What is it like to be a Hypnotherapist? What do we do? How do we do it? Who are our clients? And how can you shape your tomorrow?
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!
A very quick post today. The Patchwork Dog has improved it seems. The vet nurse phoned me last night to tell me that her (the dog's!) bloods were improved. She didn't say how much. So the vet is speaking to the specialist (the expensive specialist) to agree a treatment plan. So definately going in the right direction. I thought she seemed better and more lively. And the fur on her belly is starting to grow back too, in wispy little bits - aah!
Time is a much maligned concept in my opinion. We never have enough of it or it goes too quickly or it won't go fast enough. Time is an easy thing to moan about.
But time is wonderful too. It is a great healer when sometimes distance is all we need. Years ago I fell off a horse and injured my back badly. A year later I was still having treatment and more and more. Each treatment was more invasive than the last until I was booked for some injection under Xray. It didn't go ahead because the doctor had not returned from his holiday in California...
I then moved house and had to start on waiting lists and new doctors etc all over again. Except that I didn't bother. I just ignored my back and over time it healed. I learnt a valuable lesson then - to give the body time to heal. To leave well alone sometimes.
This works for the mind as well. The mind needs time to adjust to changes of any kind. Even many traumas can be healed with time alone. Most soldiers who have been traumatised on operational duties feel fine some months later despite having had high emotions at the time and having had no treatment.
It is something to consider sometimes. Do you really need treatment now or will you feel better in time? Giving yourself and your mind the gift of time can be a wonderful healing strategy.
My accountant has been muttering darkly about 2009 since November last year. He has been wishing it were over already, wishing it was over before it was begun - doom, gloom, recession blah blah. But I am simply not listening, despite it being poor grammar to begin a sentence with a conjunction! We can create a lot of our own reality and if I think it's going to be a bad year then I fully expect it will be. But if I continue to look for the good times then I am more likely to see the good times when they happen, attract more good times in the future AND have a better year anyway just because I have a more optimistic outlook!
The year has started well for me and I am happily practising from my new rooms. I am continuing to attract clients and I am helping them to enjoy their lives. How could I ask for more?!
An update on the Patchwork Dog... she went for blood tests this morning and I will find out how they are later in the week. She is certainly a lively girl at the moment, was bouncing 2 feet in the air this morning off all 4 paws and she hasn't done that in years.
Few people ask how I am but so many people are concerned about my poorly sick dog! So given that I have published a photo of Squeaky, here is a photo of Patchwork Dog.
If you look carefully you can see her poor chilly belly, one patch on her neck, one on each foreleg and one on the left hand rear leg. She has another patch on the other side of her neck and these two I think are just starting to grow back.
Poor old girl. She goes back to the vet on Monday and we shall find out then how much she is recovering. She's so pretty and so valuable to me. The story of Patchwork Dog and me is a longer one and I will save it for another time.
It's another "me" post today and I hope you are still following while I take a break from philosophy and therapy. Having said that...
A dog is amazing therapy in itself. If you are feeling low then consider getting a dog. They love you and need you every day, no matter how you look, what you are wearing or how you are feeling. Dogs don't give a damn about all your perceived failures in life. You don't live alone when you have a dog. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They help you to focus outside yourself. If you are depressed and live alone, the introspection often takes over and you can help yourself into a pit. Having an outside focus brings you away from focussing too hard on yourself. And dogs are quiet and non-judgemental. I can honestly say that I have never been into chatting too much to my dogs but many dog owners do and it probably works.
My second best breed of dog after labrador retriever (yellow is the only colour!) ? It has to be the Border Terrier. Sound, good-natured little dogs. Trainable, small and clean with loads of personality.
"...and to forgive is divine" Yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before. We can't always forgive in reality can we? It's just not as easy as all that. So what I do is to distance myself. Then if I choose to step into the emotional space between me and a person whom I find it difficult to forgive entirely, then I am going in on my own terms. And those terms can usually mean that the error/misjudgement/deep penetrating hurt can be ignored, for that emotional transaction at least.
It's just an idea that I explored with a client this week. Perhaps it's worth trying.
I promised on a comment on the Majority of Two blog that I would write my angel story.
Some years ago I lived in Cyprus and I hated it there. I was very unhappy, far away from friends and family, my job was a tedious round of long hours whilst my companions were out playing in the sunshine, learning to scuba dive and sail. The job was ok but not how I thought it would be and the sheer volume of work was stressful. I hated where I lived and there was no immediate end to it either.
One morning I had to drive to Nicosia to take my car to a garage for a modification. There is one motorway in Cyprus, a 2 lane fast tarmac road. With a speed limit of 60mph, AARRGGHH! So I was in my new car, an Audi A3 and I enjoyed driving it fast. For fear of traffic cops I only took it to about 70. And as I came around a corner, there he was and I knew I was caught.
