Perhaps it’s time for a challenge. It seems as though redundancy, a change of career and loved ones with serious illness aren’t challenging enough. Mind you, the latest research shows that a challenge response to stress is way healthier than traditional fight or flight. Maybe I’m on to something? So with plunge taken, leaping leapt and forward steps behind me I’ve decided to move on to Harley and his eponymous Street. Really. Harley Street. As New Year Resolutions go, this one definitely counts as a challenge…
…read more here
Some stories have to be shared, no matter how scared it makes you feel.
I’m literally shaking at the thought of posting this, firstly because I’m unsure of the reaction I’ll get and secondly because it’s so important to me to raise awareness for this disease that I have suffered from for the past 4 years.
To read the rest of Rachael’s story: follow this link…
Feel the fear and say it anyway.
This is Rachael’s story.
My daughter’s story.
I’ve been fighting a cold for 3 days and now that it’s at its peak, the central-heating’s packed up. Typical.
According to theory, this is an opportunity.
Difficulties are easy to find. My immediate challenge? I have to keep away from my hospitalised daughter. Heavily immunosuppressed, a cold ridden parent does not a welcome visitor make. Tough but there you are. Gill’s having to take it all on. Again.
What’s love got to do with it? Every damn thing.
Anyway in the work/cold balance of the last few days, I decided to let the slight-edge habits drift. And to keep doubling them up so that I would be on back track as soon as practicable.
It could have been the start of a long-term slide but in accepting it as my decision, the responsibility stays firmly in my own backyard and I keep control.
As it turns out, a bad cold (trust me, it’s pretty nasty) is an opportunity to practice. It provides essential feedback. An opportunity to find out whether I’m at least a little serious about my intention to be in charge of my own fate.
To accept the risk that I might fail despite my best efforts.
To take the risk that I might succeed even though I don’t know what success looks like yet.
And the upshot of all this?
Well, to paraphrase a good book:
Feel the Sneeze…
And do it anyway.
…and the plumber turned up in good order. We have heat.
I love it when new learnings lend themselves to practical issues. (Note the nominalisation, a concept my spell check still struggles with).
Complex therapy took place today.
Not the event itself, rather the immense internal barriers to a meaningful reframe. So with new found skills in hand, a neat segway into gestalt flowed seamlessly into words being spoken and forgiveness being freely offered and accepted.
It was really interesting to watch the therapy unfold as it followed apparently carefully planned off-the-cuff statements linking directly into the brains unconscious algorithms. When the time for resolution, the barriers simply had no option but to collapse and allow the reframe in.
Sunshine and light.
Calm where there used to be broken chaos and hate.
I love it when a plan comes together.
And it wasn’t even my plan?
Time to look forwards.
There’s a new Quest course on its way and in the way of Quest, graduates assist the new students. It’s too good an opportunity to miss. The assistants on my course were fantastic and I’m still in touch with most of them. They were an important part of the experience.
Time to pass on what I’ve learned.
It’s also time to refresh what I thought I’d picked up originally because as these things go, you generally miss things first time around. It’s why I like watching films more than once. Subsequent viewings are when you pick up the intricacies of the complex plot. Or the finesse in the special effects.
So even though I’m now the proud possessor of a certificate that proclaims me to be a master wizard, there’s always more to learn.
Time for new beginnings.
Time for fun.
If you’ve just read Chaos Kindness & Satchmo, you’ll know why you’re here.
If not, take a look back. Context is everything… Jump Back
In keeping with our lyrical back-referencing, take ‘Fly me to the Moon’.
So if we were going to take up this challenge, how far is the Moon? Well for a start it’s not a constant distance. The average is 384,400 kilometers but it ranges from 363,104 km to 405,696 km and is actually drifting away from us at a rate 3.8 cm a year. [Now here’s a curious fact. In order to find this out, the drifting that is, we’ve known how far away the moon is since 200 BC, they fitted some tiny reflectors on the Moon’s surface and bounce laser-light off them. Guess how big the reflectors are? 3.8 cm. Coincidence? I think not…]
Anyway, lunar drifting aside, why are we looking at this? Well, you know that flimsy cheap and nasty printer paper you sometimes buy? The one that’s about 75 gsm and only just thick enough to use without ripping? It’s flimsy because it’s only a tenth of a millimeter thick.
Imagine a sheet of this paper so long that you could just keep folding it in half and then over in half again, for as many times as you wanted to. How many times would you need to fold it in half for it to become as thick as the distance from the earth to the Moon? A million? A billion? No.
Honestly. Check it. (See below *)
It turns out that not only is 42 the answer to the ultimate question and all that Hitchhikers Guide malarkey, it’s how close the Moon is. The Moon is only 42 folds of thin paper away. That’s the power of doubling. Double it. Double it again.
Doubling 42 times turns a tenth of a millimeter into space travel.
Origami Space Travel:
- 75 gsm paper is a tenth of a millimeter thick.
- A tenth of a millimeter is 0.1mm = 0.01 cm = 0.0001 m = 0.0000001 km
- The Moon is 409,696km from earth at it’s furthest away.
- Fold the paper in half. It is now 0.0000002 km thick
- …and again = 0.0000004 km; …again = 0.0000008 km and so on
- Try it on your calculator. It’s easier than real paper.
