vulnerability and videos…

One of the biggest lessons I have learned while doing the 84 Days of the Artist’s Way is to acknowledge my own vulnerability.

I have often acted, done, produced, made, created stuff and put it out there in a sort of ‘matter of fact’ attitude as if confirming more to myself I wasn’t a coward, as I have often been labelled, instead.

Still, I learned to stop and admit I am often scared. That does not stop me from doing things, but I know I need to be more compassionate and caring towards myself.

Hence, today, I took the courage to create a video (one of the many ones that I like making!) but I savored every moment while recording, editing, uploading and now sharing it.

At the same time, I wanted to make sure I was aware of the fact that people might watch it, and comment, and maybe dislike it. Even people I might know, not just some random stranger from far away; someone I might meet in the street tomorrow morning and who might mock me; or a colleague, or my boss, … [because, let’s be honest, this is it: the dread of public humiliation…]

Well, anyhoo, brace yourselves coz here it is :

Stoptober 2016 : one year…

one year… one year…

I made a video not to celebrate the event (even though I will!) but to explain how I did it.

So, thank you very much for watching the following video!

In this video I am presenting my own personal experience with Stoptober 2015 and the tools I have used to quit smoking. Please, do remember that you can do it as long as you find your own system, what works for you and you are prepared! Good Luck! You have all my support and I’ll be sending you good vibes the whole month of October!


Any info regarding Stoptober can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/stoptober and on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/stoptober

You find us here: The Resting Tree: https://www.facebook.com/therestingtreelancs/

Should you need any more info, you have some questions or you would like to book a session with me, please feel free to contact The Resting Tree
via the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/therestingtreelancs/
via email therestingtreelancs@gmail.com
or via the website https://therestingtreelancs.com/

My previous video about morning ritual : https://youtu.be/Ow7YEAN_IpI
Dandelions Fields Notebooks : http://amzn.to/2cIh5tI
Midori Traveller’s Notebook: http://amzn.to/2btL0cN
Leuchtturm 1917: http://amzn.to/2b6zi7s
Paperchase : http://amzn.to/2cA1ocl
Moleskine Pocket Reporter Ruled Notebook : http://amzn.to/2cIfdBd
Smash Book Eco Green Folio : http://amzn.to/2c6yhwB
Timu Leather Journal – Brown – A5 – by Nkuku : http://amzn.to/2cA4nBg

Thank you for watching!
Matilde Tomat

A new series: S3 : INITIATIVE

03 MAY 2016

Session THREE: INITIATIVE

As promised, here’s the new video re. the session about INITIATIVE.

We also talked about guilt, and Purpose in Life.

The topic of Purpose in Life (and the sense of having a Mission) is very dear to me, especially during my placement as a trainee chaplain at Chorley and Preston hospitals.

I mention Simon Sinek and his TEDtalk: if you have never heard of him, never saw his video, please do now! I highly recommend it and you can find it here.

And here is the video: enjoy!

A new series: S2 : AUTONOMY

26 APR 2016

Session TWO: AUTONOMY

As promised, here’s the new video re. the session about AUTONOMY.

We talked about shame & doubt, and labelling.

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I’m always mesmerized by the power of labels: we really do believe anything at times, don’t we?

The links mentioned in the video are:

Tim Urban website re. procrastination  here
Tim Urban TEDtalk here

Oriah Mountain Dreamer poem ‘The Invitation

 

Enjoy the video, and thank you for watching!

 

A new series…

01 – 17 APR 2016

I am very excited, very hopeful and cannot wait to start!

Tomorrow I will meet the new participants at Salus (Withnell Hall) for an introduction, during which I will explain what I will do, who I am, my core approach and beliefs. Somehow the basic contracting of any therapeutic relationship.

This time I have decided, after one whole year of practising (!), of making a short video after every session and upload it on here. So, this is going to be my own personal journey and somehow development at the same time, too!

Enjoy!

