The Goon Sax – Going Through The Emotions

1 month ago   |   Words: Rebecca Durband

The Goon Sax are a trio from Brisbane whose brand of awkwardly transcendent guitar pop recalls early Talking Heads, The Moldy Peaches and Aussy jangle pop masters The Go-Betweens. We caught up with singer Louis to discuss living with OCD,

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

I am listening to Deceit, the second This Heat record a lot. I’d always liked the first one but hadn’t given the second a go until my friend put it on at her house, and I liked it even more than the first record. I’ve also been listening to the 3 eps compilation by Mystic Inane. I’ve been reading the Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis, it’s a pretty entertaining read. Also Gaseneta Wasteland by Osato Toshiharu. I am watching Neon Genesis Evangelion and Outer Limits at the moment. Classics I guess.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

I think one of the hardest things has probably been trying to overcome OCD which I have had all my life. But I have come up with some cheats like avoiding all repetitive patterns in my life so that I don’t get obsessed with them being in certain way. Things like alternating which shoe I put on first and things like that. It’s been much harder with things like writing songs though, because I spend virtually all my time doing it. Just obsessing over little bits, and writing lyrics 15 or 20 times, and then almost always being unable to actually accept what I have done which has made me feel like I am wasting my life all the time because I throw almost everything away. A good way to deal with this has been showing songs to people I really trust I guess, Riley and James are alright, and then they force me to play them even though I can’t accept them myself. I’ve also been trying to just force myself to stop and realise that songs are a sum of a lot of parts and some of the little bits I obsess over won’t drag the song over the line of good and bad.

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

It’s nice to have lots to do. Maybe swimming and having a really good sleep afterwards. Not having to worry about how things will happen or come to together, seamless transitions and plans working out. Sleeping in the car on an unavoidable trip is probably the ultimate action for this.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Food and Water those are pretty important and I am lucky to never have had to really worry too much about how I could access them.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

Living without too much thought to things, just doing stuff and moving on and feeling like I can exist properly within time without feeling like I am holding my head out a car window. It’s kind of hard to think about because I don’t think it’s something I have ever really experienced, so to me it’s just a long list of things that wouldn’t be anymore rather than an idea of what ‘ace mental health’ would actually feel like. I guess my goal is to lose a sense of self, in the way of seeing no distinction between myself and anything else. I accept this as a concept and know it to be true, but it’s something else to see the achievements and actions of all forms of life in equal measure and with equal care to your own because you can’t feel the difference. I hate competition and jealousy and would love to completely eradicate those from my mind. There are a lot of things I think we accept as concepts but don’t feel with 100% certainty all the time although we think we do because we agree with the idea.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

I could definitely eat much healthier than I do. I mainly just eat sandwiches but I do put greens on them?

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

No definitely not. I walk a lot seeing as I don’t drive, I probably end up walking several kilometres every day but it’s not really planned and I don’t keep track of it really. Tracking your steps on google maps kind of freaks me out, I know they’re doing it anyway. Swimming in summer is really good too, there’s a big reservoir surrounded by bush right near where I live so I go there quite a but when it’s warm.

Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?

Yeah definitely, I grew up in a street with lots of kids my age so I was doing that everyday really. I remember playing kick the can. That comes up in the Twilight Zone I was watching the other day. I didn’t realise that it was a widely spread game outside of my friends. Someone probably convinced me they made it up

What three songs lift your spirits?

Rama Rama by Alice Coltrane is a really good one, it’s the first track of her divine songs album which I listen to before going to sleep. It’s so good that being the first song it’s usually the only one I’lll hear before I’m off. Fire of the Mind by Coil also really really lifts my spirits, it kind of confronts everything in a way that is sad but makes you feel really alright. Third one, um um um maybe maybe Total Control by The Motels or Original Sin by INXS, those are great pop songs that get me bouncin’, probably not completely happy but hopeful in some way.

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

“Do unto others as you would have other do unto you,” can you beat it? Also this is not a self help book or a very interesting answer but the myth of Sisyphus changed my life in a really positive way when I needed it back in high school. Sorry I am giving such serious and not very funny answers but mental health is really important and something I struggle with and care about a lot, and I think sharing in a constructive manner (which I hope this is) is helpful for everyone.

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

Focus on the split second between breathing out and breathing back in where your body’s really still and you’re not really moving at all.

Dr Sheri Jacobson – Going Through The Emotions

3 weeks ago   |   Words: Jack Gough

Hailing from Canada, Dr Sheri Jacobsen is a retired senior therapist turned founder of innovative online therapy start up Harley Therapy Platform. The Mary Berry of Therapy if you like. Dr Sheri’s new platform makes getting counselling accessible and straightforward, either online via Skype, in person or by phone. Sheri believes therapy can help anyone to transform their lives, no matter who they are or how big a problem may seem. Read on as we uncover Sheri’s thoughts on self-care, her idea of a perfect day and her soft spot for rap music. 

