About Me

My photo
Redbanks, South Australia, Australia
Contact me if you'd like to know more about this writing group. My email address is jeebers@aussiebb.com.au

Ananka - one of our Pharaoh Hounds

Ananka - one of our Pharaoh Hounds
Ananka knows how to enjoy life - catch and eat birdies!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ideas can be a Blessing or a Curse

Creative people think a lot, always coming up with new ideas. This can be fantastic, with a new idea to look at constantly - look at it, evaluate it , action it, then onto the next new idea. This is great when it happens.

But those ideas sometimes are anything but great. Some people seem to have a little voice in their head, telling them bad things - 'you're stupid' 'that won't work' 'why bother'.

Do you have one of those voices? If you do, you know how debilitating it can be, having to fight through the voice to get to the creative ideas you also have in your head.

If you have an imagination, as well as one of those voices, you have to find ways to make the voices shut up, so you can get on with the creative things you want to do. I have found gratitude is the thing that helps keep me to stay focussed on the positive things in my life.

Staying in a positive frame of mind helps you more easily to shush up that voice inside your head. It's easier to ignore the voice and soon that voice may just disappear because you're too busy doing things to pay any attention to it.

So, if that voice is bringing you down, start writing your own list - 'I am grateful for ...'.

Or you could do something similar to what I did, soon after I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I wrote a list of Ten Reasons Why Multiple Sclerosis was a good disease for me to get.

Writing this list was a huge boost to me, and the comments and thoughts I've received after I posted it to the world online have been lovely. If you have something that has happened to you, think about it in a different way and write your own Ten reasons why... list.

If you then share your list with others, you'll probably find it to be a positive and therapeutic thing.

Good luck, and please, leave a comment telling us if you're done anything to help make that nasty voice go away.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Finding Happiness

It is good to be able to find happiness in situations whenever you can. Sad things happen often, and if we're not careful, we can get ground down by it.

Today, for instance was - or could have been - a sad day. Today my father Murray West, harness racing trainer, had his funeral. I had decided to think of this as a happy occasion, celebrating his life.

My father had lived a good life, for the most part. He was a good father and a good horse trainer. Most people who've been involved in the South Australian Harness Racing industry would know, or know of my father. He'd trained many good horses.

The latter part of his life was washed with sadness, that began with the death of my oldest brother, Jeff, in 1993. Jeff had driven Dad's horses and the two of them were a formidable combination. I feel that Dad's interest in living lessened after Jeff's death.

Life continued on though. Dad kept training horses, producing winners still, but his heart wasn't really in it. Then Dad's mental health began to wane, and he became more forgetful. Dementia set in.

This continued until Dad had to go and live in a nursing care because it was too hard for my mother to keep looking after him. This went on for over three years, until his health was very bad. He died just over a week ago.

Because I had decided to celebrate Dad's life, I thought about what I would like to read at his funeral service. I had one poem I had written about my dad, but when I re-read it a few days ago, it didn't seem suitable.

So, a couple of days ago, I thought about what I wanted to say, and I wrote a sonnet. It talked about wanting to keep happy memories of my father, as well as touching on the dementia that stole my father from me.

Several people spoke to me after the funeral, saying how much they liked my poem for Dad. This made me happy - Dad liked rhyming poetry and I was happy to be writing a rhyming poem just for Dad.

So, this was my way of finding happiness on this sad day. I'm still feeling sad about Dad, but I'm happy I was able to celebrate the life of a good man.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finding Places Where Creativity Fits In

In the past few months I['ve been taking on more 'Community' type of things. It's partly because of what I'm studying at the moment, and partly because of my natural inclination.

I like to help people and I like to be happy. Helping people helps me to be happy, so obviously helping people gives me a double dose of happiness. So I've been getting involved in projects where others are helped.

This has introduced me to a broad range of people involved in the Community Service sector. An amazing thing I've found is that lots of these people are incredibly creative people. It might be so for a number of reasons, and it would be interesting to study this idea further.

One reason for this creativity might be because Community Services isn't a highly resourced sector, so workers have to make much from little funding.

Another reason might be that having more creativity leads you to considering life from a bigger range of options, and you have more empathy because of that factor.

I'm sure there are many other reasons, and I'd love to hear what other people think about it.

Please leave comments, I'm interested in taking this idea further - I'd love you to be involved in this with me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So You Think You're Not Creative?

Can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t paint, can’t write creatively. Does this sound like you?

Do you ever wonder what you can do to express your creativity? There are classes you can go to for these things, but you may think it’s not worth it if you’re not interested in them.