21-day Meditation Experience

As many of you know, I do the 21-day Meditation Experience by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. Every time, because I gain so much insight from it.

This time I have decided to share with you part of my journal and a video I made for the Mantras used during the Meditation.

For more information re. the Experience, please see Chopra Meditation : it’s free, soothing and healing.

I have also created a video with the Mantras used during the Meditation. It is true that as a practising Nichiren Buddhist I use the Nam Myoho Renge Kyo ‘mantra’ to chant, but I have discovered that to quieten the mind and during my placement as a Buddhist Chaplain (together with Buddhists from other denominations) using various mantras can help to focus and for peace of mind.

To make the video, I used PowerPoint to create picture/slides of the mantras. Then, I also printed the slides as pictures, laminated them and I used them in my journal (as you can see from one of the pictures above). All of this is not a pointless exercise! Creativity helps focusing, aids the healing process. We move from the Victim role to the Creator/Trickster role in order to take the change that happens within us, in the world outside.

If you want to know more about Therapeutic Journalling, or if you would like to host a course / event, please contact me at The Resting Tree or via the Facebook page.

Enjoy the video ♥

 

a life script: earthquake

I find working with Life Scripts extremely fascinating. And here is why:

Picture this day, the 6th of May 1976, North Italy. I am 8 years old at the time.

I go to school during the morning; dad picks me up and we are having lunch together at the barracks were he works; when we finish and go out dad notices some dead irises along a narrow stream nearby, flowers which were alive when we got there before lunch; dad talks to me about the nature of things, and death, and the caducity of life… and as a kid I can only feel a sense of impending doom; we go home to get changed but I feel scared so I follow my gut feeling and hide my favourite doll under a desk; we leave home and travel 30 km south to meet with mum and my younger sister; we go shopping and buy some new uniforms for dad; we meet with granddad and uncle and have dinner all together in a restaurant; the evening doesn’t feel serene and I remember arguments.

At a certain point, around 9pm, an earthquake. A strong one. A bad one. A dangerous one. Everybody screams and leaves, but for granddad and me. He tells me to keep on eating. I remember being so scared I was shaking. I feel abandoned and desperate. But granddad repeats that ‘this is life, and you just get on with it’. Later on in the car mum cries, sister cries, and I can physically sense sadness and drama. But I have survived.

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The 6.5 quake was centred on the town of Gemona del Friuli; it killed 939 people, injured  over 2,400, and left 157,000 homeless. It killed also my best friend; and most of my school friends. My dad started dying that day.

I survived. I am a survivor.

And this is how it happens: I have always thought I was a survivor, and that I should be grateful for it. As a kid I could not understand exactly what was going on, but children create their own stories: I survived because this and this and then this happened.

I survived because this and this and then this happened. A series, a specific sequence of events.

  1. I go to school (good girl)
  2. I feel impending doom & ending & death
  3. I experience mysticism
  4. I feel attached to objects
  5. I spend money for other people
  6. Arguments with family / uneasiness / not serene
    1. earthquake
  7. Abandonment + fatalism + ‘get on with it’

And now I can see how the pattern repeated itself in most of my life:

  1. I am a Perfect Daughter, so I act as a Good Girl
  2. I feel impending doom, weird sensation that the status quo is about to end
  3. I turn to mysticism / religion straight away
  4. I get very attached to objects / the story / … attached in general!
  5. I start spending money to compensate / attract
  6. Arguments begin >>> end!
  7. I leave with the sense of ‘It would have ended anyway!’ (fatalism / self fulfilling prophesy)
    1. + life is hard / shit
    2. + I just have to get on with it
    3. + I will survive / make it anyway

So, while as a child, I subconsciously thought that I survived only because of the sequence of events of that specific traumatic day, as an adult I repeat the same sequence of events over and over and over again – so that I can continually prove to myself that I can survive.

At this point I have a choice, don’t I? What if I start asking myself these questions*?

