Friday, 25 May 2012

Mindful and music full!

This weeks blog could be short. I did too much and I was shattered, it would read. I agree not exciting . It could also be a theme of accepting the impact my recent diagnosis has had and that this year needs to be the one where I prioritise my recovery. Two health care professionals  have said this to me this week.I had to stifle my reply which would instinctively be a big fat NO...not the whole year...I want it over now! But  I know its true and it doesn't mean I am not going to be working etc but just that I still need to make time to finish my treatment. And I need to stop trying to work it around my work diary, because the time will never be right if I try to do that. In a week when I met my London colleagues in Edinburgh it highlighted my pull. I work with great people, in a great charity, all of us passionate about our mission.....and I miss them. And the daily challenge of an interesting job. Briefly I considered asking to join them at a meeting the next day but recognised the danger in that so instead I attended to my needs and joined a mindfulness class. How valuable that was. I have long been an advocate of mindfulness not just in health but as a healthy tool for organisations , individuals, even governments. Alongside my study of gestalt it has helped me notice more and understand that I have choices about what to engage with. But I guess under stress is when I , like us all ,can lose that balance and default to older habits. So this week I am mindfully noticing my inner struggle but setting it aside and not letting it dominate. I am also mindful of my inner voice which when it says push yourself...and instead try to work with my energy, not against it. A small breakthrough maybe! The other impact of a mindfulness session is feeling less of that bone weary tiredness that's lurks around corners for me just now. I have an app for Mindfulness and do recommend it if you have a suitable device. It's easier to be shown in person first but it's a great tool to support mindful practice. It leads me to reflect that social media can be both a friend of mindful, reflective practice but I suspect an enemy too, filling the head with information and risking no space for reflection. One of the debates I saw and did reflect on this week was the potential paradox of a drive to independence in Scotland at a time of global economic crisis. Madness some would cry at such a time, whilst others argue that all the more reason to have influence over your own destiny and belief in your countries resources in all its hues. I wonder too if there is a similarity in the work we have done into how important it is to our supporters in Scotland that we fund research based here. Now we all know that research has the power to save lives across the globe so surely it's base is irrelevant? And of course that is recognised but so is the sense of pride that the research done here in Breakthrough Breast Cancer in Scotland is world class and impacts across many boundaries. I wonder if indeed they are paradoxes but perhaps more two sides of the same coin, recognising and valuing interconnectedness as well as respecting the cultural, national and geographical context. Both important, both our reality.  Reasons to be cheerful. It's not only been a mindful week but it's a music full one too. We saw the Firebugs at the local folk club and they were so good. Hearing my son, his girlfriend and his good friends sing and play their own songs with such talent and commitment is so uplifting. You can google and Facebook them and find their new EP. You can also see two of them running in the Edinburgh Marathon at the weekend supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer:-) Listening to them inspired me to listen to some folk /americana tunes at home. Listening to Alison Kraus sing the beautiful "dimming of the day" moved me to tears , bringing to mind a lovely family we care about who are struggling too with a recent cancer diagnosis. Such a hard time for them. Music is always such a powerful way to connect with emotions. And tomorrow we go to see Tosca, a birthday celebration for my husband. It's ,as always , so important to savour and celebrate the good times. I hope you have some planned too.

4 comments:

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  2. If it's any consolation, Audrey, I've had two bouts with early-stage breast cancer, the last being in 2003. I'm still going strong so far.

    Music is so healing to the mind and heart. I'm glad you can take comfort in it as you work your way through treatment. Take good care of yourself. Someday I'd like to visit Edinburgh. Maybe I can meet up with you. Jan

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  3. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. So glad to hear you are well. Would love to meet you here in Edinburgh. Till then, all best.

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