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bad moodI’m probably not the only person experiencing “a mood” on a Monday morning mid November…but it can feel like it. This is one of those days that I could easily find myself spiralling in to a worsening “mood”, and then projecting that on to everyone I meet, everything I do, the entire external situation of my life. But I’m not going to. By blogging, I am hoping for a therapeutic process - writing helps me get things out, make sense, express, feel.

My motivation to write about “mood” this morning isn’t because I feel particularly bad this morning; its more the contrast I am experiencing when looking back over the past few days. I remember connecting to an inner radiance on Friday morning over breakfast - intense gratitude for the life I have, and I felt incredibly open hearted. Three days later, I want to close down that same heart, I want to withdraw in to solitude - take a duvet day. And yet, nothing has changed - my life still is as it was Friday morning. So what is a mood? How can things feel so different when they remain the same?

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eamonnandrewsI sat down this morning with the intention to write about a seminar I attended Friday evening in London: the topic was "The Red Book". Those of us from a certain generation will no doubt be thinking 'Eamon Andrews' and his jumping out on poor unsuspecting celebrities to reveal their life stories. But that isn't the book I am referring to - this seminar was introducing the magnum opus of Carl Jung. I have found it a struggle to get going on the post. Maybe its the depth of the work and the awareness that I could not hope to describe or explain the text? Indeed, the speaker on Friday night started out by explaining she had spent 7 years studying the text in a book group! The material in Jung’s Red Book was created in between 1913 and 1930. It makes up over 400 pages of beautifully handwritten text and 53 stunning images. Many sources describe this work as Jung’s “confrontation with the unconscious”, a period of his life that might well have ended up a psychotic event. It is interesting to consider what makes the difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough. Most psychological systems that embrace the transpersonal - like Jungian analysis and indeed Gestalt - explain the difference to be ‘support’. The therapeutic environment offers relational support in times of crisis; whilst for Jung, it was his creative endeavour that helped him create meaning.

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lonelinessI’m just back from a holiday in Sicily. A wonderful week in so many ways. The beauty of the country, the stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean, the charming narrow streets, and of course, the exquisite food. Hard not to enjoy especially nowing the cold snap had taken a grip back home! Yet there was also a sadness. Contrasting with what is a middle class holiday destination, the poverty was evident. Italy is struggling with its economy, and Sicily has been called ‘the refugee camp of Europe’ in recent months. It was hard to see the suffering of people; and hard to know what I could do to help my fellow human beings. I felt hopeless on many levels. There was one woman in particular that touched me. We passed her every day as we walked from our hotel in to the Old town. She had made “home” out of an old street-kiosk. Her aloneness struck me deeply.

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