- Type in 0.0000001 x 2 and press equals. Then press x 2 and equals again. Each time it calculates the thickness after one more fold. Do this 42 times.
- You end up at 439,804.65 kilometers.
- Further than the Moon.
Origami Space Travel.
This could be good. Not only will you get the eponymous mash up triple bill, you’ll be thrown into the phenomenon of Origami Space Travel. Intrigued? Read on…
As you know, I write the random Acts of Kindness column for Perception, the Cognitive Hypnotherapy ezine and this particular missive was fun. I trust you’ll enjoy the ride.
Let’s kick off with a cliché.
When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.
Clichés have cropped up more than once in this section and for good reason. Clichés become clichés because they’re phrases that somehow repeatedly best capture the moment and it’s rather pleasing to find out just how much this seems to be true out there in the land of reciprocating kindnesses and ever widening smiles.
This particular cliché comes from the classic song, ‘When You’re Smiling, (The Whole World Smiles With You)’. Apparently we have that renowned trio of songwriters Clay, Fisher & Goodwin to thank for penning this great piece of musicality. Of course without Louis Armstrong’s unique voice making it famous we may never have heard of it. He even managed to keep in line with our cliché theme because it was so good he did it twice. But then of course, as all Armstrong fans will know he went and recorded it again in 1959, so actually it was so good he did it thrice.
Whatever the case, this started me thinking and lead my tangential creativity to wander, (and it’s good to wonder, as all you Cog-Hyppies know). Just to make sure that this was absolutely going to happen, Editor Tina checked in and nudged me in the direction of Butterfly Effects and Chaos Theory.
So here we go: Chaos, Kindness and Satchmo. I did warn you…”
You can read the full article on page 14 of the following link: Perception ezine
Just in case you’re interested, you can jump straight to Origami Space Travel here: Click to Jump!
I think there may be a need to re-assert some control. The last time I had a full week off, an entire week with no work, was September last year. I checked. That surprised me.
Now don’t get me wrong, several of the intervening weeks were by no means full and there have been plenty of days which have been entirely empty; some planned, some not. But I think the point is that if I am living and earning the way that I do in order to reap the rewards of partial working, then perhaps my work-life balance isn’t.
There’s too much randomness in the sections that ought to provide that balance and now that there are more consistencies in the success that’s bringing home the bacon, perhaps there needs to be a more deliberate part of my life which isn’t out there constantly hunting slices of cured ungulate, metaphorically speaking.
Perhaps my mind is wandering over these issues because today is the end of my third year of running my life as a business, encompassing therapy, learning and training. Another vaguely inspiring thought is that this phase represents 10% of my entire working life. That surprised me too. In a good way.
I’m also about to add Mind Coaching to my skill set and I’m looking forward to it immensely. It should help to embed the three disciplines I currently embrace and weld them together into a more or less cohesive whole. Onwards and ever upwards, perhaps.
I find myself looking for a counterbalance and so am currently embracing more mindfulness in my daily routines. It appears to be paying off, although I’m still too close to it to be able to properly articulate how. Suffice it to say that sleep (which was generally good, though occasionally disturbed at peak workflow) is now a calmer and smoother pastime. I’m also more able to insert myself in that tiny sliver of time that exists between stimulus and response. Life is becoming a smoother and calmer pastime too. Mostly this was successfully addressed as part of my transition from full time financial services professional to my part time therapeutic self. Somehow though, I lost the focus on the slice of time which is the only bit that’s real. The Here and the Now. (Notice how I deftly avoided having to mention the FatBoy again)
So here I am.
Given that I intend to go and collect some Elder Flowers to convert into wine for later this year, I may just have to pause and leave you to ponder on what might be around the corner. I feel that there are some perspectives about to shift. The paradigms will just have to take their chances.
Time, subject of many such chance or deliberate distortion, is finding that I’ve become less its slave and more its coach, so there’s always the possibility of more being done in less which is helpful if you’re trying to get the balance restored. On the subject of more to do, the website is up for a revamp over the next few months and I may even have to review the how and the why of downloads. They are still being bought but I can’t help wondering how to encourage more people to use them. Those that do, really seem to find benefit. I just haven’t found the way to expand. Yet.
Technology could well have more of a part to play and I definitely get the feeling that Skype and Facetime have more ability to expand the quest for well-being than they are letting on to me at present.
Anyway, whether these changes that may or may not happen actually do or don’t, there’s an important job to be done the end result of which means that there’s a future me out there toasting your health and well-being with an aromatic semi-sweet swirling around a glass. It might or might not be Christmas. The vagaries of sugar and yeast lend an imprecise end to my alcohol based venture but time dictates that the start is pretty imminent, especially due to the inclement weather. So, being ever more mindful, it’s time to begin.
And there’s no time like the present.
Every now and then, you feel a sense of pride and wonder.
My daughter, Rachael, has just released her first EP ‘Paper Drum’. I know I’m biased but it is pretty damn good.
I don’t usually use this blog to promote music but there’s a nepotistic streak in us all, so I know you’ll forgive me; especially once you’ve listened. I’d love to know what you think of it & so would she.
Check out her promotional video below
The EP is available on iTunes or to stream on Spotify.
…I can’t stop smiling…
Click here to watch the promotional video: Devil Shoes Live
Click here to listen to Paper Drum on Spotify
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…
Related Links to interesting things…