He was fairly nice really. Who was I? Where was I going? He realised very quickly that I wasn't a tourist and perhaps the thought of the extra paperwork for copping a Brit was too much for him. He let me off. I was very apologetic, I wouldn't do it again.
5 hours later I was on my way back to the southern end of the island. And was I driving above 60? Of course I was. I tried m'Lud, I really did but it just didn't happen...
As I rounded a different corner there was an entire posse of Police. My heart dropped like a stone. No way could I get off twice in one day, even if these ones didn't know what had happened earlier. The policeman was very nice. He leant down to look me in the eyes through the window. He asked if I lived here. Yes I'm British Forces, from Akrotiri. A long pause.
And as he stared straight into my eyes, "Why do you drive so fast? What are you running from?" Time stood still. Oh how I wished I didn't have the longest answer to that question. I felt like he could see into my soul.
He let me drive away without a ticket. When I told the story to a friend later, her eyes nearly popped out of her skull, "You met an Angel Helen. I wish I could meet an angel." I hadn't particularly believed in angels but I started to wonder.
A few years ago a friend told me she was an angel. Oh yeah, right! And then she explained that we are all angels. When we have realised who we are and the light has come on and is shining, that's when it becomes apparent. And we will know others when we meet them. There is more to this than you might think initially. It's something to just take in gently and let the seed germinate. When you need it again, the knowledge will be there.
Well it's been a funny day or two. I saw my weight loss client today. She is a funny mix of contradictions. I alsways have to aske her the same question twice in different manners because each time the answer is different. She is doing well in my view but on a scale of one to ten she only thinks her progress is a 5 out of 10. So much for my opinions then! She's happy anyhow, a BIG thing for her, because she has been very low and depressed. Before Christmas she got into a dip that I was worried might turn into a huge trough. But is hasn't. Woo Hoo!
So today, for the first time, my lady was not wearing black. I thought it a huge step forward. She had barely noticed and laughed. She also laughed at how excited I was when she told me how good she was feeling. I don't care, I love it.
So where's the bad news then? Well my stop smoking client from last week has gone to pieces according to her sister, can't even get out of the house and is smoking again. Now this is a tough one, really tough. If she can't get to see me then how can I help? I am loathe at the moment to offer to visit. I cannot be all things to everyone, yet I want to help, of course I do. I am suspecting a big guilt trip although I may be wrong. The lady is pregnant and her last baby suffered because she smoked through pregnancy. Hence coming to me to help her stop.
Now is she terrified because she has already failed and she is now putting her baby at risk? Is she worried about the baby? Is she just hormonally and emotionally pregnant? She is apparently an emotional wreck! ANd has gone back to cigarettes, back to the toxic friend that she knows and loves, who makes her feel better. And yet the cigarette friend doesn't make her feel better, no he makes her feel worse. So the family are blaming me. Oh good... It isn't cheap to give up smoking with hypnosis but you can save that money you spent in about a month with what you save on cigarettes. This lady is not well off, quite the opposite. I so want to help her but my messages go unanaswered. What can I do?
So some highs and lows today. Now it's time for another high - taking my beloved out. Going out in the week, how decadent! NO, you fools, taking the dog out for a walk! Oops, Patchwork Dog heard me from her slumber behind my chair and has leapt up with the energy of a coiled spring. Well she looked up and stretched anyway. I mustn't tease her, she is poorly sick after all...
There is a huge hooha in America about the inauguration of Barack Obama. I know I am not alone in wondering about all the fuss. there is some train journey for a start. What is it all about? Why all the expense when many Americans can't afford healthcare?
Don't get me wrong, I am overjoyed that there is a black president. I find it inconceivable that it was only a few years before I was born that there was segregation in America. Around the time I was born, my father was in the RAF and my parents were renting an apartment in Oxfordshire. It was the late sixties, people were still relatively poor, there was a shared bathroom, shared with the occupants of another apartment.
My mother had an American friend at the time, her husband was in the USAF. Her name was Bonnie and she was a southern belle. She confided to my mother, "Oh but Ann, you can't live here." My mother thought it was because the flat was down at heel. "But the bathroom Ann. They're black!" My mother's neighbours, who shared the bathroom were black Americans.
Are you as shocked as I was?
The journey we as a society has come on since then is pleasing in many ways. And we are all on journeys. I often help my clients with NLP work. It is like programming for the brain. We often give the mind a vision of the better future they want, with their goals fulfilled. It helps because it gives the mind a destination to aim for. We can sit down and decide we want to go on holiday but until we know where we want to go, how are we to find our way there? If we don't know whether we are going to Bognor or Barbados, how will we know whether to go to the railway station or to the airport?
