Meanwhile, back at the beginning…

Helen & I trained at the same time and she’s already found herself featuring a couple of times in this blog. As I recall, she didn’t mind at the time and seeing as she’s happy to appear in the flesh as it were, maybe she’s still content with me periodically lobbing her into the middle of these vaguely relevant ramblings.

This is an article Helen wrote for the latest issue of the Cognitive Hypnotherapy E-zine ‘Perception’. [I’ve added a link to it at the end if you fancy reading more, (or even subscribing). It’s entirely free and written for non-therapists, so it’s brilliantly lacking in jargon. Check it out, you might find you were glad you did.]

Interestingly, (this blog is still trying to get me to use that word I tried and failed to avoid using in a recent post), the weekend she’s referring to is the very same weekend which turned out to be the spur that transformed wishful thinking into the action which became Posts of Hypnotic Suggestion.

Not only that, Helen is the protagonist who featured in that post.

So without Helen, this blog may never have existed.

Thank you.

A Therapist’s Journey

I walked into the Cognitive Hypnotherapy training room, wondering what on earth I was doing there. The previous year I had given up my job as an Assistant Head Teacher of a secondary school when I had given birth to my daughter. In the early months of being a new mother I knew I wanted to work in an area where I could enable people to move forward in their lives. It was an aspect as a teacher I had loved, whether it was helping my students reach their full potential, teachers who needed support or parents who were going through difficult times.

I had come across hypnotherapy whilst I was trying to conceive through IVF and recognised its power to reframe the stories we all tell ourselves which don’t necessarily support us in achieving our goals.  Quite by chance I stumbled across the Cognitive Hypnotherapy website and really liked its approach of recognising the uniqueness behind each person’s issue and having a flexible enough approach to be able to get to the reason behind the presenting issue, rather than just deal with the concern itself.

Within fifteen minutes of hearing the founder of The Quest Institute, Trevor Silvester speak, I knew I had found the right course for me. His words were utterly inspiring, thought provoking and at times challenging. Weekend after weekend we were exposed to new concepts taken from a range of successful therapeutic approaches and slowly but surely the pieces of the jigsaw started to come together and we realised with excitement the potential for deep and significant work with future clients.

Quest is an amazing institute as it attracts likeminded people. All of us in the room were readily open to the new learning’s that we were being presented with and as the months went by we grew into a supportive group willing to give our time and energies to each other to help move our fellow students through difficulties and challenges, using the new techniques we had been taught.

I went to train to be a therapist, was pretty sure I’d make friends, but what I hadn’t bargained for was the therapeutic journey I would find myself on. One weekend we were taught how to do a specific technique and as always we had an opportunity to practice on each other. As I was shortly about to start another round of IVF I decided to be gentle with myself and not focus on anything too deep and meaningful. Instead I chose to focus in on how working as a therapist I could build in being part of a community into my working world. A fairly innocuous area of development. Or so I thought.

Unbeknown to me the strategy bypassed my conscious mind and went straight to the unconscious and revealed an issue that was so deep I had only had glimpses of it over the years and had never made any connections with a situation that happened when I was 22 months old and my inability to conceive naturally in the present day.

I was born seven years after my mother had last given birth and number three in the family. I was evidently a joyful and long awaited addition to the family. A few months later much to the delight of my parents they found they were expecting again. At 22 months old my sister was born with Downs Syndrome. The shock was enormous for my parents and sent reverberations throughout the family. This was in the late 1960’s when approaches and views about Downs was vastly different to thankfully how it is today. My mother in particular found her condition very hard to cope with and at some point after my sister’s birth suffered a breakdown.

My sister was in hospital pretty much continuously for the first two years of her life. My parents almost overnight were absent both physically and emotionally. Earlier than she had wanted she put me into nursery care as she simply didn’t have time to tend to my needs as well as my sister’s. Understandable when it would take over two hours to just to feed my sister at any given time. My parents whole focus obviously was taken up with the arrival of my sister and at 22 months old, bewildered by my parents obvious absence and lack of focus I began to internalise that I was no longer good enough, that the unit I had felt such an affinity with I no longer belonged to and perhaps I wasn’t as loved as I believed.

