I AM SUNDAY NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
I am a 60 year old married man with 4 grown children. I served for 31 years in the military and was first diagnosed with depression in about 2002 with 4 years left to serve. If my illness had been diagnosed years earlier and I’d had treatment then, my kids might have grown up stronger and not suffered quite so badly with their own mental health issues in adult life. Then again, if I hadn’t grown up in a dysfunctional family environment with both parents being alcoholics, I might have known what ‘normal’ was and been stronger myself. I do still suffer bouts of depression and anxiety and I suspect I always will. The anxiety is fairly new to me; I have a number of physical health issues and I think they have made me feel more vulnerable, so maybe that’s normal as you get older. I have never really got on with years of CBT, perhaps I just wasn’t ready to get better. The counselling from Georgie and introduction to Transactional Analysis has been enlightening, sometimes emotional and a little scary, but definitely helpful. After three weeks of trying to get going, I finally accept the challenge.
The photo I have chosen is of my rescue collie Jack and my foster dog, who unfortunately has to remain nameless and hidden…..for now. Although I’m sure they are grateful for their improved situation. I am so grateful to them for the pleasure and rewards they give me every day.
People drawn to healing, such as Reiki, may be familiar with this script. Reiki I focuses on the ‘healing of self before healing others’. It highlights the requirement for Self care not as something ‘selfish’ but as completely connected to the healing of others. If a healer has any wounding or blocks, then energy simply does not flow freely through the healer’s body to their hands to offer anyone else healing.
Therefore, self care is an essential practice for those of us in a caring, healing or serving role in life.
Our first Reiki I group at Furzedown Farm learnt about Reiki as a healing energy for self before being offered the chance to practice on each other.
Betty, one of the horses, was very curious about what was going on in the classroom and came to look once or twice during the healing time.
There are a number of animals at Furzedown from horses and ponies, and a pack of mixed dogs breeds to farm animals such as pigs, sheep and goats.
The pigs Branston, Pickle and Pepper were very happy to come off their favourite place in the sun, the muck heap and have some healing.
With the horses: Basil had just had a wash, so he moved between the game of ‘drip wiping’ (asking his human to wipe this spot or that spot) and stopping to have some Reiki. Jac was happy to have some Reiki in his stable and was very visibly having a yawn and process afterwards. Red, who has just turned one, was curious about the energy. One of our group reported a horse asking for reiki by lifting her foot as she may for a farrier. Then relaxed after she was given some in the foot position she had asked for.
Reiki energy is a powerful, high vibrational energy, in contrast with illness and dis-ease which are lower vibrational energy. The actual words ‘Rei’ and ‘Ki’ are thought to originate from ‘Raku-Kei’ and are from the Japanese language. ‘Raku’ is the vertical energy flow and ‘Kei’ is the horizontal energy flow through the body. Raki-Kei is the art and science of self-improvement used by ancient Tibetan Lamas and Buddhist monks dating back thousands of years.
Reiki was later re-discovered in the 1800’s by Japanese scholar and traveller Dr Mikao Usui and subsequently known as The Usui System of Reiki. ‘Rei’ meaning ‘universal’ and is the higher intelligence or higher spiritual consciousness that guides the creation and function of the universe. ‘Ki’ meaning ‘life force’ and is the energy that flows through every living thing.
Reiki energy moves through the healer’s body and releases and dispels their blocks and negativity before being channelled through to the recipient, therefore never draining the healer. Blocks are usually caused by negative and repetitive thought patterns, emotions or reactions to experiences. Reiki energy moves through the healer’s body and releases and dispels their blocks and negativity before being channelled through to the recipient, therefore never draining the healer.
The Mayan’s predicted the ‘end of the world’ on 21 Dec 2012, what they saw turned out to be the end of the ‘third dimension’. After this date, we all began an ‘ascension process’ progressing from the third dimension towards the fifth dimension which we are predicted to have achieved 2032. We were all ‘upgraded’ with the Twelve Chakra System of our ‘Golden Era’ and the previous ‘attunement’ process of Reiki was now not necessary. All we need is the intention to heal for this to work. Our workshop focused on exercises to help with setting intentions, opening our 12 chakras and using healing energy on self, and beginning to explore using it with others. If you are interested in reading more about this, check out Diana Cooper and Tim Whild’s literature and social media sites.
If you are interested in Reiki or other Workshops at Furzedown farm, in Weymouth click on Workshops for latest dates.
