Time and time again music has provided a form of healing for group members. With this in mind and the current situation around the world we thought we would create a short playlist which we hope can provide some healing for you.
Why is music effective?
Faster songs facilitate concentration and alertness while slower songs promote calmness. These effects frequently last even after you’ve stopped listening. Music also impacts breathing and heart rate, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, boosting immunity, and improving overall health.
A Life Worth Living group which usually meets together at Simpson House has currently suspended face to face meetings in line with the government guidance on social distancing. However we will still be posting blogs as a way of connecting together through these unprecedented times.
This weeks blog, as we follow our group programme, will be about ‘Prejudice’.
The BBC ran an article about ‘Love and Understanding’ following discussion from The World Health Organisation saying that when talking about Covid-19, certain words and language may have a negative meaning for people and fuel stigmatizing attitudes.
“It is normal for people to fear something they are not aware of.” It is important we think about how our behaviour affects others when we are afraid, it is OK to do what we need to stay safe, and whatever that is we can still do it kindly. “Let’s have more understanding and love for each other.”
We share this beautiful poem
Yes there is isolation. Yes there is sickness. Yes there is even death. But, They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighbourhood So that the elders may have someone to call on. Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way All over the world people are waking up to a new reality To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To Love. So we pray and we remember that Yes there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is panic buying. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul Yes there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of love. Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe. Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by Love. Open the windows of your soul And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, Sing. Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM
At this group we considered how we can feel very stuck in life at times, we can feel stuck in situations, or in our thinking, or in the way we feel. Group members talked about how they had experienced breakthroughs at different points in their lives. One person talked about how they were having difficulty within a team, and was frustrated about being misunderstood. Their breakthrough came with a wise quote from another person who said; “You forgot to dismount”. They realised that the attempt to persuade had not been helping. A different approach of ‘divide and conquer’ was adopted, this allowed one to one conversations and greater understanding. So in this situation a change of perception and tactic allowed a breakthrough.
Another person had a breakthrough when they were being bullied. They asked the person bullying them to treat them as an equal and did not back down. The person felt better about themselves for doing this as it increased confidence.
We looked at an exercise together by using a cost benefit analysis of making a change. We explored the advantages and disadvantages of making changes and the advantages and disadvantages of NOT making changes. The group worked together with one person on a particular situation, this was helpful as the person was able to hear some objective viewpoints from other people who are outside the situation. It can be helpful to be open to other possibilities, as part of feeling stuck can be to just keep thinking round and round, trying the same limited approaches as the first breakthrough story above illustrates. We are then in a better position of what other decisions and solutions maybe available to us.
At our group today the topic for discussion was Shopping! A bit unusual and some members felt a bit dubious about it however as usual it led to a lively conversation!
We discussed how you would often see women loving the shopping experience and how you would see men waiting sitting waiting patiently but clearly looking forward to going home!
One group member said he usually felt like that however when he lived in Armitage there was a huge shop that sold many items including boats, even guns and outdoor equipment so he would enjoy looking round that.
Another member said they used to own a book shop and as that did not do so well they bought their own record collection in and started selling them and it built on that and was a successful record shop for many years ! One person spoke of the hours they would spend looking through records in shops like Cockburn Street.
A couple of people said they spent hours in book shops, and spoke of memories of old book shops and also a fairly new one that is quite grand inside and has ladders,leading up to more workspace which sounded amazing!
Another person spoke of shopping for hours with a family member for meaningless items and how boring they found it!
One member talked about how they enjoyed the whole experience even if it meant just going home with a couple of small items. The conversation also covered how some people may have a problematic addictive behaviours around shopping. People had found information that the same good feeling can be had by instead of buying actual items to just put it in the trolley (including online) for example and then leave it. Some people said that this actually helped them overcome their shopping difficulties!