Nelson Mandela’s 27 years in prison were marked by terrible hardship, freezing nights, suffocating
summer days, poor food and back breaking labour. He slept on a thin mat on a stone floor for most
of his time behind bars in a cell about 19 x 16 feet. For many years, his wife was allowed to
visit only rarely and his chil- dren not at all!!
In contrast I’ve been “cocooned” at home as I’m in the over 70 group with an underlying medical
condition. I’ve followed the guidelines to stay safe during this worldwide CoronaVirus-19
infection. The restrictions have eased so I’m just back from a short walk in a gentle sea breeze. I
consider myself fortunate to live in Co. Wicklow (“The Garden of Ireland”). However, I spent most
of the last three months in my own back garden!. Two words help me cope-“ACCEPT and AD- JUST”- just
like Nelson Mandela. I’m putting them into action by strengthening my immune system against the
virus with; a good nights sleep, eating healthy food, ex- ercising through gardening, relaxing,
laughter, with a sprinkle of spirituality. That’s what “Aim for balanced living” [p59 BB] means for
me right now. On a positive note, over 90% of infected persons recover..Plus, scientists worldwide
are racing for a vaccine. There is Hope for us yet.
The Man And The Seagulls
A story of love, desire and the futility of chasing happiness.
There was a man living by the seashore who loved seagulls. Every
morning he went down to the beach, and the seagulls flew down to him from their nests in the
cliffs. They gathered round him, shrieking at the tops of
their voices; and he too shrieked with pleasure. He danced across the beach, and they danced with
One day his father said to him: ‘I too would like to dance with sea- gulls. Tomorrow morning you
must catch some seagulls, and bring them to me.’ The man was very sad; he believed seagulls should
be free, so he hated the idea of catching any of them. Nonetheless he had a duty to obey his fa-
So next morning he went to the beach, with the intention of catching some seagulls, and taking them
to his Father. But none of the seagulls flew down; they remained firmly in their nests.
The supreme good is like water,
Which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people distain. Thus it is like the Tao.
In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
When you are content to be simply yourself And don’t compare or compete,
Everyone will respect you.
Tuesday, 25th August, O&R with John and Iza- bela at 6.30pm. By Zoom. Please let your Area
Coordinator know which representative of your group will be in attendance.
Verse 8 Tao Te Ching Lao Tzu
Eastern Regional Team News
• Zoom meetings, though a poor substitute for face to face meetings, have proved popular
as a support amongst GROWers. There is still no confirmation for dates of reopening face to face
meetings. As we get information we will pass it on at the vari- ous zoom meetings.
• The two zoom socials, a music night and a quiz night, were very successful.
• Thanks to Clodagh, Izabela and John for all their hard work in keeping the GROW
programme go- ing during these unprecedented times.
• Best of luck to Eunan Whyte in your future en- deavours. Who was the Communications
Officer with GROW. Thank you for all your great work with us in GROW.
• There has been on going work on the rebranding of GROW. Were some of the regional team
are involved in this committee. We look forward to the new branding and the new Blue Book.
• A grant was precured by the management of GROW from the HSE for tablets and phones to
help those who do not have devices to join zoom GROW meetings. For further information contact
your Area Coordinator.
• There has been a shortfall of fundraising due to Covid-19 and with the secret bags not
been col- lected.
• The regional weekend away will not happen this year due to Covid-19. However there is
talk of organising a one day event. Possible BBQ, walk and Music. We will pass on details when
• Because of Covid-19 and no on site groups there has been no way of safely distributing
the Eastern Regional Newsletter. It has been decided to print 150 copies of the summer newsletter
to be distrib- uted to hospitals and an enclosed group who can- not access the Zoom platform.
There will also be an online e version and the link will be available through your area
• Wayne, Growers and supporters have virtually walked the distance through both the
and continue walking through Africa. It started in 2019 to celebrate 50 years of GROW in Ireland
when we virtually walked the distance from Aus- tralia to Ireland. At present thanks to “the
walking App” Wayne is able to design our walk through Africa. If anyone would like to join the
walk please contact the Area Coordinator Izabela.
