Published December 15, 2016
art , culture , history , music
Tags: art, children, classical, creativity, culture, emotion, history, memory, movies, music
What happened to those good old tunes people listened to on the radio? Jeremy Nicholas says they’re back for good and there’s more to them than you think…
Ten years ago I made a series of radio programmes reviving the music that was played on Children’s Favourites and its successor Junior Choice. These were the first record request programmes for children, enormously popular and which ran through most of the 1950s and 1960s every Saturday on the BBC Light Programme, presented by ‘Uncle Mac’ (Derek McCulloch) and latterly ‘Stewpot’ (Ed Stewart). My first celebratory excursion into the archives included The Laughing Policeman, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and You’re a Pink Toothbrush, I’m a Blue Toothbrush, included with regularity on both programmes for years.
Continue reading ‘Ah… Those Were the Days!’
Published August 28, 2016
dailyom , health , learning , life , psychology
Tags: dailyom, emotion, health, learning, life, psychology, self
Our emotions color our lives with varying palettes. Sometimes we feel a strong emotion in reaction to something that has happened, but emotions also visit us seemingly out of the blue, flooding us unexpectedly with joy or grief or melancholy. Like the weather, they come and go, influencing our mental state with their particular vibration. Sometimes a difficult emotion hangs around longer than we would like, and we begin to wonder when it will release its hold on us. This is often true of grief stemming from loss, for example, or lingering anger over a past event.
Usually, if we allow ourselves to feel our emotions fully when they come up, they recede naturally, giving way to another and another. When an emotion haunts us, it is often because we are afraid of really feeling it. Emotions like despair and rage are powerful, and it is natural to want to hold them at bay. Certainly, we don’t want to let them take us over so that we say or do things we later regret. When we are facing this kind of situation, it can be helpful to ask the spirit, “How long do I need to sit with these emotions, how long do I need to feel these emotions before they can pass?” If you ask sincerely and wait, an answer will come. Setting a time limit on your engagement with that difficult emotion may be just the technique you need to face it fully.
When you have a sense of how much time you need to spend, set a timer. Sit down and make yourself available to the emotion that has been nagging you. All you have to do is feel it. Avoid getting attached to it or rejecting it. Simply let it ebb and flow within you. Emotions are by their nature cyclical, so you can trust that just as one reaches its apex it will pass. Each time you sit with its presence without either repressing or acting out, you will find that that difficult emotion was the catalyst for much needed emotional healing.
Published April 11, 2016
dailyom , learning , life , psychology
Tags: awareness, dailyom, emotion, learning, life, psychology, relationships, self
We all have days when we feel lonely, but the very idea of loneliness comes from the false notion that we are separate and isolated parts in a world filled with other separate, isolated parts. In truth, we can no more be separate from our world than a fish can be separate from the water in which it swims. When we really begin to look at the boundaries we see as so solid, they prove to be, in fact, quite porous. For example, it is not clear exactly where our skin ends and the air begins when we consider how our skin is affected by changes in the quality of the air. When it is dry, our skin becomes dry, and when it is humid, our skin becomes moist and supple.
By the same token, it is difficult sometimes to distinguish the boundary between one person and another, especially when our actions tie us together so inextricably. Every move we make has an effect that touches all the people around us. On an even more subtle level, when we share space with another person, we often pick up on their energy, feeling how they feel and attuning to them, whether we mean to or not. This is what we mean when we say a mood or a feeling is contagious. We cannot help but be part of the realities of the people around us because we take form from the same energetic force, and this force unifies all life. This force is the light that all the great mystics and gurus encourage us to move toward, and it is the light we will dissolve into when we move beyond our individual egos.
If loneliness is a temporary condition based on an incomplete understanding of what we are made of, we can think of its presence as a catalyst for exploring our ideas about reality. We can respond by testing the boundaries we believe separate us from the life within and all around us. If we test them, we will discover that they are not so solid after all and that we can never really be alone.
Published April 10, 2016
dailyom , learning , life , psychology
Tags: awareness, breakdown, dailyom, emotion, learning, life, psychology, self
Most of us have had the experience of holding back our emotions for such a long period of time that when they finally come out, we have something resembling a breakdown. For a certain period of time, the overwhelming flood of feelings coursing through our bodies consumes us, and we stop functioning. Often, these outbursts take us by surprise, welling up within us as we drive to or from work, watch a movie, or engage in some otherwise mundane task. We may feel like we do not know what triggered us, or if we do know, it does not make sense of our overpowering emotional response. This is because we are releasing feelings that have accumulated over a long period of time, and whatever inspired the release was just a catalyst for a much larger, much needed catharsis.
When we find ourselves in the midst of such an experience, it is important that we allow it to happen, rather than fight it or try to shut down. Wherever we are, we can try to find a private, safe place in which to let our feelings out. If we can not access such a place immediately, we can promise to set aside some time for ourselves at our earliest possible convenience, perhaps taking a day off work. The important thing is that we need to give our emotional system some much-needed attention. It is essential that we allow ourselves to release the pent-up emotions inside ourselves so that they do not create imbalances in our bodies and minds.
When you are feeling better, make a plan to find a way to process your emotions more regularly. You can do this by employing a therapist or making a regular date to talk to a trusted friend. Journaling can also be a great way to acknowledge and release your emotions, as can certain forms of meditation. Making room in your life for tending your emotions on a regular basis will keep you healthy, balanced, and ready for life.
Published March 13, 2016
dailyom , learning , life , psychology
Tags: awareness, dailyom, emotion, healing, learning, life, psychology
Change is something that happens each and every moment in our lives. Since nothing is constant, it may sometimes seem as if we are losing something whenever things do change. Understanding that this is part of our daily existence and that there will not only be gains but also losses in our lives can help us more readily accept and deal with whatever happens.
Whenever we lose something or somebody we love, it is important for us to take time out for ourselves and truly feel the weight of what we are experiencing. Although it may seem that doing so will push us into a deeper state of sadness, truly giving ourselves permission to be with whatever arises actually creates space for us to begin the healing process. This is because the act of grieving is a natural process, allowing us to sort through the range of emotions that are present in our everyday existence. Even though it may sometimes seem easier to involve ourselves in activities that take our minds off of our sadness, this will only make the route to healing more difficult. Unless we listen to where we are in the moment, the emotions we experience will only grow in intensity, and our feelings will manifest themselves in more powerful and less comfortable ways. Once we consciously acknowledge that these emotions are present, however, we are more able to soothe the sorrow of the moment. In so doing, we become more open to our natural ability to heal ourselves.
Grieving doesn’t have to be a process that keeps us rooted in our thoughts of fear and sadness. For the moment we might feel despondent, but by expressing and coping with our true feelings, we face the sadness head-on. When we allow ourselves to accept and deal with our loss fully, we will then be able to continue our life’s journey with a much more positive and accepting outlook. This will make it easier for us to see that our grief is ephemeral and, just like our moments of happiness, it will also come to pass.