, is that the email address, and do I just literally type, 'please add me to the mailing list'? Can someone help me out here please? thanks

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    5. That's exactly what I did. Hope it was right. XX

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    6. I did that too just hoped it was right xx

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    7. H i Brenda. Well done on making that call and sorting out the problem. I hope you are very proud of yourself. Thank you for being so honest and explaining more about how Aspergers affects you. You really should be a mentor for others, you do so well at explaining it. You are doing a great job with Daisy too : ) Take care x

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    8. Thank you very much Mrs B for your lovely words :-) xx

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  18. I have a mind that tries constantly to upset me;
    it can drag me back into the past,
    or catapult me into the future.
    It can flick the angry switch,
    hit the panic button, or both.
    In a nano-second,
    it can make me think about something sad
    and reduce me to tears.
    Wow, that pretty much sums up me at the moment!

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    1. Aye Donna, thought it might.... Keep going, it will get easier in time, that's something I can promise you
      Have you been out in your garden today? It's been a beautiful summer's day here.
      Well done on colouring in your fields. Mine done too, I seem to be getting the hang of this colouring in lark ,managing to do it a lot quicker, despite very dodgy eyes!!! Have you got our next teapot bit planned yet?
      If your up for teaching a total numpty, we can do the cowboy boots next?
      love and huge bear hugs xxxxxx

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    2. Well I have the next bit planned, but you won't like it! I thought we could colour in the two trees either side of the teapot. Green shades for the leaves and yep that colour again for the trunks!! Yes I know, not very imaginative but my thinking is that those two colours will balance out the dragon and the fields. Cowboy boots are definitely on the schedule but what about those posh pencils? We have to crack those open soon! Xx

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    3. Aye, guessed you'd be looking for something else to colour in that unmentionable colour. The trouble is I've used my tree browns for the dark areas of field, so it will look like the tree has morphed into stripey fields?!!!
      By the way, is that you complaining about my dragon?!!!!
      Posh pencils - I can't mix them with the rubbish ones as the rubbish ones all make pale colours, and the posh ones will be too much colour mixed in with them. ;-) Have you been using your posh pencils yet? xx
      Oh these leaves are going to be frustrating with my blurry eyes!

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    4. Use those posh pencils, ladies. Do not keep things "for best". If you have them, use them and have the pleasure of those luscious colours. You can always add some shading with those on top of your rubbish ones. Make the most of what you have right now. You never know when it will be too late so make the most of every second of your life. Enjoy every bit of beauty every day, every minute, every second. Brenda, just remember that the beauties of Monet's paintings were largely due to his poor eyesight and cataracts, so go for it. xxxx Maggie

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    5. Me, complain about your GREEN dragon..........never!! I agree with Maggie though I think we need to get you using those pencils! I was looking on the Thinking with Clarity website earlier and it said that there would be another downloadable colouring page. So when its there it will be our posh pencil page......... our P.P.P!
      Hmmmmmm maybe the trunks could be grey shades to look like silver birches? How's that? Xx

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    6. Sorry, email trouble, and only 2 days since server being transferred to the bad one! I had to phone them again, no choice really at this time of evening and it was a settings issue so had to be done at the laptop, and to be honest, I probably know a bit more than any worker does about it. That horrible guy on the phone that got not nice at me a week and a half ago, trying to make out I was not listening to him, that there would be no issues at all them transferring my broadband and phone to this other server provider - well guess what, emails stopped working, why, well obviously different server works on different settings! How come little old self taught me knew that and that horrible guy, who's supposed to know it all, didn't! Anyway I got a nice guy - who doesn't work in the technical section, but I was transferred to him because the technical guys are too busy, mmm wonder why! Anyway between us, with his settings info and my bits of knowledge and logic, we got it sorted, so I've got emails again, phew. Shaking like a leaf, literally. Oh, this is going to be a nightmare trying to transfer to a new provider, when Nicola works out who, now that I'm on this awful one!