  1. What changes do I want / wish for in order to enhance my life?
    1. I do not want to feel a survivor any more, I want to thrive
  2. How will I need to change to get what I want / wish for?
    1. I don’t have to leave, I have to stay and speak my mind with honesty. Because when I don’t either I leave (survive) or I go back to pleasing and being a Good Girl which then leads me back to the beginning of the cycle again.
  3. What needs to happen for me to make this change?
    1. I need to be courageous enough to speak up
  4. What am I willing to do in order to make this change?
    1. Be vulnerable and risk.
  5. How might I sabotage myself?
    1. I might say to myself that it’s not that important, that even if I speak things won’t change, people won’t listen, people won’t understand, I made it before so I can make it even now,…
  6. How will I and others know when I have made the change?
    1. I will be assertive and won’t compromise unless it really suits me
  7. How will I reward myself for making the change?
    1. I really have to think about it… I feel a hint of sabotaging creeping in just now (!) … I may give myself permission to journal and be artistic without judging myself 
  8. What will I do in my life after I have made the changes?
    1. I will have gained respect; and I will live and thrive ♥

 

… I will live and thrive ♥…

So, what’s your life script?

 

* http://www.ta-psychotherapy.co.uk/pdf/101.pdf – p.21

2012 – 2015 : lessons learned

I stopped and thought. And found something I wrote back in 2012. When everything seemed gloomy and depressing, lonely and worthless. I know it might look long; but I could not change a word of it… pls, stick with it

*** *** ***

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So, one day you wake up, you get ready and you go to work. The next day you wake up and you don’t get ready to go to work. You are not on holiday. You are off work, unemployed, on the street. For fun you might change your status and info on Facebook: Current employment: employed at Unemployed (it seems that Facebook does not allow you to be simply: unemployed).

What next? You gather your documents, your P45, your last wage slip, your National Insurance Number and you make that fatal call to the JobCentrePlus: it takes minutes or hours (in my case: hours, which became days) to explain everything and every single detail. You fill in forms, you talk to the lucky ones employed at the JCP and you wait in line. You are told what to do, where to do it and exactly when to do it. You sit and wait. And you look around at the other people who, like you, sit and wait.

What are they thinking about? One whistles, one talks on his mobile, one checks her nails, one has the colour freshly done with those horrible black markings around the forehead and around her ears. You start thinking: I would never employ anyone of them: that is too scruffy, this is too uninteresting, she is too loud, he is too ignorant, that’s way too rude…

Then, it downs on you: you are in that queue, too.

You are, for any reason, without a paid occupation. And you are becoming too argumentative, too patronizing, too pathetic. They might have technical or manual skills you do not have; they might have family issues you do not have; they might have health problem you are lucky not to have.

You are there, we are all there for the same reason: to beg for the State to pay us some money every couple of weeks so that we can buy food, petrol and pay our bills.

Whatever the reason you are now unemployed (Company run out of money, your position is no longer available, you are not enough qualified, you have done something wrong, nobody wants you, you are unemployable, you have got too many tattoos, et.) you need money to survive in this society. Whatever happened before, whatever kind of life you lead before, it does not exist any more.

And if you are like me, you have no mother, no father, no family to fall back to, no kids, no partner and are living in a country which is not yours by birth. You are Ms No One.

You have degrees, many hours of expertise on your shoulders, you read many books; have certificates, dreams and hopes. But you are still in line.

Your rhythms, your daily patterns, your expenses, your thoughts, your behaviour, all this and more will change. Your relationships with other people will change. Your attitude towards reading the newspapers or watching TV will change. What you will talk about will change: you will moan, you will beg, you will be depressed. The people around you will change. Going out on a Friday night with your work mates? A bit difficult now. You will find yourself with a lot of time in your hands and will not understand why you cannot talk, see, visit people at any hour of the day. This is why: they are working.

