A Mighty Oak
A mighty wind blew night and day
It blew the Oak trees leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the Oak was tired and stark.
But still the Oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke
“How can you still be standing Oak?”
The Oak tree said, “I know that you
Can break every branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs until they sway.
But I have roots stretched in the Earth
Growing stronger since my birth.
You’ll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever knew.”
The above poem was submitted through the Unwind Your Mind Facebook page by Pearl Gibson. It really is beautiful.
I hope you enjoyed it.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them…
“And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it.
That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King, Different Seasons
Although Stephen King was talking about something else entirely, for me he could be describing perfectly the stigma that exists from having a mental illness.
The statistics tell us that one in four people will suffer from mental health problems at some stage of their life. However, despite the fact that mental health problems are relatively common, people experiencing them can often find themselves facing stigma and discrimination.
A recent study among service users conducted by St Patrick’s University Hospital showed that many people live with the distressing symptoms of mental ill-health for long periods without accessing mental health advice or treatment. This is due mainly to the stigma that surrounds mental health as well as lack of knowledge about mental health problems and sources of help.
Forty-one per cent of those surveyed had lived with their symptoms for at least one year before seeking help, while Forty-one per cent of people surveyed would not discuss their mental health problems with their employer.
It makes me sad that people feel the need to keep such a significant part of their lives a secret.
As Stephen King says, the most important things are the hardest to say, not because there is no one to tell but because there is a lack of an understanding ear. Continue reading
Recently I’ve been featured in Business and Finance magazine for my work as a mental health activist.
Here is a link to an interview I did with 02 Ideasroom back in November about my work and inspiration in life.
Last year I also spoke at the Possibilities 2011 conference alongside some amazing people including his holiness the Dalai Lama, Former Irish President Mary Robinson, and Derry man Richard Moore..
You can watch the youtube video here
I came across this picture online and just fell in love with it. It put a huge smile on my face and I couldn’t stop smiling for the whole day.
It got me thinking about the way I see myself, and the impact it can have on my mood. Like many others I am my own worst enemy when it comes to being critical of myself. I would never be as hard on someone else, and I often wonder why I am so hard on myself.
Seeing this picture made me realise that I really need to look beyond all of that self-criticism and just live in the moment. Life is so much easier when you stop criticising yourself and beating yourself up for things that you have no control over.
I’ve decided that I will print out the picture and put it at my desk at work, and everyone time I feel like being over self-critical I will look at it and remind myself of what is important in life.
So if you do one thing this week, have a think about how self-critical you are and imagine what your life would be without that little voice telling you that you are worthless and a loser. If that is too much at first- at least give yourself credit for when you do things right.
We all love a little bit of praise, but sometimes the praise with the biggest impact must come from within.
Here’s something to lift you up from your mid-afternoon slump. I watched this and it put a smile on my face- it really does show the power of friendship and how there are no boundaries.
It takes a while to get into the video- but keep watching the video as I promise it gets good!