Mindfulness – Catastrophizing

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Cray-Ish – Madness and Creatrivity

About Thought distortions

Above all: we like to think that we can read minds. We can’t!

Catastrophizing

A few examples of catastrophizing language: It’s a total nightmare / Complete failure / I’m completely useless  /  We completely messed up.

Stop and breathe, take an observer perspective and ask yourself: is this a fact or am I making up a story?

Facts and Stories

Reality is subjective, it’s largely our own perception. For any situations, there are two separate things going on. There’s what actually happened, the facts, and what we make it mean, the story. This is how we make sense of the world. Our minds are set up to conflate the facts and the stories into the same thing.

If you hear the words ‘He always does this’, ‘She never does that’, ‘Nobody works well with’, ‘Everybody thinks that about them’ you are probably listening to a story.

Practice separating in your mind what are the facts of a situation and how much is the story.

Inner judge and inner lawyer

Once the stories have eclipsed the facts, our minds now seek evidence to support the view that we have taken and discard any evidence that is not consistent with this view. It’s reassuring to be right. We have evolved an in-built tendency to form rapid judgments about others.

We have an inner judge in our minds to form rapid judgments about others, based on whatever evidence is available.

Then we have an in-built lawyer to keep seeking evidence to confirm that we are right and dismissing any evidence that does not fit with this. This is called the Confirmation Bias.

And the inner judge is not neutral, if he feels any uncertainty he is more likely to be on the safe side and condemn people. This it is known as Negativity Bias.

It’s really hard to be objective in any situation to counter this confirmation bias.

When giving feedback we are rarely objective and impartial: we all have our own interests in a situation. That’s ok, so long as you are clear about it. We can only really give feedback if we start by understanding others. What is going on for them? How do they see the situation and how do they see themselves? It is almost certain to be different from the way you do. Most of us make the mistake of simply giving feedback from the position of our world view and assuming that it’s the right and only one.

Exercice: Driving practice

Accepting the traffic lights as red, breathing and relaxing.

Accepting that sometimes people do not thank you when you let them through, allow that to be ok.

Letting others into a queue of traffic: you may arrive 30 seconds later but in a much more calm and resilient head-space.

*

Exercise: Gratitude lists

Every morning when you wake write a page of:

I am grateful for …

to reboot your brain into a more peaceful space. Let it be a stream of consciousness. It’s fine to state small gratitudes: running water, food in the fridge… and ok to repeat similar ideas day after day.

Image: Mindfulness by Hengki24

Di latitanze e digressioni sulla paura/About escapes and digressions on fear…

I monologhi di Sana – Rubrica

got_zombie__by_aprilmcguire-d1bsa03

Tra gli insorti di ieri, cerca
qualcuno ti sta aspettando in un punto piu’ alto
un nuovo slancio e’ la sfida di oggi
Sull’ultima roccia, cerca
la complicita’ che non si scioglie
lo sconosciuto a cui regalare la tua ultima illusione
A un passo dall’abisso, cerca
i pensieri che fanno tremare i polsi
la vertigine sopra le tue amabili rovine
In un grumo di solitudine, cerca
la comunanza che brucia i limiti
la parola che ti afferra nel vuoto
Un altro rifiuto
un’altra ascesa, mi manca
un altro passo
e l’ultima voce:
“Non ci lasceremo mai”

(L’ultima voce – Ludd)


Among the insurgents from yesterday, search
someone is waiting for you in a higher point
a new impetus is today’s challenge
On the last rock, search
the complicity that does not melt
the stranger to who give away your last illusion
One step away from the abyss, search
the thoughts that make the wrists shake
dizziness upon your lovable ruins
In a lump by loneliness, search
the commonality that burns limits
the word that grabs you in a vacuum
Another rejection
another rise, I miss
another step
and the last voice:
“We’ll never be apart”

(The last voice – Ludd)

