Snot and Butterflies

There I was, so totally delighted with myself and my success that I made the brave decision to reduce my Prozac. By reduce, I mean, of course, stop.

I had stood up for myself and set up my courses on my own steam. Folk were inspired, writing, loving writing. The time was right, right? No. Wrong. I have been on antidepressants since the mid 90’s when a random GP began prescribing them after a rape. Yes, I was prescribed anti depressants to help me cope with being raped.  Despite every attempt to consciously overcome past difficulties, traumas and general life shite, I have developed two decade chemical habit.

The problem is I have nerves. I have little to no self esteem. The voices in my head tell me I am worthless and only fit for taking in laundry. When a child is grown with criticism, she learns to criticise. As a child and young woman I was only told how I shamed my family, and, it seems, this speech pattern repeats in my head. It’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I can over ride it by learning to care for myself, nourish my body, mind and soul. I can live with it by running off the negativity. I know how to sit on a rock in a river and breathe until Light fills my heart. And now, I am managing to stand up and teach the skills I learned, the tips I am passionate about. I am managing to inspire others to write raw and pure from their souls. And this feels right and good.

So I ditched the shed loads of Prozac. 4 million butterflies took up residence in my belly. My head filled with snot, which flowed freely from my nose. My ears blocked. My head went. I got the shakes. There was no way I could even open an email, couldn’t go out of my house and had to hide in my bed.

I used to think folk just sorta tolerated me. It wasn’t until this year, when I broke my ankle, that I realised my friends actually love me. I am a 46 year old woman who has never had a cuddle or kind word from her mother. It has been miraculous to have love. It has been brilliant to teach the stuff I love. This year has changed my life.

I took myself to the surgery with my head up my arse and begged for the chemicals. Then, I sat still, imagining I could do it again. Telling myself I could go back to passing on all the writing knowledge I gained. Wrote notes to myself listing positive actions, ate well, walked on the beach. I prayed for my mother who had no love for me, for my father who could only protect her. And I prayed for me. Today, I got up early, with snot and sweat, chills and butterflies and somehow managed to once again inspire a group of writers into writing more. Now I have a cuppa tea and we are going to do it again…..

You are welcome to join us. Workshops are £30 each, unless you agree a concession with me beforehand. next Friday we are developing our favourite locations.

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Gwyneth and Me…

Source: Gwyneth and Me…

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28th July 2017 10am -1pm


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Sweaty Palms

Folk think I’m being funny, trying to make them laugh when I say I have prescription anti-perspirant. It’s true folks. I get so nervous I have extreme perspiration. The chemically loaded gak needs to be spread all over my body the night prior to any occasion where I might have to stand up and speak. It needs to be washed off twice.
I also take shed loads of prozac.
And I have to do meditations with visualisations where I tell myself ‘I am enough’.
Working for the WEA Woman@Work project has helped me enormously. I’m not half as bad as I used to be. Three years ago I had a stutter whenever I tried to speak up, but, because we have been teaching confidence building courses, some of it rubbed off on me. Mixing with other women who know how a lack of self worth can affect you has been marvellous. Being able and allowed to discuss how puke makingly nauseous talking in public can be is just the epitome of cathartic.
Tomorrow i am actually doing what I should be doing, for myself. One of the things I do best is teach creative writing techniques, but, for so many years I have been terrified of stepping into that role. I don’t know if lack of parental support throughout my life is the reason, or whether it’s some sort of cultural anomaly, but the fact remains, I am one very sweaty nervous betty with drippy hands, beaded upper lip and horrific damp patches.
I’m laying off the alcohol tonight. I have a light meal organised and my bag of books is all ready for tomorrow. I will do my Super Woman pose before folk arrive and I will teach with my heart pointed to the heavens. I will remember to breathe.
It’s only thanks to Lorraine Thomson and the team at Women@Work that I can even contemplate doing this.
I’ll let ye know how it goes and whether I ever want to do it again…..!

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Photos from workshops

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Find Your Inner Writer, Findhorn

Mindfulness and meditation are now widely recognised as therapeutic exercises for enhancing our life experiences. Basic meditations play a crucial role in developing consciousness and boosting creativity. In order to expand our understanding and capabilities we must wake up more of our brains, train our minds to do a little more and a little more each week.

David Lynch, the film maker, attributes his success to a thirty year practice of transcendental meditation. He believes that his creative process is directly linked to his ability to pull ideas from his unconscious mind.
We know that creativity reduces stress and empowers us. We know that making something makes us feel positive.
This creative writing course is based on mindfulness and meditation. It is a taught process of relaxing the brain, breathing slowly into each hemisphere of the brain with a visualisation, in order to focus and balance the left brain and the right brain. This exercise was researched in the literary department of Trinity College Dublin in the 1980’s. It is also used in Buddhist meditations.
Students are guided through a visualisation in a meditative state and then allowed to write freely for twenty minutes. They write anything that comes through their minds, pens must not leave the paper. In this exercise they will discover thoughts and ideas they were not previously aware of. With regular practice they will find their own unique writer’s voice and stories they did not know they had.

You don’t ned any experience of meditation. You don’t need any experience in creative writing. All you need is pen and paper and a willingness to try. It’s fun, safe, nurturing, hard work and you will amaze yourself.
Concessions available. Come for one day or sign up for all 8 workshops, the choice is yours. £30 per workshop including on line tech support 0r £220 for all 8, all inclusive.

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