A better idea for discovering your creative self is to explore the things you are interested in. For instance, maybe your passion is gardening. There are many ways to be creative in the garden. Topiary is the art of shaping bushes to look like other things – you could have an English box shrub that looks like
a crown for instance.

Or your passion may be for your beloved car. You clean it, drive it, adore it, show it off to friends and other admirers.

You can explore your creativity with your car. One of the things that excites many, many loving and creative car owners are the various things you can update and upgrade on your car.

There are many places you can go to for these kinds of things. You could trek around the place, or you could do it in the comfort of your own home. You may want to pimp your car by giving it sexier lights such as euro tail lights.

Change the look, make it your own. Make it Your Creative Statement!!!!!

There may be lots of cars the same make as yours, but you can make your car stand out and say – Hey Look at How Creative I Am!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Things My Life Has Taught Me #12

If you feel you’re in a rut, try doing something that scares you. The worst thing that may happen is the thing will go wrong. Most things won’t kill you or even cause injury.

Doing something that is scary, if it isn’t actually dangerous, can be a liberating experience. Be brave and give it a go, but being brave and being careful should go together.

Be aware of the danger and take necessary cautions, then do it The adrenaline rush when you finally do it is fantastic!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Things My Life Has Taught Me #11

Without challenges, you stagnate. People who never try things, never become the best person they can be.

If you don’t try things, you will always miss out on things and that will make you unhappy. You will always be getting bogged down with ‘If onlys’ and you won’t be moving on to better things.

Challenges in your life can bring you happiness that lasts.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Things My Life Has Taught Me #10

Challenges help you to grow toward where and what you want to be. I you meet your challenges, you will become a stronger person.

You will have a better understanding of what you are capable of, and you will be more willing and able to do things in the future.

Challenges unfaced can be the regrets that will live with you for your whole life. Regrets are reminders of your bad choices in life.

You may be better off trying things and learning from mistakes, than never trying things, and regretting what you missed out on.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things My Life Has Taught Me #9

Being afraid shouldn’t hold you back if you really want to do something. If you have weighed up the pros and cons of a thing, and you still think it is a good thing, then just go for it.

If your heart is set on flying, then get those flying lessons!

Things My Life Has Taught Me #8

Saying you are good doesn’t mean anything, being good means everything. Being good means many things, but no-one will think you are good if your actions belie your words.

Sometimes people do things without even realising the effect of their actions on others. And sometimes bad people tell lies.

It is important to look at what people do, more than you listen to what they say they do. Liars are all around, but if you watch and listen you can sort truth from fiction. What people do is more real than what they say.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Things My Life Has Taught Me #7

If you feel something is wrong, don’t say no straight away; think further, then decide. It just may be your fear getting in the way.

Fear is a useful emotion on many occasions, but it is important to be mindful and remain aware that first thoughts can be changed after further examination of the situation.

Examine your fear and be prepared to try something anyway if it seems safe enough. First thoughts may be basic flight/fight thoughts, but you are better than a caveman.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Things My Life Has Taught Me #6

Be prepared to listen to the lessons life gives you. If you’re not prepared to listen to the lesson, you won’t learn anything.

Everyone you meet may have something you can learn about. No new information is wasted, unless you never try to see if you can learn from it.

Learning from life can go on for as long as you live. Stop learning and you may well stop living, and be merely existing instead.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Things My Life Has Taught Me #5

You never know what road your life may take your down. Even if you think you have your life organised, you can still get your life disrupted.

Accidents, illness and various other things can force you to take a new path in life.

Embrace that new path and follow it – it can lead you to things you never realised you wanted and needed to know.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Things My Life Has Taught Me #4

Remain positive and learn to live with your challenges in life. Remaining positive leaves you open to new learnings.

Being negative won’t take you to better places. You need to believe in the better things, otherwise you’ll never notice them as they come before you.

More importantly, others will help you if you let them help you. Negative thoughts, negative words, drive other people away from you. A positive attitude can bring people to you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Things My Life Has Taught Me #3

A hug is always a good thing. Well, do I need to say anymore on this one? If you’re not sure about that, give a friend a hug. You will both be happier after.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Things my life has taught me #2

You've got to keep smiling, otherwise, what is there? If you adopt an unhappy outlook, even if only for a while, when life gives you challenges, other people may keep away from you. If you smile, even when life is giving you a hard time, at least you will have more people there to help you get through.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Things my life has taught me #1

Every experience is a chance to learn.
If you decide to try a new thing, you will learn whether that thing works for you. If you never try new things, you could be missing out on fantastic things.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What Can You do to Make the World Better?

I just read a lovely idea that helps fight depression and negative thoughts at the same time. Read this story and perhaps do the same thing in your office or home.

