Which therapy is best for me?

Oh dear it’s another early start for me as I avoided taking a sleeping tablet last night. I have however still had 5 hours sleep which, for me, is pretty good going and I have at my disposal a day of succumbing if need be, but I do hope not.

I have been thinking about mental health, as I usually do, and the minefield of different types of therapy and therapists out there. How does one choose which is best for them. I of course have my own ideas and preferences but these are based entirely on my own experiences and my personal  map of the world.

This blog post would be far too long if I were to tell you even a little about some of these in one fell swoop so I shall do so over the next few days.

I shall start with sharing my own journey into therapy and why and how I have come to the conclusions I have. Please do remember these are not necessarily the right ones they are just MY beliefs and like I said based on my experience of the world so far. I am forever in training and learning more, so develop new thoughts and ideas as I go along.

Many years ago, person centred counselling was the buzz word and therapy around, and I took up the opportunity to train undertaking a diploma in counselling at my local college. As part of the training you go into therapy yourself.

I will be explaining more about what each therapy contains in a little more detail in the days to come, but generally this type of therapy is one where you sit and talk as much or as little as you want , and the therapist skilfully listens and reflects back, clarifying what they think they have heard. Some people go into this type of counselling for many years.

When working as a specialist nurse for children, mostly teenagers, who had been in care, I
listened to their experiences of counselling, and decided for myself that there must be a better approach to helping this group of young people. Many of them had told their stories over and over again to numerous social workers etc. Some of the young people were now living semi independently alone in their own bedsits. They often reported how unhelpful they found it to go and sit with a therapist where they felt they had to bring up there past yet again and then return to their homes to mull it over. They also reported that they were looking for more practical advice and support rather than someone to feedback what they think they had just heard. I felt fully in agreement with that and was anxious about the effect some of this therapy was having upon them. This is what led to my journey into finding out more about Human Givens (HG) and completing a diploma with the Human Givens Institute to become an HG therapist. During this time I managed (quite a feat I must say) to get hold of some funding to employ two qualified human given therapists to work with this group of vulnerable young people. This produced some excellent results and some very positive anecdotal feedback from the young people themselves. HG therapy is short and quick and does not require the client to go over their story in great deal or in fact at all in some circumstances. You will just have to wait a few blogs to find out more!

As I was coming to the end of my HG training I stumbled across Neuro- linguistic programming (NLP) and as I have previously explained in an earlier post.

https://mymyelomajourney.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/nlp-and-my-personal-journey/#comments

I found this personally life changing. NLP to me, is more of an attitude and a deeper understanding of what is happening in my mind and body as well as the external world around me. For me it is a toolbox of different techniques drawn from, or very similar to, a number of other therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy , Psychoanalytic Therapy and Human Givens. NLP uses a range of techniques to help the client and the therapist gain a better understanding of their own world and resources, helping the client to move forward in their lives.

The biggest difference between the traditional therapies and the newer therapies like HG and NLP is the scientific evidence to back these newer theories up. However both of these are going through much research and analysis and the evidence is stacking up as to the positive impact they are having, so I hope they will soon be fully accepted and more respected by the scientific and academic community. All I can share is that for me personally and from what I have seen and experienced with my clients the techniques have had good results.

Since setting up a small team of mental health advisors and employing two excellent Clinical Psychologists I have been very lucky enough to listen and learn a little from them and their views and experiences. I have also experienced the support from a Clinical Psychologist on my own recent health journey as I tried to come to terms with my diagnosis. I learnt from them the importance of knowing and understanding something about my narrative. The story of my life to date and why this might be important in understanding the here and now. So I have a much more respectful view of why sometimes this may be appropriate.

At the end of the day , I believe it’s back to that old sage TIME. For me it is all about giving myself and the client time to think and explore together their resources and the best tools I have to share with them in the given time and situation being presented. Therapy is not something you do to some one else it is a journey you go on together with the therapist acting as a guide along the way. I believe you come into therapy to change your future not your past, but having a greater understanding about how your past history may have influenced your thinking today can be the key in helping you move forward.

So we have lots to explore together and over the next few blogs, I will talk in more depth about the different approaches and types of therapy you can access to help you with this.

On a different note, today I hope to bag up all the lovely scarves and hats that have been donated so far, ready to deliver to the Macmillan Centre next week. I shall make sure I get some photo’s to show you.

I also hope to have a visit to the wholesaler’s and start to better organise all the gear I have collected for the Village Secret event. So not much time for succumbing today I just hope my body agrees!

Have a happy day.

Are you getting your messages from the universe yet? If not don’t forget you can have them emailed to you for free by signing up at:

www.tut.com

Deborah x

A very proud mum and the NHS change day…

I am very proud of both of my daughters but today I want to share with you the success of my eldest daughter and how I feel so proud of her, especially in the last few weeks and months.

Pollyanna is undoubtably a very bright and focused young lady. This is not only demonstrated by her academic achievements that include, a first degree in politics and philosophy, a distinction in Masters of research, and her recent completion of the CIMA
(Chartered Institute of Management Accounts) course, (so far she has passed all of her exams for this with flying colours and is all set to receive her qualification as a charted accountant). I also want to acknowledge her dedication in supporting my own organisation, me personally and the rest of her family.

Pollyanna is always ready to help her elderly grandmother calling her most days and visiting her weekly, she supports her sister with her baby Elliot, and of course is there for me and her step father, calling us daily with offers of support and regular visits.

She finds the time and energy to do all this whilst finishing her NHS graduate scheme, which was no mean feat to get on (the competition was very tough) and is juggling her studies with her regular work place.

I am sure like me, having the support of a caring partner helps, so I must also thank her lovely boyfriend for his contribution.

