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

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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.

20160426_142546

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: S1 : TRUST

03 : 19 APR 2016

Session ONE : TRUST

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

Slide15

The links to follow Brené Brown as mentioned in the video are:

  • Anatomy of Trust at SuperSOUL TV here
  • Brené Brown on Amazon.co.uk here

Enjoy the video!

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.

friuli-1976

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

Stoptober 2015: 3* month & pain

I have learned something new; and here it is!

I don’t know if you remember when I was previously writing about the three-worse-three: third day, third week and third month.

My ‘cruellest month’ is not April (thanks T.S. Eliot) but December. I woke up one day, about two and a half weeks after having quit also nicotine (no patches any more, thank you very much) and my body was in agony. Every thing was an effort, every thing was in pain. I felt like if a massive steamroller had been parked on my bones the whole night, and as if a constant electric current was creating spider webs linking my knuckles to my wrists to my elbows, to my knees to my ankles: I felt a decrepit, old, agonizing puppet.

Even my hair was hurting…

Could that have simply been cold or flu? Possibly, but I had no temperature. Either my body decided that it was time for me to experience rheumatoid arthritis to a whole new level; or, I was about to die.

I am not the kind of person who runs to the GP immediately, so I spent about 10 days trying the usual supermarket remedies, topped by herbal concoctions I remembered from home. I still went to work but believe you me, everything was an effort! I didn’t feel like eating, I was also sweating, tossing and turning in the middle of the night… I was feeling really poorly. I went through menopause before and I saw the other side of the tunnel, but it really felt I was experiencing that all over again.

One day I decided that I couldn’t take that pain any longer and when two friends also commented on the shade of pale white my face was displaying, I went to see my GP, who confirmed that if felt like if I was fighting some kind of inflammation: there was a battle going on and we needed to understand where and who was winning.

I went through a series of detailed blood tests which came all back negative (thank you very much), except for the hormonal one: I was in menopause. Well, I knew that!

What I didn’t know was that nicotine affects hormones balance. I was really experiencing menopause again; or, better: I was now experiencing it fully for the first time. Besides my breast feeling tender and painful (and having grown an extra size: thank you very much!) the pain I was feeling in my joints and nerves was due to the imbalance (or new balance) of the level of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone produced by our body in response to both mental and physical stress and it is also the hormone our body uses to fight inflammations. Now that I wasn’t smoking nor introducing nicotine any more, my body had to find a new balance in the production of cortisol and a whole new way to fight inflammations. Not to mention that my years and years of smoking were a constant inflammation in itself and my body, not receiving nicotine any more, had to get rid of it. During the process of quitting, the body tends to shut down the immune system, since the body is going through some massive changes.

So:

nicotine = creates and manages inflammations

no nicotine = no managing of inflammation and immune system on holiday >>> me = pain!

Cortisol imbalances due to inflammation, can also cause fatigue. I was telling my friends, as a joke, that where you put me, there I would have fallen asleep. Because cortisol is designed to keep people alert in times of stress, it can then cause insomnia; and hence, the lack of proper refreshing sleep will make you tired.

What did I do in the end? quote-reminder-wellbeing-glutes-soul

I took two full days off: sofa, bed, books, soups and warm water, teas and tears.  I slept all the hours I needed, I took regular anti-inflammatories as suggested and provided by my GP, I let tears roll down my cheeks and I hydrated myself with veg soups, chicken stock and warm water.

I am not a doctor, which means that I am not suggesting (never, ever…) that if you are in pain after quitting, this is what happened to me and hence, it must also be what is happening to you: please, go and see you GP! This is simply what happened to me: now I feel much better, I sleep all the hours I need, I set aside more time to recharge my batteries and I enjoy taking care of myself. I consider the word *self-respect* my new mantra and I take a day at the time not only in the process of quitting but also (and now especially) in the process of recovery, recuperating and regenerating.

Sending good vibes and do take care out there…

Stoptober 2015: friends & habits

I went to Liverpool to celebrate something important with a couple of close friends. Do you know, those kind of friends who really know you and you really know them; and you can talk and tell stories and they are always there to help you. That kind of friends.