      And I had been about to do a bit of craft! That's out the window, another day wasted, the teapot will have to wait until later, and I'm so agitated and scared re my phone and broadband, and because of Asperger's it takes a long time to start coming down from anything, don't know why, I can get it intellectually that it's sorted for now, but can't connect that to the emotional part, so it's a waiting game, waiting on the emotional side to catch up. It's the same with anything, even if it's just a misunderstanding thing, always got to wait for the emotional part to run its course, no matter what. That's one of the very frustrating Asperger's things. It means I have to suffer far more than I need to every single time!

      Hey what's wrong with a GREEN dragon? What colour are dragons where you live? Aye I could do silver colours, I even have a sliver pencil, in name only!!! Silvery, guess they still have a bit of brown in them, under the silver bark that's always peeling off. Ok, I'll do mine after, when I'm not so agitated. I know, it's supposed to work the other way, colouring in calms down, try telling Asperger's that! Nae chance when this bad (close to needing to hurt myself-that bad), but will help when the worst has gone. And after I managed to sort myself out following the workers latest mishap! Being me, it feels like I climb a hurdle, put all my energy and thought and effort into it, just get over it and then a higher one is put right in front of me! Anyway my problems are nothing compared to what you are going through right now Donna, and I'm meant to be helping with a bit of company and a wee bit banter when you feel like it, not dragging you down further.

      Sorry xx

      Thanks Maggie, I know, something I've always got to try battle big time, I'm the worst for too good to use, and not just in craft, but everything, a complicated mix of things causing me to be like this, and something I hate, because I know all too well what you say is so true. So ok, next colouring page = posh pencils. I didn't know Monet had bad eyesight, that makes sense now, I do like his work xx

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    7. Stop, breath in deep, and don't think you need to appogise! We are helping each other remember. Give a little, get a little!
      Give Daisy a stroke, does she like being brushed? Doing this with Phoebe calms me down and she enjoys it (most of the time!) Unless I start doing her feet which she hates me touching.
      Green, red, golden, dragons are all sorts of colours. My greens were a bit too close in tone so the shading didn't show as much as I wanted but its ok.
      Monet had really bad eyesight, almost blind which is why he painted the waterlillies so much because he knew the shapes and colours from memory. He is my favourite painter. I have been lucky enough to see his work in an exhibition, it was lovely to see it. One day I want to go to his gardens in Giveny and see the waterlilly pond. Xx

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    8. Thanks Donna, seems I get more than a little though!
      Shading, what's shading - Barbara hasn't done those youtubes yet!!! (the demos she has done shading, so far I've not got the same stamps to follow it!!!)
      Well, if you intend going with your sister who's trying to lose you then you might like to practise your swimming first!!!!! It's a bit weird, my logical brain and hyper senses, I don't get abstract /modern act, it's fine detail and preciseness and looking real that is my thing. But I've always been drawn to Monet's work, it just makes me feel nice inside looking at it, like the calming music does. I've never seen any of his work in real life. He must have been exceptionally mega talented to be painting like that from memory with such poor eyesight. Hope he knew it while he was alive.

      I'm still teaching Daisy stroking her is good. You know how she was severely neglected as a wee baby and came to me in some state, well stroking, sitting on knees and rubbing herself on furniture /doorposts etc. these are what's left that I'm still working on. She's getting there with the stroking, nae use at the sitting on knees at all, and thinks she only needs to rub herself on me and the mail that comes in - using the mail, it's what I came up with to teach her to rub herself on anything, but she seems to think that's it, it's only the mail!!! She's 3 this month, well I had to guess roughly when she was born, so June it is, all grown up now. And she doesn't like being brushed, so I do it as infrequently as I can. She's a good wee soul, doesn't like brushing, teeth cleaning, but once I've got her, she'll sit there and let me for a wee bit :-) She's getting better now with me coming in from the garden, remember we had that accident and she associated it with me coming back in so gets really scared of me. I came up with a wee plan, I slowly and carefully, as if it's nothing, walk up to her with my hands palm up so she can sniff them, hands palm up means empty, no more treats, so it's not a scary thing, and she can't think I'm going to grab her as you can't with hands that way up. It seems to be starting to work, I come in, all gentle with my mucky hands out for her to sniff them, she's a wee bit cautious but stays put and has a good sniff. Curiosity, usually works eh!