A YEAR LONG CHALLENGE: I originally asked seven people who struggle with a common mental health issue such as depression or anxiety, or a sense of ‘lack’ to be in gratitude for the year ahead. Each of them represented a day of the week and began to post me a photo of something they are grateful for this day for a whole year. We started last month. Since my first request for volunteers two more people joined up and we doubled up on Fridays and Saturdays. Read original blog
We asked if they had a particular photography approach, if their photos had a particular theme or pattern to them and if they had noticed any positive changes to their ‘sense of lack’, their outlook or their mental health…
My photography approach is that I am thinking about taking my photo throughout the week, so within that time I will see ‘something’ to be grateful for and snap away. My mental health currently feels like I am walking on a thin tightrope due to my current job and my hormones. The distraction to look for something that I am grateful for keeps me well-balanced for those few moments.
My photography approach is mostly that I muse over the need for a photo two or three days beforehand then I snap when the feeling is right. The subtle change a month into the challenge is that I am more aware of what I have.
My photography approach is to take photos as I see them and they are not planned. I am currently away in Europe, so had a huge choice this week. Out of all the photos I’ve taken I love the one I submitted for my number four the best (#30) – the architecture, colours, water, geology, even a little bit of blue sky. It was taken in Dinant, Belgium. I can’t say if I’ve noticed any positive changes to my mental health as yet as there’s still a lot going on in my life at present.
My photography approach has been a last minute snap for first three weeks. Well I say last minute, I do spend about 15 mins looking for inspiration and snapping something, once I have remembered that it’s Saturday. This week I have been on half term, assignments are handed in, I’m caught up with my admin and I’m now thinking about it a day early. I have noticed that this process has offered another opportunity to practice the ‘mindful gratitude’ I offer to the universe – when I find a moment to do it. I have worked long and hard on my mental health and it’s things like this that keep it polished.
My photography approach is that I keep my eyes open during the week for something that inspires me; makes me happy there and then. The challenge has really helped me to appreciate the little things in life, and opened my eyes to all of the lovely little moments you can experience as I was on the look out for a picture to take all the time. Sometimes I took so many it was hard to choose! I haven’t noticed any large changes to my mental health as of yet due to a lot of trauma and chaos still going on in my life. I definitely noticed the smaller things to be grateful for though.
My photography approach is mixed; I was doing one on the day, but for this last one I was out, saw it and planned ahead to post it. I have previously done this challenge with Georgie before, only I wrote down three things to be grateful for each day for a month. This method definitely was a positive influence on my mental health. I think doing a photo once a week lessens that impact a little because a lot can happen in my week. But seeing the photos sent in from the others does still give me a sense of appreciation.
My photographer approach is using my gut feeling. The photos that I send are something from my week, not planned or on a particular day. I am more aware of being in the moment and seeing what makes me grateful. My photos reflect the here and now, in the present time. I try not to live in the past or too much in the future. It is about what is going on for me in the moment. I have become more aware of the everyday and trying to find something in my daily life that I appreciate and I am grateful for, not to take the simple things for granted. This has been great for being kind to myself.
My approach is that I tend to look out for things, then forget, then go back to what I thought about. There are no changes to my mental health, I remain madder than a hatter on acid.
My photography approach mixed; last minute as Wednesday comes around quickly or I plan it and have a lot of choice. I am not always quick enough ‘in the moment’ either by having my phone on me. Often I would have liked a different moment that I was grateful for, but there is no photo to express some gratitude’s and moments I have. I am currently feeling very unwell physically which is concerning me.
Tim writes: “During my teenage years I turned to sport to deal with my spiritual sensitivity and became an accomplished bike racer (road). I’d train for hours after school and race on the weekends, often getting good results, and my Dad took me on trips to France to follow the Tour every year during the 1980’s. I was fully committed and rarely did normal ‘teenager’ things as I’d be in bed early on a Friday night rather than out with my friends. It was hard but I loved every second of it”.
“One late evening in August 1990 I went out for a ride. I should have skipped training on this occasion as I had a bit of a cold but I told myself that it was just an easy one. My intention was to meet my family at the local pub afterwards as it was my Grandmother’s birthday and everyone was gathering there”.
“I braked very heavily to avoid the tractor that had crossed the junction in front of me without looking”.
“It was a truly beautiful evening, about 25 degrees centigrade with no wind and the Sun was low and bright red in the sky. It had a distinct etheric feel to it that I will never forget. As I climbed to the top of a hill called Tollard Royal I saw two balloons in the sky next to the Sun, both climbing higher and higher. I felt wonderful but like I was in a dream”.
“The descent down from this range of hills was long but steady and I dropped into a village bottleneck, probably way too fast but I hadn’t seen a car for at least 20 minutes. The last thing I remember is my cables shearing as I braked very heavily to avoid the tractor that had crossed the junction in front of me without looking”.
“I was completely out-of-my-body and had no intention of returning but the Universe had other plans.”
“I was lucky to hit the back tyre rather than the threshing machine on the back of the tractor. This was 1990 and there were no laws to mandate or recommend bike helmets in any way and most racers rode with leather ‘hairnets’. So my skull hit the road and it created a hairline fracture just above my right ear”.
