I refuse to be grateful…

For some reason, society expects that we learn from hardship. That we grow in some deep and meaningful way.

And when have learned and grown, we are expected to make a virtue of our growth and add to the pressure on everyone else to do the same. Maybe it’s society’s way of feeling better about other people’s suffering. In some magical way, if it’s making them a better person then it must be OK. We can look the other way until the butterfly emerges.

But if you don’t learn and grow or if your own journey hasn’t let you achieve it yet, you’re supposed to keep your head down. Keep quiet. Don’t rock the mythical boat.

All this does is add to the hardship. Not only are you going through a massively tough time, you’re supposed to be undergoing a deep and meaningful transformation leading to peace and enlightenment or some such. And if you’re not, then you begin to feel it must be your own fault for not making the most of the opportunity. Opportunity? I think not.

For those who have grown, who have achieved remarkable things despite and in many cases because of their personal hardship, very well done indeed. I’m very happy for you. Genuinely.

Sometimes though, what is really needed is compassion and understanding. An acceptance that not everyone can excel. Just think about it, if everyone did excel, then it wouldn’t be excelling would it? It would be ordinary.

Sometimes, just dealing with it and struggling to hold yourself together is all you can do.

Katherine finds herself in just such a position. Read her blog. You’ll see what I mean.

Sometimes, it’s important to let the world know that what it expects isn’t fair.

And maybe just be there in case you can help.

Click here to read Katherine’s blog

It isn't easy© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

It isn’t easy
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Time to change lanes…

I’m now fully in transition mode although I can’t yet tell if this is metamorphosis or hemimetaboly. For those lacking an entomological education, that’s the difference between a full blown change of body type, (caterpillar to butterfly), and a final maturity phase, (dragonfly nymph to dragonfly). Strangely, for those that know me and suspect that a final maturity is way beyond me, I favour the hemimetabolism route combining my alter ego’s talents with my newly won skills and knowledge as a qualified Cognitive Hypnotherapist. Well, qualified in every sense other than actually having the certificate – that’s January’s welcome to 2013.

I know too much to let go completely and the Yorkshireman in me recognises that the ability to earn should never be put down lightly. Much as I’d like to walk away from the highly regulated world of Financial Services at some point, experience and knowledge together with a knack of cutting through the rubbish to get to the core issue places me firmly in the mix for reasonably well rewarded short term contracting. That world is moving on again next year as the latest layer of regulatory influence comes into effect and most of the upgrading of knowledge and qualification beds in. Of course this means that the numbers who require further learnings, tuition and assessment diminish rapidly and a new emphasis is sought by those who provide that ubiquitous CPD of modern professionalism.

One thing I do know about the world of prolific regulation, nothing stays the same for long. With a new regulating body about to birth, you can be pretty sure that another layer of attainment will be required of the qualified adviser in the none-too-distant. And yet another round of learning and development which requires, well, me. Hopefully.

There is a problem though. As you may be realising from these multi-posts, I’ve developed a cacoethes for Cognitive Hypnotherapeutic blogging although to be fair, given the nature of the therapy, it’s probably more healthy than the phrase may imply. There is a part of me that would cheerfully ditch the world of my alter ego and step gleefully into an unknown future reliant solely on the premiss that if you have to succeed or starve, then you can only choose to succeed. This sounds exciting. But then so does bungy jumping and parachuting and I don’t do adrenalin overdose. I can almost hear those Cognitive colleagues spreading their hands in preparation to squash their visuals.

Why jump out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane with nothing but a piece of silk or indeed an adrenalin junky strapped to your back? Leave the do or die risks until you truly need to do or die. It’s a maxim that’s served me well so far. How do I know? In true behavioural psychology fashion, I’m still here aren’t I? I neither did nor died. What better proof do I need. It’s on such fundamental complex equivalence that the future of all therapy is assured.

Fast forward to the Festive season. It always arrives sooner than I expect and leaves me feeling under-prepared to enjoy myself to the fullness that is customary at this jolly time of year. Under-preparation seems to haunt me in December. There is always more work to be done than I plan for. That gentle drawing to a close that others seem to find leaves me wondering how come I’m always on a sprint finish as the year draws to a close. I leave well thought out gaps in my diary which I know I can fill with trips to see family, shopping for presents, buying the obligatory feast worthy fare and taking pre-emptive jaunts down to the gym, trying to get ahead of the crowd that always turn up in January. Somehow it never happens in the gentle way I feel it should.