Every little step counts…
“ Having an aim is the key to achieving your best.” Henry J. Kaiser
GROW EASTERN REGION NEWS
I really don’t want
To write A poem
It made me see how I am
I’m really doing.
I feel a deep sense of Fear right now
But I’m doing ok I tell myself Hour by hour.
I’m not on my own
Grow tells me this
So day by day I make a list
To do ordinary Every day things
And ask for help One greater than I
To simplify This mystery Crisis were in
John : 086 8033 126 Area Coordinator
Izabela: 086 8223 680 Area Coordinator
Louise: 086 7706 067 Area Coordinator
Pauline Clarke : 057 9351124 Administrator
Infoline : 1890 474 474
Website : www.grow.ie
GROW national newsletter link:
Spend 10 mins revisiting your goals
One of the easiest ways to achieve your
long-held goals and dreams is to revisit them rough- ly every six months or so. Spend ten minutes
look- ing over any goals you made at the start of 2020.
Which ones have you achieved? Which ones have fallen to the wayside? Do they need more work and
commitment for the next 6 months? Do they still resonate with you? If they are not what you want,
then it may be time to lay them to rest and come up with some new goals for yourself. Checking in
eve- ry six months help us to stay accountable to our goals and make us far more likely to achieve
The restrictions imposed by Covid-19 has re- sulted in GROW providing online support group meet-
ings through Zoom. GROW Eastern Region held it’s first meeting on Zoom on the 1st of April.
Presently the Eastern Region has ten GROW groups per week on Zoom. For more information view our
website at www.grow.ie.
The overall impression of Zoom meetings from it’s members is that it is the next best thing to face
to face meetings. As a result of the lock down and social distancing restrictions it has provided
great way of meeting up with familiar group members on a weekly basis and to be able to continue
our GROW journey together. Some members who were not comfortable with the change at first soon
found it got progressively easier with each meeting. The meet- ing follows the same method as face
to face meetings. As it says in GROW “if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly for a
start while your improving.” (GROW Blue Book.) It is true that Zoom meetings may not compensate
fully for face to face meetings but they keep us connected, which breaks isolation and helps our
Groups are being run on Zoom for the foreseeable future due to Covid-19 restrictions. For links
contact Area Coordinators. Phone numbers above.
• Monday, Arklow – 5.00pm.
• Monday, Tallaght/ Dunlavin- 7.00pm.
• Tuesday, Mount Argus/ Newbridge – 7.00pm.
• Tuesday, Raheny/ Balbriggan – 2.30pm.
• Wednesday, Wicklow – 2.30pm.
• Wednesday, Knocklyon – 7.00pm.
• Wednesday, Blackrock – 7.00pm.
• Wednesday, Topic Meeting, Raheny/Balbriggan- 7.30pm.
• Thursday, Ballyfermot/ Aungier Str – 7.00pm.
• Thursday, Raheny/ Balbriggan – 7.30pm.
• Bray and Clane are in remission
• Mental Health Support Group open to all, Growers or not – Tuesday – 10.00am.
The Topic Meeting is where members pick a topic to dicuss related to the GROW program.
“With hope anything is possible”
GROW EASTERN REGION NEWS
A Journey in Space
Space calms. Have you ever experienced the vast peace on a mountain top or the calming quality of a
Japanese painting with its use of empty space. Space offers no resistance, it is still and eternal.
• Sitting or standing, allow your body to be- come still. Give yourself full
permission to achieve nothing for the next couple of minutes. Bring your awareness to
this process of stopping. Take a few breaths, then allow your breath to be free. Relax.
• Notice the space in your surroundings. Usual- ly we notice the things that take up
space. In a room, we tend to see only the contents: ob- jects, people, walls. To notice
space means to become aware of the gaps between objects. Allow your attention to find
these gaps-the emptiness of your surroundings.
• Space is always present, yet it rarely attracts the attention. It exists
around, and within, your body. If you are in a room right now, consider how it too
exists in a wider space. Space is not just part of your environment. Space is what
contains your environment.
• Space is peaceful in a way that objects— animate or inanimate—often are not,
since these tend to arouse reactions within us. By nature it does not get in your way. When
you move, it moves with you. It is always there.
