Tag Archives: behaviour

Frazzled Cafe

Frazzle – Word of the Day

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She only sleeps all day but she’s still frazzled after eating and wandering around the house for a short time. Misty (not my cat) is a rag doll, and just lolls about in typical rag doll ways. But her answer to stress, and she does stress because she hates even small changes to the house or routine, is to rest up, chill out and take time. Not a bad example, though avoidance isn’t helpful for the long term, but resting when frazzled is always a good thing.

I’m finding more and more that the juggernaut of work, even working at play, is dominating people’s lives. My conversations are often around how others feel overloaded and stressed as they try meet their own expectations or the perceived expectations of others. Solutions and judgment are not helpful in such circumstances.

Comedian Ruby Wax, whose book “A Mindfulness Guide For the Frazzled” was published in 2016, has written about slowing down and taking time. But she has gone a step further. Wax has been instrumental in creating Frazzled Cafe  in the UK, a charity set up to provide a listening, non-judgmental space for conversation for those who are overloaded and stressed. What a simple and yet brilliant idea.

Journey friends are so critical to sharing the load through meaningful silence and open, safe conversation. For some that’s possible through friendship, or a professional mentor (coach, life-coach, mentor, or counsellor, professional supervisor), for others, opportunities like Frazzled Cafe are a gift in a stressful world. So, next time you’re chatting with friends, value the time, and know that you’re giving and receiving something quite vital, that release of what must be said.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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3 Day Quote Challenge – Day Three

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Viktor E. Frankl, neurologist, psychiatrist, author, holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of  Logotherapy (Existential analysis). Frankl, a keen observer of human behaviour, and especially his own (much of his reflection came out of the camp life) wrote:

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

I love this quote because it is so encouraging, we are not disempowered by circumstance or situation, only by our own refusal to engage with change. Frankl had to adapt rapidly to the life in the SS camps. First he was sent to Theresienstadt Ghetto in (the then) Czechoslovakia. He was later moved to Auschwitz in Poland, and then to Kaufering (a satelite of Dachau), and then to the labour camp at Dachau in Germany. He worked in camp clinics to help give fellow prisoners mental health tools for survival, and he helped newcomers get over the shock. thus, challenge to change was in his own experience.

Again, thank you for the nomination Soul Write Empire

Rules:

Thank the nominating blogger.

Post three quotes (one per day)

Nominate three bloggers each day, today’s nominations:

sumiswu8

Rohit Sahu

A Voice From Iran

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under life, mindfulness, psychology, quote, self-development, Therapy

Shine On You Cranks

via Daily Prompt: Crank

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I found cranks fascinating. They have the role of enabling movement in an engine. I really enjoyed drawing one in my high school art class, there was something about the smooth, machined metal, the shadows, its inherent strength, and above all, the fact that it was oddly shaped, offset. I used to see them as bent out of shape. Which is part of the the word’s origin: from the middle low German it gives us wrinkle, and in Dutch it gives us crinkle. So that out of shape look is also the origin of its name.

Of course there are parallels in human behaviour. If you’re labelled a crank it might be that you’re grumpy, or that you have very strange ideas, or behaviour.

What I get from that is that we’re all a bit of a crank. Ever since the 70s we have accepted that we’re all on a spectrum, no one is perfect, and we all have some behavioural oddities, imperfections, obsessions, phobias, anxieties … who hasn’t had some wacky idea they’ve clung too, who hasn’t exhibited weird behaviour at some point – and who are you to say you haven’t? By whose measurement or definition can you evade the spectrum of life?

So, there are two sides to crank, we have both the capacity to drive something, to turn something, and we have the capacity to be difficult, grumpy or odd. At our core we’re all a bit bent, but yet it is our very bentness that gives us possibilities.

Some famous creative types who were also deemed a bit odd, and who also fascinated me would include Byron, Shelley, The Earl of Rochester – John Wilmot, Baudelaire, Pushkin, Van Gogh, Beethoven, Newton, Poe, Hemingway, Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett … the point being, that sometimes their quirks, oddness, and bentness enabled their creative juice to flow (and sometimes the reverse or both).

You may remember the 2001 movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’ based on the real life story of 1994 Nobel Prize winner and mathematical genius John Nash. Nash suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, and was unwillingly institutionalised several times. He slowly recovered with help, and returned to teaching at Princeton. Nash wasn’t bent in the sense that Byron was bent, but he was not like other people, and in that sense he was of a different order, yet a genius and great contributor to understanding maths.

One of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read is of a woman who battled with schizophrenia when everyone thought it was MS. Elyn R. Saks (‘The Centre Cannot Hold’ London, Virago, 2007) pushed through ilness, institutionalisation, misdiagnosis and more to become a lawyer, and a psychiatrist. It is a truly heart rending story, but also a wonderfully inspiring story.