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

I am engrossed in a podcast series called ‘How I Built This’ where the excellent interviewer Guy Raz uncovers the start up stories of the likes of Instagram, Stripe, Lululemon and Chipotle. I love learning from different industries. By complete contrast I also love listening to rap music – my shadow side is drawn to artists like Cardi B and the recently deceased Xxxtencion. I’ve got five books on the go – I pick up whichever one suits my mood. Currently ‘The New Codependency’ by Melody Beattie is my most read – a great book for people pleasers! I rarely watch TV but have recently reignited my love of foreign films and saw a macabre one lately at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (Pall Mall, London) called ‘Under the Trees’.

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

My biggest challenge is one that is ongoing – self-care. As a therapist seeing clients all week alongside being a business owner sacrificing everything to work, it was easy to overlook my wellbeing. Although people pleasing is a trademark in the helping professions it meant that I put myself last often and perpetuated low self-esteem. Tending to my physical and mental wellbeing was critical in surmounting this challenge. As is setting boundaries and learning to say no to incoming offers and invitations. I’ve made strides but it is still a work in progress.

What have you learned about yourself over the past five or so years?

That my appetite for learning and growth is larger than I thought. That I need to balance this with the reality of there only being 24 hours in a day. That I need to be selective in how and with whom I spend my time. And that if I don’t attend to my health then one of my psychological or psychosomatic issues will surface – anxiety, skin rashes or both (as I believe they are interlinked).

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

A perfect day to me is more or less how my current days unfold. Do the school run, walk or rollerblade in Hyde Park, have our daily catch up conference call (our fabulous team work remotely), make other calls, have two or three work meetings over a a vegan lunch or dinner, put my daughter to bed and do a bunch more work until as late as I can stretch it (sometimes ignoring that sleep is needed for good health…)

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

For the opportunity to make a difference to the world I came into. It’s the most incredible feeling to be able to craft something with talented people where collectively we can help thousands, and in time, millions of people.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

Seeing my therapist weekly, going to group therapy as often as possible, having at least one self-help book on the go and topping up with therapy retreats.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

I have a plant based diet primarily. I went off red meat at eight years old after a bad incident with a burger! I avoid dairy for lactose intolerance, environmental and moral reasons. I do sneak in fish though (still debating/discovering if fish have feelings…).

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

I’m fairly structured with exercise so there is no excuse for me to duck out. I go to the gym twice a week for weight training, boxing and treadmill sprints. I go on organised rollerblading skates from Hyde Park two to three times a week, weather dependent. Plus I walk (and take the stairs!) wherever I can.

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

I’ve read David Burn’s ‘Feeling Good’ over a dozen times and recommended it to countless clients. It covers anxiety and depression as well as anger management. It’s an old book now with a dated section on medication but is a classic in my eyes.

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

Identify what you are feeling and how your body is reacting. Notice the thoughts that accompany it and what negative behaviours you are considering (binge eating, drinking, avoiding people). Dig into your tool kit and pull out something that you know from experience works for you. This could be anything from doing a gratitude exercise, deep breathing, mindfulness, self compassion, time in nature, to watching a comedy or calling a friend (me!).

https://harleytherapy.com/

Clean Cut Kid – Going Through The Emotions

4 weeks ago   |   Words: Sue Bennett

Clean Cut Kid is a love story. A Liverpudlian blind date and the beginning of a band, a marriage, and a record deal. Frontman Mike met Evelyn Halls and wrote a song for her the second time they ever went out. Polydor signed them on their second gig.

If you’ve ever seen Clean Cut Kid live you’ll know that the power pop energy they charge you with makes it impossible not to smile, to dance and to feel as hopeful as you would during the end credits of an 80s coming of age movie. They are a full shot of Vitamin C right in your auditory cortices.

The band are currently flirting with their fans via social media; teasing the release of their second album. On the cusp of our second sonic date with Clean Cut Kid, we caught up with their leading lady Evelyn Halls to talk about faith, finding your soulmate and the practical benefits of cognitive behaviour therapy for Going Through The Emotions…

What are you working on at the moment?

We’ve just finished our second record, so we’re working on the plan for it’s release plus all the artwork and promo materials. We’re also getting ready for our tour in November!

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

I had what I can only describe as a breakdown in my early 20s. My Dad drove across the country to get me and took me home. I was touring with another artist then, and Mike sorted out all of the logistics of finding a replacement to stand in for me, and cancelled all my things I had coming up.

I basically had to hand over the reigns of my life to Mike and my family coz I just couldn’t handle anything- even what to wear each day or what to eat. I gradually worked my way through stuff at home with my parents, got in to see a GP, reluctantly (but thankfully) agreed to go on medication and got into therapy. I also found my faith again which has been an integral part of who I am ever since. It’s important to be true to who you are, recognise when you’re losing a part of yourself and do something about it!