      Do you want to hear something funny. I was thinking the other day, me doing one of my what ifs, what if one day I get to meet some of you in real life. Well Donna, my duff brain has associated you with your photo of Phoebe, so I'd be expecting you to look like Phoebe!!! My stupid head must think I'm talking to a dog rather than a human being, that makes no sense!!!!

      Take care xx

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    9. Hi Brenda
      Do you know something, I read your comment that you phoned up the company yourself and got someone nice to help you. I had a little smile, I'm really proud of you doing that yourself. I know it's caused you an upset but you did it! Well done you! Hopefully some Daisy time will help calm you. I think Nicola will be proud of you too. Now these dragons ladies - do you know, I think they could be any colour you like- pink with green spots if that works for you! Haha. Now I must tell you something funny, I went into an art shop today for a quick lookand ended up near the colouring pencils. They had tins of spectrum noir pencils and I had to go and stroke the tin. I've got the pencils at home but these just needed someone to notice them! What am I like!!!! I'm looking forward to hearing how your trees develope Brenda and Donna, this is getting exciting xxx

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    10. Ahhh you sound like another one that needs the P.P.P xx

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    11. OK Brenda, so when we meet we would have to wear badges with our blog pictures on so we would know each other. Like they do in the movies when they meet under a clock wearing a red carnation!

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    12. Hi Brenda does that mean you see me as a big fat B then maybe I should put a photo up of my wee guinea pigs yes ive got wee furry things to stroke to not by choice mind you had to take them in as my Daughter got them for the kids then found out she was allergic to them so gran took them till she found a new home that was a year ago never let her find a home cause ive got so attached to them now and the bairns can see them at there grans their called Snowball and Punk who has a funny Mohican furry bit at the top ...lovely wee things but poop for Scotland....xx

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    13. It could be a B for baked beans, you never did tell us what you created from them! Xx

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    14. I ate the beans and decorated the tin it was a masterpiece (not)..lol...xx

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    15. you guys have made me laugh :-)
      I don't see you as a big fat B Dot, you're an orange blob!!!!! There's quite a lot of them around here!!!!
      Naw, badges won't work, you'd need to wear masks!!!!
      Decorated tins are right in the noo Dot!!!!
      I think Diane has used some of her pencils so she doesn't need PPP
      We had guinea pigs when I was young, mine was called Rupert, after Rupert the Bear, apparently I loved Rupert the Bear.

      Thank you Diane :-). I had been thinking it's the first time I've tried to sort out any problem this year and it's actually worked, probably because it was a logical thing that I kind of knew what it was, put it this way, if I had thought I could have got the correct settings I needed for myself on the internet I would have done it on my own. But I could have got another horrible guy and it all go wrong again too and a horrible mess for Nicola to sort out when she comes on Friday instead of that being about good things. But that didn't happen :-) Just wish I didn't have to suffer so much, I hate that, it's a waste of so much time. Did you get any strange looks in the shop, stroking tins of pencils!!!! My trees are going to be - greys with wee black spots /horizontal lines, and the leaves will have to match the dragon as I used my different greens on him, but at least he'll have camouflage to hide in when the bad knights come to slay him!!! I'm going to add in some purple too, we've not got any purple in our teapot - ha got you, did you see Donna's face when I said that!!!! xx

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    16. Thought you had nodded off last night aye cant wait to see what shades o purple Donna's got maybe there's a van dyke one,,, off to do the garden its beautiful here today hope you can get some sun in yours see you later love ,,, from Orange Blob1

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    17. Hi Orange Blob1!!! Gorgeous day here too, got the windows open, well open as far so Daisy can't disappear out them, and sitting in my craft room. Going to try to do more of the wee bit craft I started the other night xx

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  19. Hello Barb, simply wonderful, just what I needed today. Thank you. Bx

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  20. Hi Barbara, if only I had stopped this morning to read this instead of rushing around with a big black cloud hanging over me. If I had thought about Mindful Wednesday instead of all those negative, hateful thoughts that have been spinning in my head, I am sure that the day would have been so much better. Now I have read, absorbed and pondered I feel much calmer! Thank you for your blog today which so many of us can relate to. Now I am off to meet up with some friends to make music ( we are learning to play the ukulele) Hopefully it will sound like music but anyway it will be fun! X

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  21. Here's something you may find useful to ponder over that mindfulness cuppa - the Five Principles of Reiki

    1 Just for today I will not be angry
    2 Just for today I will not worry
    3 Just for today I will be grateful
    4 Just for today I will do my work honestly
    5 Just for today I will be kind to every living thing

    It does work!