Mi capita di riflettere sulla paura e sulla latitanza,
sul fuggire le proprie responsabilità,
sulla vigliaccheria e sullo schifo che mi fa certa gente.
Sulla saccenza che cola dalle loro labbra,
mi viene da chiedermi con quale coraggio rimproverano altri di non essere?
Siete persone piccole,
e io ho finito la pietà.
Allora non è vero che l’amore vince su tutto?
Probabilmente no.
Mi sento parte di una storia, grazie al cielo.
Perchè mi ritrovo a camminare lungo un sentiero polveroso,
percorso dai passi di molti prima di me.
So perfettamente chi sono.
Voglia di gridare…che non c’è nessuna delle vostre bambole, qui.
Mi sperdo in una rabbia livida.
Siete insetti.
Vigliacchi e falsi come le vostre facce, le vostre parole, i vostri sogni, i vostri ideali.
Solo chi ha paura sfugge il confronto, di questo sono convinta.
Perchè incontrare un animo solido potrebbe infrangere il vostro specchio di voi stessi.
Ho sempre pensato che accogliere e aiutare fosse la mossa giusta,
sto iniziando a ricredermi.
Alcuni vanno annientati, allontanati, le loro costruzioni di menzogne infrante contro le rocce della rabbia vera.
Alcuni, la pietà non la meritano,
ancora meno degli infami veri,
quelli, almeno, sono sinceri.
Non si fanno passare da alleati.
Mi date il vomito.
Mi fate schifo.
E si delinea un confine netto,
tra gli ipocriti e i ribelli.
Noi siamo i senzalegge, voi i menestrelli di sto cazzo.
Andate a raccontarla a un’altra, vigliacchi di merda.
Avete consumato la mia ultima voglia di comprendere.
E statemi lontano,
perché non ringhio più,
stavolta
vi uccido.


I reflect about fear and the state of being in hiding,
to escape from your own responsibility,
about the cowardice, and the disgust that these people give me .
about the arrogance dripping from their lips,
it makes me ask to myself: how do you dare to accuse others of “not to be”?
you are small human beings,
and I ended pity.
So, isn’t  true that love conquers all?
Probably not.
I feel part of a Story, thank goodness.
Because I find myself walking along a dusty path,
a path made by the steps of many others before me.
I know exactly who I am.
I want to scream … that there’s any of your dolls, here.
I lost myself in a livid rage.
You are insects.
Cowards and false as your faces, your words, your dreams, your ideals.
Only those who are afraid escape the confrontation, of this I am convinced.
‘Cause meet a solid soul could break your mirror of yourself.
I always thought that be sympathetic and to help was the right move,
I’m starting to change my mind.
Some have to be destroyed, removed, their constructions made by lies smashed against the rocks of real rage.
Some, don’t deserve pity,
still less of the true bastards ,
those, at least, are honest.
They don’t pretend of to be allies.
You give me nausea.
You make me sick.
It outlines a clear border,
among the hypocrites and the rebels.
We are the lawless, you the minstrels of my ass.
Go tell your lies to another one, shitty cowards.
You have burnt my last desire to understand.
And stay away from me,
’cause I don’t growl anymore,
this time
I kill you.

Image: Got Zombie? by AprilMcGuire

 

 

Master Class In Creative Writing – Karachi – Robin Yassin-Kassab

I watched a Creative writing workshop by Robin Yassin-Kassab (english-syrian writer and journalist, author of ‘The road from Damascus’, link to his blog Qunfuz) and I really enjoyed it. He seems to me a quite humble, profound but easy-going person. I’ve been taking a few notes which I’d like to share. ;)

Yassin-Kassab proposed 10 rules for writing, making it very clear, though, that creative writing is very much about being an individual, thus making ones own rules.

1. Read widely and critically

Read everything and be awake.

Usually we don’t have very young successful novelists, because so much needs to get into you, by living and reading.

Through commercial books you learn that a simple way to have the reader’s attention is to always keep a question in his mind: for example, is she going to shoot him?

2. Read your work aloud

Because if there is a mistake you’ll notice easily. Also, it helps with sound and rhythm.

3. Think about rhythm

Because we are musical beings.

4. Keep a writer’s notebook

Write down everything because you’ll forget.

Do some daily writing. You can set a target, like writing 3 pages per day, or writing for half an hour per day.

What to write? Just the first things that come to your mind.

This is a way to liberate the unconscious.

5. Cultivate and separate the adult and the child in yourself

You need both parts in order to write.

The adult: critic (brings discipline and wisdom)

The child: creative (is playful and capricious)

They need to be separated, otherwise the adult will inhibit the child.

6. Be extreme

Don’t hold back, don’t set limits. Exaggerate, go beyond the real to express yourself. Be alive, noisy, violent in your writing.