Inspired by the teachings
Of the Buddhist Monk Ajahn Sumedho
My way of looking after my mental health dur- ing Covid-19.
I started doing art in the community centre
that I go to. So I got acrylic paints and brushes. So I am trying to paint at home. I love doing
acrylic painting. As you see I did a painting using the acrylic paint. My art tutor taught me. I
find it very relaxing and also helps my anxiety. I lose myself when I start painting. It is the
best thing I ever
started. Mary Knocklyon Group
The book of blessings
“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let The wire brush of doubt Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous, Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise, Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”
“ My happiness comes from within and is not from external factors /persons.”
GROW EASTERN REGION NEWS
Step 7 – We took care and control of our bodies
From a logical standpoint Step 7 makes per- fect sense. For the most part, our bodies work very
well- it’s complexity hidden under our inattention. We can take for granted this well oiled
machine, un- less and until a spanner gets thrown into the works. It is often then and only then
that we become aware of what goes on behind the scenes. Maybe physical illness will remind us that
the vessel we live in de-
serves more respect than we have given it up to now.
For many of us battling mental illness, the war resides in our minds. Our body is the poor rela-
tion, the Cinderella who never gets taken to the ball.
Our concentration is focused on our anxiety, our des- pair, on whatever form our mental illness
takes. We can forget that we are more than our minds, and our bodies can suffer as a result. Mental
pain may cause us to take refuge in drugs, alcohol, or comfort eating.
It’s instant gratification, but the price can be im- mense and far reaching.
Step 7 is a reminder that we are the caretak- ers, the custodians, the only inhabitants of the most
important real estate we will ever own. It is therefore our responsibility to treat our bodies with
respect, to make decisions that will properly maintain and nour- ish them. In practising Self Care,
we give ourselves
the love we denied ourselves in the past. In taking care and control of our bodies, we advance
further along the path of personal growth and recovery.
I can be ordinary. I can do whatever ordi- nary good people do and avoid whatever ordinary good
people avoid. My special abilities will develop in harmony only if my foremost aim is to be a good
ordinary human being.
“Sometimes I worry you’ll all realise I’m ordinary.” Said the boy.
“Love doesn’t need you to be extraordinary.” Said the mole.
When we were youths the last thing we wanted is to be ordinary. We wanted to be Rock
Stars, if not famous then successful or popular. We wanted to be the hero or heroine. To save the
Ordinary life can be boring and routine. And for those of us that have experienced psychosis,
sions can bring on colourful notions of ourselves and of our life. Very unordinary. Delusions of
self grandeur. That the Government is tracking our eve- ry move or that we are the chosen one to
save the world. These beliefs can be very hard to shift. They are very real for the person. It
is hard to have the humble admission that I could be mistaken. It feels
like giving up a big part of your identity.
But you can still be successful and authentic and loved while being ordinary. If your foremost aim
is to be a good ordinary human being. That grounds. To be human is to be humble. We all can be
fearful, vulnerable and we all can get it wrong, a lot. At times we need the help of our fellows
times they will need our help too. Sometimes we can lead the way. But the next day we need the
guiding light of another. Sometimes we fall and are grateful for the lifting hand of a friend.
And if you are successful just remember that is ordinary too, so are many others. Just remember
all the help you got along the way. In gratitude you can give back and help others.
The fortunes of life are fickle. One day you are a big shot and the next you are just one of the
small fry. But certain things are lasting. Love, Friendship and wisdom among many other ordinary
“ Never be a prisoner of your pass. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.”
GROW EASTERN REGION NEWS
Change your thinking and improve your mental health
Many different types of influences can affect your thoughts. These can include:
Financial situation Relationships
Physical circumstances What’s going on in the world News
Early life experiences Positive experiences
Experiencing any of these can lead you to feel down or depressed. As a result, we can neglect to
things that make us feel better. We may not eat properly, sleep well, exercise or even see friends
or family. Not doing these things makes us feel worse, and a downward cycle can begin.
We can’t always control our environment, but we can control our thoughts and how we react to our
environment. It may seem like you have no control over your thoughts. But that is not true. You
have a lot more control than you would imagine.
