My Mind’s Like Vegetable Soup!

March 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Posted in Health, Mental Health, Psychology | 2 Comments
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Insomnia sheep swat team

Last night, although I was tired and wanted to sleep, I was awake until after 2.30am.

I tried to relax and clear my mind – impossible. Then I tried to ‘watch’ the thoughts as they cropped up and passed by – impossible; they were too quick for me.

Then I tried to focus on one thing, grasp and examine it until I was bored. Maybe then I could go to sleep – but again, impossible.

That’s when I started composing a blog post about my lack of mind discipline.

I am envious of those who can meditate; those who can calm their minds, eliminate extraneous distractions, focus on the inner being & find their centre.


What happens when I try to do the same? Chaos.

My brain seems to be very much like a meat and vegetable soup bubbling in a pot on the stove. All the pieces swirl around, vanish and re-appear randomly, then disappear again before I have a chance to grab one.


My thoughts are like those pieces of onion, carrot and potato, celery, turnip and chicken. Feelings, insights, memories, glimmers of incidents and people and places, books I’ve read, things I have or haven’t done, questions and answers – they all swirl and bob up, then vanish just as quickly.

How do I obtain some sort of control over the maelstrom? What do I do, short of becoming a yogi or fakir or hermit?

meditation -yogi

All I want to do is quiet my mind so I can relax enough to sleep when I need to, or focus my mind without being distracted.

Awake-sleep brain

Is that too difficult? It has been for me thus far.

Do you meditate? How did you start? Does it help you?


Linda Visman

Chemo Helped me to Write

November 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Health, Writing, Writing and Life | Leave a comment
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When I was writing Ben’s Challenge, my characters sometimes hid from me – at least, that is what it seemed like to me. There were many times when I sat at the computer or with my notebook and nothing came to me.

I didn’t know where the story was going to, or what event was about to happen to challenge and bring out my characters. Mostly, that would happen when I had other things on my mind, when I couldn’t settle to work.

The strange thing was, that on my chemo days, I was hardly ever stuck. After I had been connected up, had chatted with the lovely nursing staff and got to know a bit about the other patient who might be sharing the room with me, I’d take up my pen and I would write. Often, by the end of my two to three hour session, I would have a whole chapter written.

Eventually,  Ben’s Challenge was finished, and it is now published as both a printed book and an e-book. Now I am writing a follow-up. It isn’t a sequel as such as in when a story continues in a saga, it is just another story about Ben and his life back in the late 1950s.

The book started with a rush, and I soon had three chapters written. Then is stopped. It was another six months before I managed to get three more chapters written. One reasons for this is the time I have had to spend promoting and selling the first book. However, I want to get back into Ben’s life and that of the other characters; some of them the same as before, and some new ones. But none of the characters are speaking to me.

It is only recently that I have realised that it is not the characters who aren’t speaking with me, but that, if they are speaking, I am too distracted to listen. I am distracted by the promotion and selling; by everyday life; and especially by the computer, with its emails, e-zines on writing, interesting blogs – and Facebook.

When I was undergoing chemo, I was in a recliner chair, ‘tied’ to a drip. I couldn’t go anywhere. There were only two of us in the room most of the time, and the other patient would often be reading or dozing for much of the time. The only interruption would be when a nurse came in to check or change the drip. But, most of all, there was no computer. Thus, I could focus on what I was doing, listen to the characters and write their story.

Obviously, the strength of my will power – or won’t power – is sadly lacking. I can’t keep the internet unconnected; I can’t close the door on my husband and on the other people who require my attention. So, if I do not develop that power to say ‘no’ and stick with it, the only way I can listen and write is when I go out somewhere – to the lake, to a coffee shop, to somewhere that life and the computer do not distract me.

So, because it is not my characters who aren’t talking to me, but me who is shutting them out, I just have to open the door to them again. But I don’t want another series of chemo treatments to help me do it!

(c) Linda Visman

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