As the revelation of how this event impacted through the work that I did at Quest, I was able to recognise that throughout my life I had found myself always feeling as if I didn’t quite belong and that on the whole that nagging sense of not being good enough pervaded so many situations.  In my adult life I didn’t feel good enough because I didn’t have a boyfriend, so I got myself a boyfriend. Then I didn’t fit in because in my mind I didn’t have a good enough job, a good enough place to live, a husband, and the icing on the cake when I achieved all that was a child.

Two rounds of IVF following ‘unexplained fertility problems’ and holding my darling daughter I had a moment of peace. I had achieved what everyone else had so surely I was now good enough, surely now I would belong. To my surprise though that feeling didn’t last long as they returned  when  those around me who had their babies at the same time as me were all falling pregnant with their second baby. Once again the club I belonged to felt as though they were shutting their doors to me, just as my 22 month old self felt when the family dynamic shifted so suddenly.

Trevor had taught us that with a number of issues comes a secondary gain. I wondered what my gain was at being unable to fall pregnant naturally. When I asked myself the question I realised that my inability at falling pregnant kept me separate from others, it created a division which although I didn’t want was so terribly familiar. When we are driven by a negative emotion we tend to create exactly what we don’t want.

  The impact was hugely significant and a few months on and now a qualified Cognitive Hypnotherapist myself I continue on my journey of self-discovery using the techniques we were taught, as well as having regular therapy with another Cognitive Hypnotherapist to help me move into my preferred future world that I want to live in. I am learning to recognise my limiting beliefs and more importantly learn how to recognise that these are borne out of thoughts that simply aren’t true. I also recognise that now I have found this  path my road to peace is much shorter than my 43 year old journey to realisation.

My future is filled with a hope and exuberance which is spilling over into my present day. It’s a wondrous feeling. I have no idea whether my shifts in perception and beliefs will result in me having another baby. Whether it does or it doesn’t almost doesn’t matter because I have a growing sense of confidence that with a significant shift in how I view myself in my world I can only be a happier person, secure in who I am and what I have.  With this realisation and knowledge  I can see what a gift I can pass onto my daughter when she too faces her own limiting beliefs.

Having done this remarkable course, as well as experienced first-hand the powerful impact this work can have I now know what I didn’t know when I walked into that room almost a year ago. That Cognitive Hypnotherapy can and indeed does successfully help treat a wide number of issues by truly getting to the heart of the underlying issue and gradually and gently making the changes needed for people to let go of their limiting beliefs that have caused them so many difficulties in the past. I can only say that there is a whole host of therapeutic approached out here for people to choose from.

For me there is now only one choice. Cognitive Hypnotherapy has given me a future in so many ways I couldn’t even have imagined before I embarked on this incredible voyage and I thank each and every individual who has been part of it.

Helen Day

Related articles

That's better © Tony Burkinshaw 2013

That’s better
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Media virgin? Not any more…

I might have mentioned in earlier posts that I was interviewed by a local magazine ‘Only Peterborough’ about Cognitive Hypnotherapy and the role it can play in helping couples undergoing IVF and other related assisted fertility treatments.

Well, the big day duly arrived and the March issue of Only Peterborough has hit the streets. Lo and behold there I am, smiling in a not-quite-hypnotic style at the readers, encouraging them to find out all about Cognitive Hypnotherapy and, coincidentally, me.

The best bit of all is that I didn’t write a single word! It is all the work of Kim Hughes the magazine’s Features Editor. It goes without saying that I think Kim has great taste and superb insight into issues that need to be aired for the benefit of the local populace, (but then me being me I’ve gone and said it anyway).