There are 3 kinds of thoughts:
Automatic thoughts: we are constantly thinking about things, all day long. These are automatic
thoughts. There is no basic problem with these
thoughts unless they are almost always negative.
Assumptions: are rules we live by. They involve conditional statements or demand statements. For
example: ”People should be nice to each other”, ‘I should be perfect.’ They are restrictive and not
al- ways true.
Core beliefs: These are strong, absolute statements we make, that we take as fact. They include: I
Others are … the world is …
If our core beliefs are very negative and unbalanced they can contribute to having more frequent
Ways of thinking that contribute to negative emo- tions
Here are the different ways of thinking that can
make us feel negative about ourselves:
Demands: ‘I have to do that…’ or ‘I should have done that…’ or ‘They should or shouldn’t do that…
Catastrophising: thinking things are going to turn out in the worst possible way.
Self-downing: ‘I’m such a loser…’
Low frustration tolerance: ‘I can’t bear this…’
Black and white thinking: things are either exclu- sively good or bad and nothing in between.
These ways of thinking are rigid and can have a neg- ative effect on us.
Overcoming rigid thinking
The best way to overcome rigid thinking is to chal- lenge the assumptions and rules you have.
One of the best ways is asking yourself these three questions about what you’re thinking.
1. Does it make sense?
2. Is it helpful?
3. Is it true?
These 3 questions can help you to examine the
thoughts you are having. They can help you to see that you could be thinking in a different way.
It could be a way that benefits you, rather than hurts you, or makes you feel bad.
Changing your negative thoughts
Depending on the type of negative thoughts you are having, there is a specific way to turn them
The first and most important steps are:
To have an awareness that you are having a lot of
To spot them when they happen
Relabelling a demand as a desire – from ‘I have to do this’ to ‘it would be good for me to try to
do this’- can help. It may help us to feel less angry, hurt or resentful when things don’t go the
way we want
them to do.
Remember that things rarely turn out as badly as we imagine. Predicting disaster only creates
“ Try not to change the world, you will fail. Love the world and the world is changed, changed
forever .” Sri Chinmoy
GROW EASTERN REGION NEWS
This can make us less able to cope if something bad actually does happen. While most things that
we catastrophise might be possible, the chances of them happening are actually really low.
Putting yourself down never makes you feel good. Anyone can make a mistake. It doesn’t mean you’re
a bad person.
Low frustration tolerance
Most people can bear most things if it is in their in-
terest to do so. Not liking something is very differ- ent from not being able to bear it. There
will al- ways be things in life we don’t like. Building our
tolerance for them is useful. You might not be al- ways able to avoid or change them.
Learn to change your thoughts. It isn’t easy but it is definitely doable. With practice, you
should find yourself feeling more positive on a daily basis.
Depression is mire. It sucks me in like quicksand.
My body, restricted on all sides, makes moving painful, Sore and tense.
Despair weighs heavily from the inside out.
Like having no skin, there aren’t enough clothes To heat the chill within.
I came to GROW because of on-going and recurring depression. Having already battled different
struggles at various times in my life, I was confused as to why it continued to haunt me. I used to
think I wasn’t ‘sick’ enough for a group – that I could beat this on my own. A friend handed me a
GROW leaflet and I was im- mediately impressed by the message:
‘You alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone.’
This gave me great encouragement knowing I didn’t need to struggle in isolation. Through GROW I
learned with relief that I could embrace this condition, every day, with rational positive skills.
I no longer felt I had
to hide it like some deformity, something to be ashamed of or feeling different.
The first reading I was given was PERSONAL VALUE. This has been given to me many times over the
years – as my sense of self and personal value are always the first to go, when faced with
difficulties at work and at home. BEDROCK is extremely helpful as I am comforted by the fact that:
‘No matter what has happened…..
It is one of those things that can and do happen to (other) human beings.’
Before GROW, my socialising was a bit acted and forced. Now, with the help of 12 STEP, I can be
honest – with genuine honest friends. I’m accepted for who I am and I can be well or unwell,
without pressure. Over the years in GROW I have been Recorder once and Organiser twice. I’ve
developed leadership skills which have been encouraged.
