Embracing the word of work?

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then this is destined to become my most popular post, although there’s always the possibility that you’ve moved on because I’ve not been around for some considerable time and it is time, as the saying has it, which will tell.

Oh and trust me with the title. I know what I mean. Read on.

As with most events there have been reasons, some of them good, some of them not so good. It boils down to this: I got busy. Far busier than I had anticipated, so that by the time I thought about laying my next diatribe out in front of you, it was too late in the day. Habit took over from habit and I lost momentum.

Apologies, one and all.

On the other hand… I have been much busier than I had anticipated! Things seem to have come together this year so that I now find myself having to set aside time when I don’t work, rather than being content to let work happen in its own time. It’s lead to some interesting revelations.

One my initial tenets when I opted to accept redundancy and forge my own path was not to work for a living, rather I would do certain things with my life, some of which gave financial reward, others which gave other rewards. This was fine whilst I was under utilised. The problems came with increasing numbers of clients seeking therapy. I found that I was no longer getting time to rebalance. Whilst I’ve been reasonably skilful in keeping myself separated from clients’ concerns, I have nevertheless discovered that old joy (not) of an overactive nighttime mind.

In the past this familiar beast has been active in times of stress and anxiety, one of those work-related side-effects I had hoped to put firmly behind me with my new way of relating to the provision of income. I absolutely was not expecting insomnia to turn up when I was neither stressed nor anxious.

But turn up it did.

Over the last few weeks, I have been increasingly prone to waking up with my mind buzzing quietly over inconsequential nonsenses. I know well enough what the stresses and strains of employed sales management can bring and this wasn’t it. This was a new-fond version of lying-awakeness and I found myself at a bit of a loss.

It is especially odd and slightly galling because I’ve been successfully helping a number of individuals overcome their own insomnias whilst gradually succumbing to my own. Weird and confusing? It is to my befuddled senses, which even managed to consider for a short period whether I was becoming successful in this particular therapy by transferring the clients’ various insomnias into my own head and living it for them.

There seems to be a mismatch somewhere. An imbalance.

And then a thought occurred. I have many a client who want to achieve a particular goal but keep sabotaging themselves. Oftentimes with this there are underlying stresses and anxieties, patterns of behaviour learned long ago and thrown up on auto-pilot by the ever watchful unconscious mind. Standard therapy fare. Familiar territory.

Occasionally, though, this is not the case.

Occasionally, there is minimal stress or anxiety. Behaviour patterns are under conscious control. No comfort eating, no outburst of anger or embarrassment, no demons shouting to be heard over the metaphorical chocolate and slices of toast. Just behaviour which the client would like to guide elsewhere. There is,  as far as you can tell, nothing preventing the habit from breaking, it’s just that the toast tastes nice and the client likes eating the way that they do. Yet they genuinely want to be slimmer/calmer/happier/more outgoing.

Or so they think. Which is a clue, to those with an AD sensitive outlook.

It is very difficult to uncover your own deeply held beliefs. It’s akin to opening the box with the key that’s locked safely inside so no-one can open the box without permission. Including you. There are techniques which can help, deriving those beliefs from other sources, behaviours and feelings.

Occasionally you get to x-ray the box & make a copy of the key when no-one’s looking. When it works, it’s a real Houdini moment.

In my experience, such clients as these have been trying to achieve the wrong goal or have been trying to achieve the right goal for entirely the wrong reason. Trying to become slimmer and fit into clothes you used to be able to wear won’t work if what you really want is a future you that is healthy and fit and you don’t really care one jot what size or shape you are.

Getting yourself properly aligned can work miracles.

Which is where my sights are currently set. I’ve spent nearly three years trying to avoid work: (the word not the task).

I’ve been attempting to forge a lifestyle which involves doing some things that provide income and doing other things that don’t. A lifestyle where both carry equal validity in the scheme of, well, things.

I’ve been living in dream world. (Well, it is time Morpheus made another appearance and as I’ve been exchanging comments with someone who’s considering going a Quest, (Hi again, Sarah!), he’s fresh on my mind once more).

I find that avoiding work carries pitfalls. Work, it turns out, is not a dirty word. By avoiding ‘work’ I’ve also been avoiding the necessity of allowing myself the opportunity to recuperate from the intense interactions that occur with clients. Therapy is hard work and this needs to be acknowledged. If I don’t, the next stage on from casual insomnia beckons and to be honest, I don’t want to go there again.

So I’ve reinstated time-off. Days where I don’t ‘work’. I’m gently increasing the import of exercise. I may even practice what I preach and get some refuelling therapy as a part of routine maintenance, so to speak. I also need some time to let my mind assimilate and address all that I’ve experienced during the day. I’m mindful of the benefits of meditation so might even instigate some routine quiet time.

I did so tonight, for the first time in a while.

And for the first time in a while…

…I’m back.

hypnosis mp3

No more work…
© Tony Burkinshaw 2014


Related Links to interesting things…

Cognitive Hypnotherapy & Quest

Tony Burkinshaw Cognitive Hypnotherapy

 A damn fine meditation mp3…

7 thoughts on “Embracing the word of work?

  1. I love your honesty. You really give us the keys to what may be going on inside our minds. I’m so happy you are giving yourself time to rest and exercise. Glad you were also able to meditate for the first time in a while. I hope also that there will be no more bouts of insomnia. Many blessings to you kind soul, helper to many.

  2. Wonderful post Tony – plainspoken and interesting because generally relevant. Taking time off is important. Good you’re back. 🙂 Heila

      • I didn’t really go away either…. we are just so busy struggling to survive… My son’s schizo-OCD has aggravated seriously again and besides IPEC therapy he is not willing to hear of any other treatment. They tried CBT on him when he was hospitalized but he says that was very cruel and he doesn’t want to hear of it… Re NLP, I read in several sources that there is no proof for it’s efficiency. Hypnosis – too risky for someone with a tendency to psychosis….
        Maybe I can find some valuable advice on your website – could you send me the link again please.
        (Pls apologize if I am writing in an incoherent manner… I took Clonex to calm down…am going to have a nap now.)
        Thanks and best regards,

  3. Hi Heila,

    sorry it’s taken so long to come back to you. You find yourself in a difficult place, it seems. It is hard to want to help, especially when there is only a limited amount that you are able to do or that he is willing to accept.
    You are right about hypnosis – psychosis is a contra-indicator.
    NLP has both enthusiastic fans and dedicated detractors. There is evidence both for and against its theories but it does have an effectiveness. A note of caution with NLP; much of what it is based on is derived from Milton Ericsson and other talented hypnotherapists. This means that some of the techniques are hypnotic in nature, (same contra-indications)
    I don’t know much about IPEC although the little I’ve read would indicate it might be useful and acceptable to him. There are some others which may help too and have similar ‘feels’ to IPEC.
    There is EFT (Emotional Freedom technique) also known as Tapping, (this can be good when done well but is often used as a sticking plaster self-help technique). Perhaps also look into EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Re-intigration). You can research these on line. I use both in my practice.
    There may be practitioners near you who you could speak to.

    Otherwise, there is the need to look after yourself. There are some 10 minute mp3s on my website which you might be interested in to help you de-stress and recharge a little. These are Deep Relaxation (free) and there are two Mindfulness mp3s. They just might help you. [I would suggest coming to see me for Cognitive Hypnotherapy but I fear geography is against us!]

    My website is tonyburkinshaw.co.uk Take a look around if you’d like.

    Please keep in touch, ask anything you want to and I wish you and your son all the very best

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