“I was completely unconscious in the road for twenty minutes and according to people attending the scene I had no heart beat either. In my spirit body I was rolling dreamily towards a beautiful sunset along a familiar tree-lined road. The wind was at my tail and I felt peaceful and euphoric, the sense of completion will never leave me as I recall that moment riding towards the light”.
“I was dragged back into my body by the Ambulance crew as they attempted to bring me round and I remember hearing cheers from people round me as I regained consciousness. I was taken immediately to Salisbury hospital and treated for serious head trauma”.
“At precisely the point of impact my Mum stood up from her meal in the pub and said “Oh god, there is something wrong with Tim”. I was already a few minutes late and these were the days before mobile phones. The ambulance crew managed to get a few details from me before I passed out again and they phoned the pub to let my family know the news.”
Tim reflects on his transformation as he healed: “My recovery was fairly swift, but it was a long time before I regained my balance fully. I was completely out-of-my-body and had no intention of returning but the Universe had other plans. After about a month I was prompted to change my diet and completely turned vegetarian, which was an odd thing for a teenager to decide to do in 1990. I also began to ‘seek’ information and read every single spiritual book that I could lay my hands on at the time. It wasn’t long before I discovered Joshua David Stones ascension work in the mid 1990’s and Diana Coopers book ‘A Little Light on Angels’ “.
Reflecting on this experience Tim says, “This incident will always stand out to me as the beginning of my ascension pathway. I was given the choice of leaving the planet or proceeding with the soul agreements that I agreed to before incarnation. I’m very glad that I stayed but it has been a bit of an ‘Ivy League’ experience which I’m sure many of you can identify with”.
Tim Whild 4-4-19.
You may recall in March I published a blog titled ‘Calling all those who have had an Exceptional Human Experience‘ for my counselling research. Thank you to Tim and if you want to discover more about him just hit the button above. Thank you to all those who have helped with my research, named and anonymous, by sharing your experiences. Anyone who still wishes to submit their ‘autobiography’, please click on the blog link above.
Image: Asya Vee, Stocksnap.
A Year Long Challenge – We asked seven people who manage a mental health issue to take a photo each week, about something they are grateful for. Being In Gratitude starts to change how we perceive things – read our Original Blog here.
I AM WEDNESDAY
I went to the university of life; living through many extremes and trying to find a balance and calm. I belong to a dysfunctional childhood family so dealt and still deal with alcoholism and psychosis. I have dealt with bereavement more recently. I have suffered with anxiety and depression. I have suffered from abuse; sexual, physical and drugs. After living with the trauma of a burst appendix, I’m so lucky to be alive, but I am now left with a life long illness which has turned my life upside-down. I need to find a ‘normal’. The only thing that keeps me sane is the animals in my life, as they are the only people who aren’t complicated. So there may be a fair few animal photos over the year! I also love being in nature and sit outside to watch sunsets so I look forward to sharing these with you too.
A Year Long Challenge – We asked seven people who manage a mental health issue to take a photo each week, about something they are grateful for. Being In Gratitude starts to change how we perceive things – read our Original Blog here. .
I AM TUESDAY
I am a father, a husband and cat owner. I am working with severe anxiety, panic, depression caused by childhood-onset C-PTSD on a daily basis. Jungian therapy and EMDR helps me understand where it all comes from and how to manage it so I can hold down a full time job and relationships with others. My family and friends in my life now are very supportive in understanding what I need to enable me to manage my mental well-being. One such strategy is engaging in something like this, challenge accepted.
A Year Long Challenge – We asked seven people who manage a mental health issue to take a photo each week, about something they are grateful for. Being In Gratitude starts to change how we perceive things. Read our Original Blog here.
I AM MONDAY
I am a mother (dedicated to my children’s upbringing), a wife (dedicated to his career), and I am counsellor (dedicated to the well-being of others) – all of which make me feel whole. It’s not always been like this, my journey to this point in my life has been a massive roller coaster. It often would spiral out of control; from teenage trauma, to PTSD, to postpartum psychosis. I have self doubt, low self esteemand suffer with anxiety. I was lucky to have found great support through private and NHS mental health services. After a long road to recovery and support from friends and family I have become the person I am today as a result of the journey I have endured and I feel it makes me a more empathic counsellor. Mental health is important to me and I know it’s not always easy but it is something we all need to work on. One way I achieve this is to be grateful for the small things that bring us light on the darkest day. I will look forward to sharing these moments of gratitude with you over the year.
A Year Long Challenge – We originally asked seven people who manage a mental health issue to take a photo each week, about something they are grateful for. Being In Gratitude starts to change how we perceive things – read our Original Blog here.