In the past, thinking I had to fight and beat depression like it was some terrible bad habit, only
led to hope- lessness and self-criticism. Now I practice self-compassion for my condition, which I
realise is intrinsically linked to my quiet, reflective nature. Members have been helped and
inspired by my insights and giving back to the group is fundamentally rewarding.
My name is Bridget and this is my testimony.
“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable or happy. The amount of work is the
GROW EASTERN REGION NEWS
“Strange Times”… So many mails and articles and even verbal greetings start or end with these two
A huge amount of people who heretofore never saw them-
selves as having anxiety problems are now being wound tight as a wrung dishcloth by it.
So many huge stressors are stalking among us – domestic con- finement, loss of income, fear of the
immediate future. And for many a fear of other human beings. Imagine. A fear of
every one. Of every surface. Of even the air.
Each us can double or treble the items on the above stressor list that afflict us, or our families,
or our communities.
It feels as if masses and masses of people have suddenly tuned in to a radio frequency I’ve been
hearing for the majority of my life.
It’s called Radio Catastrophe. Its broadcasts are always
aimed specifically at me. Explaining how dreadful things are and relentlessly telling me how
useless / failing / unworthy I am.
And the guy giving the broadcast is always me. It’s always my voice. Yep, the show today, all day,
is “Melt De Head with Mental Ted”.
Most or all of us in GROW are familiar with this. Most or all people in society are too. But
heretofore maybe they didn’t
tune in so often, or at this super-loud volume.
The Kind Noble and the Charlatans
But today it is blaring across the minds of so many people. Ruining their sleep, slicing their
nerves, making them more volatile than usual.
In my past, I was unwell enough to need Pieta House. My walk through life has been dogged by Fear
and Self Blame as long as I can remember.
This can help me with those who are in great pain now. If I
can understand, I can empathise more easily. And I can help: I can say a nice thing, or do a
helpful thing, or just smile and say hello (from the appropriate distance…)
Or, most simply, I can help by not adding more logs to the bonfire consuming their psyches.
I can regard this period as The Greatest Catastrophe Ever – or I can see it as a chance to be of
use. And if I am of use, I si-
lence the embedded voice in my soul that says, always, “you are useless.”
And if I show compassion to other creatures, in a way I am being compassionate to myself.
If I help others, I help myself. Ted Knocklyon
A pauper was walking along the road, dejected and sad. It had been years since his wife had smiled.
G‑d had blessed them with a houseful of girls, beautiful, wise and resourceful—each one a gem. From
the moment his eldest had come of age, matchmakers began knocking on their door with suggestions of
fine young men, Torah scholars. But
alas, when they heard that there was no money for a dowry, they
turned away. “Your daughters are wonderful,” they would say, “but how can we expect a young man to
join a family that cannot even contribute a few coins toward the wedding celebration and settling
the young couple in a new home?”
As a last resort, he set out to beg, hopeful that his fellow Jews— “merciful ones, the children of
merciful ones”—would have pity on his family and help him in his time of need. But he was mistaken.
It wasn’t that they were stingy or uncaring. It was just that they too were poverty-stricken and
had barely enough to support their own families. And those who had more were overextended, fielding
requests from far and near for assistance.
Now, on his way home, his mind was on his empty pocket and his wife’s impending disappointment.
Barely noticing his surroundings, he leaned against a large tree, massaging his back against its
ample trunk. “Hey, you!” he heard. “What are you doing here? Don’t you
know that you’re trespassing?” Looking up, he suddenly realized that he had apparently wandered
onto the grounds of a grand manor, and
that he was face to face with the poritz, the feudal lord who had almost unlimited power in his
“Oh, I am so sorry, Your Lordship,” he was quick to say. “I was simp- ly wandering around, feeling
so alone and dejected about my sorry state of affairs, and I stopped to comfort my aching back
tree. Please forgive me for taking that simple pleasure, and I will be on my way.” “Wait a moment,”
said the poritz, not unkindly. “You look
like a man who has suffered in life. Please tell me more. Perhaps I can help you . . .”