The link below is a copy of the article itself reproduced by kind permission of Only Peterborough [available in all good shopping outlets in, you guessed it, Peterborough (UK)]

‘Only Peterborough’ article

As the more astute amongst you might have noticed, I’m quite pleased. Not only (pardon the pun) is it useful from a marketing point of view, it also gives really good information and whether people do choose to contact me or not, this means that they are in a better position than before. Nice one Kim.

So all in all, my marketing campaign has begun, my website and contact details are out there in the inter-web, even appearing on my latest Google Alerts email, (other good search engines etc.):

and… finally…

I am no longer a media virgin thanks to Kim & ‘Only Peterborough’

somehow it all comes together© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

somehow it all comes together
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Exciting times & the breakfast of champions

So in a way, everything has brought us to this point.

My training throughout last year; the start of this, my first ever blog discussing the weird and wonderful things I’ve learnt; all the way through to graduation and launching myself headlong into a new career as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist: [with actual paying clients, I might add!]

So here I find myself, new business up and running and gently progressing through its soft-launch, as the marketing strategists amongst you might recognise, shortly after my return from a short-break in down-town Marrakech to announce some exciting milestones.

  • My blog has just had its 4000th view: many thanks indeed.
  • My article for Perception Ezine (Spring issue) has been accepted.


  • Today is the launch of my Cognitive Hypnotherapy website!

Here’s the link to Tony Burkinshaw Cognitive Hypnotherapy. So if you have the time and the inclination, I’d love it if you’d take a look. Something I firmly believe in and try to live by is that feedback is the breakfast of champions, so if you do take a look and find that there’s anything you’d like to say, (or indeed that you think I need to hear), please comment in the box below.

It would be great to hear from you whether it’s good, bad or just plain ugly, although obviously I prefer the good! I’ll listen to what you say and may well make adjustments as I go.

Onwards, upwards and perhaps slightly sideways…

Swimming Pool of Kings

Related Article:

Perception Ezine (

Advertising, Pain and Time Travel (

Haggling, Hubbub & Tranquility

Isn’t it odd how you can find peace and relaxation in unexpected places, which when you come to think about it is actually the best time to find them. If you were expecting peace then perhaps it loses value, becoming more of a top-up to an existing tranquillity than a way of unwinding the stresses and strains of a hectic life, especially when the particular hecticity, (made up word, surely), is an unfamiliar one.

And what better location for this experience than Marrakesh, city of a million souls all living life at pace, with traffic following rules that aren’t apparent and appear to be effectively ignored at will, reminiscent of the Black Pearl and the Pirates Code: more guideline than actual rules. The walk from our hotel near the train station, along streets named after kings, throws you into the mayhem in short order with strikers from a nearby Riad drumming their protest to passers-by and onlookers from dawn until dusk and beyond. The main road, Mohamed VI is filled with noisy smoky cars, mopeds by the hundred and the more than occasional donkey and cart ferrying their wares and passengers alike into and out of the city centre.

By the time you reach the Medina walls, you are thoroughly conditioned to hubbub and start to notice the narrowing streets, the non-too-subtle aroma of freshly passing horses passing whatever it is that horses pass into the little sacks strategically slung under their tails. Whilst this no doubt keeps the streets cleaner, it carries the smell of fermenting dung around announcing its presence to give you a warning of the obligatory haggling about to begin for a horse-taxi ride you had no idea was a part of your future.

Suffice it to say that by the time you’ve found yourself seated in a Jemaa el F’na food stall with “Number One One Seven takes you to heaven” ringing in your ears as a waiter convincingly suggests a series of dishes you’ve never tried before and sincerely hope will be edible, (they were, very much so – try it, the food was great and remarkably good value), the noise and pestering for money in exchange for some unasked for entertainment subsides into a background rhythm which gradually lulls you with its gently hypnotic ambience.

Given that the restaurants, traders, and entertainers have been doing this in Jemaa el F’na square for hundreds of years, I found myself wondering whether the music, chatter and scents from the nearby Marrakesh souks have organically evolved to create the exact trance needed to most efficiently part tourists and locals alike from their Dirhams.

