Day 884

“Hi. My name is Joe
And I work in a button factory
I’ve got a wife
3 kids
And one day my boss said to me
He said, “Joe?
…Got a minute?”
I said,”Yes.”
He said “Push the button
With your left hand

Repeat….right hand
….left foot
….right foot
….head
….tongue

It was like being a kid again. The Theatre workshop at the Dragon Café let loose my imagination and opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I was part of a community full of great ideas, all of which were real in that room. Colourful currents of creative juices were flowing, intersecting and mingling within that sacred space. Every suggestion was validated, every feeling acknowledged. I felt safe and uplifted. For that one hour I could be anyone, anywhere with any story.

The interaction induced empathy. For a few minutes, each of our characters felt what it must be like to be in the other one’s shoes. We formed strong connections and had great fun.

I can see why Drama therapy works in schools, prisons, mental health centres, businesses and hospitals. It is an instrument for change, individual and social. It can help us work our way through a problem, discover some truths about ourselves, understand the meaning of images that resonate with us and explore and transcend unhealthy personal patterns of behaviour.

Saagar was a natural mimic and actor. Every time he auditioned, he got a good role. Predictably, he played one of the 3 wise men in his primary school nativity play. Then, he was Badger in Wind in the Willows. His last school play was Of Men and Mice in which he played the character of The Boss. He loved the team aspect of putting a production together. The last play he watched was ‘Book of Mormons’.

He was a star and still is.

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Ref:

http://playingon.org.uk/playing-on-at-the-dragon-cafe/

Day 883

The morning was spent on the phone with another Mum preparing herself for her son’s upcoming inquest.

The afternoon was spent watching 3 short documentary films at the BBC Arabic festival. One of the films was co-directed by one of Saagar’s friends. All 3 films were about the struggles of young men and their ways of dealing with them. Saagar would have loved them. He wouldn’t have required subtitles.

The evening was spent watching moving images of Saagar on the videos that were sent across electronically by one of his friends, over yesterday and today. The headphones on which I heard him play the Djembe solo is a present from another friend of Saagar’s. The eyes and ears made my broken heart overflow with pure love.

The sun shone brightly all day and for longer than normal.
All of the above are gifts from Saagar.
It was a happy day. Everyday is Mother’s day.

Love can’t be fully expressed, described or defined.
Trying to do so only touches the surface.
Love can only be experienced.
Divine love is beyond attributes.
Love for someone just because they are.
No conditionality.
Divine love grows with every moment.
It doesn’t break.
Love is self-evident. No proof is required.
Life is an expression of the inexpressible.

Ref: https://bbcarabicfestival.pilots.bbcconnectedstudio.co.uk/#/

Day 882

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Nature has an intelligence of its own.
It knows when what is required.
We are made out of nature and nature is made out of us.
Everything is made up of the same basic 5 elements – air, fire, water, earth and ether.

Silence is healing and so is sound.
Sound energy travels through every cell like a subtle life force. All cultures have been using chanting as a way of uplifting the spirit for thousands of years. It activates energies within that bring peace, oneness and non-duality in the self. Chanting creates harmony and balance between all the elements we are made of.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1

If we replace the word ‘word’ with ‘sound’, we see that it was sound that became manifest. The big bang of the Big Bang Theory is sound.

Birdsongs of dawn, a mother’s lullaby, big fat raindrops hitting the roof and the wind making itself heard through the rustling of leaves – all these vibrations have a particular and distinct effect on each of us.

Each human body has its own unique vibration, which is sacred to that individual. With attention turned inwards I attempt to listen in on my own inner sound. Re-aligning with this sound and the cosmic hum serves to balance my energetic body and brings me closer to re-connecting me with my divine presence. I chant and listen to all sounds with every intention to heal.

Ref:
How to use sound to heal yourself. : http://www.chopra.com/articles/how-to-use-sound-to-heal-yourself#sm.001vy3alt5atekn11ti160re53l74

Day 881

The school project entailed each student discussing what they would put in Room 101 and why. Room 101 is where the bad things go.

For Saagar, it was translucent curtains. He thought they were pointless. They didn’t keep the sun out. They didn’t hold any warmth in. They blew in the wind. They annoyingly got in the way. Close up they were see-through. They twitched in the hands of old ladies. Their flimsy paperiness didn’t have a pleasant texture. They collected dust. They looked like nothing much. As far as he was concerned, they didn’t serve any purpose They definitely belonged in Room 101.

When I look back to my younger days, I can see me making similar arguments. At that time things fell into distinct boxes – good and bad, right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, royalty and commoner, black and white – concepts inspired by fairy tales, cartoons and films, Cinderella and Snow White to name a couple.

As the years went by, I learnt that a lot of life happens in grey zones, many rights and wrongs are based on a given context, some things can be beautiful and ugly at the same time, royalty can be common and the good and the bad resides in all of us.