“Oh, Your Lordship is too kind,” said the down-and-out man. “I was feeling so alone. I am a father
of daughters, and I desperately seek
means with which to help them get married, but why should you care about a poor old Jew and his
problems?” “Dear man,” said the poritz, “please take this purse of coins, and marry your daughters
in gladness. I am an old man and have all the money I can ever need—it’s the joy of giving that I
could use in life. Now go in peace.” Still doubting whether it had all been a dream, the poor man
stumbled home. It was not long before word of the miraculous chain of events spread through the
“What good fortune,” said one man to another. “Here’s our chance to get rich. Let’s go to that same
estate and try our luck.” Making their way to the rambling grounds, they promptly located a
well-suited tree and began to rub with vigour.
Sure enough, the master of the realm soon came to question them. “OH, Sire,” they said, “Please
have pity! We were feeling so sad, so alone and so hopeless that we decided to lean against your
tree for a while, taking advantage of the opportunity to massage our backs.”
“You’re charlatans, both of you,” thundered the lord, who had once been a general and still knew
how to bark an order. “Leave at once!”
As they humbly left the garden, one of them summoned up the temeri- ty to question the poritz. “How
is it,” he queried, “that when our friend was here, you greeted him so kindly, but when we came and
told you a similar story, you called our bluff?”
“It’s very simple. When a man is truly alone and he needs to scratch his back, he has no choice but
to lean against a tree trunk. But there are two of you. You could have rubbed each other’s backs.
That told me that you weren’t really as needy as you made yourselves out to be.”
When relating this parable, chassidim would conclude: As long as one has a friend, no situation is
“ The older you get the more quiet you become. Life humbles you so deeply as you age.”
GROW EASTERN REGION NEWS
The Healing Power of Storytelling
What makes us mentally healthy or mentally
We hope our stories can (in some small way)
ill? Is it our habits of thinking, our ability to connect with people, to set and achieve realistic
Obviously these are the ‘nuts and bolts’ of mental health.
Yet, over the years attending Grow meetings and reading about politics and history, I wonder is
there an even bigger factor in our mental health – the stories we tell others about ourselves. We
can see in politics how a group of people (even a country) can
tell a story of being both ‘victim’ and ‘more im- portant’ than others. Such storytelling leads to
never ending conflict.
And then there are (to misquote Bob Marley)
‘Redemption Stories’ – stories of how we have
transformed past suffering to discover a sense of wholeness. As we redeem all that is good in us,
we connect with all that is good in the world. As we acknowledge our own mistakes and weaknesses
we can better handle the mistakes of those around us. Telling our story is both a valuable and
vulnerable experience. Are people really listening? Can they understand and empathize with where
I’m coming from? There have been times when I’d share my story in a Grow group and feel frustrated
ideas in my head did not match the words that came from my mouth. If I can’t truly express myself,
how could anyone get to know my true self? Other times I might express myself incoherently and a
member will give feedback showing that they truly understood. They could listen beyond my rambling
words and grasp its essence. Such moments make all my faltering efforts worthwhile.
change the world for the good, yet wonder how? Life can be mysterious. Anne Frank’s diary is a
world-famous book. Yet when she was sent to the concentration camps could she have imagined her
diary would teach future generations about the dan- gers of stirring up hatred and how vital it is
to recog- nize our shared humanity?
At a book club recently I re-read Maya An- gelou’s ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’. She writes
about losing her voice and becoming mute after being raped as a child. A neigh-
bour encourages her through books and communica- tion to regain her voice and her soul. Maya An-
gelou’s book is considered one of the best autobiog- raphies of the 20ᵗʰ century. It shows the
power of the spoken and written word.
Re-reading the book I saw how at key mo- ments in her life people nurtured her dreams. At Grow we
heal our past by nurturing each other to discover our deepest hopes and dreams – ‘our true self is
our happy self’. When Grow started in Syd- ney, Australia in 1957 could those people have im-
agined that their stories would live on long after they died? If our hopes remain unspoken and
hidden in- side us they become trapped and shrivel up. Sharing our stories carries many risks, yet
over time we can
learn the shared art of storytelling.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou
“The man that wins is the one who thinks he can.” Bruce Lee
GROW EASTERN REGION NEWS
The Difficulty of the Present Moment through an Anchor
When you start to do anchor meditation it is the difficulty in it that brings about the healing.
