• Some true and humourous facts on anxiety!

    I found this interesting piece on a link from See Me Scotland Supplement This is from this year’s Mental Health Awareness week:Five Things you didn’t know about anxiety, depression and mental illness.It’s written by a comedienne, Felicity Ward.Well worth a wee read, informative – and it’s funny!

    CHRISTINE , DONNA AND GILLIAN AT STAND UP AGAINST STIGMA (640x480)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    For support and advice with suicidal thoughts or feelings you can call Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123.

  • The Wee Read at Hope Cafe Lanark writing group- new dates, new venue!!

    Now we are settled at the new venue Greyfriars Church Hall, on Bloomgate-  here in Lanark, here are our next dates.We meet on Wednesdays 2-3.30 pm, for listening and chatting about poems and stories, that help support our well-being. Everyone is welcome.No experience is required, come and try! £2 charge to cover costs.

    Greyfriars Church (1)

    Please note this week, May 25th and  next week, 1st of June, we are NOT ON!

    HOPE CAFÉ WRITING GROUP 2016

    at GREYFRIARS CHURCH HALL

    Greyfriars Church Hall Enter by gate before Main Church with wheelchair access.

    WEDNESDAYS at  2-3.30PM
    25-05-16 and 1-06-16 – BREAK FOR 2 WEEKS  

     

     

    JUNE-JULY Wednesdays 2-3.30 pm

    08-06-16
    15-06-16
    22-06-16
    29-06-16
    06-07-16
    13-07-16
    BREAK FOR 2 WEEKS
    AUGUST-SEPTEMBER
    03-08-16
    10-08-16
    17-08-16
    24-08-16
    31-08-16
    07-09-16
    BREAK FOR 2 WEEKS
    SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER
    28-09-16
    05-10-16
    12-10-16
    19-10-16
    26-10-16
    02-11-16
    BREAK FOR 2 WEEKS

     

    Contact Christine Cather 07952 982868 christine@weeread.scot

    www.weeread.scot

     

  • Exciting training events all over Scotland!

    Words Work Well Training in Bibliotherapy

    Lapidus Scotland invites you to Bibliotherapy Trainings Scotland-Wide during June 2016. Participants will learn about leading therapeutic creative reading and writing sessions for individuals and groups in various settings. Training will also refer to Lapidus’ website http://wordsworkwellscotland.co.uk/ – a bibliotherapy toolkit for facilitators.

    Poems, images and conversation in creative communication with people who have dementia
    Facilitator Paula Jennings. 2- 5pm, 6th June, Conference Room, Central Library, The Wellgate, Dundee DD1 1DB. With input from library staff on the Dementia Library. click here to book

    An Introduction to Bibliotherapy for Writers and Storytellers
    Facilitators Larry Butler and Valerie Gillies. 10am – 4pm, 8th June, Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR.
    click here to book

    Choosing Reading Material and Facilitating an Expressive Writing Group
    Facilitators Jayne Wilding and Maureen Sangster. 2pm – 5.30pm, 13th June, Kirkcaldy Galleries, Abbotshall Road, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1YG. Click here to book

    Treasures in the Chest & Lifelines
    Facilitators Mandy Haggith and Margot Henderson. 10 – 2pm, 18th June, The Spectrum Centre, 1 Margaret Street, Inverness IV1 1LS.  click here to book

    How Reading Informs Writing
    Facilitator Helen Lamb. 1.30 – 4pm, 20th June, The Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy Street, Glasgow G40 1B.
    Click here to book

    Strengthening Facilitators’ Skills
    Facilitator Liz Niven. 1.30 – 4pm, 23rd June at University of Glasgow, Rutherford McCowan Building,
    Room R127, Crichton Campus, Dumfries DG1 4ZL. Includes informal time for questions and networking.
    Click here to book

    This development opportunity in creative facilitation is for those that work in health and social care settings, mental health centres, prisons, libraries, in education and community arts. It will also appeal to storytellers, writers and those promoting staff well- being in workplaces.  All are welcome, those experienced in facilitation and those new to the experience.
    Cost £25 for day long training: £10 for half a day plus Eventbrite booking fee.

     

    Lapidus is supported by Awards for All Scotland, Creative Scotland and Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Fund
  • Thinking about interesting things

    Do you get unwanted email alerts, or newsletters?I tend to subscribe then get annoyed because I don’t have time to read them all, then I decide to unsubscribe.
    But there is also the option of getting a folder in my inbox for  ‘To Read Soon’ things.Things that are SO interesting I will get back to and read.