I certainly appreciate that I couldn’t achieve all I do without the support and care of my loving husband and I often think Colin should be on my trusts pay role with the unseen time he spends rushing around printing, binding and generally supporting me behind the scenes. No wonder the poor guy has chest pains! Maybe I had better take a look at his work / life balance! Colin really is the wind beneath my wings.

Pollyanna has lots of resilience factors and her mothers drive, energy and enthusiasm for life.

Only a few years ago her paternal grandfather, to whom she was very close, died of Myeloma and her biological father has only recently got over ( if you can get over such a thing) bowel cancer. Now with my own diagnosis to come to terms Pollyanna’s powers of resilience and positive mental attitude are really coming into play

She is presently being offered various jobs and has to consider her next move very carefully. There is nothing tying her in to the NHS and with her connections in the city she could easily get a job with a bank earning mega bucks.

But not Pollyanna she is passionate about the NHS and making a difference, (now where may that have come from, I wonder ?).

Relatively recently , together with a few of her young graduate colleagues, they came up with the idea of the NHS Change Day.

This day is drawing close, it is set for March 13th, so only one week to go.

If I had been well and working (not signed off on sick leave) , I would have been more involved in our trusts drive to get our staff involved. I do hope, however, that many of the staff have read the newsletter that came out on February 27th . It was all about the NHS change day and how our chief exec David Law, is calling on us all to make a pledge.

David Law, will pledge…….”We will discuss how to reduce paperwork for the clinical teams”

and…The Quality Directorate Team pledges that on that day, each member of the Quality and Governance Directorate will visit one of the Trust’s services to meet the patients and team members, find out more about the services offered and support them to get involved in the day.

If you are working for our organisation have you made your pledge yet?

You didn’t think a little thing like Cancer would keep me quiet and off your back did you, even if I am running a little behind schedule?

For the many readers of this blog who aren’t health professionals and we are up to nearly 10,000 views now , let me explain to you what this is all about.

This information is taken directly from NHS Change Day website:

NHS Change Day is a single day of collective action to demonstrate how small changes can have a big impact.

On the 13 March 2013 NHS Change Day will bring together the individual creativity, energy and innovative thinking of thousands of NHS staff from across clinical and non-clinical areas of work, in a single day of collective action to improve care for patients, their families and their carers.

Change Day is an NHS grassroots initiative devised and driven by new young and emergent clinical and managerial leaders from primary and secondary care across the NHS in England, who want to make this call to action the single largest simultaneous improvement event in the NHS.

It is an ambitious programme of activities aimed at galvanising and engaging the frontline in the process of improvement through individuals and teams pledging to make a change in their practice which will improve patient experience and/or clinical outcomes by spreading and adopting best practice and championing innovation.

This will be a country wide event covering the whole of the UK and will coincide with Healthcare Innovation Expo at Excel in the same day.

The idea of NHS Change Day is to create a mass movement of people working in the NHS
demonstrating the difference they can make – by one simple act – and proving that large scale improvement is possible in the NHS. The aim is for 65,000 people to take part, 65 being the number of years the NHS has been in existence.

Those who wish to take part can go to the NHS Change Day website at http://www.changemodel.nhs.uk/changeday and make their pledge online, join in the discussions on the forum and become part of the growing list of active supporters and organisations taking part on the day.

You can see how proud I am of Pollyanna for coming up with such a great idea , (alongside a few of her colleagues of course)

My pledge is…to increase the resilience of our workforce by empowering them to improve their own mental health and emotional well being and achieve a better more healthy work / life balance.

I intend to do this by writing a blog for our organisation, very similar to this one but perhaps more specifically sharing the mental health parts of this blog with all the Hertfordshire Community NHS staff.

Should I just share this blog, which could perhaps act as a good role model for coping with adversity and demonstrating resilience?

Or write a more specific new blog? I am not sure as this one is quite a bit more about me rather than how I can help others.

I know some of you reading this are working in our trust so I would value your opinion in particular. Also have you made your pledge yet?

Remember you only have a few days left to deliver your pledge.

I am also considering going down to London ( yet again but not for treatment this time) to take part in the Heath Innovation Expo being put out on to celebrate the day.

I just need to find some one to go along with who is happy to perhaps drive or at least accompany a bald, bloated but enthusiastic cancer patient who is still holding on tight to her passion for work and mental health.

I think I must also ask the nurses etc at UCLH today what they know about the NHS change day and check to see of they have put their pledge in yet.

Hmm I wonder if my own team have put out their pledges, it’s hard being out of the loop. Hopefully one of them will be reading this blog and encourage the others to get their pledges in. It doesn’t have to be anything big just one thing that you are pledging to do to make a change in practice that in turn will improve our patients experience. Please let me know.

I urge you all not to just read, or necessarily believe all the bad spin stories often reported about us in the daily papers. We are, in the majority, a caring bunch of extremely dedicated people who want to keep the NHS alive and something that our whole country can feel proud of. I do however feel thst we have the private sector biting at our ankles, hungry for a piece of the action, and just perhaps offering a cheaper but not necessarily greater quality of service. In this day of financial constraints , even at the cost of reduced quality, money talks, and with new commissioning arrangements we are all having to work with a business head on. This is not necessarily something nurses have had needed to think about never mind worry about and do before.

Well it looks like I have got plenty to keep me motivated and out of mischief, so I am so pleased those cancerous cells have been taking note and dying off. They really do have no place to hide in my body. Together we are seeking them out and if one rat gets pregnant we shall be after it and its young, (sorry poor rats I didn’t mean to necessarily pick on you as my metaphor).

I am also grateful for my ten plate spinning abilities and will certainly not let the ‘Village Secrets’, ‘ Especially for You ‘ charity scarves or ‘Hinxworth Festival Birthday Charity Party’ , fall to the ground, with much family and community support they are continuing to spin well.

So just to finish off, this post is dedicated to Pollyanna.

