Welcome Friends

Welcome to my funny little world. Sometimes it's a bit sad, sometimes it's a bit mad, but I try to give you some uplifting words every day. And in amongst them I'll give you a little philosophy and celebrate just being. If you like a good bedtime story or you are just curious about your life or mine or you want to be encouraged, then come on in, the water's lovely!

Monday, 29 December 2008

Sick as a Dog

My dog!

My poor beautiful labrador has been really ill. In fact she still is a very poorly dog. I took her to the vets thinking she had a urine infection and the vet admitted her immediately, with severe jaundice! Several days later we were driving her down the M1 to a specialist vet hospital in Bedfordshire.

She has had loads of medication, a prescription diet and ultrasound scans etc. She has chronic liver disease! And yet we didn't even know she was ill. Her test results suggest she should be a very sick dog, yet she was bouncing around as usual.

We thought she wasn't coming home ever again. It was terrible. I had no idea what it is like to have a sick animal. She came home on Christmas Eve thank heaven and is doing ok. Not recovered, and never quite will but improving.

I am so attached to her. I don't want to think about her not being here. It's been such a shock.

You know that your pet is going to die before you do. You absolutely know it but to be faced with it suddenly was not funny. I really didn't think she was coming home again. And every moment with her now is a bonus, every walk is precious.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Smoke Free Forever

Sometimes I see clients in my Daventry hypnosis practice who I am not convinced will be successful at stopping smoking. Perhaps they don't give me enough of a conviction that they want to do it. I usually tell them that they may find it more difficult than others might do. If they then launch an attack and tell me that they CAN do it, then I treat them.

Sometimes a client will come who is just "finding out" and sometimes I refuse to treat them. It's not as bad as it sounds. They just don't give me any clues at all that they really WANT to stop. So we have a nice chat and I tell them tactfully that I don't think they are ready for it yet. These people always look relieved at this point and they go away happy.

Last week a mother and daughter passed by the shop who I had treated 6 months ago. They came in for a chat - both were completely smoke free and very happy and enjoying it. They hadn't found it difficult at all. I was ecstatic. I had thought that they both might have trouble. I was so overjoyed for them. And think of the extra money they will have for Christmas - how brilliant is that?!

I've only ever had one person who didn't manage to give up. I was disappointed but I had given her all the treatment I could, and some more. She however was not disappointed, she had enjoyed the reatment and knew that she would have the resources available to her when she did feel ready to quit.

We never know, do we what is going to happen. We might have a good idea but we can't totally predict.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

It IS time to change

Well it is for me anyway, and BIG change.

Business is closing! My cherished dream, my dream of owning my own business, which I have had since I was 14, is going up in smoke. I was asked today how I felt about it. I am over the wailing and gnashing of teeth and "poor me" now. I am still sore however because my dreams have not materilaised.

What I do know is things happen for a reason. There is a reason why even though I don't know it. My business was not destined. My partner has pulled out on me, otherwise I would have steadfastly kept on going. In this situation I have no choice however and that is why I believe this path was not ultimately for me. I was very upset but now I going with it, going with the flow.

Strange that that was one thing I advocated in an earlier Blog post! And now I am being forced to live with it. Is that irony? Or fate? I don't know but it IS growth for me. I am really growing right now.

I can feel change. I have a slight unsettledness within me. Change is in the air, it's all around me. The last time I felt this, I was pregnant and I knew that in a few months time my life and my feelings within it would change for ever. It was not a bad feeling, just a knowing within me. And I have it now.

6 weeks ago, a gypsy passed by and was desperate to read my palm. She flattered me, "You have such a lovely face," she said. She told me some things which made no sense - I will be prosperous in business and property next year. And how? Business was not looking good and property did not figure. I kept it to myself. Just a couple of weeks ago we decided to move house. My husband instigated it, not me, it came out of the blue.

And now the business is closing too. Yet today I met someone with whom I may strike up a new business alliance. Didn't I write elsewhere that luck is not luck, it is keeping open to opportunity and taking it when it comes. Is this the prosperous relationship that I need to forge?

So much change in the air. It doesn't feel bad, only neutral. Where will these winds of change take us? I'm keeping open.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Map is not the Territory

This is a saying that NLP Practitioners like to use. What they are saying is that you draw your own map but the evidence for is it totally subjective, it is your evidence and yours alone. You may describe yourself as shy and lacking in confidence. Yet no one who knows you would say this about you. You are self-assured and engaging in social situations. So what is the truth? Are you shy and lacking in confidence? Well how could that be so? It is certainly not what the evidence suggests, and that evidence is what everyone else sees, a social charmer perhaps, easy in company. So if all your friends see you as confident and you alone think you are shy then the overwhelming evidence is that you are confident.