All of the above were thought to be cranks in the plain sense, that they were just a little mad, and in some ways they were/are. But most simply suffered from a variety of physical and mental ilnesses, which, today, we know is not a barrier to anything (except our judgmentalism perhaps). And, as I stated at the begining, we’re all on some spectrum, along with all of them, so who are we to judge? We’re all a bit mad, a crank, odd in some way. But we all have capacity to shine, to create, to contribute in the simplest ways where we are, sometimes in spite of the things that dog us, and sometimes because of the very things that dog us.

Syd Barrett (1946 – 2006), musically talented, sadly succumbed to psychadelic drug usage, to the point that the other members of Pink Floyd removed him from the band in  The four part song ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ was written to honour Barrett, who had enabled Pink Floyd to move, to create and develop their own style. A truly creative crank.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under creativity, life, mindfulness, self-development

The Land of the Free? Whose Freedom?

Am I alone in the world in that I think America is regressive, confused, and sliding into social chaos? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the collapse of American society (although never rule anything out), I’m talking about social justice and democratic process.

Under G.W. Bush with a cabinet of corporates, the corporates have increased their hold over politicians. Obama’s administration shows little interest in dealing with corporate influence over federal politics. In fact it was reported in 2009 that Obama had lifted the ban on lobbyists under pressure from – lobbyists! I’m wondering who runs the country?

The NRA and other gun lobbyists have successfully neutered any attempt by the Obama admin. to make sensible changes to gun ownership. I’m left wondering what was so difficult about imposing a background check? And why do ordinary Americans need military weapons?

But even at state level it is endemic. Only recently there was a report that stated California’s proposal to impose a plastic bag ban had been undermined and subsequently defeated by lobbyists for the plastics industry.

Thank goodness the Australian Government saw the problems, and in 1983 began with the Lobbying Registration Scheme, replaced in 1996 with the Lobbyists code of conduct, and strengthened in 1998. In 2011 a new code was enacted. It probably isn’t perfect, but it has an affect and it is backed by the criminal code.

There is the inability of the American nation to deliver justice in health care, and yes there are always pros and cons in any proposal, but why can’t the nation positively engage with the idea of health as a justice issue?

There has been much musing over American corporate control and gain through the invasion of Iraq, so that irrespective of the outcome of actual war and policing, the corporates have done very well. And there is concern over arms length dealings in developing nations where pressure is unscrupulously applied to overcome local feeling and process to accommodate corporate greed.

The status of women in America is, to my eyes and ears, wretched. The attitudes (and in many cases the sheer, and embarrassing, ignorance) of conservatives to issues like rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and the appalling attitude to abortion rights is just beyond logic.

The death industry has made a comeback in the States, Missouri is considering bring back the gas chamber (the mind boggles), and the culture of revenge plunges onwards (I can find no evidence of any reform process in the penal system in America).

The control of the media and the mind of the people, the continuing (though now deeply wounded) influence of Christian fundamentalists like Pat Robertson (if wives were spanked and disciplined the nation wouldn’t be in the mess it is in!!), the benign thinking of the Republican Party (GOP), are and should be a concern for everyone who values freedom and justice.

There are the usual constant reports about injustice; the homeless man arrested for using a flag to keep warm; two dogs shot by police for no substantive reason, and in one of the cases the owner arrested for filming the incident, the man who has been arrested because he chalked messages on the footpath out side the Bank of America critical of the bank, the arrest of a primary school aged girl for downloading music using torrents (older but pertinent news), a state (don’t recall which one) recently legislated to allow police to enter a home if the door was open (Why?), and so on.

Who remembers those seminal movies Silkwood and Erin Brockovich? What about Fair Game? For those of us outside America these have been movies of conscience, and alerted us to the quagmire of injustice and endemic corruption.

What about America and Global warming, the resistance to adopting climate measures and international treaties?

What about America and its corporate behaviour, Monsanto for example, and the way they treat farmers and their rights? Let alone the issues of greed through patent control and debt management.

And what about the NSA and spying?

Current issues are Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden. And in regard to Snowden America then interferes by forcing down the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales because it thought Snowden was on the flight. What would have happened if that had been the President of France, or the Prime Minister of Australia? Why is it so difficult for the government of America to step back and reflect for a moment and consider the possibility that it is being called to take stock of its behaviour and to look to positive change? What gives America the right to behave inappropriately?

Why should it matter to non-Americans? Because, as recent history has shown, American (Mcdonaldization) decisions and values affect every nation (commerce and trade, war, cultural affect through media, spying, treaties, copyright issues, and bullying). America needs to learn to be a positive global player, and not a bully.

What would it take for America to stop, take stock and turn aside from its current behaviour? Am I alone in hoping it will one day be transformed for the better? Wouldn’t it be a relief to hear a President say, “we don’t like that we’ve been caught out, but we’re going to reflect on this and address our behaviour.” (Waiting for the pink elephant to fly past!).

Still, I live in hope, and I pray!

Paul

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