Thank you for being the beautiful shining star you are and letting others benefit from you glorious rays of sunshine.

Your very proud mum

Deborah

X

Plate spinning and apologies…

Firstly let me yet again apologise to my early morning readers for the lateness of this blog I have been up since 3am but blame the steroids for me getting distracted.

Today I want to talk about plate spinning something I allured (allure is a good Miranda word and I like it) to on face book.

Some of us are completer finishes I am not one of those. A completer finisher enjoys doing a task where he and she will get pleasure from the end result. They can be trusted to do the job thouroughy and are much needed members within a team.

I am a planter I will start  several projects off but will usually need to find a completer finisher to see some of them through, I enjoy the journey but have usually completed them  in my head so don’t need to personally do the completing in practice to gain satisfaction and gratification.

Imagine the plate spinner at a circus spinning as many plates as possible. I would go for at least 10 if not more plates enjoying the risk and excitement of keeping as many up in the air as possible. Not too concerned if some drop to the ground.

The work place needs 10 plate spinners (well maybe just one per team or organisation) and 1, 2 and 3 plate spinners. It would be no good if we were all trying to spin 10 plates we would have a hell of a mess to clean up!

So knowing what you are and adapting the way you operate to fit into this may be helpful to yourself,  business and your family.

If you are a fewer plate spinner I think you need to plan your time carefully. Chunk your tasks down into small achievable parts . Make sure your goals are SMART
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Time – bound

Paul J. Meyer describes the characteristics of S.M.A.R.T and I quote “goals in Attitude is Everything ref.[1]
Specific
The first term stresses the need for a specific goal over and against a more general one. This means the goal is clear and unambiguous; without vagaries and platitudes. To make goals specific, they must tell a team ( or yourself) exactly what is expected, why is it important, who’s involved, where is it going to happen and which attributes are important.
A specific goal will usually answer the five “W” questions:
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Who: Who is involved?
Where: Identify a location.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
Measurable
The second term stresses the need for concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of the goal. The thought behind this is that if a goal is not measurable, it is not possible to know whether a team (or yourself), is making progress toward successful completion. Measuring progress is supposed to help stay on track, reach its target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs it on to continued effort required to reach the ultimate goal.
A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
How much?
How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?
Attainable
The third term stresses the importance of goals that are realistic and attainable. While an attainable goal may stretch you in order to achieve it, the goal is not extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, as these may be considered meaningless. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. The theory states that an attainable goal may cause goal-setters to identify previously overlooked opportunities to bring themselves closer to the achievement of their goals.
An attainable goal will usually answer the question:
How: How can the goal be accomplished?
Relevant
The fourth term stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter. A bank manager’s goal to “Make 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by 2:00pm” may be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Time-Bound, but lacks Relevance. Many times you will need support to accomplish a goal: resources, a champion voice, someone to knock down obstacles. Goals that are relevant to your boss, your team, your organization will receive that needed support.
Relevant goals (when met) drive yourself, the team, department, and organization forward. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.
A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match our other efforts/needs?
Are you the right person?
Is this acceptable for correction?
Time-bound
The fifth term stresses the importance of grounding goals within a time frame, giving them a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps you or your team focus their efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise at home or in an organization. A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency.
A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:
When?
What can I do 6 months from now?
What can I do 6 weeks from now?
What can I do today?

I hope you might find this useful

Now off to try and spin lots of plates some of which I will undoubtedly drop but I’m ok with that remember.

I shall try to be a bit quicker with tomorrow’s blog and put it further up my to do list.

Have a good day spinning your plates and remember it’s not the number of plates that’s important but being able to recognise your own best way of spinning and what you want to achieve in the long run to ensure you reach the ultimate goal of happiness for yourself and family.

Take good care

Deborah x

PS I would like to thank my special friend Julie who brought me round a lovely healing bracelet I believe it will get the rest of those cancerous cells running – So thank you Julie for that and the 15 new scarves you donated to the charity, they are perfect!  I just hope I didn’t bore you with my incessant chattering!

[1](Meyer, Paul J (2003). “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals”. Attitude Is Everything: If You Want to Succeed Above and Beyond. Meyer Resource Group, Incorporated, The. ISBN 978-0-89811-304-4.)

Mental health (a bit of a passion of mine if you hadn’t already guessed!)

If I asked you to write every thing you know about mental health I have no doubt that most of you would think and write about mental illness, funnily that doesn’t happen when we think about physical health. So what is mental health, how can we acheive it and how can we help our children acheive it?

The world health organisation describes mental health as, ” a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”

I think Wikipedia puts it nicely as being “a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience, an expression of emotions, and as signifying a successful adaptation to a range of demands.

When talking about mental health to large groups or individual clients I use “the long and winding road” to demonstrate how none of us are mentally healthy all of the time.

road with me on

As you can see I have placed myself on the road a little way down from being 100% mentally healthy. Who is a 100% mentally healthy all of the time? Most of us if not all of us have mental health problems at some time. I mean we wouldn’t expect to be physically in top form all of the time would we?

We are all up and down the long and winding road, here are a few facts and figures about the prevalence on mental health in the UK :

  • 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year
  • Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain
  • Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men
  • About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time
  • Depression affects 1 in 5 older people
  • Suicides rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women
  • Self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population
  • Only 1 in 10 prisoners has no mental disorder

Luckily we talk a lot more about recovery nowadays.

But what sort of things are likely to bring us down the road perhaps more importantly back up again?

Well I of course believe having our LAMBSS (see previous post) met in balance is a good start.