You will discover a new town: at 12pm it is going to be you, others unemployed, mothers with kids and pensioners around. You might find yourself recognizing the old chap who buys the same lunch everyday and sits in the same spot and makes the same comments. Everyday. You will start unpretentiously listening to the conversations at the tables next to you: the school, the bills, a mourning, a family friend who run away with the neighbour, looking forward to catch up the following day. You will smile to that old lady with lilac hair who struggles walking up the road and one Thursday you will wonder why she is not out any more. You will talk about the weather, the price of pies, the best sandwich in town, which is the strongest tea, the 3 for 2, the buy-one-get-one-free, the football match, the cricket you knew nothing about before, the races, the betting, the documentaries on TV you considered silly and for ‘thick people only’, before. Not to mention the doctors, prescriptions and medication. And you will cringe when one day you will hear your voice talking about ‘the old days when I was working’. You are getting unhappily comfortably old. Where are now your slippers and pipe, or your needles and wool? Have you started considering gardening coupled with a weekly trip to B&Q?

You will realize that, since you now have so much time on your hands, everybody is asking you favours: can you do this? can you do that? can you look after my children, can you come and clean, can you… do you mind… would you… could you… if only you… just because you don’t work. Volunteering for friends and family: the new unspoken form of slavery. You feel that too many people are now expecting something from you: the JCP is expecting you to fill in all the forms and go there every two weeks at a precise time and you should actively look for a job everyday for at least three hours on the internet (which, thanks to Facebook, become five); your parents might be expecting you to go round daily ‘just for a chat, you know’; your partner is expecting you to clean the house, get dinner ready, do the pots, the shopping and the ironing because you don’t work; your friends expect you to watch their kids, help them out building that shed, organizing that barbecue, to listen to their moaning about their managers/marriages; your neighbour is expecting you to move the car, mown the lawn, sort your yard; the council is expecting you to pay the taxes and fill in the bins properly; the bank is expecting you to pay the mortgage and all you are expecting to is actually to turn into an ostrich. And because they work and, of course, they are stressed, they all shout at you.

On the other hand, your thought might shift from: ‘I have paid taxes all my life and hence I am owed money’; to ‘Thank the Lord I’m getting something this week. Pies are only £1.50 down the road’. You will dread hearing people making comments about ‘all those who cannot find a job and I’m paying all these taxes to support them’ and ‘look, all those foreigners milking the system’; or ‘Britain First’.

You will desperately look for your job, the one you have studied for and got a degree in and have been paid for till the previous month (Me, washing pots in Restaurant? No chance, I am a PA) then you will look for anything that comes around (What, am I over-qualified to wash some stupid pots?!? Why haven’t I studied Pot Washing AdvCert at Uni!), then you might even find yourself comfortable in not doing anything and just being at home watching TV.

You might start feeling depressed, having a bit of stomach ache, feeling down, sad, very tired, feeling sleepy, bloated, heavy, shaky, constipated, headaches that don’t go away, prone to flu – cold feeling. You will realize that your sleep patterns have changed because, hey! there is a movie on TV at 11.45pm and who cares if it is late: tomorrow I don’t have to go to work. So, the next day you wake up at 11am. Or one evening you realize you haven’t eaten anything the whole day and wait! I don’t even remember what (or if…) I have eaten anything the day before.

Or many nights you will go to bed thinking what you should pay the following day. But you haven’t got the money. And you wake up feeling tired already still thinking about who or what you should pay. So, the easiest way out is stopping to answer the phone. The next step is not opening the mail you get. And then you don’t answer the door, you don’t go out any more. You don’t wash yourself nor dishes and pots which pile up in the sink. You live in your pyjama on the sofa among crumbs and fags. But, hey! you know all the stories that go on on Corrie. Or who goes out with whom, who split up with whom: what an achievement… Your days are just one long movie with four gipsies and a big brother who get strictly married at a border with some Australian police force during the Second World War and they all go dining together after having been relocated via a time machine in the 60s in just a heart-beat. The Grand Design of your Life written by Mrs Cookson. Carry on, Sophie!