I AM SUNDAY SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE
I am a kiwi anglophile, an animal lover and I suffer from a severe form of PMS called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), which usually causes me to battle irrational, obsessive thoughts and depressive moods for two weeks out of every month. My GP prescribed prozac, but I would rather handle it naturally and by doing things like this. I have done a similar thing with Georgie a few years back, and it was a life saver. I was dealing with an unexpected divorce, which caused home and job loss. Here I am again, this time taking a photo each week on a Sunday for the year ahead…enjoy! .
I AM SUNDAY NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
I am I am a 60 year old married man with 4 grown children. I served for 31 years in the military and was first diagnosed with depression in about 2002 with 4 years left to serve. If my illness had been diagnosed years earlier and I’d had treatment then, my kids might have grown up stronger and not suffered quite so badly with their own mental health issues in adult life. Then again, if I hadn’t grown up in a dysfunctional family environment with both parents being alcoholics, I might have known what ‘normal’ was and been stronger myself. I do still suffer bouts of depression and anxiety and I suspect I always will. The anxiety is fairly new to me; I have a number of physical health issues and I think they have made me feel more vulnerable, so maybe that’s normal as you get older. I have never really got on with years of CBT, perhaps I just wasn’t ready to get better. The counselling from Georgie and introduction to Transactional Analysis has been enlightening, sometimes emotional and a little scary, but definitely helpful. After three weeks of trying to get going, I finally accept the challenge and join you in June. In Gratitude Sunday Blog.
A Year Long Challenge – We asked seven people who manage a mental health issue to take a photo each week, about something they are grateful for. Being In Gratitude starts to change how we perceive things – read our Original Blog here. On Saturday we now have two contributors, one from the north and the other from the south of England.
I AM SATURDAY SOUTH
I am 18 years old and I feel about 40. I have had a very difficult time with my mum’s ongoing struggle with mental illness and severe alcoholism. Living at home with her hasn’t been safe for me for many years. Recently I came back to find her unconscious and called an ambulance. I was in A&E as I watched her die. Staff restarted her heart and she went into a coma for a couple of days. She then walked out and continued her drinking and has some brain damage. I am on antidepressants, I work with a counsellor and have joined a Support Group for Children of Alcoholics. I am slowly trying to put my life back together as I realise its time for me to get back my inner fire and start living my life. I think finding something I am grateful for each week will be really helpful for me this year.
I AM SATURDAY NORTH
I am a middle aged single mum of two teenage girls. I studying an MA in Psychodynamic Art Psychotherapy. As I learnt about developmental aspects of mental health, I became triggered and I failed most assignments in the first year. I decided to defer the second year to allow myself the time to deal with what was happening to me and got close to ending my life. I went to the GP and I was referred to a short course of CBT which helped a bit. I began Art Psychotherapy, and discovered I was dealing with Childhood onset Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) with additional trauma from adulthood. I worked hard on my self development – psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and academically as I continued my MA. After a year of therapy I had a profound experience, it felt like coming out of a dark Forest into a clearing bathed in sunshine. I felt new. There was a new spin on everything around me. I had to learn to be this new more peaceful person. I am still learning how to do this. I now feel more confident in my own ability to achieve in life and I now feel trust in the universes’ capacity to provide me with everything I need. I so feel blessed to be in my life and for that, I am grateful. Happy to continue to stay In Gratitude this whole year and share my photos.
A Year Long Challenge – We originally asked seven people who manage a mental health issue to take a photo each week, about something they are grateful for – we have since been joined by a few more people which is great. Being In Gratitude starts to change how we perceive things – Read Original Blog. On Friday’s we now have two people contributing, one a mother who manages anxiety and one a father who manages depression. We will check in with them after their first month.
I AM YIN FRIDAY
I am a mother of two boys, originally from Surrey and now living in Dorset. I am self-employed and enjoy being my own boss. I always enjoy telling people I was once arrested and held in a police cell for two hours. I suffer from frequent anxiety and work hard to lock it away. I have also suffered from depression very briefly last year. After agreeing to do this challenge, I noticed I have begun to already look at things differently. I am driving around looking for photographs about things I am grateful for. I noticed the sea today and how beautiful it is and I live right by it.
I AM YANG FRIDAY
I am a father pushing 50, with two grown up sons who are more like best friend than children. I love to travel. I am self employed with my own outdoor business and have been for 27 ish years! Money always used to be a problem but the last three years things have been good on this front, fortunately. My health hasn’t been good for a year or so, somethings wrong inside the stomach area and it’s still undiagnosed. The unknown makes it hard to deal with and in the last six months it has destroyed my social life, travel plans and my relationship. Life used to be fun but I seem to now be on a downward spiral, depression has crept in, sleep is non existent, I am struggling and I can’t access resources which would normally make me feel safe in life. I am thinking about professional support, but for now I will find one picture a week of something that I’m grateful for and start my #ingratitude process.