Here is a list of some of the possible life situations or choices that can take us towards mental illness:

Substance misuse
Bullying
Bereavement
Financial worries
Stress
Family break-up
Physical ill health

And some factors that can bring us back towards being mentally healthy

A good support network (friends and family)
Talking to someone
Meditation/mindfulness
Personality (in built resilience factors)
Positive attitude
Confidence
Good self esteem
Prescribed medication

How do we ensure our children have these, what can we do as parents to reduce the likelihood of our children developing mental illness?

Again these are my personal beliefs built on my experiences and map of the world.

I beiieve in order to have mentally healthy children we need mentally health adults that can act as good positive role models.

So take a good hard look at yourself and see what you are role modelling.

Are you demonstating how to manage stress?
Having a good work/life balance?
How to manage Anger?
Good self esteem?
confidence?

Hmm, now here’s your starting point………. YOU

It’s not always easy as we are all human and fallible, but if we really want to make a difference to our children’s mental health it’s where we need to begin.

posterchild change copy

I think we all want our children to be happy.

For those of you who haven’t yet seen or heard this young 13 year old boy speak (if you follow me on facebook you  may have seen it there), here is a very inspirational young man who can teach us a thing or two.

http://youtu.be/h11u3vtcpaY

Enjoy your day.

Deborah x

Resilience …

Psychological resilience is an individual’s tendency to cope with stress and adversity and I am very fortunate to have it by the bucketful.

Resilience has been shown to be more than just the capacity of individuals to cope well under adversity it is also their capacity to navigate their way to psychological, social,and physical resources that may sustain their well-being. This blog is a good example of gathering emotional support.

There are a number of other factors that promote resilience, they include:

  • The ability to cope with stress effectively and in a healthy manner
  • Having good problem-solving skills
  • Seeking help
  • Holding the belief that there is something one can do to manage your feelings and cope
  • Having social support
  • Being connected with others, such as family or friends
  • Self-disclosure of the trauma to loved ones
  • Spirituality
  • Having an identity as a survivor as opposed to a victim
  • Helping others
  • Finding positive meaning in the trauma

Here are my 10 tips for building resilience

  1. maintain good relationships with close family members, friends and others.
  2. avoid seeing crises or stressful events as unbearable problems.
  3. accept circumstances that cannot be change.
  4. develop realistic goals and move towards them.
  5. make good use of the power of visualisation.
  6. look for opportunities even in the most adverse of situations.
  7. develop your self-confidence.
  8. keep a long-term perspective and consider the stressful event in a broader context, looking for any opportunities it may bring.
  9. maintain a hopeful outlook, expect good things.
  10. take care of your mind and body, paying attention to your own needs and feelings.

The universe is really pushing my powers of resilience to the limit.

Yesterday one moment we were celebrating how well I was doing on the chemo, (My latest report on the number of para proteins in my blood showed a further decrease in cancerous cells) the next moment we were calling for an ambulance.

Poor Colin has had a heart attack in the past and now suffers from angina. This has got worse over the past few weeks, not surprisingly really as we have had quite a lot to deal with and his resilience factors are much lower than mine. Yesterday his chest pain reached a point that couldn’t be ignored. Colin is quite a stubborn man, he doesn’t like hospitals and is very squeemish even when certain medical terminology are used. He wasn’t happy about calling the doctor and we hadn’t been able to get an appointment when we called the surgery earlier,so he decided just to rest and take more doses of his magic spray hoping it would all just go away. After a short sleep he woke clutching his chest and agreed at least to give the surgery another call. They of course advised a trip to hospital, not only that, they insisted he call an ambulance..

So further drama went on in the Bone household. A quick response car was followed by an ambulance guided in by my sister who responded very quickly to my cries for help. It is so lovely to have her just down the road but I fear we are fast becoming a full time job between us. Kate accompanied Colin to the hospital because my immune system is compromised and it was felt that I was better off staying put. Before Colin had even left the house I had an army of friends and other willing volunteers stepping into action. Bless my good friend Angela, she makes an excellent wife and soon got the fires going and dinner cooked. She was joined later by Sue and Jo and as news spread I could probably have had a house full of visitors ready to take care of either Colin or myself.

Poor Colin kept in touch by text as he was wired up to various machines and had to be a very patient, patient and wait for hours to be seen by the cardiologist. Tests were on the whole looking good but he had a number of presenting risk factors and they weren’t taking any chances so requested he stay in for the night in order to monitor him further.

So hear I lay at 2.30am without my soul mate and only a hot water bottle to keep me warm, reflecting on the previous days events.

Was it the anticipation of waiting for more results, him worrying about our bank balance due to my recent passion for eBay or the 2nd episode of 24 that we had just watched that was the final straw, who knows?

What I do know is the doctor talking to him about angioplasty and stents won’t have done his anxiety levels any good at all and I wonder if he is ok or lying there worrying. He is at least a good sleeper so hopefully he is snoring to his hearts content. We certainly want a content heart!

So what will today bring, plans already made will probably need to be adjusted, I just hope Colin gets the all clear and can come home where we can take care of each other.

Never a dull moment!

Have a good. but perhaps not too eventful, weekend and thank you all for your never ending help and support.

X

Blame the tablets ….

…for the lateness of this blog! Sorry folks I know many of you like to read it with your morning cup of char before heading off to work. But last night I had eight hours sleep, that must be a record, and no psychotic symptoms to note. Now I will have all the energy I need to enjoy the day ahead. My kitchen blackboard calendar has against today’s date In large capital letters REST DAY. Well it’s my calendar and I can rub it out if I like. 🙂

But I may stay in my jimmy jams today (so be warned if you pop by), throw a couple of logs on the wood burner and tick off a few of the items on my to do list for today.

Work on my painting
Try out my new dry cleaning unit
Shop on line for my paper bags
Prepare clothes and shoes ready for sale
Finish the Village Secret invites and email out
Make labels
Ring my pension lady
Enjoy a cuppa with my work colleagues.
Watch another episode of 24
Catch upon all the recorded TV programmes I have missed
Work on PR strategy
Reflect on my meeting with my new friend David who I have the upmost respect for and can’t wait to see playing the lead role in Phantom of the Opera, I may just have to keep hold of one of my recently required designer gowns!