Of course our western sensibilities made us more susceptible to the feigned outrage and disappointment that is so central to the well tuned haggle and we dutifully found ourselves being lead ever deeper through the souks by a series of amenable locals who just happened to be going our way until were inevitably led via an non-too impromptu tour of the tanneries to the back room of a happy carpet trader’s shop.

Fortunately by this time we had developed a little talent for turning down fabulous bargains which-we’d-never-find-again-madam-just-look-at-the-fine-Berber-quality and managed to leave with just as many Dirhams as we’d entered with and strangely, not in possession of a Berber handmade carpet. Our guide however was very aware that we were now a long way from Jemaa el F’na and having missed out on his no doubt sizeable carpeting commission, made the most of this to add weight to his haggling.

We left the tanneries both guideless and somewhat lighter in the Dirham department, not much wiser as to how to get back. Apparently we’d haggled too hard for him feel any sense of obligation to return us to where he and his team had steered us off course. Never mind. There’s always a bright side. We saw and experienced parts of Marrakesh we’d have missed otherwise, judging by the complete lack of tourists en route.

After spending the best part of an hour on our first morning planning our day, Mohammed, the only one-legged Grand Taxi driver who seems to have camped outside the hotel since enthusiastically greeting us the previous day, persuaded us, (well, persuaded Richard actually, as it turned out a really good call: nice one), to abandon our plans so that he could fulfil the age-old saying and seeing as they wouldn’t come to Marrakech, dutifully took us to the mountains.

As this post seems to have evolved in part into a tourist guide, (it does get to the point eventually, honest; bear with me), I would highly recommend the Atlas mountains in the hands of a knowledgeable taxi driver. You get far more out of the trip, as does he from the various places he decides you need to see on the way but then that’s all part of the experience isn’t it? If you happen to be staying in the Riad Mogador Opera, wonderfully confused with Riad MacDonald’s by one of our late night taxis causing much hilarity and renegotiation, then Mohammed is for you. The combination of gentle good humour, in-depth knowledge and a desire to ensure you want to use him again the next day, he gives good value and a good opportunity to practice a haggle or two.

So where does the peace and relaxation come in? Obviously there are a variety of cafe’s and restaurants which give cooler distance form the noise and bustle of everyday Marrakesh but for me it came with a trip to the Jardin Majorelle, previously owned and restored by Yves Saint-Laurent. Now this may not be to everyone’s taste, nor would everyone find it quite as relaxing. And really that’s the point.

You see, relaxation or trance induction isn’t a one size fits all experience. This is why you may find that some relaxation CDs or yoga meditations work better for others than for you. You might even find that some of them actually wind you up rather than relax you. Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t like being told how to relax by someone who doesn’t really know me.

Despite the personality reading skills that many Hypnotherapists possess, it’s incredibly difficulty to predict the exact set of images, sounds, aromas and textures which take you into trance of any sort. It’s best left to delicate suggestion, guidance, gauging progress and adjusting as you go. This doesn’t lend itself easily to pre-recorded words or indeed actual experience. Have you ever been somewhere with your partner and found something really relaxing and meaningful only to discover they were completely unmoved and wonder what on earth you’re on about.

Back at the Jardin Majorelle. Ochre-red concrete paths weave through a series of different   beds each planted to reflect different moods dotted with brightly coloured pots, birds singing and scents designed to lull you into a restful peace. Or not.

The first plants are all bamboo and every stem within reach has graffiti carved into it. It’s cooler than outside but feels messy and claustrophobic. To be honest, I didn’t like it at all. The bright pots, blue and yellow primary colours staring at you from the red concrete paths, belligerent and attention grabbing. It was definitely adding to the stresses. Time to cut losses and leave? Maybe. Give it time.

