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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Workshops, podcasts and blogging

I guess there is two bits of news I will be focusing on in this writing journey. As this is a bit of a 'what's been going on' post.


I recently attended a introductory workshop for 'emotional coping skills' which I had very mixed feelings about. Firstly it was an awful start with one guy being told he couldn't come in as he had his child with him. He then kicked off swearing at the trainer /practitioner as we went in. Not the best of starts. I didn't like the room we were in it was cramped and very formal. Not a comfortable environment for the sort of topics we were discussing. Well not for me anyway. I didn't talk in the session, I just didn't feel able to. Like three maybe four times I opened my mouth but nothing came out. I didn't connect with the group or the practitioners. However, I have signed up for the 5 week course. Based on there will be some other people in that group, as it'll be a mix of our group and another. But also I think there could be messages in there that will help me. I am just going to have to accept that the way these messages are delivered are not best suited to me.

Through the workshop I jumped from I already know this, to this is triggering, to I already know that to o, that's an interesting point.

One of the exercises we did was some mindfulness and I think potentially some form of meditation. Well I can tell you it didn't exactly work for me.

It started with the practitioner saying "you can do this with loads of different things and for us today we are going to use our hands". Ok, sounds interesting. So we have to study our hands and focus on them. At this point can I say I have already had a couple of moments when I felt on edge and my hands had fidgeted on my lap, the table and my face.

So (back in the room haha) we are looking at our hands and my mind is not wondering off to the traffic or wind or the room (as we were told it may), no I'm thinking please don't hit me (yourself) my hands themselves in that moment became a trigger. Looking at them, while I was meant to be studying, I was fighting the desire to clench my fist. I could feel the slight wobble, the up and down movement in my hands. I felt a real fight to control my hand in that moment. The activity progressed to us being asked to spread our fingers out wide. As I did this I felt the control start to slip away the outstretched hand had somehow gained something from the stretch. Next was a clenched fist to look at how our skin moves and to view the small changes in the hand. I started to do this then stopped. I placed my hands together and stopped. As everyone else continued I had to try and rebalance myself. I moved my hands around and stopped focusing on them. I'm not sure if anyone noticed, I would think they did but I'm not too worried. I couldn't have carried on with that. As I was about to give joining back in a go the activity stopped.

Most people fed back about what they had noticed of how it made them feel. I wanted to feed back but I just didn't feel able to.

For me this was not a good session, however I remember my first session of iTalk not being great and I really enjoyed that by the end. So here's hoping.


I was offered an amazing opportunity about a month ago to be part of Daily Focal. It is an opportunity I have spoken about twice on the podcast and I think in my blog too... I'm really excited to see what happens and where the project goes. It's great to have been asked, to be part of something from the start. Fingers crossed it all goes well.

The launch day was Wednesday last week and we had almost 1,000 views in the first 24 hours which is awesome! I massive well done to Charile (@pallettBLOGGER) for her idea and leading the team of bloggers. As the days and weeks roll on there will be an increasing amount of content going up to the site, so it is definitely worth a look! Go check out NOW! It/we will be bringing you loads of news, fashion, mental health, entertainment and other popular bits and bobs. Daily Focal is also on facebook, twitter (@DailyFocal) and I'm sure a couple of other social networks.

Do look out for my posts on Daily Focal - I have written blogs, or maybe they could even be considered articles? On changing your phone the mental health way and 'The Male Pill'.

Two and a half,

#TalkMH it has been my pleasure to podcast the last three weeks online chats by the #TalkMH tweeters led by their creator Hannah (@hannahrainey_). I have really enjoyed talking about all the messages that are sent by those involved in the chats. However I think I'll be stepping back this coming week, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I miss out on actually taking part in the chat and interacting with everyone, because when I'm recording its really, near impossible to do anything more than 'like' comments.

Secondly I have found it hard to get someone else to come on the podcast for those chats, and I'm not too keen on just having me talk and / narrate other people's tweets hahaha.

Not to mention the fact I'd like to possibly go back to one podcast a week (plus maybe a Mobile Mike) and get a little more blogging / writing going on. I am considering Having a clearer definition on podcast episodes too; such as Discussions with, Mobile Mike, Megacast. Its a thought.

That being said thanks for sticking with Mike's Open Journal (aka. Me) and if your new please feel free to go back and read old posts or listen to the podcast. It would be great to hear from you to so please add or message me on social media. All my links are on the contacts page of the website (


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