It is a way of looking at things in another light. Hypnotherapists call this "reframing."

Check out your internal evidence. It may be less persuasive than you at first thought.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Remembering - Help for Heroes

I was at a meeting on Friday where a collection was taken for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Our leader annouced Remembrance Sunday as the day where we remember those who died in the Great War. "NO!" I wanted to scream. It's not just the First World War, it is EVERY war, EVERY conflict. Every single soldier who has died must be remembered that day.

I never know whether everyone in the Army feels the same way as me, but I cannot help remembering everyone I know who has died. I remember the ones who died in traffic accidents and from illness, not just those injured and killed in war zones.

At Sandhurst, where you go through Officer training, there is the Chapel of Remembrance. It's walls are covered with the names of all the officers who have died in wars since the First World War. I used to sit in services in there reading the names and wondering which of us standing there that day would end up as names on a marble clad pillar. Some of us are there now. There is a book at the front of the aisle in which are written every name of every officer killed. Each Sunday the page would be turned so that the names would always be changing and always remembered. One Chapel Sunday I was given the great honour of turning the page. How can I describe what that sort of honour felt like?

We had to do some tough mental stuff at times. One of my soldiers was killed in a car crash. I was quite young at the time. We had just come back from an operational tour in Bosnia, it had been a good time. I had been Duty Officer that night but I hadn't been called out once and had had a full night's sleep. My radio turned itself on at 7am to the local news, announcing that one of my soldiers had been killed and 2 injured. Their names were announced. First I was in shock, second I felt sick and third I was furious. Why hadn't I been told? Why wasn't I woken up? Why had I heard this on the radio?

When I got to work I had to stand in front of my platoon and tell them that their mate had been killed. The most difficult thing I have ever done. Later I went to see the others in hospital. They were shocked and Casey was traumatised. He told me what had happened, how he knew as soon as he saw him that his friend was dead. And there was the funeral. His father was an officer, had been a soldier himself. Was totally dignified. He thanked me for looking after his boy. I told him I hadn't done anything but he knew. He knew.

My soldier's name? Mark Townley. It was 15 years ago. I had one photograph with him in it and it got destroyed in a move. There is a memory of him, but it's only in my head now. I remember Mark Townley on every Remembrance Day. I expect his parents do too.

When you are in the forces or you have been, every piece of news about them is intensely personal to you. I feel every death that is announced as if I knew them. But I also feel for the others remaining. For every death that is reported there are 6 others who have been injured. Does anyone remember them? Or even know?

Help for Heroes? They are ALL heroes.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Home or Away?

It's the big dilemma. Do therapists do home visits? Yes, to make people feel more at home (well, they ARE at home) but No, there may be too many distractions.

The more comfortable your client, the better they will feel and the more rapport you may be able to achieve. The better rapport, the better the therapy, ergo the happier and more satisfied your client.

So why on earth insist on clinic appointments? I feel more at home, got all my books and files, references, so I can do a better job and thus serve my client. Home visits cost more - time and cost of travel. There may be distractions that are not conducive to hypnosis. There may not be a comfortable chair etc. A clinic setting is more professional, gives a better impression, has my qualifications on the wall.

Consider this - do you prefer a mobile hairdresser or do you like to go and be pampered in a salon?

I need some opinions on this. What would you prefer?

Monday, 3 November 2008

Luck or Opportunity?

Someone once wrote that luck is subjective. Luck was only opportunities that you either take or you don't. When you take them and they work out well then you call it luck. The way to become lucky therefore is to always be on the lookout for opportunities and take them. I like that a lot. It's rare that I don't take an oportunity.

Today's opportunity was a phone call from our local radio station. I blagged my way onto it in March to talk about National No Smoking Day and how I can help people quit smoking with hypnosis. Well after a lot of CRM (Customer Relationship Management with the producer whose email I kept) they have a spare slot tomorrow morning and phoned me up on the off chance that I was available.

So I am talking on Radio Northampton again tomorrow. OK so it isn't the big time, it's not Capital or Virgin Radio but I don't mind. It's a chance to talk about how I help people, tell everyone what I can do for them. It is self promotion, I cannot deny it. I am actually terrible at selling myself but I am ok at talking about what I do so there is my compromise.