    Maggie

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  22. What a beautiful assessment of the mind and how it works. I loved what you said. Very important.

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  23. you are so good with words. i might have to pinch some of them and use them in clinic. ever thought you want a change of career, psychiatry wold seem a good one after reading this!
    take care, hugs xx

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  24. Beautiful said . You call it washing machine mind , I call monkey mind ., so many wonderful oops out there to help in this area . Just like crafts , or anything worthwhile , it takes practice .,each morning is a new day and you get a choice , we are the ones who decide , happy ,sad, good day or bad . Choose a blessing each morning and go with it . Easily said , but not always easily done . Choose happiness . It's a lot more fun . Joy now. Janice

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  25. I guess I'm a lucky one who doesn't really get these feelings. I have been stressed out at workmetc and keep that bottled up but no more now

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    1. Post continued ! I'm retired. Certainly now each morning is a new one for me to do as I please and I'm not going to keep my posh pencils any longer! Now I'm thinking about it I do worry about the future sometimes but I'm always the one telling people not to worry until there is something to worry about!

      Dad died last August and I'm very conscious it being Fathers Day this month and you tube Tues yesterday hit me right on the nose when Barbara put my dad on her tree pic. I won't be able to make a Father's Day card this year but I've decided I'm going to mark that picture and put it next to Dads photo in my craft room when I get my groovi plate mate.

      Don't know why I've told you all this but it's been on my mind today. Xx

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    2. It is better to talk about these things rather than bottle them up. The silliest things set us off without warning. For some strange reason, my own birthday has been more of a problem this year than remembering my husband on what would have been his birthday. xx Maggie

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    3. Jackie do you know it must be something to do with this website that we share. I lost my dad 14 years ago this year and sometimes it's just the little things that jolt your feelings. I think making your dad a card and putting it with his picture would be a lovely idea. Funnily enough I was thinking of my dad whilst watching you tube Tuesday, he died before Barbara came my way but he would have been facinated by the artwork that can be produced with stamps and ink.
      Sending you a big hug, I hope you are enjoying your retirement xxx

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    4. My dad died on Sunday so like you I'm not looking forward to Fathers day either. Especially as I have to make one for my step dad and I had already got them planned. Xx

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    5. HI Donna. My deepest sympathy to you on the sad loss of your Dad. Take care x

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    6. Sincerest condolences Donna x

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    7. Jackie, definitely still make a card for your Dad and remember him whilst you make it x

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  26. Oh goodness Paradise Lost... That brings bad memories of English lessons at school and oh how I struggled with Paradise Lost!
    Washing machine mind I certainly have, hoping it will subside soon! Love the new web site
    Much love
    Kim xx

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    1. We did Paradise Lost as well, Kim. Not my favourite. xx Maggie

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    2. Nor mine! A level English lit!!!

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  27. I went to bed last night smiling and do you know why... I was here on this blog just having a wee laugh and colouring in my teapot so thank you Barbara for this blog some nights its hard to sleep when I look at the empty space next to me. Crafting has helped more than any medication did, for I went down that road for a while but it wasn't for me but that's not to say it doesn't help others. I'm determined to make new memories now with my family and if i'm not with them I will craft along happily even though I will never be as good as all of you here I will keep trying ...Dot....xx

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    1. I know what you mean about that empty space, Dorothy. I actually cover that space with stuff like my tablet and my Kindle, and the torch I read by, and a bottle of water, a notebook and pencil to mention just a few things. I was lucky that I had two dogs to keep me fully occupied which helped a lot. That helped me to avoid medication apart from using Rescue Remedy for a while. Keep on crafting. xx Maggie