I also want to appreciate today that I have been blessed with courage. I think courage comes with confidence and gives the possessor permission to step outside the normal rules that sometimes dictate today’s world.

According to my online dictionary, courage is:

1) The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
2) The heart as the source of emotion
3) To have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.

The 6 C’s is a new compassionate, caring vision for nursing that has been recently launched. The vision is based around six values – care, compassion, courage, communication, competence and commitment. I was pleased to see courage being one of them.

It takes courage to stand up for the things you believe, especially if it appears to be at odds with the people around you. In my experience however, I have found there are many people who are often thinking and believing the same but lacked the courage to speak out.

So I am grateful for the gift of courage. Courage has helped me to believe, to follow my dreams. Yesterday I met David in real life, (instead of just through the powers of technology). It felt good to have a hug from a fellow ‘Courager’ (ok I know there is no such word in the dictionary but I’ve just made it up so they can make space for it now) Couragers are role models who by example can demonstrate courage and share stories that can inspire others to take the first step. I think there are any Couragers out there, seek them out and ask them to kindly share their stories it may just change your life. I think courage could be catching.

Do you know any Couragers? Is there another word that describes people that demonstrate courage, that speak out , follow their dreams? Maybe the word is Hero?

Come on Libi this ones for you. I need a noun that fits otherwise I am sticking with Courager.

Go out and be brave today

X

A date for your diary…

March 22nd from 7pm.

Village Secrets will be hosting its first ever exclusive girls night in.

I have been busy shopping (well someone’s got to do it ! ) for the best designer gear at knock down prices. I have sourced shoes and boots from Prada, Karen Millen, Russell and Bromley and I think I have a Gucci pair coming. And clothes from Dolce and Gabbana, Jaeger, Stella McCartney, Hugo Boss, Boden, Coast and other top knotch designers.

The first night will be a bit of a trial run but i can promise you It’s going to be a fun night, with glasses of Prosecco and nibbles at the ready, as well as a few other delights to tempt us.

Further details can be obtained by emailing me on deborah.bone@mac.com (I don’t want to put address details etc out on a public forum) I would really appreciate your support, can I count you in?

10% of the profits from the night will go to cancer research.

I must admit I never imagined setting up a new little business to be so time consuming but it has been fun and acts as a distraction.

Distraction is the name of the game today as it’s results day. This is always a pretty tense time as we await to see the consultant for the next bit of news.

I have set up some good distractions today though. On the way home I get to pick up three mannequins from a shop in Marylebone Road and then I am meeting up with an old colleague for a catch up over a cuppa. Both of these I am really looking forward to.

Colin, however is nervous of the mannequins ( huh?), apparently they remind him of an episode of Dr Who. I have tried to reassure him by letting him know they are headless but I’m not sure it has done the trick!

I have been wondering, when the time comes how I am going to fit work in. One thing is for sure I will certainly have a much healthier work , life balance.

I can see you all smiling to yourselves now (well definitely my work colleagues), as you say to yourselves, haven’t we heard that before? This time it will be different I mean its not every day a girl gets diagnosed with an incurable disease. That really does make you think differently about what really matters. Not that I’m not passionate about my work because I most certainly am and whilst there is breath in my body I will continue to try and make a difference to mental ill health in some way or another.

So on the subject of mental health and generally feeling good I thought I would share my top 10 favourite books.

On reflection looking at the list they are not all about feeling good but books I remember reading and enjoying at the time.

Parenting teenagers:

Get Out of My Life : But First Take Me and Alex Into Town -Tony Wolf and Suzanne Franks (I can’t tell you how many copies I have bought of this book for friends and colleagues).

Now I Know Why Tigers Eat Their Young: Surviving a New Generation of Teenagers-
Peter Marshall

NLP/ self help

NLP Workbook: A practical guide to achieving the results you want – Joseph O’ Connor

Get the Life You Want: Foreword by Paul McKenna. The Secrets to Quick & Lasting Life Change – Richard Bandler

How to be Brilliant: Change Your Ways in 90 Days! – Michael Heppell

Human Givens: The New Approach to Emotional Health and Clear Thinking: A New Approach to Emotional Health and Clear Thinking – Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell.

Making the Brain Body Connection: A Playful Guide to Releasing Mental, Physical & Emotinal Blocks to Success – Sharon Promislow

How to be a Bad Christian: .. and a Better Human Being – Dave Tomlinson

The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

Fiction (this is a mixed bag)

Germinal – Emile Zola
Bookends – Jane Green
The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Cheaper by the Dozen – Frank B., Jr. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
The Amityville Horror – Jay Anson

I’m not sure what that collection says about me!

Do you have a favourite book you could share I am looking for sonething good to read?

Scores on the board
Physical health – 3
Mental health – 4
Remember 0 is good on my scale and 10 is a shout for help as things have got pretty desperate.

NLP and my personal journey…

I am wanting to share with you my very personal journey into the world of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), although it does take some courage, I am doing so  because it may help someone else out there.  Everything in life, I believe, happens for a reason and I wouldn’t want to change my past as it has moulded my today, and today I am (for most of the time ), a happy, positive content person.

NLP explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour and emotion (programmes).