I explained this to a client today who told me that we could forget the highway to happiness because for her entire life she hadn't even been on the map! It was a funny moment, not a sad one. This lady is learning a lot, she's coming along for the ride, the journey of change.
I am conscious that yesterday's post was a little "me" orientated. That was not the intention of this blog when I started so I hope I have given you a bit more interest today. Happy travels.
It started with my small boy coming into bed with us while he drank his milk and we had our tea. After getting dressed we all had our breakfast together. Hubby and I had Shreddies (you see, all you Americans, we don't all eat toast...) and Squeaky had "Stones." It's an oat cereal and he thinks it looks like little stones - it does. SO he calls them stones. Squeaky loves stones, loves playing with them, stacking them, finding them, bringing them home...
So after breakfast he goes out to take our sickly labrador for a walk with his daddy. Sick dog is much better, far bouncier and continuing to take her medication well and eating like a labrador! She is still a patchwork dog - covered in shaved spots where she had drips and had to have blood taken. Her tummy was completely shaved for her ultrasound poor thing.
We then went on a treat to the swimming pool. Squeaky has been swimming since he was 3 or 4 months old. He doesn't quite swim yet. Some 2 year olds can. But he loves it and we had a great time. And then a FAB family treat - the Zoo!
I'm not terribly into animals in zoos, I have to be quite honest, but the hubby is, only because it is a treat, a family time. Small children like seeing animals, it appeals to them in some way. Later at home, he managed to remember some of the animals he saw. It's a hard task for someone who can only just talk. We ate chips and biscuits in the cafe - junk food not healthy snacks. This was a TREAT remember!
And how priceless was our day? I hope I remember days like today. It frightens me that I may not. My small person had a lovely time. He was with his mummy and daddy enjoying life, being taken care of, being loved. Maybe later in life he will tell me he doesn't like swimming and zoos. But today he did and that's enough for me.
One or two of you may enjoy this photo. It's a little while ago now but it shows Squeaky continuing his rugby training even while on holiday. He is VERY dedicated!
Yes the universe does tilt on a sixpence and our own small parts in it can be affected by tiny chance events. Almost 20 years ago, an acquaintance said something which clinched my decision to join the Army. She was just talking about why she was joining herself, not trying to convince me, just chatting. We were sitting on a windy hill by a range flag in the September of 1991. Just a few chance remarks by a relatively insignificant person changed my life.
The direction it has taken since then has led me to the place I am now, following my life's work, feeding my soul, married to my soulmate, bringing up our wonderful son.
The name of this individual was Rebecca Taylor. We were acquainted for some years after but I don't think she had any idea of how important she was/is in my life. Becks, if by any chance you are reading then I thank you. And the people I have touched in my life thank you too.
So there are one or two followers out there hmm? Well show yourselves won't you? Write a comment or two. Where are you coming from? What do you think? Tell me a little.
Let me tell you a bit more about my days.
Today I helped a lady to stop smoking. Happily I helped her to bond with her unborn baby too. She went away very happy. In just 2 hours I have helped 5 lives. The first two are the woman and the baby. The others are her other 3 children. That family is now healthier and have more money. That baby is potentially healthier than it would have been had the mother kept on smoking. And those benefits last through all their lives - more money, better health. You can't argue with that.
My client yesterday told me how she could just see in me that I loved what I do. So it shows on the outside as well. Even though at that point I had told her nothing about myself she could sense the contentment. How many of us are really doing what makes us truly happy? Doing what makes us happy is following our true path in life, following our higher purpose. Using our real skills to make our way in life is following our higher purpose, what our soul set out to achieve. When we follow our soul's path, we are happy inside, our soul is nourished.
I love my clients. Every one of them is so different, with such differing backgrounds and histories and outlooks. They are such wonderful, unique people. And so interesting. One of them was in the film industry. Ooh, how glamorous! No, not really as I found out! And all the glamorous jobs are just like that too - not so fantastic at all.
So follow your heart, follow your soul. Whatever it is that you do well is a good place to start. And if that thing isn't a money-spinner then do it when you are not working for money. You will be surprised at how things work out. And if you keep following your instincts you are following your soul's path. And that way leads to contentment.
You see change is not just in the air, it is everywhere. It is in us and around us, it permeates our cells.
There is a huge shift going on in the universe at the moment. And we have to shift within it. Can't you feel it? Don't you perceive it? Don't dig in your heels and try to resist it - that will hurt. Think you can stop a tidal wave? Go right ahead and try but it won't be pretty.