And then a strange thing happens. After you’ve walked around the paths and come to the ponds with Terrapins and Carp, there’s a small open space with paths leading off in several directions around corners to who knows where. There are glimpses of blue buildings. Fifteen varieties of bird sing to each other and the sun hides behind the shading trees. Richard was standing there transfixed. Gill had wandered straight past it and Debbie was nowhere to be seen. Something about this space and the journey into it spoke. But only to one of us.

My place turned put to be just around the corner before the cafe with the camp waiter, where workmen were scraping old bright yellow paint off an urn onto the ochre-red concrete. It lay powdered and sprinkled on the floor for only a couple of seconds before it was unceremoniously swept up and binned. But the colours, shade, textures and birdsong caught me and told me just how relaxed I was, right then, just for an instant. I can still see it. It’s still relaxing.

Gill and Debbie’s best places were entirely different, not even in this garden. Not that they didn’t enjoy it, just that it didn’t speak to them in the same way.

And this is the fine line that needs be trodden in Cognitive Hypnotherapy. Eliciting the exact trance state which will be best for a given intervention at a given time for a particular client is a skill which needs practice and the client’s active participation.

A bespoke trance is the most effective as it targets every nuance of every phrase specifically to the needs of the client in the way that helps it arrive in their unconscious as purely as is possible. This is what makes it so effective, whatever your particular difficulty; stress, anxiety, pain, fertility – and as we Hypnotherapists can’t actually see into your thoughts, hear what you’re saying to yourself, feel what you feel, this not the easiest feat to accomplish. This is one of the main reasons why it isn’t possible to hypnotise someone who just doesn’t want to participate in any way.

So rather than trust to a one size fits all self-help book or generic CD, come and see someone who will tailor the entire experience specifically to you and only you. And seeing as this is Marrakech; “Sir! Your unconscious knows it’s worth every Dirham! This is the best trance in the entire Souk. Do you know how long it takes to become a skilled Cognitive Hypnotherapist? This is a trance we design just for you and your beautiful wife sir! Not to fit anyone else, Madam, it is only for you. Surely you cannot waste this chance! It will truly change your life, Madam. Just try it on, it will fit perfectly! If you walk away now, Sir, Madam, you will only look back with regret…..”

…On the other hand, I launch my new website on Wednesday.

Come and take a look. You might be surprised…

...but was it good for you too?© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

…but was it good for you too?
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Life on Mars & the Erosion of Reality

Depending on the news source you rely on for your extraterrestrial updates, a robotic finger, a door-handle or even more disturbingly perhaps, a naturally eroded mineral formation may have been discovered on Mars by that roving vehicle cleverly named by those marketing gurus at NASA as the Mars Rover.

This is therefore either conclusive proof of extraterrestrial intelligence or perhaps simply evidence of Martian geological weathering. The jury is out as to which of these theories will prevail, unless you are of an even vaguely scientific background in which case you already know the answer and are happy to leave the pondering to those preferring their theories to be of a conspiratorial nature.

If this were indeed a manufactured artefact rather than headline, then paradigms would shift. Our reality would have to change from one where we are the only life-sustaining planet in the solar system to one where we may just face a future in which we compete for space not just with rival countries but rival planets. I suppose the downside of all this from the Martian perspective would be that if indeed this were really a robotic finger or door-handle as is proposed in some circles, we needn’t fear too much as intricate Rover-based measurements estimate it to be only half a centimetre long which would tend to suggest we’re up against Mini-Martians as  our potential exploratory adversaries.

Maybe we’d have to share resources, just like we do here on Earth. Sorry. Day-dreaming again.

Rather than delve any further into that area of pseudo science that Brian Cox delightfully terms Woo, perhaps we should stay on the side of reason and agree between ourselves that of all the theories, the most likely explanation at this point is natural erosion. I should say that speculation remains about some strange patterns also appearing in those Mars images that cast doubt on the erosion theory although perhaps what it is really casting is what is more colloquially termed a ‘shadow’. Never mind.