You start to say this does not work, you start to say this is too difficult, this is causing me
anxiety, that this is of no use. While your mind is analyzing in this way, in the beginning you
are learning to still or control the analyzing part of the mind not the part of the mind
that is always pushing up a new thought up into consciousness. When you learn to stop
analyz- ing your thoughts eventually subconscious thought that becomes conscious thought grows
less and less, so we need to realize when we have wandered off analyzing. We need to
be aware we have gone off labeling and judging.
We have felt the healing anxiety of the pre- sent moment. This anxiety is caused by the mind not
wanting to focus on its anchor. The mind goes off analyzing, it does not want to be
stopped. This caus- es an anxiety but it is a healing anxiety. We need to keep returning to our
point of focus, our anchor. We need discipline, awareness, perseverance, focus, willpower
and concentration to do this. By doing this we gently come back to the breath or our point of
anchor, whatever it is, this is the nearest we can get to the controlling of the analyzing
part of the mind. Not the part always producing thoughts, but that part that is always
producing thoughts becomes less and less when you practice with skill. You will create anxiety. If
it did not create anxiety, everyone would be doing it. This is difficult but not easy. It
takes practice, practice, practice. Eventually with the practice and skills of awareness and
concentration this anxiety grows less and less and with discipline, the anxiety subsides and
you are left with a calm, relaxed mind.
As soon as the difficulty or anxiety starts in anchor meditation people stop doing it. They
don’t want to stop analyzing their thoughts. Because of a difficulty or an anxiety or an
uncomfortableness they don’t want to stop ruminating because they have to leave their problem mind
to create another problem, or an anxiety, but this is a healing anxiety which eventually
achieves the slowing down of the mind. Achieving peace and calmness. It takes a
different act of will to stop repetitive thinking. It is the line of least resistance that keeps
you in a repetitive think- ing. Like a magnet you are sucked into your thoughts.
Every thought pretends it matters so much. It is the path of least resistance that keeps you in re-
petitive thinking. When you take deliberate act of will to stop analyzing or ruminating this
causes anxi- ety and difficulty. This is where the mind is healed. Writing about this paper and not
practicing it is the same as having no knowledge of it. We need to prac- tice the skills to
slowdown the mind and bring peace to our minds through an anxiety that heals us.
I Will Give Myself Positive Messages
I will befriend myself by ceasing to create my own anxie- ties. What are those inner voices that
constantly stir up pain and fear? Those are left-over, critical voices from my past that told me I
was a bad, worthless person. Per- haps the last hold-out to my recovery is facing my shame.
Shame is like a hidden monster in the closet that pops out when I least expect it. The messages
that hit right at my
core originate in my shamefulness. The journey through shame requires me to turn these inner
thoughts outward. I recognise shame when I feel it and substitute these nega- tive voices with
Today I begin a new phase of my recovery , as I realise that some of the anxiety I feel is
self-induced shame. I have the courage to treat myself with kindness and let old wounds heal.
Today I see that I can carefully examine the rules I live
by and that I have the power to change them if I want, to promote my recovery. Am I still living
unconsciously by rules that no longer fit me? In my illness there were
many rules that were incongruent and unrealistic.
Today I will look at my rules about love, money, friends, decisions and emotions. Which rules are
my choices and, which rules have I unconsciously adopted? I have the
ability to decide which rules work for me and discard those that do not.
The Affirmation of Good is a perfect passage to help with the above piece. It reminds me that I am
indeed, “neither wholly good nor wholly bad”. I am learning that I am like all humans, a mixture of
good and bad. It is such an im- portant lesson, for it is in the blanket condemnation of myself
that I become smothered by depression.
“Reason is immortal, all else is mortal.” Greek aphorism
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Christian Spirituality helps in the GROW Program and in recovery.
In the Christian tradition, love is generated in rela- tionship to God and one another and in
loving my- self and this has been the key to my recovery.
