Denai Moore Interview on Compassion, Mental Health And Making The Music That She Wants | Moore & Moore Living

Summer blog feature - denai moore

Summer blog feature - denai moore

Images - Denai Moore 

Denai Moore is one of the most exciting artists that sits within a flourishing British Music Community. Scrolling through the prestigious artists list of independent record label Because Music, you can totally see why she is there. It has been such a joy to watch her growth since her 'Gone' days back 2013. I first came across her when living in Hackney and I knew that she was one of those artists that will be in my playlist for years to come. Denai's compelling sounds have been played on Radio 1, 2, and 6Music. She also has a stunning debut EP, has appeared on Jools Holland, has collaboration with SBTRKT, and the list just goes on. Her recent album 'We Are In Bloom' is a refreshing relationship with the vulnerability of growing up, self-image and exploring who she is on a deeper level. 

We sat together in the sunshine in East London with our green genie juices. We talked openly and authentically, as fellow travellers on this earth, about the importance of establishing and maintaining assertive boundaries in the service self-compassion, mental wellbeing, creativity and meaningful living. At 24yrs old, Denai's self-awareness and willingness to talk about the difficult things in life through her music demonstrates deep courage. She has her feet firmly on the ground and her heart gently open. It is so evident in her commitment to supporting her friends, learning together and sharing as part of  larger music and vegan communities. Here's what she had to say on the day!

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Catherine Moore How is life and what are you feeling grateful for today?

Denai Moore Excited to explore different parts of myself. The biggest thing for me in music, or with anything, [is] the ability to push myself in that field and explore new sounds or anything. Umm, I guess I am feeling grateful about the community of support I have, people I work with and the love I have around me and the people that kind of see me. It's great, I think the  internet is an amazing way to connect with people that wouldn't have been able to connect with in any other way.

 

Denai also runs a modern vegan JAMAICAN food pop-up - follow her @deestable for events  

Denai also runs a modern vegan JAMAICAN food pop-up - follow her @deestable for events  

CM For those who don't know you can you give me a bit of background of the key musical moments that have shaped where you are at today?

DM I'd say the massive pivotal thing for me was seeing Lauren Hill unplugged. It was the first time that I saw someone perform in the most human way possible. She cried on stage and forgot new lyrics and played a random new song that she wanted to play. I quite like it because performances before I had seen it were, not perfect, but so rehearsed and I love that side of performance too but seeing her like that made me realise I can be whoever I wanted to be in this format. 

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CM You are very much shaping your own path in terms of being a genre free artist, you produce, you have a huge input to your visual and how you gig etc. What do you value about having your voice and taking risks?

DM The thing about being creating is self validation, and there is something really amazing to really look at yourself, and making music is the only place where I have really faced myself. I confront what I want to talk about and it is very insular so it's very therapeutic. Being genre free for me was about stepping out of the gaze of other people and really understanding the importance of making the music that I want to make, as opposed to attaching myself to different genres or feeling the pressure to create something that other people may want me to make or hear me as. This is something that I have always done. It's just my way of kind like to dismiss the boxes I tend to be put in. 

IMAGE  @13THSTREETPROMO

IMAGE  @13THSTREETPROMO

CM What drives you to be the best version of yourself?

DM A moment of me being excited and exploring something new. I think it's something that always keeps me inspired. It's always the pursuit of the ideas in your head, it's very child like. It's something you think of and go for it without the means of ambition, maybe, it's the feeling and expression that makes you feel good. So, I think that's what drives me to make music for sure. 

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CM Connected Lifestyle Design is all about being mindfully present so we can live with greater compassion and life purpose on a deeper level. Embracing the universality of human suffering helps us to bring a compassionate resilience and courage to how we creatively take risks and embrace uncertainty of our individual values. We believe everyone has the right to learn how to cultivate and maintain their own connected lifestyle, rather than getting caught up in the 'hamster wheel' of society's values to do more and be more. What's your thoughts on that?