You see, this is the odd thing about what we like to term Reality. From a human perception perspective, it isn’t actually real. This can take a bit of getting your head around at first. What you or I perceive as Reality is actually just information being interpreted by your brain and we should remember that our senses are only tuned into to a very limited range of sensory information, (if in doubt watch any David Attenborough program). Our brain then amalgamates this information into possible scenarios that we recognise and use to be able to navigate our way through whatever environment we happen to find ourselves in.The human brain is wired to derive patterns from whatever stimuli are picked up around us and to use those patterns to predict potential futures and make automated, instinctive decisions about how to stay safe. Stay alive.

This leads to some odd things, if you’ll pardon the use of highly technical jargon – ‘things’.

The “Face on Mars” was one of the most strikin...

The “Face on Mars”  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We see patterns or shapes where they don’t exist. People see faces in pieces of toast, in rock’s, in clouds. Spiders become life threatening beasts. People always seem to be talking about you. You’re always last to get served in a pub. It isn’t really happening like that, the faces aren’t there, spiders are small and actually try to get out of the way, all these situations have just triggered a pattern recognition that made it look as though they were real. It’s those very pattern recognition programs that make a lump of eroded Martian mineral mimic Earth-bound mammalian life.

Surely it would be a bit odd that if there were Life on Mars, (good track; first album I ever bought), that it would have evolved a robot that used ‘fingers’ or that a door would need a ‘handle’. Surely it would be far more likely that Martian life would have evolved along entirely different lines unless Martian evolution was subject to similar extinction events at the same stages of evolution as Earth. Like that lump of rock 6 miles wide of  Armageddon fame which killed off the dinosaurs to a sufficiently large extent that some extremely small and insignificant warm-blooded proto-mammals were able to gain a foothold and take over the rather large niche recently vacated by those broiled and fried lizards.

The other interesting aspect to this automatic pattern hunting is that you tend to see what you expect to see. Our pattern hunting mechanisms see patterns in the patterns. If one of them has already turned up and been acted on successfully (i.e. you are still alive, no matter what form of social suicide you may have committed as a result), your brain tunes in to that particular scenario and becomes sensitised to hunting for evidence which could be linked to it. You see what you expect to see, a propensity much loved by misdirection manipulating magicians and tricksters. In addition to this, we are pre programmed to see co-incidence as cause and effect. As an evolutionary trait this certainly aids survival as it’s far better to successfully escape a danger that isn’t there than let the vice versas of life eat you for breakfast.

This can be the basis of many a serious argument and relationship misunderstanding. Two people can see the same evidence, the same set of behaviours, hear the same words, see the same sights and reach opposing conclusions. Your particular interpretation is dependant on the set of repetitive patterns you have become sensitised to, particularly during early childhood and these embedded patterns show up as the beliefs you hold about yourself and the world around you. A reality filter that your life experience has equipped you with. To you it is completely real and it can be virtually impossible to see any other point of view about the things (sorry, technical jargon again) that really matter. Love, relationships, cars, subtle changes in hair colour that anyone could miss I mean honestly how often do you have to say sorry of course it looks great I can’t think how I could have missed it.

Not only that, we even express our personalised perception of our different realities in differing ways. Some may ‘see things differently’, others would ‘feel the changes in the air’, still more would ‘hear another meaning’, perhaps get a ‘different sense’ of what’s going on. It’s a wonder that two people can converse at all.

I’d recommend reading the recently published book, Love Birds, by Trevor Silvester, the founder of Cognitive Hypnotherapy and my guide/mentor/trainer/friend, (see what I mean? Same person, same role, same relationship, different descriptions). It’s an easy access guide demonstrating how two perfectly normal people in a relationship may be expressing their heartfelt feelings for each other in a language that quite literally goes unnoticed by their partner. It’s fascinating, well worth investing in and explains a lot about why your other half seems to miss-understand you all the time and more to the point, shows what you can do to rectify it. After all, it couldn’t possibly be you that’s miscommunicating. Could it?

