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Gardening: Good Therapy

4 Jan

In my younger day, I used to really enjoy gardening. Watching and nurturing the sprouting seeds: at first, delicate, almost invisible shoots popping up after just a few days in the ground: later, turning into often quite robust specimens of flowers, leaves, or veges. It seemed to me to be a most fascinating exercise.

But time moves on, and interests change. More and more, gardening took a back seat. The joy of caring for living plants somehow lost its magic: swept away into the recesses of my consciousness by the pressing demands of life.

Tonight, in the cool of early evening’s  dimming light, I re-discovered the pleasure that hands-on contact with nature can bring. Even in a spare half-hour, much can be accomplished: and I’m not just talking about trimming back the shrubs. No. To my mind, the real benefit is the relaxation of focusing on the natural world: the world of plants. Where would we be, without them?

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There’s Something about Dancing….

20 May

There’s something about dancing! Where else than at such a venue would you perform that way; smile at strangers near and far; display exuberance in such an unashamed manner?

Can you imagine the stares that such behaviour would attract in any other situation? The degree of self-consciousness that one would normally feel if one was being watched by a crowd, showing your reactions to your feelings?

And of the music itself: a type of therapy, I believe, that at least for a while  makes us focus on something outside our own little world, and can invoke all kinds of emotions.

Music and dancing, especially ad-lib dancing, must surely hold a very special place in society. Where would we be without it?

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What’s So Good About Writing?

30 Jan

What’s so good about writing?

I can think of many virtues.

Firstly, the process of writing is both interesting and absorbing. More than most activities, to be effective, it requires concentration:  stimulation of the little grey cells. Its degree of intense focus carries with it, I believe, the potential for therapeutic benefits, since it tends to rule out the mind’s ability to drift back to other, unrelated issues. In other words, if you are overwhelmed by problems, and you decide to write something on a topic without any links to whatever it is that troubles you, chances are you’ll feel better: more relaxed: by the end of it. I base this proposition on personal experience.

Secondly, writing tends to satisfy our urge to create. What’s more satisfying than reading, and re-reading, a page well written by yourself? Doesn’t it tend to foster self esteem? Doesn’t it help you to believe in your own abilities, your own virtue? To love yourself, as some analysts advise?

Thirdly, writing gives us the chance to reach, influence, and perhaps inspire others. Whether it be a serious article, a humorous story,or a piece of poetry, the potential for it to be read by, and therefore connected with, another human being makes it a mind-boggling tool. As someone once observed, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” What a powerful instrument!

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