In my own customary style, even though I am working less than I was two years ago, I am still managing to fill my diary much more fully than I had anticipated. Yet again, I’m trying to catch my breath as we speed towards roast turkey and indigestion. I’ve yet got to don that ancient hunting mantle and sally forth on the dangerous quest to track down a suitable tree to decorate in our traditionally eclectic style. To be fair though, we always wait until Rachael has had her birthday, especially as it was so auspiciously dated day this year, falling as it did on 12/12/12 and we all wonder whether Christmas will really arrive at all or were the Mayans right and the turkeys will all be free again.

So where am I in that headlong rush to a new future? Well, assuming that those indigenous South Americans were off the mark or possibly just lazy when it came to writing calendars that outlasted their civilisation by a mere 700 years, then I’m on course to start helping actual clients during January 2013. Watch out world, here I come, albeit quietly. I’m aiming for a soft launch, as my erstwhile marketing colleagues liked to call it. I’ll storm onto the therapy stage by quietly taking up position and gently working to generate a client base. If all goes according to plan, it’ll look like I’ve been there for a while and you just didn’t notice how good I was before.

I’ve managed to develop a background e-presence, of which you are all a vital part and you have my thanks for joining in and hopefully enjoying the joining in whilst you’ve been doing it with me, so to speak. With the slowly increasing blog community followers, now up to a stunning one hundred and twenty three, which I still don’t quite believe and a smaller but growing Twitterati clan of 67, there won’t just be a Website when I get searched. By Google that is, not some random nightclub doorman from past Christmas frivolity. Hopefully, if all this goes to plan I help prospective clients to avoid that e-nyctalopia that occurs when you look someone up on the web and only find one reference.

Sometimes you need that extra light that shines from multiple results in order to get noticed at all and although I’m unlikely to generate the sort of controversy reserved for proposals for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square I am taking care that what I write, whilst mentally provocative is not actually controversial. My biological conclusions have been called into question though, being described as ‘frankly wacko’ by, oddly enough, Frank. I really hope you’re still reading these posts Frank, as someone has to keep me on my toes and I reckon you’re the best man for the job.

I have a draft of the text of my not-yet-website home page. My advertising guru, the aforementioned Rachael, thinks it’s pretty near the mark and has started encouraging me on other pages and promotional ideas. Katherine is starting work on the site itself so with luck and good nepotistic judgement we should arrive sometime during January, partially fledged and straying from the nest formerly known as The Quest Institute.

The future is out there, beckoning. I might just jump.

Will it last? © Tony Burkinshaw 2012

Will it last?
© Tony Burkinshaw 2012

* This week’s post featured Guest Words from Mike, Chrissie, Helen and Victoria. Thank you for your help?

If you have an idea for a guest word for next week’s post, either leave a comment below, on my Facebook Page or just send me a Tweet.

Same time next week?

Childless by chance – and to some degree – choice

People amaze me. It’s why I’m training to practice as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist. It’s not just the workings of the mind and the way the mind can affect someone’s mental and physical well-being, it’s the stories and life experiences that come with it.

I’m still only training but am becoming more and more amazed at the effect this therapy technique can have and the issues complete strangers are prepared to share with me.

Last weekend I went to Questival, the annual conference-cum-get-together of the Quest Institute. It was a really inspiring day, particularly as I was surrounded by future colleagues, all of whom are currently practising in a field that I am almost qualified in.

It might just have altered the course of my practice before it’s even started.

Two colleagues spoke passionately and at length about how they spend their working lives helping couples deal with fertility issues, both through supporting on-going fertility treatment but more importantly helping them to find themselves in the midst of all that pressure to conceive and carry a baby to full term. Frankly I was stunned.

Then I came across this blog by Gina Marie

Please follow this link: Childless by chance – and to some degree – choice

It all depends on how you look at it
© Tony Burkinshaw 2012