June 2018 - I got off my backside
I have his words on my desk Martin Luther King ‘Some of us are trying to build a temple of peace. We speak out against war, we protest, but it seems that your head is going against a concrete wall ... you are left discouraged’. And ‘The dream may not be fulfilled but its good that you have a desire to bring it into reality’
Yes indeed. So on 23rd June I got off my backside and onto a train and joined the ‘People's Vote on the final Brexit deal’. It was a sunny day and I would have much preferred to stay in my garden, pottering about tying up my sweet peas and watering the few lettuces I have.
I can’t say I really enjoyed it. It was tiring and hot and I doubt if my two extra feet were critical in advancing the cause. But as I shuffled along I met a friend who grumpily said that it was a waste of time because ‘they never listened anyway’. With that, I started feeling content I’d made the effort. What would happen if the news report said they’d organised a march and only a couple of dozen people turned up. Then they who would govern would have license to do as they please and walk all over us.
More Martin Luther King quotes here
‘Two monologues do not make a dialogue ‘(Jeff Daly) So … listen
This whole month of June I’ve been listening - especially 8am to 9.30 every Monday morning when I’ve joined 8 people in a virtual Listening Lab. I remember my first experiences of classes on active listening 4 decades ago and the many therapy groups in which we practiced listening to ourselves and the group. I practiced then, I practice now.
Here’s some quotes from the course ‘You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.’ ‘Most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking. ‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place’ (Scott Peck, Bernard M Baruch, George Bernard Shaw)
Courses are offered by Raquel Ark from Listening Effect, course details are here
A round of applause ruined my Saturday
Thinking that it might be a window into the public mood (at least of the mood of the U.K.’s BBC Radio 4 listeners), I have started listing more regularly to ‘Any Answers’ where callers comment on the previous programme ‘Questions Time’ in which various notable talking heads have discussed the matters of the day.
A couple of weeks ago I turned it on just in time to hear a woman berating the UK government for the current shambles in their attempts to organise for the UK to leave the EU.
Her closing comment was that we needed someone to come and sorted all out ‘you know someone like Donald Trump, he’d fix it’ The thought of this is hateful individual entering my country was bad enough, but when her comment attracted a round of applause I knew we are indeed living in dangerous times.
A rubbish idea?
In a recent conversation, my friend told me he heard a voice which told him he was a fraud. This inner voice had been getting louder recently - especially when colleagues came to ask his expert advice (which in my view he was more than capable of giving). He knew it was just a voice, but it was real.
I gave him some advice, based on my own experience of troubling noises in my head (they sometimes get particularly loud at night, around 2am)
This is what I do. I get some scrap paper. I take a pen or pencil. Place it on the paper. Allow it to move and start writing whatever bubbles up. It can be obscenities, wisdoms, crazy stuff, whatever comes to mind. (That's why scrap paper is better so you can feel OK about writing rubbish as it appears)
Write and write as long as it your hand keeps moving. No judgment. Just write. Stuff. Anything.
In my experience there sometimes comes a moment (after many pages of scribbling) when a little gem may spill on to the page. Carry on. Keep writing until you run out. In this way get the inside outside.
Keep your scribbles away from your partner, friends or public gaze. They are the uncensored outpourings of your chaotic mind. If you see a gem mixed in there, extract it and look at it the next day to see if it still shines.
You think this is rubbish idea? Exactly. Pick up that pen.
Posted on 27-06-2018 at 16:38