I can feel the change. I can feel it inside me. My own small world is also changing within the wider shift. And it's pointless to resist it. Is your life shifting? If you sit still for a moment can you feel the winds? Where are they taking us?
I have to mention that I am surprised but people are actually reading my ramblings. The blog tells me that there are no followers but one or two of you are sneakily out there. I hope you are enjoying it so far. Such pressure on me to write something interesting all the time!
Let me tell you about my job today. A client asked how long I had been doing this. She said she could see I loved it. And how? All we had done was to talk about her. I hadn't even put in any huge effort at this stage. Yes I do love it. I miss the Army too, missing it more the further it goes away from me. But how could I not love hypnotherapy? I help people to enjoy their lives.
The people who come to see me are in pain, mental pain. And that pain is preventing them from enjoying their life. Imagine walking a mile with a stone in your shoe. Ouch! The pain in your foot leads to the source of the pain - the stone. Remove the stone and you can enjoy walking again, free from pain. I help you to remove the stone. I help you to enjoy your life.
For those who are wondering, and those who have asked, my dog is improving every day thanks! She is a bouncing bundle of fun again Perhaps she will never be completely well but she is good and happy. And so are we!
What did I say earlier? Change is in the air. But it IS in the air. Change is all around us, for every one of us. It is no coincidence that the financial markets have had their upheaval. It is no surprise that all around us people's lives are changing - repossessions, job losses.
But it is only change. It doesn't have to be disaster. Life might be crap for a while but it won't be terrible for ever unless you let it. And that is the key. Storms come and go, they don't last. And we don't remain in the huddle of shelter after the rain has gone. When we go through a tough time in life, it is natural to curl up, withdraw into ourselves, it is healing, we are tired. The brain needs time to take it all in and change if necessary. But if after the acute stress is over we stay curled up and withdrawn then we are sheltering from a storm that has passed. And we risk never coming out to see the blue sky.
Fire is a natural phenomena and it leaves destruction. But fire also cleanses. It leaves behind clean and open areas, ripe for new growth. The old and diseased and choked up wilderness has gone. Fire in nature is not a mistake, it is a part of the circle of life.
This week, the parents of a friend of mine lost their house to a fire. The farmhouse on their land was burnt to the ground. Nothing remains, not one thing. But they are here, they have their land which they farm and they have each other. I would be desperately upset if I were them, traumatised even. But not for ever.
I have a friend whose husband died on the same day that their second child was born. She doesn't cry every day. She's changed. She has made friends she didn't knew she had. And recently she went on a journey to Australia to see about building a new life over there. And she was surprised to learn about how much she has right here. So she's staying. The fire cleansed, leaving something else growing. Something that my friend was not expecting, had no clue about. But she recognised the need to climb out of the cave, the need to look about and search for the blue sky. Don't think that she is a Pollyanna wonder woman who is now perfectly happy without her husband. Of course she misses him terribly. But to hide herself away from blue skies and sunshine would feel so much worse.
You can stay miserable or you can take steps to look for some tiny good things in life. And as soon as you start looking, you will see them. The couple with the burnt down house have their family around them, no one was harmed and what better thing in life is that? The more you see tiny good things, the more those things expand and grow until they take over your life. And one day you forgetto be sad. And you don't realsie for a short while until you remember that you were supposed to be sad but you weren't today. And it is a surprise, a shock even.
No one knows where or when the better days are. But they are there. If you dare to notice them.
I am conscious that this Blog has not explored Hypnotherapy as much as it should so far.
I don't have much time this evening but I will go into more depth later on. But today was a fab day frankly. A client who I am seeing for weight loss came in. She was bemoaning the way she had eaten too much over Christmas and been slobbing in front of the telly. She felt fat and guilty and had put weight on.
But she had cut her alcohol intake, she was following my weight loss rules (it's not a diet, it's a way of living) and her activity level had increased dramatically. And all without her even noticing. She was feeling cheerful and energetic.
And when I probed further, she had lost weight - 12lb in the 5 weeks since she first came to see me. How good is that?! It's not so hard this job, but the rewards, the rewards are pure gold!
I am a retired Army Officer - yes it was tough, yes it was exciting at times, yes it ate up my entire life and identity and swallowed me. Now the great green machine has spat me out and I am being me again.
I am a wife and mother and I have a tall husband (the best man in the world) a small son and a yellow labrador. I am at a fortunate stage in my life, I live in the beautiful countryside with people I love and I have enough of everything.
I worked for myself for a while as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and what a great job! Although I loved it, I missed the buzz of lots of people around me so I became a teacher in a boys' secondary school, which I also love. Although I don't do much hypnotherapy these days, I still I help people to enjoy their lives!
And what about me? Oh, very standard - blah blah blah - but I can ski like a demon!