Some of us eat things that we know will wreck our healthy eating sometimes. And I’d say most people think nasty thoughts and can’t think of anything good sometimes too.

If everyone had easy access to a jar like one on the website, well who can tell what might happen! I encourage everyone to give this a go.

We can all play a part in making the world a better place to live.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oh Dear, Not Another Apology!

I have been so remiss with my blogs lately, it's getting more and more embarrassing every day.
Too many blogs and other time wasters, that's been my only (poor) excuse up until now.

But now I have an excuse which is also an answer to the problem at the same time. Confused? Well stick with me and I'll explain.

About three weeks ago I began to feel fatigued and my handwriting became even worse than usual. I then developed weakness on my right-hand side, both leg/feet and arm/hand. I realised there was a problem when I went to a wedding and my 70+ year old mother was walking much faster than me.

That was on a Saturday and I went and saw my doctor about the problem. She sent me to get a CT scan and have some blood taken for testing. The blood test results were all fine, but the CT scan had some things not quite normal, so she advised I get an ultrasound of my carotid artery and also that I should see a neurologist.

I couldn't get in to have either of these things done straight away, so I settled down to wait. I couldn't get in to see a neurologist for over three weeks. This was too slow, but fortunately, after many phone calls by my husband and my doctors office, I had an appointment to see another neurologist. In the meantime I'd had a visit from an occupational therapist who was very helpful - she showed me ways to get things done as much as I was able (best thing? she told me how to put on my bra! I felt much better once I could be back in control, even if just in control of my breasts!)

Anyway, I got in to see a neurologist. He wouldn't say much about what he thought was wrong, but sent me off for another test - an MRI scan. This took another week to have the scan then get in to see the neurologist again. The MRI scan was an interesting experience, and I thank all of my friends who told me what to expect.

So, hubby and I picked up the scans of my brain and my spinal cord, and gave them to my neuro to look at. The diagnosis? Well it was something I hadn't considered at all. The neurologist told me I had MS, Multiple Sclerosis. He was very reassuring and told me there were treatments available for MS, and also there was a lot of research being done on MS, and I could expect new treatments in the next few years.

He then explained a lot to my husband (Graham) and me about my new disease and eased our minds a little. He advised me to make an appointment with the Multiple Sclerosis Society and gave me a prescription for the medicine I would have to inject myself with once a week. This happened last Friday and tomorrow my mother is taking me to the MS Society and Graham is picking up the medicine he ordered at the pharmacy Friday afternoon after our visit.

I'm still not sure I will be able to inject myself, but I guess I'll have to. Graham has said he'll do it for me, but he said I'll be able to do it.

So that's one reason my blogs have gone quiet, apart from just not having time because I was busy doing fifty million other things. Now though, lots of those other things don't seem to matter. Having a voice, connecting with others seems to be one of the most important thing I can do. I can't deal with this disease on my own, and I have already had fantastic support from my family and friends.

One of the most important supports I've had through this though has been my own writing. I've kept friends up to date through my words on Facebook, and I've written three poems about it all so far. My writing has kept me connected with people and it's enabled me to deal with it all so that I don't feel overwhelmed.

I can't cure Multiple Sclerosis through creative writing, but I can keep depression at bay, and I can connect with other people. The more friends I take with me on this journey, the better it will be! I hope you will join me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Apology for my Absense

I am so sorry to have not been been since mid January. One of the problems at times is that you get so many ideas that you lose track of what you should be doing. That is sort of what has happened, except that I have been using my creativity to come up with stories to tell myself explaining to my inner critic why I haven't done a post on this site.

Does that make sense to you? If it does, I fear it may prove my theory that many creative people are great procastinators. I have written about this here and on other sites, in fact I'm just going to Google my name and procrastination together and see how many things come up...

Back again. Well, there were a few things, articles I'd written and so on on Google, interesting. What about you? Do you ever put off doing things, and tell yourself stories trying to justify yourself to yourself? I'd love to hear some good excuses not to do housework!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Is Life Getting You Down?

If you sometimes feel that life is stacked against you, that nothing ever goes right for you and there is nothing you can do to fix it, you may be a victim of your own Cognitive Distortions.

If you go to this website, you may learn the way to restructure your negative thoughts and find a much better, more positive life.

I am fortunate in that I am not constantly assailed by negative thoughts about my life, and I manage to keep a positive look on my own life most of the time. But if everything looks like it's against you, it can be difficult to look at the bright side to life, because the dark side overwhelms you.

If you feel like this, please take some time to look at your life.

Waiting for night to come

Waiting for night to come
I love sunsets