Marian @ Krysan


Planting Golden Seeds in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and Durham



"I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future ... You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Jeremiah 29:11-13


About Relationship: Being the Buddha, Being Love




World Mental Health Week, 2014 


     Aide Memoire.

  • Book: Find Your Power: a toolkit for resilience and positive change (2010)
  • Author: Chris Johnstone MD
  • Publisher: Momentum Press, Hampshire, England, UK

Have you ever been told ...

You can't change it, you have to accept it?  Chris Johnstone's book turns this view on its head.  Chris focuses on helping people access their own motivational force; redesigning elements of the way that they think so they are not held back; integrating positive visionary thinking, planning, doing and reviewing; developing trust and confidence in oneself. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Richard Velleman, Professor of Mental Health Research, University of Bath. 

And, so do I ... 

Chris Johnstone is a man after my own heart and for good reason: Chris has the courage to love. Here is someone, a medical doctor and positive psychologist who changes lives - for the better.  I'm not the only one to find Chris Johnstone inspiring. With this book and in his day-to-day work, he has made a great contribution to our culture and to our society. See SMELL THE FLOWERS for more.

Now, consider this ..

     World Mental Health Week, 2014.

The theme for World Mental Health Week 2014 was Schizophrenia.  Once again, it was time to talk about serious mental illness, this in an effort to challenge stigma by changing hearts and minds.  My thanks go to all the kind/wise souls I encountered during the week and also to my husband for his care over the many years I struggled with the Dark Night of the Soul.  

An inner journey ...

Here's what the poet T. S. Eliot had to say about the mystery and wonder of his own particular inner journey,

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

Courage to love ...

(1) Out and About at North Road Methodist Church, City of Durham 

Time to Change/Older Leaders for Change ... 


From start to finish, this was a day of smiles. Everything and everybody as sweet as a nut. Nothing a bother. We even started on time and finished on time - with morning coffee, a delicious buffet lunch, and afternoon tea all happening exactly as planned. Thanks for this go to Time to Change (funding), Sainsbury's (food), Angela Slater and a small team of TTC champions (organisation). Everything impeccable. Everything commendable. Everything appreciated.

After morning coffee and biscuits, and at exactly 10.30 am, we gathered everyone together and outlined the aims of the event, one being to provide us with an opportunity to listen to other people's experiences of leading and influencing change in their own lives, in their families lives and in the lives of their communities. The event was also about raising awareness of issues around older people's mental health.

Angela set the ball rolling by providing important facts and figures about Older People's Mental Health, describing depression and anxiety as being the most common mental health problems in later life. We learned of the calls for parity of funding for mental health which currently receives 13% of NHS spend in England but accounts for 23% of demand. It is estimated that £13 billion is overspent every year on dealing with the physical health consequences of this unmet need.

Then it was my turn. This was intended as a joyous occasion. The sun was shining and there was a lightness in the air. My talk had been carefully crafted to make people think - in a positive way - about the last taboo in society: Schizophrenia. Not easy - gossamer wings. To prepare the way, I read a favourite poem about ageing called 'I'm Painting Now the Picture'. This contains a message of love to which we can all surely relate - young and old - you and me.  We hope to see you next year at our celebration of the International Day for Older Persons.  

A  message of love.

(2) Out and About at the Bethany City Church, City of Sunderland

Sunderland Alzheimer's Society ... 


I was here to give a talk, an invited guest who was a little unsure of her ground. But, I was quickly made welcome - nothing to fear here. In fact, this close encounter with a Sunderland Alzheimer Society group turned out to be another highlight in a week of highlights - another day of smiles

Introductions over and done with, I - one who (according to my mother) should have been born a lady - got down to the business of being prepared for all eventualities in this life. This was 'reveal time' and yet again I had the pleasure of showing off the contents of my Memory Box. Out came:

  • the shoe horn
  • the earrings
  • the butterfly
  • the crystal
  • the torch

All my Memory Box's odds and ends were duly commented upon and thoughts and feelings related to times, people, and places fondly remembered. Tender buttons were well and truly pressed. Even the lovely message about Guardian Angels written on a plaque from my granddaughter was given due care and attention by those present - most grandparents themselves and well-versed in the importance of 'family'.

I distributed my wellbeing handout - a blog from my website - and then suddenly it was over. Time for me to brave the weather. As I left I was gifted a copy of a newspaper with the front page headline, 'Scientists close to Alzheimer's Cure'. (Mature Times, September 2014). Significant new research (in Epigenetics) into the turning on and off of DNA genes is proceeding apace.  We learn that this gene switching occurs in other parts of the body (as well as the brain) and can be influenced by outside factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, and alcohol.

  • A step closer.
  • Keep the faith.  
  • Find your power.

The Sunderland Alzheimer’s Society itself is now calling on health and social care bodies to make dementia more of a priority. The charity is also calling on members of the wider society to help make their community more dementia-friendly in order to reduce stigma and ensure sufferers are supported and feel included.  As for a cure for Dementia?  One day ... I am sure.  

Meanwhile, light up the world.  

(3) Out and About at the City Library, Newcastle upon Tyne

Mental Health First Aid (England) ... 


