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.

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

Origami Space Travel

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.

42.

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.

Folding Instructions:

  • 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.

hypnotherapy

At the end of your tether
© Tony Burkinshaw 2014

 

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

Resolving to change. Better?

Its appears that all the work I’ve been doing these last many months in order to create an effective background awareness is beginning to bear fruit. The balance is shifting.

New clients are finding out about me and more importantly, getting in touch. Training is beginning to shift towards Learning: Who you are affects how you Learn. It seems obvious when you think about it but until you think about it isn’t. People are beginning to think. I’m even coaching and therapising (made up word) via Skype as I have long hoped to do. It really is coming together.

There have been some really tricky issues to help client find their solution to. It’s challenging and very rewarding.

And sometimes amusing. The capacity of the human brain to find sideways metaphors to communicate with itself is astounding. Imagine sitting in the therapist chair as a client opens their eyes and smiling hugely, declares:

‘You will NEVER guess where I’ve just been! I’ve just been in a wheel-barrow, being pushed across a high-wire strung perilously above Niagara Falls by a world-famous hire-wire dare-devil!’ [With kind permission of the client]

Why? To learn trust, apparently.

And who was the world-famous hire-wire chappie? Jesus! Well why not? After all, He’s probably got a great sense of balance and a head for heights. And not a bad teacher, by all accounts.

And the truly astounding part? The client came up with the imagery entirely unprompted. That’s the fascination with non proscriptive hypnotic language. It frees the client to work with their own imagination. It’s incredibly powerful. All it takes is a carefully crafted and somewhat skilfully applied nudge in the right direction. Nudge theory? Maybe.

You’ll no doubt be aware that a slice of the work to create fertile ground to enable clients to think of me when they need help is my monthly mental-health well-being column in one of our city magazines, ‘Only Peterborough’.

January’s article focussed, a little traditionally perhaps, on that phenomenon of New Year Resolutions and why some work and others don’t, sometimes because the timing is wrong or the resolution is just too big. Sometimes they fail because of a lack of support through the inevitable self-sabotage that goes hand in hand with best intentions.

Here’s what I had to say:

Changing for the Better               

It’s that time of year again. Christmas and New Year have been and gone, the fun and festivities are over and the world is full of opportunity. It’s the traditional time to start afresh with life-changing resolutions, which some go on to achieve with envy-inducing ease.

But for many of us, New Year’s Resolutions fade away into best intentions and we carry on just as we were before. So why are some New Year Resolutions successful whilst others fail?

Perhaps it’s the type of resolution you choose. Adding good habits can succeed more often than stopping bad ones. Maybe this is why the most popular 2013 Resolution was reading more books but stopping smoking was only 26th.

Another trick is sharing the effort. To change a habit, your free-will has to wrestle your Unconscious mind. Given that your Unconscious controls your habitual decisions, this is a tough fight! Exercising with a friend or taking that lunchtime walk with a colleague can make all the difference, sharing the mental effort as well as the Resolution.

Be precise. If you want to ‘lose weight’, how much do you need to lose? By deciding to ‘lose 10 lbs in 4 weeks’ you can measure your success. If you only manage 7 lbs, that’s success too. Think of it like passing with 70%. All progress is positive.

The key point is this: Your Unconscious uses habits to keep you safe or bring you comfort and it really doesn’t want to change. So if you don’t keep your New Year Resolution, it’s just that your Unconscious stills needs to be convinced that you’re right. If this you, then the support of someone trained to help is invaluable.

And once you look, you might be surprised at the help you can find.

See you soon?

RELATED

Only Peterborough magazine: website

Tony Burkinshaw Cognitive Hypnotherapy: website

Learning Coaching: What’s it all about?

Hypnotherapy MP3 Downloads: Pain Relief; Migraine Relief; Healing; Relaxation; Mindfulness

If you want to talk to me or ask any questions about what I do, please feel free to email me at: tony@tonyburkinshaw.co.uk

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Next Steps?
© Tony Burkinshaw 2014

Random Perception: A New Beginning

There can be little doubt that helping others creates an effect that ripples outwards from both the giver and receiver. Often the opportunity turns up unannounced and there is only a split second to decide whether or not to act and allow those ripples the chance to spread….