Maybe his young mind told him there were only two available choices – life or death. Maybe if he was a bit older he would have known that there are other choices, one of them being, waiting it out.

“Nothing worked but the passage of time … It’s an illness and it ran its course. I had always described myself as melancholy or depressive but I hadn’t a clue. Anything I had before was a blue day by comparison. This was altered perceptions, a mental illness.” Says the Irish novelist, Marian Keyes, 53, about her severe depression in 2009. Writing was her “rope across the abyss”. She started with short stories and her 13th novel is soon to be released.

 “Have patience with all things but first of all with yourself.”
-Saint Francis de Sales.

Ref:

Room 101 : http://www.definitions.net/definition/ROOM%20101

Novelist Marian Keyes reveals fight against constant ‘suicidal impulses’ : https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/12/novelist-marian-keyes-reveals-fight-against-constant-suicidal-impulses

Day 880

Stones and bones;
Snow and frost;
Seeds and beans and polliwogs,
Paths and twigs, assorted kisses,
We all know who Mamma misses.

The helplessness of being alive,
the dark bright pity of being human,
groping in corners and
opening your arms to light.
All of it part of navigating
The unknown.

They would not know
When I was gone,
Just as they could not know sometimes
How heavily I had hovered in a particular room.
I became manifest in whatever way they wanted me to.

There had been a woman haunted.
All of it, the story of my life and death,
Was hers if she chose to tell it,
Even to one person at a time.

I would like to tell you that
It is beautiful here.
That I am and you will one day be,
Forever safe.
But this heaven is not about safety,
Just as in its graciousness, it isn’t
About gritty reality.
We have fun.

The dead truly talk to us,
That in the air between the living
Spirits bob and weave and
Laugh with us.
They are the oxygen we breathe.

So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore.
Underneath this obvious patchwork quilt
Are places like a quite room
Where you can go
and hold someone’s hand and
Not have to say anything.
Give no story
Make no claim.

Where you can live at the edge of your skin
For as long as you wish.
This wide wide heaven
Is about the soft down of new leaves,
Wild roller coaster rides and escaped marbles
That fall and then hang
Then take you somewhere you could never have imagined
In your small-heaven dreams.

-Inspired by The Lovely Bones. Author, Alice Sebold.
-Dedicated to all those innocent people who died traumatically in London yesterday and to their loved ones.

Day 879

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After 3 years of no singing, last week I recorded 3 tracks of devotional music with a friend. I sent across one of them on whatsapp to all my family in India. I got a few ‘wow’s and emojis of an applause and a rose and such. My mum called to say it was nice. Yesterday my 8 years old niece spoke to me about it. She said, ”I didn’t know it was you. Mamma told me. It was like you were singing for God. It made me feel relaxed and sleepy. It was like a lullaby.” That was the most honest and descriptive feedback I had. She shared how it made her feel rather than how good or bad it was.

Judgements come from the head and feelings come from the heart. That the music made her feel a particular way, that she didn’t just hear it but felt it, that she could verbalise it as well as she did was remarkable.

The purity and sweetness of the innocence of childhood is one of the most precious things in this world.

Saagar couldn’t wait to grow up!

Scan 9

 

Day 878

Gary’s story.
The Last Word.
Work Under Pressure.

These 3 powerful videos appear on the website of Mates in Mind (MiM). Suicide kills far more construction workers than work place accidents.  MiM is a charitable programme to improve and promote positive mental health in construction. It has been co-founded by Health in Construction and British Safety Council.

At present, one in 6 workers in the UK is experiencing depression, anxiety or stress. 6% of the UK work force is made up of construction workers, that is 2.1 million people. Hence at any given time at least 350,000 people in the industry will be dealing with mental ill health and possibly feeling alone. Raising awareness and generating champions through modular training in that community means there will always be someone close by who can help or are dealing with similar feelings.

A recent article in the BMJ states 5 facts about the conditions in anaesthetic training –

Workload – Nearly all had stayed beyond their shift. Nearly two thirds (62%) said that in the previous month they had gone through a shift without a meal, and 75% had done a shift without drinking enough water.

Health – Sixty four per cent of the anaesthetics trainees thought that their job had negatively affected their physical health, and 61% thought it had negatively affected their mental health.

Morale – Poor work-life balance, the burden of assessment, career uncertainty, frequent rotations, and terms and conditions of service sapped their morale.

Patient safety – This had worsened due to lack of available hospital beds, staff morale, and staff shortages.

Burnout risk – 85% of these young doctors were at risk of burnout.

I think Mr Hunt can take credit for some of these issues.

Mate in Mind is a fantastic example for other industries to make a concerted effort to address the well being of their employees in these difficult and uncertain times.

Ref:
https://www.matesinmind.org/employers.html

http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/Five_facts_about_conditions_in_anaesthetics_training