But that was luck wasn't it? Luck that I had the producer's email. Luck that I kept emailing her about products and services that we offer. Luck that I was phoned today and I was free tomorrow. So I took the opportunity. Why not? I had to make my own luck, but it was there for the taking.

That's my thought today - take the opportunities when they come around because I don't know when they will be there again. Lap up the luck!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

It IS time to change

We should embrace change because it means we are not standing still. If we stand still the blood stops flowing, the system and chi stagnates and we can become ill. This is true also for the soul.

Change is stimulating, change forces us to look beyond self-imposed barriers and to re-assess. Even what seems like a negative change will have a positive aspect, particularly if you look for it, particularly if you want to find something positive. How many of us can say that about our lives? DO we really embrace change? Or do we just muddle along through, grumbling as we go? Do we always look at change in a negative light?

I wrote the above words for my Newsletter and it struck a chord and got me thinking. I don't embrace change, I know I don't! And yet I know how good it is for us. I know how my life would flow so much more smoothly if I accepted change more easily. Rigid thinking is what gets us into ruts and upsets and disappointments in life. Accepting what we have and what we are given by the universe means life is more comfortable.

Always striving for what we don't have is tough. Not that we shouldn't strive for excellence, and there is nothing wrong with a clear goal and a determination to get there. But life does not always go as we had thought it would. It is dealing with the unknowns, the knock-backs and the curved balls that throw us. If we only accepted and embraced the change at those points then how much anguish we would avoid.

That's my resolution for the coming year - "Embrace the Change!"

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Money Madness

Someone came to see me today who needed help with his panic attacks and anxiety. It is something which is right up my street. No problem buddy, I can help you with that. He isn't working and couldn't afford my modest fees. I offered a (substantial) reduction but that didn't cut it either.

What to do? I offered him an affordable CD at a reduced price. That went down well. And after that I suggested he needed to go through his GP. I gave him my NHS provider number and perhaps the PCT might pay for him to see me. Or not. As far as I am aware, the credit crunch has not recently hit the NHS - it got smacked in the face with it sometime after 1972...

But it raises an interesting question. I feel like an altruistic healer, all I want to do is help people. But I operate as a capitalist business. I can't figure out the answer.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Angel Delight

I have just spent 3 full days in the company of my son. A full 3 days devoted entirely to him, except for a quick outing with the dog. It was so good to focus on him and his needs rather than trying to fit in my own around him. True, if I had an army of staff I could focus on his needs exclusively all day every day, but we are in the real world here.

So we had a great few days. He is potty training, bless him, and did really well. The first day was tough - we were on the last set of clean clothes by 4.30 in the afternoon but after that it progressed. Friday evening was tough - he did 2 poos in the bath, what a sweetheart! But by Sunday he had got the idea. Today is a nursery day for him and I wonder whether the exciting playtime will be too much and he will completely forget about practising his new skill.

What we did whilst hanging around indoors was drawing and colouring and helping me in the house and all sorts of wonderful things. We made a pumpkin collage for his "pumpkin competition" at nursery. He is 2 years old and already I have been roped in to help him enter competitions. I'm not that happy about it really. Still we made his collage and it looked fab! Torn up pieces of orange colours from magazines for the body of the pumpkin with black pipe cleaners to give it shape around the outside. I was so pleased. If he wins the competition it will be more than I ever won in nearly 40 years!

What a delightful weekend. I know mothers who are so desperate to "have a break from the kids" but I don't get this at all. I want to spend more and more time with my child. I hate being away from him for more than a few hours. I love being a mum, it is pure delight...

Thursday, 23 October 2008

It's TOUGH out there!

It's a tough world out there. Economic recession, high prices, companies folding already. All meaning that people don't have money remaining for complementary health. WHY? Isn't health your most important asset? It is mine - emotional and physical health is vital. Without that you are in a world of pain.

And that's how we see most of our clients - they are in pain.

Take one of mine who called in on the off chance for some hypnotherapy. He just wanted one single session - he lived in London, he wasn't going to be a regular client. This poor chap was loooking for something - he was stressed, unhappy, depressed, on medications, having mood swings. He was certainly in a world of pain.

We had a lovely session, where he calmed his mind and body, probably for the first time in years. We went through some visualisations aimed to give him peace, a better perspective on life, hope and to calm the mind and spirit. He felt so much better afterwards. And so did I. He took a couple of my hypnosis CDs too. I hope he is using them.

I love this job