What was one single problem has become a huge mountain of problems, letters, unwashed hair and teeth, unpaid bills and unanswered phone calls you don’t know how to address.

You blame your Company, you blame the State, you blame your ex colleagues, you blame your family, your friends, the ‘foreigners’, the double-recession, the Euro zone; your phone company for the upgrade you did not need, your bills Sky-high (I still watch only Poirot, anyway), your new car (I’m single, why did I buy a 7-seater?), the new sofa in a colour that does not match your mood (‘makes me sick now!), the new windows (who cares for a bit of draft?), the new carpet (I could have cleaned it), that holiday in the Caribbean (what’s wrong with Lytham?).

You blame yourself. And you blame God.

You get angry and bitter. You don’t know what to do and hence you do nothing. Besides maybe drinking and smoking too much.

One day you look at yourself in the mirror and you notice all those down-facing lines around your mouth and realize you haven’t smiled in ages.

***

Let us now take some steps back:

So, one day you wake up, you get ready and you go to work. The next day you wake up and you don’t get ready to go to work. You are not on holiday. You are off work, unemployed, on the street.

What do you do? ++

TRT logo

*** *** ***

…and then I’m looking at myself now: thanks to being unemployed I went back to college, I attuned myself to my vocation, I studied, I learned about myself, I discovered humility, compassion and Nichiren Buddhism (no need to blame God now); I got a cat, I fell in and out of love, I laughed and cried; I embraced my past, my parent’s addiction and my co-dependency, bought a house, got a divorce and The Resting Tree was born.

Three years and three months.

September 2012 – January 2016: many things can happen.

So, if you and I are both having a bad day and things seem to go not the way we planned and expected, let us not fuss about it too much: it’s just a day, in the great scheme of things. I have learned to take even the bad days (and the very bad days!) with the *this could be as good as it gets* kind of attitude (or, nothing is going to be any better than this kinda-bad I’m experiencing now). It taught me to put things into perspective and to simply enjoy what I have and learn contentment in the small things. Not easy when you carry at least 40 years of conditioning and Catholic guilt which run in your veins. But that led me to better my Self. So, also my situation changed.

It can be done.

Sending good vibes, as per usual ♡.

*

++ © Matilde Tomat 2012-2016 – You may not, except with my express written permission, copy & distribute or commercially exploit the content or part of it. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system. Thank you for your understanding. 

2016 : resolutions & yoga challenge

Well, Happy 2016!

(if we decide to believe in dates…)

I have spent three days over the Christmas period (at Salus, Withnell Hall, Chorley) in teaching / discussing / planning but most of all understanding New Year Resolutions and how to make them work. New Year Resolutions are no different from any other resolution and we all know (or should know) that in order to make them last and hence work for us, we need to use our older part of the brain, the limbic system, which is connected with pleasure, instinct, rewards, addiction (!), and sex (!); and that part does not like nor understand reasoning, logic and language.

Hence, it is absolutely pointless to talk us into doing something if that something does not give us in return a pleasure. My quitting smoking in October was not linked to a better health nor more money in my wallet (those are just by-product of the action of quitting) but with the pleasure I personally get from breathing properly and the sensation of pure and utter freedom, which to me is somehow addictive! (= freedom of choice, freedom of thinking, freedom of behaviour, not being dependant from anything nor anyone; basically, being a rebel!* – that was and still is my WHY)

So, I have decided to join a challenge (and see what kind of pleasure I can get out of it…): it is a (free) 30-day Yoga Camp Challenge.

If you fancy joining me, please follow the links below…

Yoga with Adriene – #yogacamp

Yoga with Adriene – main website

Introductory Video, as below:

 

Yoga with Adriene YouTube – her YouTube Channel

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Let me know if you decide to follow me and then we can share our thoughts!

sending good vibes, and love, as per usual 

 

*rebel: in this case, simply being free; and at the same time accepting the consequences and responsibilities of being free; of not being scared of freedom, accepting it and making the most out of it; being in-dependent.