DM I think it is important that people continually self-assess - if that makes sense. I don't know, I think a lot of people are disconnected from the idea because people don't like confrontation but then what is confrontation when it is coming  from yourself? Can you easily pick out the parts of you that you don't like? Lots of that comes up when making music and you have an ongoing conversation with yourself about it, how it feels and about what's going on in your life for example,  mental health, or a mental block. People are really afraid to confront that in themselves and don't talk about it with friends or family and become so insular that they are too afraid to talk about it.  

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CM Loving one's self is a ongoing process as we journey though life. What has helped you deal with your own internal critic and to learn how to bring a loving compassionate approach to your individual quirks and differences?

RM I think it is important to experience the entire human spectrum. There's a strong obsession with happiness that is unrealistic and just no human. It's about understanding that there are many things we are meant to experience and we shouldn't demonise certain parts of ourselves to conform with what is socially acceptable, I guess. I definitely don't have any guilt in cancelling things if I don't feel mentally here for sessions. I think that is so important to remember to protect the head space more that anything. 

So without further a do, here is the lady herself in action in Berlin as part of the COLORS SHOW. I hope you have enjoyed reading this and if you can spare a few seconds to give some comments as feedback that will bring joy to my heart. It also means that we can tailor any suggestions for our future blog features. Thank you in advance and feel free to have a wander around the website and explore other resources at your leisure. Catherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Therapy | Birth Trauma & Treatment | Birth Trauma Awareness Week July 1st-8th

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"No one ever told me it was going to be like this". "I felt completely helpless and out of control". "I felt like no one was taking my views or feelings into account". "Maybe this is what everyone experiences and I am a bad Mum for not coping like everyone else". 

In an age when women are being empowered to be strong and authentic, I wish from the bottom of my heart that individually and as a society we could refrain from using the term "yummy mummy". It creates a status of "motherhood perfection" which is an unhealthy and toxic ideal which breeds amongst social media and baby and toddler groups. I wish women could truly and genuinely support each other more. 

25-34% of all women find some aspect of their birth experience traumatic and it can lead to prolonged distress for everyone involved (Mum, Dad (including same sex couples) and baby). Key themes that are often part of birth trauma are feeling out of control, unheard, helpless or fearing they might die or their baby might die during labour. It can lead women to fear having another pregnancy or avoid/delay getting pregnant again.

When we talk of birth trauma, we mean Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occurs after childbirth. We also include those women who may not meet the clinical criteria for PTSD but who have some of the symptoms of the disorder. Quite often this can be in the background of Postnatal Depression and/or Anxiety and identified at assessment. 

Characteristic features of PTSD include:

  • An experience involving the threat of death or serious injury to an individual or another person close to them (e.g. their baby).

  • A response of intense fear, helplessness or horror to that experience.

  • The persistent re-experiencing of the event by way of recurrent intrusive memories, flashbacks and nightmares. The individual will usually feel distressed, anxious or panicky when exposed to things which remind them of the event.

  • Avoidance of anything that reminds them of the trauma. This can include talking about it, although sometimes women may go through a stage of talking of their traumatic experience a lot so that it obsesses them at times.

  • Bad memories and the need to avoid any reminders of the trauma, will often result in difficulties with sleeping and concentrating. Sufferers may also feel angry, irritable and be hyper vigilant (feel jumpy or on their guard all the time).

It is important to remember that PTSD is a normal response to a traumatic experience. The re-experiencing of the event with flashbacks accompanied by genuine anxiety and fear are beyond the sufferer's control. They are the mind's way of trying to make sense of an extremely scary experience and are not a sign individual 'weakness' or inability to cope.