The goal of the recovery process is not to become normal. The goal is to embrace our human vocation of becoming more deeply, more fully human ... to become the unique, awesome, never to be repeated human being that we are called to be. - Patricia DEEGAN

This was prime time for me. I was again centre stage, today at the behest of Mental Health First Aid (England). My audience: MHFA trainees who had travelled at great expense from all around England, this for a learning fest around that most challenging of all subjects, mental illness

They were there (with me - all the way) at the well-appointed Newcastle City Library. It was a truly beautiful day and we were all at our best. Kindred spirits. The focus of my session (would you believe) was Recovery from Schizophrenia. That it was my own recovery story I was telling made it that bit more poignant and I sailed (as always) close to the wind ... 

It is in the telling of stories (happy and sad) that history is transmitted from one generation to another. And, as an ex-teacher, I'm well-versed in the craft.  Storytellers are everywhere. I had an audience to inform, persuade, and inspire.  And, we enjoyed ourselves in a two-way process.  Despite what the Jeremiah's of this world might say, learning can (and should) be fun. No Power Point; no whiteboard; not an iPad in sight - just a traditional storyteller who is 'North East and Proud'.

Now, read what the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust are doing to become more recovery-focussed. Simply click here for its Annual Magazine, a great read from yet another great organisation. Look carefully and you will find my story of recovery billed as, A Grandmother's Tale.

MHFA (England): thank you for being such a receptive audience. Mental illness represents 13% of the global disease burden, surpassing cardiovascular disease and cancer.  The world needs people like you to make a difference ... you know what to do.  

Be the change.

(4) Out and About at the Baltic, Gateshead

Newcastle & Gateshead Art Studio ... 


Here's the low-down: "bARTer is a project and exhibition which is the result of thirty individual artists with Mental Health issues working alongside BALTIC artist Lesley Anne Rose in a series of workshops over seven weeks. The resulting exhibition will be staffed by the participating artists, encouraging conversations with the BALTIC public and changing the way people perceive Mental Health."

Mental health problems are common. One in four of us will be affected in our life-time, so being able to talk about it is something that's important for all of us. And, you don't need to be an expert to join the conversation. Here are a few tips worth noting from Time to Change, the national charity who funded today's event in Gateshead.

  • Take one step at a time. Be open-minded. 
  • People's experiences of mental health differ. Listen carefully and be there for them
  • Don't confine yourself to mental health talk. Still talk about things you've always talked about.
  • Courage is contagious. Once mental health is out in the open, others will want to talk, too

Never known to be short of conversation, on this occasion I spoke to a young musician/psychologist about my (perplexing?) passion for Positive Psychology; I conversed with a learned friend about our mutual interest in the training of medical students, and I (even) discussed the life of the writer Gertrude Stein with a young woman from the organisation, Tender Buttons  And, of course, that's not all.  

This was also an opportunity for my husband to recall a time when a passion for farming took him to the BALTIC, this in connection with Rank's Blue Cross animal feeds. Blue Cross was a famous brand of animal food manufactured on the BALTIC premises from the early 1950s. My own memories of the BALTIC are rooted in the classroom, first as a secretarial student (also in the 50s) and then as a teacher of business subjects, this in the 70s and 80s.  

Everyone has a story to tell..

At the end of a busy week, my sincere thanks go to a kindly Mental Health Community who keep me in the 'information loop' locally, regionally, and nationally. I am also privileged to be part of the Action for Happiness group and the global Wellbeing Movement. Finally, thank you Dear Reader for joining me in my meanderings through World Mental Health Week, 2014 ... and much else beside.  

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

    The three-minute breathing space.

1.  Awareness √

Bring yourself in the present moment by adopting an upright and dignified posture.  If you are comfortable doing so, close your eyes.  Now ask yourself

"What am I experiencing right now? ... in my thoughts? ... in my feelings? ... in my bodily, physical sensations?"

DaffodilAcknowledge and register your experience, even if it is unwanted.

2.   Gathering 

Now, gently invite yourself to redirect all your attention to your breathing.  Just notice each in-breath and each out-breath as they follow one another. 

Your breath can function as an anchor to bring you into the present and to help you to become more still and more fully aware. 

3.  Expanding √ 

Allow your field of awareness to expand around your breathing so that it includes a sense of your body as a whole, including posture and facial expression

The breathing space provides a way to step out of Automatic Pilot Mode and to reconnect with the Present moment.

Finally, consider the light of the world ...

"Often you see small and big wires, new and old, cheap and expensive electric cables.  Alone they are useless, and until the current passes through them there will be no light.  The wire is you and me.  The current is God.
"We have the power to let the current pass through us and use us to produce the light of the world or we can refuse to be used and allow the darkness to spread."  MOTHER TERESA, 1998
  • Marian Moore
  • Wellbeing Consultant 



Mental illness represents 13% of the global disease burden,

surpassing cardiovascular disease and cancer. 


"Dignity in Mental Health" is the theme for this year's World Mental Health Day, which takes place on

10 October 2015.




ENDS - 1,963 hits @ 2015-12-18

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