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!

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!