the above splendid specimen of womanhood has been a screensaver on my phone for a little while, much to the hilarity of my children. (I enjoy causing them occasional consternation: I consider it good for a mother to be intensely supportive and present whilst at the same time a teeny bit unpredictable.)

I have never needed her example more than in the last week. feelings continue to run high here in the UK and the political clusterfuck shows no sign of abating. thank you all for your helpful and supportive comments on my last post. I am absurdly behind in answering comments but will probably not be answering those comments individually as is my usual wont as I think to do so would tempt me into the sort of detail that this blog is not about… but it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them, ok?

other than this Wagnerian stunner – and considerable quantities of a wide variety of continental cheeses consumed in solidarity with our other European chums – what has been getting me through the last week? and what has been getting you through? all answers gratefully received.

one thing I have found really helpful is noticing where I am identifying too strongly with my feelings. the meditation practice really helps with this one, of course. the distinction between saying to myself “I am worried” or “I am experiencing a feeling of worry” may sound like mere semantics but for me it inserts that vital space necessary for enabling me to respond, rather than to react.

to do so of course requires labelling and thus going back to my much valued wheel of emotions, now looking a bit tattered and battered on the fridge door. it has been interesting for me to see how much I have set up camp in the top right hand corner, red and orange segments of the wheel. I consider these feelings to be normal responses to my current external circumstances, and so it doesn’t mean that I ‘shouldn’t’ be feeling them – it means that I need to keep them in perspective.

a final thing I have found immediately helpful is to ask myself the question,

“Is there anything I can do about this problem right now?”

if the answer is no, then it probably means that the problem is outside what Stephen Covey called my Circle of Influence. there’s an article on thatΒ here, if you haven’t come across that term before. which means I should let it go, focus on something inside my Circle of Influence, and conserve my energies for problems where there is something I can do about them. I wonder whether the UK as a whole may have considerably cleaner kitchen floors, well mown lawns, and tidier cupboards under the stairs than it did last Thursday?

sending you love and poetry for your weekend! Prim xx