Feel the fear. Say it anyway.

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.

IBD, ostomy, colectomy

Coughs and sneezes

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.

Really?

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.

It isn't easy © Tony Burkinshaw 2013

It isn’t easy
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

…and the plumber turned up in good order. We have heat.

Plan? What plan?

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?

pain relief mp3

Somewhat Zen
© Tony Burkinshaw 2014

It’s about Time

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.

It's a matter of perspective © Tony Burkinshaw 2012

It’s a matter of perspective
© Tony Burkinshaw 2012

The Choice Option

There’s a glimpse of sunshine. Perhaps two.

Option 1:

Here we go again. Dare to hope or hunker down and wait for the punch that’s always turned up so far.
Every time it’s improved, it’s turned around and slapped us.
Hard.
It’s beyond us. Out of our control.
Life just keeps on happening to us.

Option 2:

Every time it felt like we can’t carry on, there’s been hope. Something has come along and lifted our spirits. A new fact. Uncovering a way of looking at the problem, which gives pause for thought. Get’s the medics thinking again. Trying something new. Adjusting the balance.
Whatever comes along, we’re up to it.
We have to be.
No. It’s more than that.
We choose to be.

External Locus of Control vs. Internal Locus of Control

Simple.
Not easy.

I’ve made my choice.

Enough said.

It's a delicate balance © Tony Burkinshaw 2013

It’s a delicate balance
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

The Certificated Wizard

Maybe the tides have turned. For the first time in many weeks, we had a day in the same city. The hospital visit was only 15 minutes away and we even had the space to walk into town for a well-earned coffee/Panini. The sun was shining.

Not only that, since 9.30 there’s only been us in the house. We might even make it to the pub this evening.

On a different note, I’m considering a re-think on the Slight Edge habits. It’s come to my attention that I’m not feeding my Humour & Playfulness key character strength sufficiently well.

Jan, god love her, sent my Master Practitioner Certificate with a fun twist playing on my daughter’s conviction that I’m now officially a wizard. It exercised my playful instincts as I sadly realised that I’m not the kind of therapist who’d have a Wizard Certificate on his wall. Not in this universe anyway.

With the limits of playfulness duly stretched and tested, it occurs to me that I’ve stopped listening to music. So I’m writing this post listening to Uptown Special at reasonable volume on the Mac. I forget how much difference it can make.

So if I decide to switch one of my Slight Edge habits for listening to out-loud music, which should it be? In no particular order, here they are. One of them has to make room:

  • Read 10 pages of something interesting
  • Meditate for at least 10 minutes
  • Exercise: raised heart rate for at least 5 minutes (I’m starting from a low base again)
  • Write 100 words or more
  • Keep a list of the day’s positive events

Which one gets shouldered out of the way so I can get to the front once more?

My life needs more noise.

stress anxiety depression

just waiting for the Pizza
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Gill just came up and closed the door…

Kindness, Chaos & Satchmo

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!

hypnotherapy mp3

Calmly chaotic
© Tony Burkinshaw 2014

Tasting the future?

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.

 

An Alternative View © Tony Burkinshaw 2014

An Alternative View
© Tony Burkinshaw 2014

 

Banging the Paper Drum

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…

Musical Links

Click here to watch the promotional video: Devil Shoes Live

Click here to listen to Paper Drum on Spotify

Paper Drum © Vinum

Paper Drum
© Vinum 2014

Blog of the Year? Apparently it’s me!

And so to the Blog of the Year Award 2013

I am very proud to be able to say that I’ve been nominated for the Blog of the Year 2013 Award by the Alisha, that brilliant blogger of Poemotherapi Shoppe (a blog name which I have surely mispronounced many a time in the privacy of my own head!)

Rules for Blog of the Year Award:

1-Select the blog you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2-Write a post about the blog you have chosen (there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required) and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3-Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them

4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page. Click the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear to share your blog posts with an even wider audience.

6-Finally, as a winner of the award, please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award-and then

Proudly display the award on your blog – and start collecting stars!

Here Is My Awardee:

[As he has a host of followers & awards, he may already be the proud owner of this one – never mind, multiplicity is no bad thing!]

Hooray for Shaun @ Praying for one day

Meanwhile…

Happy New Year….