    One of my favourite reads is from Brainpickings. I never delete this without finding an interesting article to read. often about poems, and always about thinking on life.
    Here is the link to this week’s offering. I love Rilke’s poems and there is an article and links that you may enjoy too brainpickings.org

    Dial Up the Magic of This Moment: Philosopher Joanna Macy on How Rilke Can Help Us Befriend Our Mortality and Be More Alive

    Dial Up the Magic of This Moment: Philosopher Joanna Macy on How Rilke Can Help Us Befriend Our Mortality and Be More Alive

  • Braw Blether at Horizons Recovery Cafe, Dalkeith Baptist Church

    JEAN AT HORIZONS RECOVERY CAFE BRAW BLETHER DALKEITH BAPTIST CHURCH DALKEITH HORIZONS CAFE DALKEITH RECOVERY CAFE CHRISTINE AT HORIZONS BRAW BLETHER HORIZONS DALKEITH HORIZONS RECOVERY CAFEOn Fridays, Wee Read is now at Horizons Recovery Cafe for a Braw Blether.This is delivered by Wee Read for Midlothian Libraries service! It is in a lovely, bright, welcoming space in the hall at Dalkeith Baptist Church in North Wynd, Dalkeith.I recommend the home-made soup! All are welcome to join us, to share reading, to listen and chat about our stories, wi’ a wee bit ae’ writing as well eh?

    I love the  Midlothian accent, and the people who volunteer and attend the cafe are friendly to all, including a  Lanarkshire-cum-Weegie like me.

    Last week we did a poem from Emily Dickinson and  ”Choose Life’ from Trainspotting. This week we heard from Rumi- The Guest House, which a participant brought with her, and happens to be one of my favourites. Then we heard the Sound of Silence. It was great to explore the song’s lyrics, without the noise of the music which almost hypnotises you to just sing it.

    Hello darkness, my old friend,

    I’ve come to talk with you again…

    Next Friday we’re going to hear from Dylan Thomas, and Bob Dylan among others.

    It’s a Braw Blether!

     

  • Wee Read at The Hope Cafe news!

     

    The Hope Cafe in Wide Close, Lanark closed this week, with a final fiesta.However, the organisation continues, with the Stonehouse Hope Cafe, fortnightly on Thursdays  and the Bun and a Blether. I was lucky to get a new venue for the Wee Read expressive writing group at Greyfriars Church. So, it’s the end of one era, the beginning of another…

    I wrote a wee poem for thr Hope Cafe final fiesta.

    Hope

    What it means to me

    is Life!

    What it says to me

    is Home.

    Who I meet here

    are friends.

    Who I meet here

    are Family.

     

    Hope we’ll keep life

    Hope we’ll come home

    Hope we’ll stay friends

    Hope our family

    stays strong!

    I also took an existing poem, and changed one word throughout, using Hope in the place of Happiness.

    After So Much happiness, by Naomi  Shihab Nye

     

    It is difficult to know what to do

    with so much hope.

    With sadness there is something to rub against,

    a wound to tend with lotion and a cloth.

    When the world falls in around you,

    you have pieces to pick up,

    something to hold in your hands,

    like ticket stubs or change.

     

    But, hope floats,

    It doesn’t need you

    to hold it down.

    It doesn’t need anything.

    Hope lands on the roof of the next house singing,

    and disappears when it wants to.

    You are hopeful either way.

    Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful … house

    and now live over a quarry of noise and dust

    cannot make you unhopeful.

    Everything has a life of it’s own,

    it too could wake up

    filled with possibilities

    of coffee and cake,

    and love even the floor

    which needs to be swept…

     

    Since there is no place large enough

    to contain so much hope,

    you shrug, you raise your hands,

    and it flows out of you,

    into everything you touch.

    You are not responsible.

    You take no credit,

    as the night sky takes no credit for the moon,

    but continues to hold it,

    and to share it,

    and in that way,

    be known.

     

    After Naomi Shihab Nye, So Much Happiness.

     

    Here are some photos of the day.

    HOPE CAFE LANARK CAKEHOPE CAFE GUESTS AND VOLUNTEERSHOPE CAFE FINAL DAY HOPE CAFE FINAL FIESTA WENDY AND GRANT HOPE CAFE MANDY'S PLACE HOPE CAFE LAST DAY JEANNIE AND CHRISTINE HOPE CAFE

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • April activities at Wee Read

    Spring begins!

    What a nice start to Spring for us this past week, with  Maggie’s writing group at Monkland’s Hospital, which was beautiful as ever. However, we do need some more people to come along. So, if you or anyone you know has been affected by cancer, you can call the Maggie’s Lanarkshire to talk and register to join the writing group. We meet every 1st Tuesday of every month at 1-3pm.

    Comments are that it is relaxing  and therapeutic, and some people who thought it may not be for them have come and got a lot out of it.

    Then, back to Hope Cafe after a fortnight off.It was so good to meet new faces back in the old space on the ground floor of the Cafe again.It went very well with some deep discussion and writing about Spring poems and recovery stories.

    We go to Horizon’s Recovery Cafe in Dalkeith starting next Friday, 15th so looking forward to that!