By studying and learning from these relationships you can effectively transform the way you traditionally think and act, adopting new, far more successful models of human excellence. (This activity is called modelling and is a key feature that distinguishes NLP from psychology).
In effect, NLP is a powerful change management tool that transforms the way people think and act to have the greatest impact both professionally and personally.
I can quite literally say NLP changed my life around.
At a young age my father left us, there is no need to go in to the reasons why but for a small child it was a significant event. To me he was my daddy and like many children going through a similar situation, I thought I must have done something very bad for this to have happened. The man I trusted most in the world abandoned me (or that’s how I perceived it at the time) . I thought I must be pretty ugly, naughty, useless for this to have happened. He did come back into my life briefly as a young adult, and we communicated by letter  ( no emails or Facebook back in the olden days), then quite suddenly he died in a car crash. This wasn’t hard for me to cope with because by then I was resigned to anything good being taken away as it was my lot and I was unworthy of anything more. I could have predicted it happening so it came as no surprise.
Does this sound like the person you read about today, the positive successful girl who sees the good in most things?
I had built up a strong belief about myself that I carried around like a heavy bag of coal on my back. It was wearing, boring and quite honestly exhausting.  In my head was a voice that would twist and turn every conversation or event into something that fitted with that strong sense of believe that I wasn’t worthy,  I didn’t trust anyone. If someone told me anything good I would look for a reason why they were saying it, and wouldn’t believe it to be true. If you don’t see the good in yourself it is hard for others to see it too, but from an early age I was determined to be good and kind to others, probably in the vain hope that they would like me,  I just never believed they could.
Until one day that changed my life forever. The bag of coal was lifted from my shoulders and the destructive voice inside banished to the museum of old beliefs.
Understanding how my brain worked and why, teaching it a new set of rules, re- programming and reframing, changing the language was as I have already said, quite literally life changing.
Emotional experiences throughout life, and especially during the early imprint years can result in the creation of ‘Parts’ within the unconscious mind. These Parts generate their own values and beliefs, and are responsible for certain behaviours. Overwhelming feelings and reactions, as well as out of control behaviours are the result of ‘Conflicting Parts’.
There is an amazing technique in NLP called Parts Integration that helps to resolve these conflicts between the parts by looking for the highest positive intention.
One 30 minute session with my very skilled NLP instructor Dee, turned everything around for me and the burden of self doubt was lifted.
So this is why NLP plays such a large part in my professional and personal life.
I now have confidence in myself, I can trust others and have a different positive set of beliefs and values that act as my map of the world.
Who would ever believe that the quiet unassured girl, lacking in confidence, would stand up in front of an audience of hundreds and speak about a resource she had developed or share a method of working that she had found worked well with parents and children. That she would win national awards and most importantly be able to accept them graciously.
How did that happen,?
What actually went on that day to change my life around so dramatically?
I remember it so well. I was doing a time-line exercise which explores negative emotions and limiting beliefs, at Dee’ s house one sunny afternoon, when I was overcome with emotion and completely frustrated with myself as I wanted to finish the exercise.
Dee took me to one side and asked how she could help. I remember saying to her that it was very boring, not her excellent training course, but my inner conflict. It bored me so God  knows it must have bored others. I explained to her about my inner voice and the heavy burden I had carried around for years. The time had come, I was ready to move on and discard those old stories and destructive self beliefs.
Dee took me through a process that involved identifying the inner conflicts I was experiencing. I gave the voice in my head a name ( I shall call it Dan for the purpose of this blog) and I thanked it for keeping me safe for all these years. I explored his intention and acknowledged the important role he had played. I then looked at another part or voice that had been much quieter and often drowned out by Dan, a positive role model that so much wanted to have her voice heard. I gave her a name, Julia Roberts, funnily enough,  it was a name that popped into my head at the time. It needed to be someone I admired and I think I had recently watched Notting Hill ( it didn’t have to be a male and female, it doesn’t actually have to be a person  it was just what I chose at the time).
Dan was made redundant (don’t worry he received a good pay out for all his hard work) ,   he had done his duty and his services were no longer required. Julia was offered a job and I often see her beaming smile as she reminds me of who I am today and the things I have achieved in my life. She is there with me as I step on stage her radiant smile lightning up the audience.
The relief I felt from the release of carrying around that bag of coal for years was indescribable although I have tried my best to do so here. From going from daily, no hourly doubting myself , telling myself (or rather Dan telling me) I wasn’t worthy. to how I feel today. It was just so magical how could I not go on to learn more, become a master NLP practitioner myself and use the many tools it has to offer to help others.
I am happy to say that I have influenced many people to find out more about NLP and train for themselves. We have four NLP practitioner in our team and many of the school nurses and health visitors went on to do the training. My sister is also now a master NLP practitioner, and combines this with her skills and passion with horses to teach communication skills, among other things. Kate  has her next workshop  coming up on May 24th so if your interested in this or any other NLP or mental health training just email me at deborah.bone@mac.com and I will put you in touch with the right people. I may even do a bit more training myself.
Anyway I will leave you with a little story I sent a friend many years ago and her response.
A friend of mine was fed up with all of the baggage kept in his shed. “Enough is enough” he said one day, “It’s time to remove  all of the unwanted junk.” He hadn’t anticipated all of the things he would  find in there, and it was true, there was a lot of junk, but some precious  things too, an old grammar phone and an LP. He hadn’t come across it before, and he wasn’t even sure it would work. But you know that sometimes you have to put on the music and dance to it to understand it and know its beauty. He hadn’t anticipated the many ways in which an LP could change his life, but suddenly clearing out the junk became simpler. He felt freer as he listened and learnt from an LP he’d never even realised could be this powerful. By now, the benefits were spreading and his friends and colleagues were all interested in acquiring an L.P for themselves. So he shared with them his experiences and all he had seen and heard.

Dear Deborah

That man…. was it you and your shed…. your treasure.

So glad that I’ve found my an LP in my shed.  It’s made all the difference to my garden and all those who come to visit.   Thanks for giving me the inspiration to seek it out.