7. Context

The general trend in literature is realism, but even surreal writing needs a context because nothing happens in isolation.

You don’t need to show all the context to the reader, but you need to have a context because it determines the character’s actions.

8. Character’s complexity

Scott Fitzgerald: ‘Plot is character’

A character needs development, an internal (soul facts) and an external (plot stuff) journey, moments of change, of realization, epiphanies.

– See like –

Exercise 1: write about something you see every day, from a different point of view. The purpose is to estrange from your own point of view in order to see what you don’t notice anymore.

Exercise 2: write a scene, like an argument between mother and son, exploring both points of view.

9. The democratic novel

The novel is a democratic form: there are many different voices in it.

You have to allow your characters to see from different perspectives, thus you need to allow yourself to see from different perspectives.

This way you can generate empathy with a character, even with an evil one.

10. Preserve the strangeness of the obvious

The simple experience of being alive is a very strange experience. The recognition of this strangeness can be found in literature.

Stufa!/Tired!

I Monologhi di Sana

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“mi sono rotto il cazzo degli esperimenti del frequentiamoci ma senza impegno
stiamo insieme ma non vediamoci che poi ho paura
anzi vediamoci quanto ci pare ma vediamoci in compagnia
mi sono rotto il cazzo dei codardi con l’amore degli altri
mi sono rotto il cazzo perché poi non si dorme più
si sta svegli finchè non muore la speranza
maledetta stronza che non muore mai mentre io vorrei dormire”

“I’m sick of experiments of dates but with no obligation
be together but don’t meet ’cause I’m afraid
actually meet when we want, but with others
I’m sick of the cowards with others’ love
I’m sick of all this ’cause then you don’t sleep anymore
you stay awake ’till the hope dies
damn asshole, that never dies, whereas I would like to sleep.”

(Mi sono rotto il cazzo – Lo Stato Sociale)

Sono stufa.
Stufa dei vigliacchi con l’amore degli altri.
Stufa dei bugiardi, del lavoro che non si trova, dei giovani che non vogliono lavorare, dei lavori che “eh, ma ti fai sfruttare troppo”, dei “non cerchi lavoro”, “ora hai lavoro”, “cercati casa”, “dai, torna a casa”.
Sono stufa delle signorine alternative, dei finti punk, degli hipster del cazzo, delle femministe ma non troppo, anarchici ma non troppo, tutto ma non troppo.
Di quelli che se hai la cresta uccidi la tua femminilità, dei falsi col sorriso da cazzo, delle situazioni ambigue che non si capisce mai dove stiamo andando.
Di quelli che non sanno quello che vogliono, di quelli che lo sanno troppo e poi boh…di quelli che promettono e non mantengono mai.
Sono stufa di quelli che non se l’accollano, di chi fa il pilotto sul prendersi le responsabilità…e poi non se le piglia.
Della burocrazia che t’ammazza, degli incompetenti sui luoghi di lavoro.
Del cibo di merda, delle persone che non sai che dirtici.
Di quelli che si fanno i cazzi propri, senza mai pensare alle emozioni degli altri.
Delle multinazionali, degli stage, tirocini, accompagnamenti al lavoro, progetti europei, regionali, provinciali, comunali…che tanto poi è sempre lavoro a gratis.
Quelli che sei troppo qualificato, per nulla qualificato, che se fai arte non è un lavoro, che ti serve esperienza, che non serve esperienza…e comunque l’importante è VENDERE.
Sono stufa dell’atteggiamento positivo, che devi sorridere, credere in te stesso, dare il massimo, fare il massimo, stare al massimo, e comunque….vivere per l’azienda.
Dei locali “alternativi”, che suonano punk però vogliono 10 euro d’ingresso, di quelli che “non ti possiedo, non sei mica una casa!” però poi sclerano se esci con un amico tuo.
Sono stufa di quelli che ti dicono “noi poveracci” e poi hanno casa al centro, in affitto, e comunque hanno sempre 50 euro nel portafogli.
Sono stufa di quelli che non parlano chiaro, che so carucci e gentili finché gli conviene, di chi non si sbatte.
Delel svolte che non arrivano mai, delle mattine con l’ansia, le notti con l’ansia, i pomeriggi con l’ansia….insomma, na vita con l’ansia.
Sono stufa di chi ha capito tutto e te lo spiega, di quelli bravissimi nei rapporti umani…ma solo nella teoria!
Dei finti compagni, di quelle che “la solidarietà femminile” e poi ti chiamano troia, delle serate reggae.
Di quelli che “la scena è morta”, “la scena è viva”, “la scena è malata”.
Quelli che se non sai le citazioni a memoria non sei davvero compagno, delle tipe tanto emancipate che ridono come oche a qualsiasi cazzata.
Di quelli che te rovinano la vita e poi non hanno le palle di risponderti al telefono. Dei cazzari. Di quelli che ti ignorano ma mai del tutto.
Di quelli che ci ripensano, che ti vogliono dolce, indifesa, indipendente, fedele, innamorata, sveglia,  femminile, servizievole, sorridente, comprensiva, sensibile, positiva, partecipe…ma solo quando gli va a loro.
Sono stufa di tutti voi.
Io vado via, voi andate a fanculo!