We have known each others for years, years filled of evenings where the three of us spent hours with bottles of white wine, fags and tarot cards.

Sometimes just a text was enough. A text with one word: Kebab?!? which meant, again: food, yes. But especially white wine, fags and tarot cards.

This weekend was different. We have seen each other before, mid October, when I just started Stoptober and I was fuelled and charged up and quitting sounded just so easy.

But this weekend, it was really different: I felt out of my comfort zone, I wasn’t in my house, we also needed to talk and tell each other the ‘last news’ and I also had a pretty sweet story to tell. This meant: white wine and tarot cards. But no fags.

I can tell you that it was difficult. It has been hard, being there with two smokers and not smoke. I could have easily reached out for a cigarette. I had to force myself and ask them to please do not give me one if I caved in and begged for a fag.

Now I am back home and the moment I sat in my car, ready to drive back, I felt protected and the desire to smoke simply disappeared.

I am wondering what’s the ratio: alcohol? smoking friends? out of comfort zone? habits?

I am also thinking: if I stayed there longer, would I have been able to create new smoke-free habits with the ol’friends, or would I have caved in?

The things I am happy about, besides seeing my friends and spending some good time with them, are that of course, in the end, not only I haven’t smoke but I haven’t even asked for a cigarette (!): I didn’t beg, I didn’t plea… and that the moment I went back to my car I was happy to go back to my ‘usual’ smoke-free life. At the same time, I have felt how easy it can be just to lower your boundaries and relapse: still, no cockiness woman! It can be just so easy…

I know a relapse is not the end of the world! But why risk it?

I think I need to focus more (again!) on the WHY I am quitting in order to strengthen my armour… and as per usual, I’ll keep you posted!

Searching for Funds… for Research

I made a vow: that I would invest my next 7 months in scientifically researching a connection between Trust, Hope/Faith & Recovery from Addiction.

I have given myself some deadlines:

  • gathering of material and background study: from 18 Nov 2015
  • start of project Monday 11/01/2016
  • start of evaluation Monday  18/04/2016
  • start of write-up Tuesday 24/05/2016
  • completion by Thursday 30/06/2016
  • presentation by Friday 22/07/2016

In order to gather the necessary data for the research, I will need funding for the following (estimate):

  • books £100.00
  • access to research papers: £100.00
  • travel expenses £100.00
  • stationery £130.00
  • access to Survey Monkey £300.00
  • printing £150.00
  • ink £20.00

    time x writing £100.00 : 20 hr @ £5
    time x evaluating £300.00 : 15 hr @ £15
    time x interviews £200.00 : 20 hr @ £10

    This adds up to a total of £1,500.00 for a research to be carried out over 6 months (£250.00 a  month).

The final aim of the research is to understand a possible mean to minimise addiction and relapses in recovery from addiction, reducing also the distress in the families providing understanding, advice, information, and support. Needless to say, that this assists the advancement of a healthy behaviour by the reduction or prevention of addiction and relapse for those in recovery, with consequential reduction of harm and offending. As an outcome, it also provides the advancement of education and progress of the individual supporting sustainable recovery and increasing proactive social involvement.

I am convinced that, follow Erikson 8 psychosocial development stages, the main and first lesson any person should learn in Life (i.e. Trust) is missing in someone in addiction (and hence, recovery). In order to learn Trust in adulthood and during recovery, Hope must be acquired.

The fundamental question that I want to research is:

should Hope be connected to and found via Faith only? What is the difference in relapse time between a believer and a non-believer in recovery? What is the difference in relapse time between someone who is Hopeful and someone who is not?

For this reason, I have opened a Crowd-funding page here. Please, go, have a look, read; and pledge.

Thank you!

Creative Reflective Writing Course

Calling all benevolent lyrical logical outlaws, sing-my-song stringers, masters of curiosity, megalomaniac optimists, dissident holies inhabitants and glotto-libertarians for 8 Thursdays of sacred fun.

At Juice Sustainable Recovery Group in Colne, from THU 16 July 7pm

TRT FYV Juice flier