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

No phones. Doing something creative and seeing my family and closest friends with our mini Yorkie Bea. She’s teeny and the nicest gal ever.

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

I’m reading a book called The Happiness Project. I’m watching The Job Lot on Netflix and listening to mostly podcasts. True crime/true life and anything to do with psychology are my faves.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

That I am alive and have met my soulmate. We get to do our dream job together and we both have the most inspirational and selfless family. We really are blessed and I have to remind myself of that a lot.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

Being able to trust my own mind and know I’m operating with rational thought.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

I’m not doing too well on this one at the moment coz we’ve just bought a flat and the renovating hell we’re currently in means I’ve been eating takeaways nearly every night whilst the kitchens out of use!

When I’m in the zone and making better decisions I normally try and eat loads of fruit, I love vegetables and I cook most things from scratch so I can control how much sugar/salt is going in. Those are the things that catch people out when you buy ‘already made’ stuff.

Food really affects my mood, I really try not to eat too much sugar coz I don’t like the highs and dips you get. Again, not doing too well on that one either at the moment haha.

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

I have problems with my back from an injury so I have to try and stretch every day and I do Pilates. I’m gonna start running again and I go climbing as often as I can.

Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?

Yep, I remember those days. They were so good- I loved primary school. I remember when I was about 8 I formed my first band. I used to write the songs at home after school and come in and show my band the next day and we’d make up dance routines then perform them to anyone who’d watch. People probably thought we were the most annoying little tits but I loved it!!

What three songs lift your spirits?

Second Hand News- Fleetwood Mac

Loudspeaker- MUNA

Motion Sickness- Phoebe Bridges

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

The Bible. It has every answer to every question I’ve ever needed! And that’s coming from someone who has a strange mind and asks some of the weirdest questions. Also, it’s like studying anything- the more you read and the deeper you get, the more it makes sense.

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

I tell them to not feel bad for feeling those things and that their feelings are legitimate and real. If I think it’s appropriate I might go over some of the stuff I learnt when having CBT- in particular the thought, behaviour, feeling loop. Then I try and give advice on practical things (have they eaten, have they slept, are they dehydrated, do they need to write everything down etc). Sometimes though, I just make sure I listen- sometimes people just wanna unload and might not have the headspace at the time to take on any advice.

Clean Cut Kid are back on tour in November 2018

 

Folly Rae – Going Through The Emotions

1 month ago   |   Words: Rebecca Durband

Hampstead born singer Folly Rae received over two million streams for her single ‘U’ leading to a headline slot the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury Festival last year. We caught up with her to chat about practicing self love, Kate Bush and building self belief in the face of tough times. 

What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?

I’m reading Code Red by Lisa Lister and The Art Of Happiness by Dalai Lama and Howard C.Cutler. I haven’t watched my TV recently but I am obsessed with Queer Eye!

What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?

I’ve had a great upbringing and there have been times I’ve had zero money and was living out of a car, which was tough! But, I found the biggest challenge was overcoming the limitations I set in my own mind, building that self belief so no matter what other people do or say, this is my journey and I am ready to rock it! No matter what challenges come my way…

What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?

If I could make up a perfect day, it would be having a studio over looking the beach, making amazing music! Then, have a swim in the sea with the sun shining. Then a big dinner with all of my friends whilst watching the sunset, that sounds pretty perfect to me.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I feel grateful for waking up with a roof over my head and being able to make music everyday.

Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”

…feeling good from the inside out, overdoing the self-love and being able to let go of the things that don’t bring me happiness.

What do you eat to stay healthy?

I make fresh juices in the mornings and have lemon & water. I love fruit and veg so my meals mainly consist of that. Also, gotta have some dark chocolate though, thats healthy right?

Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?

I do. I’ve got to be organised otherwise I wouldn’t work out! I wake up, down a coffee and go to the gym that’s just round the corner from me! I rotate my workouts depending on the day but I never stay at the gym for longer than an hour! I also use a yoga app if I can’t get to the gym and need some me time!

Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?

One of my favourite memories is of when I was about 13. I had back to back dance classes on a Wednesday night… me and my best fried would sneak out, leap and dance our way to the shop down the road and get some sweets and dance our way back. I remember being so happy and so carefree, leaping past the cars and not even caring what anyone thought.

What three songs lift your spirits?

Cloudbusting by Kate Bush, Bathwater by Weslee, Redbone by Childish Gambino.

What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?

One of my favourite quotes ‘Feel it, the thing you don’t want to feel, feel it and be free’

What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?

To stop, take a moment and breathe. If there is something we can do in that moment to sort the situation out, then I help to do it. If there’s nothing we can do, I try to be a good listener, give them a cuddle and take their mind off of it.

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