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    2. Thank you Maggie for your understanding it means a lot I will try that and if I wake in the night there will be something there to take my mind of things...Hugs..xx

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    3. Big virtual hugs Dorothy and Margaret xx

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  28. Been to the webpage and 'bookmarked' it. been practising loads ready for my 'Clarity' colouring book. Bought a really lovely handbag sized 'Mindfulness' colouring book, really am enjoying getting out the crayons and small book from my handbag whenever and wherever I am. XX

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  29. Hi Barbara,
    I received my groovi starter set and spare plates today, and I was so excited! I decided to take some time for myself, and create something. Bearing in mind I've never done parchment craft before, but have wanted to for a long time, I think this kit is genius! I spent a very happy hour focussing on the here and now, creating what I think is a beautiful picture for my daughter's room. Thank you for the kit, and thank you for giving us all permission to focus on us for a while. So often, we put ourselves last, but then all the other stuff falls apart...
    Take care,
    Alana x

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  30. Hi Barbara
    Yes washing machine brain here too, it's whirring a bit with my daughters exams at the moment, it's hard being positive mum when she comes out and says how horrible the paper was and inside you just want to cuddle her and keep her from hurting. So much depends on the results and so much pressure. We were chatting this afternoon and she can't wait to play her musical instruments and get her art stuff out again rather than revising all hours - that's her mindfulness, mine is craft.
    Just going to look at the new website.
    Sleep tight, I hope the cat and Dave get a cuddle tonight!
    Love Diane xxx

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  31. Thanks for sharing your so personal thoughts, Barbara. I'm sure it's comforting to all that a superstar like you has those horrible feelings too, but that you succeed anyway. I am more relaxed since I retired, even though I loved my job, and am blessed with brilliant grandchildren who also put the important things into perspective.
    I used to feel resentful and 'deprived' reading about people who were so much better off than me financially. Then I realised that these people were not really typical and I had enough, and more, for my needs for a contented life, and there are better yardsticks. The media has a lot to answer for. Anyway I have enough to spare a little for rewarding activities, like crafting. I also heartily recommend singing. Everyone CAN sing. Carol

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  32. Hi Barbara. Yep, you have hit the nail on the head, you could be in my head! Thank you for sharing with us. Mindfulness is dong so many of us so much good. I am off to your new website now. I hope you have a good day. Take care xx

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  33. Barbara, I think I am in exactly the same place as you! I need to get my act together , and follow the Barbara Guru!

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  34. Since I changed jobs my life is very busy but much less stressful, and I can just bake, or do some gardening, or cleaning, or crafting to help me to focus on the here and now. I feel really lucky to have been able to make that choice, and look forward to joining your mindfulness movement. X

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  35. Loving the new site.
    I think i need to make a little time for things such as this.
    Life can seem hard cant it?
    And then you think of all those so much worse off than ourselves.
    Then i feel been worse!
    I hope you find a little time to enjoy all the wonderful ways you help people relax with your beautiful ideas xx

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  36. Wonderful blog post today, a lot of it really resonated with me, quite scary as tho you read my mind. Going to print this blog post out and keep it with me as a reminder.

    Went on a ladies only bike ride this evening, out in the sticks, we're very lucky in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, beautiful scenery, great ride, lovely company and made several moments admiring the views when we stopped, I felt revived. Really enjoying your Wednesday posts in particular, thank you our Barb xx

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  37. Great blog Barbara. I really enjoy these posts. Makes one stop and think. I'd forgotten Milton's quote - so very true. Hugs xx

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  39. I used to wake up grumpy every morning, and needed some time to get back to my usually cheerful self. One day my hubby said" You know, you don't have to be grumpy in the morning. You can choose to be happy, instead" Lightbulb moment. I'd never thought about it before. I could choose. So I chose happy, and it usually works. On those bad days, I read my thankfulness journal (every day I write down 10 things in that day that make me happy) and I realize I am blessed. Looking for the happy to record in my journal has changed my perspective. We can all grumble about our lives and the things that go wrong, if we choose to do so. But why grumble when there is so much for which to be grateful? Wishing you all blessed days.

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x