This is my latest article in Perception Ezine and the first in my new capacity as their Random Acts of Kindness columnist. I highly recommend subscribing, not just because it increases my readership, but because I personally know some of the regular contributors. It is packed full of meaningful and workable insights into the difficulties that we humans face, thrust as we have been into modernity without  giving evolution the courtesy of having time to catch up.

And so, with appetite duly whetted, read on…

Personally, I’m a big fan of Paying It Forward, a concept which has been discussed in previous issues under the Random Acts of Kindness section. To me the key difference between Paying it Forward and Random Acts of Kindness is that Paying It Forward is more deliberate and to some extent acknowledges the benefit to the giver a little more; there’s nothing wrong with a little inner glow.

For me, there’s always been something about a Random Act of Kindness that brings on an expectation of pure altruism whereby the act should be solely for the benefit of the receiver, almost as if feeling good about being a giver of kindness somehow negates its intention: were you performing the act for benefit of the receiver or simply to make yourself feel better? Surely that would be selfish, wouldn’t it?

So there I was, pondering what to write for this issue’s Random Act of Kindness section, not least because in the previous few weeks I hadn’t to my recollection, been particularly altruistic and no wonderful stories of goodness leapt out at me. Surely as a therapist, I ought to be distributing Random Acts of Kindness left, right and centre every day of the week. After all, if a therapist isn’t routinely altruistic, then who will be?

This left me with a dilemma. Do I write about something from my past? Maybe a story about someone else’s Random Act of Kindness? Or do I wait and hope that the opportunity to perform some noteworthy kindness jumps up and bites me so that I can incorporate it here and spread the word? I figured that the latter would be best as oftentimes recent personal experience carries more weight than stories from the dim & distant. As it turned out, it wasn’t that simple.

In the intervening three weeks nothing has cropped up that I would deem worthy of this section. In fact opportunities have been few and far between, so I took to actively seeking them out.

Walking back from the village post office, I dutifully offered to help an elderly lady with her wheelie-bins but was politely refused with a look of mildly confused distrust.

After a full day in London I was boarding the train home and a woman with two young children was lifting two heavy suitcases through the door. My Galahad-esque offer of help was curtly turned down with barely disguised suspicion. I walked on.

It’s as though the Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle is being applied to Random Acts of Kindness. Perhaps the very act of looking takes away the randomness and kindness. It seems that in order to work, spontaneity is key. Perhaps I’m just not especially random.

That said, I often let people through doors ahead of me; I slow down and let cars in at junctions and slip roads; I smile happily at drivers who look as though their progress depends on the ferocity of their glare, (mostly this breaks their state and they grin back); I’m having several blog-related conversations with people who live in constant pain, offering advice and guidance on pain management techniques. I’ve even gifted several of them a copy of my chronic pain relief download to try out. Perhaps they’ll spread the word, you never know. Mind you, they might not like it at all and spread entirely the wrong sort of word. To be honest, I don’t really care. That’s wasn’t the point.

In the past others have helped me and I’m now in a position where I can help in my own way. It’s enough to pass on something that just might turn out to have been of help even though I reckon I’ve long since paid it all back, or is it forwards, if you see what I mean. And I feel good about it. It’s becoming a habit.

Perhaps spontaneity and altruism aren’t key components of Random Acts of Kindness after all. Perhaps that inner glow is there for a reason, encouraging both the giver and receiver of the kindness to seek out more warmth by spreading it further. Perhaps, what I think of as Paying it Forward is someone else’s Random Act of Kindness. Two sides of the same coin?

Think about it, if you’re fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a Random Act of Kindness and if that makes you feel good enough to want to do the same for someone else, then in essence that’s not a Random Act, you’re Paying it Forward. Or perhaps I tend to over complicate things that are really quite simple.

Anyway, here’s my next Random Act of Paying Kindness Forwards. And I feel pretty good about this one, so maybe that altruistic fire is burning after all.