You’re a great DJ keep on spreading the music. X

I did my NPL practitioner training with Dee and Paul at New Oceans
and my master practitioner with Melody and Jo
They  have very different approaches to the subject and are all great teachers. They often offer free taster days so it’s with checking out and finding which style suits you best.
I gained so much from them all but want to dedicate this post to Dee who changed my life around, and to whom I shall be forever grateful.
x

Sunday morning ramblings and oh so much more …

I understand the mind and body connection only too well and most of the time my mind controls my body. Yesterday my body took charge. My head wanted to shop, I was looking forward to visiting my favourite little fair trade vintage clothes store in Saffron Walden. It was open for the last time yesterday and I dreamed of picking up some bargains, saying farewell to Liz and wishing her all the best for the future, my body however had other plans. I am learning to listen more to my body nowadays and yesterday it was right, I could hardly move from the sofa never mind wander around outside in the cold.  So it was back to succumbing again!

I am never alone, besides having my lovely husband for company my imagination is my best friend. I have no need for external stimuli as I can lie for hours thinking and dreaming.

Yesterday I was thinking more about coincidence, well actually synchronicity.

Here’s a quote from The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

“I don’t think that anything happens by coincidence… No one is here by accident… Everyone who crosses our path has a message for us. Otherwise they would have taken another path, or left earlier or later. The fact that these people are here means that they are here for some reason”…”

The uncanny coincidence, the unlikely conjunction of events, the startling serendipity, who hasn’t had it happen in their life? You think of someone for the first time in years, and run into them a few hours later. An unusual phrase you’d never heard before jumps out at you three times in the same day. On a back street in a foreign country, you bump into an old colleague. A book falls off the shelf at the bookstore and it’s exactly what you need.

Synchronicity is a concept developed by psychologist Carl Jung to describe a perceived meaningful coincidence. Jung described synchronicity as an “a causal connecting principle” in which events, both large and small, in the external world might align to the experience of the individual, perhaps mirroring or echoing personal concerns or thoughts.

Although some scientists see potential evidence of synchronicity in areas of research such as quantum theory and the chaos theory the concept is not testable by any current scientific method. Skeptics, argue that the perception of synchronicity is better explained as apophenia, which is the human tendency to seek and perceive connections between unrelated phenomena.

Our scientific worldview is built on the concept of cause and effect, as a culture we tend to doubt and deny aspects of experience that aren’t measurable and verifiable. So often when events coincide in startling ways, the first words we hear or say are, “Oh, it’s just a coincidence.”

I am not sure I agree, too many examples of coincidences have happened in my life to put it down to pure chance. Many people have come into my life at just the right time. Tske for example the psychologist in my team who turned out to be married to one of the leading experts in a field closely related to Myeloma and who put me in touch with the amazing consultant that I put my ultimate faith in to today.

The concept that everything has a concrete cause is so entrenched in our modern Western mentality that it took considerable courage for Carl Jung to take on the subject of synchronicity. He had been looking for some way to break through to a patient who was very rational and rigid in her thinking and had a stock answer for everything. he was stuck as how to help her move forward. He writes, “I was sitting opposite her one day with my back to the window, listening to her flow of rhetoric. She had an impressive dream the night before, in which someone had given her a golden scarab—a costly piece of jewellery. While she was still telling me this dream, I heard something behind me gently tapping on the window. I turned around and saw that it was a fairly large flying insect that was knocking against the windowpane from outside in the obvious effort to get into the dark room. This seemed to me very strange. I opened the window immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in. It was a scarabaeid beetle, whose gold-green colour most nearly resembles that of a golden scarab. I handed the beetle to my patient with the words, ‘Here is your scarab.’ The experience punctured the desired hole in her rationalism and broke the ice of her intellectual resistance.”

Colin loves Pink Floyd and has spent a lifetime trying to create music that comes close to his idols ( I think he does a pretty good job) but up until now I have never really appreciated their music in the same way. Last night at approx 3.15 I had an awakening, well I was awake but also awakened to the sounds in a different way. In my research into synchronicity. (it’s marvellous what the iPad allows you to do in the early hours), I came across Dark Side of the Rainbow.

Fans of the rock group Pink Floyd have pointed out that their album Dark Side of the Moon (DSotM), can be used as an alternative soundtrack for the MGM motion picture The Wizard of Oz (1939) in a phenomenon generally referred to as Dark Side of the Rainbow. (DSotR) Contrary to the suggestion by some that this sync was done intentionally, there is strong evidence to support the conclusion that Pink Floyd actually synchronized this album to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which would tend to discount the claim that it was deliberately synchronized to the Oz movie. In an effort to find an alternative explanation, some have dismissed it as mere coincidence; others have tried to explain it as a trick of the mind, as in apophenia; but most interestingly, in 1997, writing for Relix magazine, Dave Kopel suggested the phenomenon was an example of Carl Jung’s synchronicity. Since then, fans of DSotR have been citing the phenomenon as an example of synchronicity, perhaps without truly appreciating what synchronicity really means, or just how closely The Wizard of Oz resembles a parable on Jungian psychology.

Since your consciousness is constantly interacting with all levels of yourself, some synchronicities will have more personal significance than others in your life. You can generally gauge how important a given synchronicity is for you by feeling how you respond emotionally and physically to it.

“When a person really desires something all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” I read this on page 114 of “The Alchemist.” The story is about pursuing ones personal legend and is a favourite book of mine.

I don’t know how synchronicity works, but I believe our thoughts are energy’s that exist outside of our physical bodies. They somehow connect with another persons thoughts, energy. Therefore we unknowingly and probably someday knowingly bring a person or event into our lives.

An example of this has happened recently. I was looking for a singer for my summer party. I searched YouTube videos and asked around. My lovely secretary at work knew of a guy who might just fit the bill. So I watched his YouTube video and thought yes please he would be ideal. But ohh so much more than that, once we got chatting via email we realised we shared some passions about education, coincidences and the universe.