There are risk factors for Post Natal PTSD which include a mix of objective (e.g. the type of delivery) and subjective (e.g. feelings of loss of control) factors. They include:

  • Lengthy labour or short and very painful labour

  • Induction

  • Poor pain relief

  • Feelings of loss of control

  • High levels of medical intervention

  • Traumatic or emergency deliveries, e.g. emergency caesarean section

  • Impersonal treatment or problems with the staff attitudes

  • Not being listened to

  • Lack of information or explanation

  • Lack of privacy and dignity

  • Fear for baby's safety

  • Stillbirth

  • Birth of a damaged baby (a disability resulting from birth trauma)

  • Baby’s stay in SCBU/NICU

  • Poor postnatal care

  • Previous trauma (for example, in childhood, with a previous birth or domestic violence)

In addition, many women who do not have PTSD suffer from some of the symptoms of PTSD after undergoing difficult birth experiences and this can cause them genuine and long-lasting distress. If you or someone you know is suffering from any of these symptoms do tell them help is available.

Treatment: I offer both Trauma Focused CBT and EMDR which are the NICE Guidelines recommended treatments and are really effective. Compassion is an integral part of treatment and helping clients to develop a compassionate mind and heart towards themselves and the circumstances they find themselves experiencing. 

A typical course of treatment ranges between 6-12 sessions. The initial phase is all about learning how to understand what is happening and bring a compassionate awareness to it. The middle is about processing and updating unhelpful thought or belief patterns linked to the experience. And the third is about enhancing inner qualities of compassion as part of resilience for the future and parental life. Relapse prevention may include revisiting the place of birth, speaking to staff involved or attending a hospital lead reflection group. 

As part of my perinatal work, I will often involve partners. Father's access treatment too where the adjustment to change in role and increase in responsibility activates significant distress. Therapy considers the wider context and is here to help! 

"Just wanted to say thank you for all your help so far, I know it’s your job, but really couldn’t have chosen a better therapist to reprogram my mind and help me become a more tolerant, relaxed person. For the first time at aged 29 I feel like I’m really starting to enjoy my life!

Your emphasis on kindness, compassion, mindfulness and self care has been particularly key for me in this, as combined with the CBT approach has been a perfect combination and I don’t think either would’ve worked without the other. In a way (at the moment) I’m feeling quite grateful for the way the birth panned out and that it’s allowed us to have this time to bond when he’s more aware of his surroundings rather than when he was born and didn’t really know what was going on!" - Juliet

Recommended Resources:

 https://www.makebirthbetter.org/about

http://www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk/

Instagram: @birthbetter @mumologist @drrebeccamoore @parenthoodinmind

 

 

 

 

 

Therapy | OCD Awareness Week: Our client's top 5 tips for reclaiming your life

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OCD Awareness Week: Our client's top 5 tips for reclaiming your life

Moore & Moore Living

 

We really value our clients understanding and process awareness of reclaiming their life from psychological or emotional distress. See some awesome tips kindly shared ( thank you :)) by one of our client's on how they did it. 

 

1 Know Your Disorder

OCD can be a bewildering and overwhelming problem. Experts in the field and sufferers who have recovered are an excellent source for understanding your condition. Books, podcasts and blogs are all available to help you get a handle on what’s been going on and what to do about it.

2 Believe Recovery Is Possible

Take from the examples of these lived experience that recovery is possible and you have the capacity within you for positive change.

3 Have Faith In Your Therapist

If you feel you need help in this endeavour do your research and find a therapist you can work with. It is important to pick the right therapist and the right therapy and then put your faith in their ability to guide and help you in your task. Their experience helping others just like you should encourage and enable you to make the changes required to get better.

4 Have Faith In Yourself

Have faith in your ability to do the work necessary and in your ability to cope and thrive doing what is asked of you. If you struggle to have faith in yourself then practice having an open mind. 

5 Do Not Hesitate

Putting off therapy and continuing to do what your OCD demands means more discomfort, doubt and behavioural responses in the form of your compulsions. These just perpetuate the vicious cycle of OCD. You may have lost many weeks, months or years to the disorder and you deserve a life without OCD.