On behalf of Perception I’ve set up a brand new Twitter account called ‘@RAK_UK’ which we’d love you to follow. If you’re not yet on Twitter, you might find it was worth joining in, just for this. Even Tina, our hard-working editor overcame her Twitter-phobia to become the very first follower!

 You’re invited to share anything and everything you come across about Random Acts of Kindness or Paying it Forward.

Why not join in? This really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Related Links:

Perception Ezine link

Perception subscription link

@RAK_UK Twitter Link

Tony Burkinshaw Cognitive Hypnotherapy link

Random Acts Of Kindness, Paying It Forward

That’s not random
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Isn’t it Grand!

Many Thanks to all those who helped this arrive today!
1,000 Followers!

Congratulations on getting 1,000 total follows on Posts of Hypnotic Suggestion.

Your current tally is 1,001.

Look what happened!

I was very surprised to find that I’d been nominated for this Award by Dawn @ http://findingmyinnercourage.wordpress.com. I’ve not been nominated for any blogging awards before so I’m kind of new to all this.

Thank you Dawn. By the way, if you’ve not read Dawns’ blog yet, I’d highly recommend it.

However, there are some things I have to do to properly receive this: there are rules…

The rules for receiving the SUNSHINE AWARD:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your Blog. (done)
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself. (see below)
  • Nominate 10 Bloggers. (also below)
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their Blogs, letting them know they have been nominated. (done)
  • Link the person who nominated you. (absolutely done!)

Ten Questions: 

  1. Favourite colour: Blue
  2. Favourite animal: Barn Owl
  3. Favourite number:  don’t have one
  4. Favourite non-alcoholic drink:  Water
  5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter?  Twitter
  6. My passion:  Cognitive Hypnotherapy
  7. Prefer getting or giving presents:  Getting. I’m a small child at heart (and at Xmas)
  8. Favourite pattern:  refracted light in random places
  9. Favourite day of the week: this one
  10. Favourite flower: the ones Gill picked from the garden

I now Nominate 10 bloggers

1. FEC-THis @ http://fecthis.wordpress.com/

2. They Say It’s In the Genes @ http://avgenes.wordpress.com/

3. Scott Williams @ http://scott-williams.ca/

4. Art of Stumbling @ http://artofstumbling.wordpress.com/

5. Feisty Blue Gecko @ http://feistybluegeckofightsback.wordpress.com/

6. Adopting James @ http://adoptingjames.wordpress.com/

7. Fibromyalgia: The diary of a pain warrior @ http://fibromyalgiathis.wordpress.com/

8. Raison D’etre @ http://oneraisondetre.wordpress.com/

9. Mirrors of Encounters @ http://julienmatei.com/

10. Life Lived Now @ http://buddhasalblog.com/

 

The folly of perfection

As I write more posts and more of you read them, (many thanks by the way and I’m glad you keep coming back for more, although if this is your first visit equal thanks and I hope you’re entertained enough to pay a return visit later), I try to keep up my original stance with blog writing.

I’m writing this blog because I’ve discovered I may have a talent for putting my thoughts into words in an entertaining way but mainly because I want other people to read what I write.

My original stance, so my logic told me, was that if I want people to read what I’m writing then I should realise that all those many thousands of WordPress users and beyond are writing their own blogs because they also want to be read.

So I read posts. I try to read some every day. I’ve found some that I follow, just as others are following me, (now that really did surprise me). Some I ‘like’ if they’re entertaining or force me to think and others I’ll comment on, offering my perspective on what they’ve written. Somehow it’s a bit like joining in.

Usually, if I leave a comment, the blog writer will comment back. I do the same, always trying to return the compliment of making time to communicate, even if the original comment isn’t as flattering as my ego might have hoped. It’s beginning to feel as though there’s a community out there and some of them are starting to recognise me.

Imagine my surprise as I read this next post…

The folly of perfection

Just what I need…
© Tony Burkinshaw 2012

 

Everyone Remembers Amnesia (reblog)

I’m not sure why but when I published this post earlier today it appeared in the WordPress Reader as being published over 3 days ago! I’d hate for you to miss it, so here’s the link!

Everyone Remembers Amnesia

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Let me know what you think.

You might have seen me before!
© Tony Burkinshaw 2012