    I have been accepted to train as a See Me Local Community Champion, and will be starting on Tuesday this week, so it’s new beginnings this month.

    Words and Spirit

    Adrian Bailey, one of the directors of Wee Read, is planning to deliver a new course at Stonehouse Hope Cafe on ‘Literature and Spirit’ and it sounds like that will be a  very thoughtful course. I am also doing a Wee Read at the Glasgow Buddhist Centre in May which I am really enjoying preparing. Picking poems, discussion points and writing prompts to use for reflection on how we can use writing to deepen our knowledge of ourselves and our inner processes.

     

  • Carluke High School See Me, Read Me

    SEE_ME_HEXWorking with young people today to explore mental health and the stigma when we don’t talk about it.
    School can be a hard place to be. I found it quite hard when I was there, and going back to that place can be quite emotional. But I am so keen to let the young people know that it’s okay to not be okay, that it’s good to talk, – and read and write about what we                                                                          all share as human beings.Let’s stop the                                                                                stigma in schools!

    Wee Read will take some poems and stories that will hopefully bring a vista of opportunity to open up and dispel the anxiety and doubts about school life.

    Here are some useful websites:

     

    See Me in Scotland

    Respect Me,  Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service,

    Respect Me – Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service

    Young minds  http://www.youngminds.org.uk/

    Childline           http://www.childline.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx Telephone 0800 1111

    The Samaritans , The Samaritans offer free, confidential advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Call: 08457 90 90 90
    Visit:Samaritans    Email: jo@samaritans.org
    Breathing Space                 Breathing Space is a free, confidential phoneline service for any individual who is experiencing low mood or depression, or who is unusually worried and in need of someone to talk to.Call: 0800 83 85 87

    Breathing Space operates  Mon – Thurs between 6pm and 2am and Fri – Mon between 6pm – 6am

    NHS 24            NHS 24 works in partnership with local NHS Boards out-of-hours services to provide patients with health advice and help when GP practices are closed.Call: 08454 24 24 24               Visit: NHS 24
    If you think you need an emergency ambulance, call 999 and speak to the operator.

     

  • Wee Read – Winter Reads

    Wee Read has been having a rest and a proper winter’s cold. But best of all, time for a read.My novel at the moment is Diana Gabaldon’s     ‘A Breath of Snow and Ashes’, it is the 6th of her series now on US TV as ‘Outlander’. I love a story set in the past. This one has a wee bit of time travel and some interesting learning about the 1745 rebellion, and Charles Stuart is in the stories.Quite funny at times, as well lots of tragedy!The prologue :

    “Time is a lot of the things people say that God is. There’s the always preexisting, and having no end.  There’s the notion of being all powerful—because nothing can stand against time, can it?  Not mountains, not armies.

    And time is, of course, all-healing.  Give anything enough time, and everything is taken care of: all pain encompassed, all hardship erased, all loss subsumed.

    Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.

    And if Time is anything akin to God, I suppose that Memory must be the Devil.”

    I also enjoy the wee bits of the Gaelic running through these books. Mo chridhe, a leannan,… one day I will study and learn this beautiful mother tongue. Thanks to my pal Eilean for her encouragement to read the books, and for learning the Gaelic and offering to bring me into that process with her!

    Laugharne  2015 2015-06-17 057 (640x480)

    Ofcourse, as I read the stories of others, I also reflect and wonder at my own story- and the power of the stories I believe about myself, which are probably not fixed and lasting.Or true!

    It’s helpful to talk to myself about my stories, and maybe loosen their grip on my whole life. Things indeed do change and two new books I have been given lately will help me do some loosening-

    ‘the art of meditation, the heart’, by Vessantara,  is a simple introduction to developing loving kindness. Looking forward to reading it all, and using it with my friend, Dhanabhadri who has lent me it. We will bring the meditation classes to The Hope Cafe in the New Year.Here’s a bit of the introduction :

    “In this short book we shall learn some methods from the Buddhist tradition that will enable us to explore our own hearts, and to develop more satisfying ways of being. These methods can help us become more loving and compassionate towards others, and kinder and more understanding towards ourselves.” 

    I think the attitude of kindliness towards myself is the most fundamental thing to try and get into a habit of, and also noticing when I am not doing it.

     The next book to help me to loosen-up my views about myself, is Pema Chodron’s  ‘when things fall apart’, heart advice for difficult times. Available here.  She also talks about metta, or maitri- that is translated as loving kindness- and offers support in loving ourselves more.

    “Cultivating that unconditional friendliness toward whatever arises in your mind….Like clouds in a big sky or waves in a vast sea, all our thoughts are given the space to appear…

    If any of these have inspired you to read them as well, that’s great! And also ask what are your stories are to yourself?Listen to your heart and let the secrets come out!

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