This is the summary of my experience of recovery from mental illness over 40 years since 1978:
Being a Christian I believe in God. God is a relation- ship of 3 persons, The Father, The Son and
The Ho- ly Spirit. Jesus Christ who lived and walked this
earth is the Son of the Father. He came to save us which He accomplished through His life, death
and resurrection. Then came the Holy Spirit into our world, the love between the Father and the
Love comes from God for God is love. Love sprang forward into humanity and causes each one of us
who believe through faith to live in freedom life to the full.
Life to the full includes having meaning and pur- pose, experiencing joy, appreciating other people
– listening, being thankful – particularly for the gift of
life itself, seeing the beauty in nature, having dreams and goals and enjoying life. Life involves
struggling but the struggles are worthwhile and teach lessons
into a new horizon of peace, joy, hope and love.
How is the love of God accessed? Through prayer. The praying of the prayer the ‘Our Father’ has
with- in the essence of living one day at a time in the pre- sent moment, receiving from God our
from which He abundantly blesses us. The Bible, the word of God is God’s blueprint for living and
heals our wounds.
Please read in “Journeying to Mental Health” that love is one of the five foundations of Maturity
page 10, then again there is The Features of Loves expression on page 44, see the 4 Causes on page
54, also the section on ‘The Bigger Questions for Life and Mental Health’ on page 70.
The core of love is to cherish, nourish and be kind to my inner self, spirit, mind and body. This
extends to all other persons and to nature. Making mistakes, stumbling at times is part of growing
to maturity, day by day. My intention is to be good and to do good. Ordinary living, practical
application, treating each other well is paramount.
My past life is history. I can use all the valuable ex- perience now seen in the light of my
recovery as a storehouse, a treasury of memories I can draw on to bring goodness, joy and healing
into the lives of oth- ers wrestling with mental health issues.
I cannot over emphasise the importance of having befriended myself, and relating well to others for
our presence to one another is most valuable in life. This situation in my life springs from prayer
in relation- ship to God who is love.
Christian spirituality links in well with the Recovery model from ‘mental illness.’
Finally a great debt of gratitude is owed to the chief architect of the Grow Movement, Fr. Con
R.I.P. a Roman Catholic priest from Sydney, Aus- tralia.
Hugo Magee—Clane Grow Group.
God never said the journey would be easy, But the arrival
Would be worthwhile
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling
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GROW Community Mental Health
Dublin, Wicklow, and Kildare Groups
Find a group near you
Face to Face meetings have been cancelled until further notice due to Covid-19 View GROW Website
for further updates.
• 10.00am – Arklow, Arus Lorcain Parish Centre, St Mary’s and Peters Church, In case of
bank holidays meeting Tuesday instead at 10.00am.
• 2.00 pm – Balbriggan Community Centre, Dublin Street, Balbriggan.
• 2.30 pm – Raheny, Hilltop Raheny, St Francise Hospice Priory Rooms, Station Road.
• 7.00 pm – St. Mary’s Priory, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24(use the Greenhills Road
• 7.00 pm – Mount Argus, Mount Argus Community Centre, 179 Lower Kimmage Road, Dublin 6
• 7.00 pm – Clane Community Group, Kare Centre, Old School House, Dublin Road.
• 7.00pm – Dun Loaghaire, Park House, Library Rd.
• 10.30 am – Bray, Queen of Peace Parish Centre, Bray, Putland Road. Co. Wicklow
• 6.00 pm – Pimlico, School Street Family Resource Centre, School Street off Thomas
• 6.30 pm – Central Mental Hospital (not open to general public)
• 7.30 pm – Newbridge, Parish Centre, Station Road, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
• 2.00 pm – Arbour Hill Prison (Closed Group).
• 2.30 pm – Wicklow town, De La Salle Pastoral Centre. Access only from St Patricks
• 7.00 pm – Knocklyon, IONA Pastoral Centre, Idrone Avenue, just behind Knocklyon Shop
• 7.15 pm – Blackrock, The Centre for the Living, Rose Hill, top Carysfort Ave.
• 7.30 pm – Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow, Camphill, Grange Beg.
• 6.30 pm – The Carmelite (Whitefiar) Community Centre, 56 Aungier Street,
• 7.30 pm – Ballyfermot, Parish Centre, at Ballyfermot roundabout.
Infoline: 1890 474 474 Website: www.grow.ie Dublin office 8734029
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