Have a look at:

http://eduspire.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/introducing-eduspire/

Following up from the interest you showed from yesterday’s blog on education I think you will enjoy it.

The best way to begin attracting meaningful coincidences and synchronicity is to pay attention to when they occur. Don’t dismiss these unusual experiences as “just coincidence.” If you’ve never done this, you might be surprised at the similar themes that occur in both your dreams and the synchronicity’s you experience in real life. These might be important keys calling your attention to opportunities, relationships, and possibilities you weren’t aware of before.

The more attentive you are to coincidences, the more they occur. And it starts to get really fun when you realize that the things in life you are most passionate about tend to be the things that crop up in coincidence over and over. A particular band’s music, a friend’s birthdate, the name of a book you love, and so on. You also will likely find that you’ll be generating coincidences with your closest friends and family members, something you talked about in passing will turn into a recurring theme all day long or even for several days running.

You may begin to notice, if you haven’t already, the way it starts to look like everything is connected. One theme begins and travels along, then connects with another theme and yet another, and creates a roundabout back to where you originally began. Patterns emerge and intersect and the synchronicities become too apparent to be able to dismiss any longer!

When you experience synchronicity in your life, you can sometimes gain deeper insight into what you intuitively know to be true by taking a closer look at the synchronicity in question. Could it be true that the universe is trying to tell you something? To find out if there may be deeper meaning to a given synchronicity, ask yourself:
o What symbols does this synchronicity contain?
o What do these symbols mean for me, personally, at this time?
o How do I feel about this?

Have a go and start to notice what is happening around you, you may be more surprised than you think.

So much for my short Sunday morning ramblings I just couldn’t help myself.

Have a great day of rest.

X

A very different parallel universe…

On our regular drive to the hospital we pass through Regents Park, Primrose Hill and along the Marylebone Road. and I am always amazed to see row after row of grand properties each probably worth more than ten million pounds.

On yesterdays journey I was reflecting on the post about it not being money that necessarily makes you happy and I definitely believe that, but do some people have both?

In the evening, as I looked through my brothers holiday snaps (It is so good to have him back) and gazed in awe at the sleeping quarters on the BA flight I was reminded of a very diffetent parellel universe and a holiday Colin and I shared.

BA_FC_x13

A few years ago I used to be into entering competitions. It’s not necessarily because I wanted to win anything in particular, it wasn’t even really about the winning, it was the anticipation of winning that I so loved. I do the lottery because I feel excited about getting a call from someone saying I have won and I wonder what I would do next, where they take you, who I would tell.

I remember winning my first prize, a camera, as a child, by designing an upside down ice lolly. since then I have won a few small things such as DVD’s , perfume, tickets to a show and a folding bicycle.

Then the red envelope arrived.

When you win a big prize you think it must be a scam. Colin and I just stood there staring at the letter for what seemed like hours, reading it over and over again before finally having the courage to ring the number on the bottom to confirm our acceptance.

I had been dreaming (visualising) a holiday as I hadn’t had one for a few years and then we got presented with the holiday of a lifetime for free, imagine that!

A dream holiday for filling in my contact details in an online competition.

photo-14

So in Jan 2008 a few days after my 45th birthday we jetted off to the Gstadd Palace in Switzerland..

The Gstaad Palace is the ultimate in luxury even the carport has a chandelier. Whether you want to ski, dog sled, ride in a horse and carriage or a hot air balloon the hotel will help you arrange it. In fact, the staff will see to your every whim before you’ve even had chance to think of the whim yourself. Hand your coat to a porter when you arrive in reception and you’ll find it hung in your wardrobe barely a moment later. I had heard of a film called The Secret and before the words even seem to have left my lips there it was on the desk in my bedroom.

The room we stayed in was enormous with three televisions, one in the bathroom of course, we also had our own steam room, and a whole room just for our clothes.

The hotel had five restaurants for us to chose from offering cuisine from around the world. La Fromagerie had been decorated to look like the inside of a traditional chalet but my favourite was the blues bar with an amazing singer serenading us very discreetly as we dined on truffles and gold leaf delights of some kind or another.

The spa, well that was another thing all together. It looked like it should be in a Bond villain’s lair thanks to the stone walls with water running down them and circular central fireplace. The inside Jaccuzi opened up to the outside by the touch of the glass the wall rises and you swim out into the open air where at night it’s lit up by torches of fire. We would just put on our fluffy complimentary dressing gowns and take the lift down from just outside our room.
10326_176_bGstaad_Palace

Whilst there we were there we were treated like rotality with champagne receptions, balloon flights and various trips out to other amazing restaurants. We visited the famous Gogreen night club in the hotel. And danced the night away, drinkinng Bollinger on the dance floor over the pool. No worries if you didn’t have the right thing to wear there were a few exclusive shops within the hotel selling designer clothes, diamonds and other such trinkets.

Picture 002EPV3561

We were among 30 other couples who had also won by entering different competitions, one couple won a Audi sports car and £50,000 in the same competition.

The most amazing thing about it all was that you were made to feel completely at home. Staff would suddenly appear, they always remembered your name and would just say things like I took the liberty of ordering you some afternoon tea. Just in case and a few cut off cucumber sandwiches and a mini chocolate something or other might be in order.

Every night the bed was turned down my nightdress was laid out ( good jobI didn’t take my Primark jimmy jams) a chocolate was left on the pillow and classical music turned on to play in the background as you entered your room.

It really was a very different Parellel universe.

I just thought I would share that special memory, normal service will resume tomorrow …

I really have been very lucky but there again do you make your own luck?

Have a look at http://thesecret.tv/

If you fancy having a go at winning this is the site I use http://www.loquax.co.uk/

Better go now, I have a few competitions to enter!

X