I’m tired.
Tired of cowards with others’ love.
Tired of liars, of the job that can’t be found, of young people don’t want to work, the job that “yeah, but you let them take too much advantage of you”, of “you aren’t looking for a job”, “now you have a job”, “search for an house”, ” Come on, come back home. ”
I’m sick of the alternatives ladies, of fake punks, of fuckin’ hipsters, of the femminists but not too much, anarchists but not too much, everything but not too much.
Of those that if you have a mohawk you’re killing your femininity, of the false ones with the fuckin’ smile, of ambiguous situations that you never understand where we are going.
Of those who don’t know what they want, of those who know too much and then dunno! … of those who promise and never keep.
I’m tired of those don’t take on,  who do a lesson about “take responsabilities” .. and then they don’t take on them!
Of bureaucracy that kills you, of incompetents in the workplace.
Of crappy food, of people with who you don’t know what to say each other.
Of those who make their own business, but never think about others’ emotions.
Of multinationals, internships, apprenticeships, accompaniment at work, European, regional, provincial, council, projects … that in the end are always to work for free.
Those who that you are overqualified, not qualified, that if you make art it is not a job, you need experience, you do not need experience … and in any case the most important thing is to SELL.
I’m sick of positive attitude, you have to smile, to believe in yourself, give my best, do the best, be the best, and in any case …. to live for the company.
Of the “alternative” places, that organize punk gigs but they want 10 euros for the ticket, those who “I can’t own you, you are not an house!” but then freak out if you go out with a friend of yours.
I’m tired of those who tell you “us poor” and then they have an house in the city center, for rent, and in any case always 50 euros in the pocket.
I’m tired of those who do not speak clear, that are gentle and kind until it is useful for them, of those who don’t make efforts.
Of the turning points that never arrive, of the morning with the anxiety, the nights with anxiety, afternoons with anxiety …. well, a life with anxiety.
I’m tired of those who have it all figured out, and they explain it to you, of those so much talented in human relationships … but only in theory!
Of the fake comrades, of those who that “women’s solidarity” and then they call you bitch, of reggae nights.
Of those who that “the scene is dead”, “the scene is alive”, “the scene is sick”.
Those who if you don’t know the quotes by heart you are not really a comrade, the girls so emancipated that laugh like geese to any bullshit.
Of those that ruin your life and then not have the courage to answer the phone. Of the fuckin’ liars. Of those who ignore you, but never completely.
Of those who have second thoughts, of those who want you sweet, defenseless, independent, faithful, loving, smart, feminine, helpful, smiling, understanding, sensitive, positive, participatory … but only when they want.
I’m sick of all of you.
I go away, you go to fuck yourself!

Image: Can of Fuck You by FuckBot

Arts and Health – Illustrated Haiku

CrAzY-ish: Madness & Creativity

This time we did many things (including Shadow puppetry) but the most interesting for me was the Illustrated HAIKU.

Basically we were asked to write 2 Haiku (a Japanese poem composed by 3 lines, of 5-7-5 syllables): one about light, one about shadow. While trying to write an Haiku you need to keep in mind that the purpose is usually to catch a moment.

Afterwards another person was asked to illustrate them.

These are my Haiku, illustrated by Dominika.

Light

Burning in the night

Campfire under the stars

Catches a moth.

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In Debora’s car

In the night after a drink

Philosophy-talk.

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… enjoy! :)