A lot of my therapeutic work revolves around helping clients identify what they truly believe about themselves and the reality they live in, together with what their preferences are for how they predominantly perceive it. As it turns out, not only are your fundamental beliefs about the world around you vitally important, your beliefs about yourself are even more important. Such beliefs are so ingrained, such a basic part of who you are, that they act as a reality filter for your reality filter. They run so deep that most of us have no idea that they exist at all. Why would we? Since our brains are wired up to seek proof that what we expect to happen duly happens, we hardly ever notice any evidence to the contrary.

Our beliefs are never really tested because we automatically delete anything that might do just that. After all, why should your unconscious adjust its perception of your reality? It’s kept you safe so far. Changing it would be dangerous. At least, that’s what your unconscious thinks. Right up until things, (there we go again), in your everyday life get so uncomfortable for you that your conscious mind steps in and looks for answers to why it all seems quite so tough. This may turn up as stress, anxiety, habits you can’t break, fears, pains, even deteriorating health.

It may just be time to uncover those beliefs and bring out into the open, into the fresh light of day where you can examine them and decide if you like them. Test the boundaries of what your unconscious considers safe. Re-establish a relationship with the world that is based on where you are now, rather than based on your past.

…and it might just be, when you look back at that scary Martian monster, it’s actually no more than a shadow from an oddly shaped pebble. What a relief.

it looks different from the back  @ Tony Burkinshaw 2013

it looks different from the back
@ Tony Burkinshaw 2013

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

500 likes and counting!

What a great surprise this morning!

WordPress have just told me that my blog has had over 500 ‘likes’ since it started in September last year.

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate it.

…and if you’ve not read it before, why not check it out? People seem to like what I’m talking about…

Turn a negative into a positive? Easy!

Isn’t it surprising how the brain is wired up.

Sometimes the simplest exercises can give you a completely different view.

Here’s the mid-week re-blog. Occasionally, they’re Just for Fun.

It all depends on how you look at it.

Click here and enjoy.

Hanging basket?© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Hanging basket?
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

1000 Views of the Land of the Free

Today is the day this blog reached over 1,000 views from the USA!

This means that one in three views is from America!

(You’re catching up with my UK audience, by the way: on 12/10 last year, the U.S. had 337 views & the U.K. had 1,005. Today you have 1,024 views but the UK has only 1,448. It’s beginning to feel competitive!)

Many thanks to one and all. It’s really pleasing that my blog is being read around the world only 5 months after it all began and I’m grateful for all your support.

It’s been a great start to the New Year. I think 2013 is going to be a good one.

Here’s the score sheet so far:

  • 3,156 views in total (I’m stunned!)
  • 54 countries (just, Wow..!)
  • 186 WordPress followers, (why not join in the fun?)
  • 164 comments (I love to hear from you!)
  • over 400 likes (maybe you like to hear from me too?)
  • I’m starting to get ‘shares’ as well so feel free to share this blog or any of its posts on Reddit, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter or any of the other share buttons below.The more the merrier.
when as if from nowhere...

let the fun begin…

…and Greece makes it 50 !

OK. I admit it. I check my stats every now and then.

Sometimes they’re not so hot.

And sometimes they really make me smile.

Greece has now joined the party that is Posts of Hypnotic Suggestion and I’m really proud to welcome them as the 50th Country to be involved!


Thank you to everyone (2,880 of you!) who has read this blog and especially to those 170 of you who have joined up as Followers. It’s what keeps me blogging.

That and my over-active imagination.

And if you think your readers/friends/tweeters or FB buddies might like what I have to say, feel free to re-blog or share any of my posts. The more the merrier!

...and Greece makes 50!

…and Greece makes 50!

See you soon.


P.S. Since I drafted this post this afternoon, Nepal & Kenya have joined in making it 52 countries, I have had 5 more followers, bringing the total to 175 and I’ve just been informed by WordPress that this is my best ever day for new followers! A good day.

I have therefore dutifully applied the ear-to-ear grin!