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.

It’s going to be a good week…

Yesterday was a bit of a write off as I wasn’t feeling so good. Apparently the chemo builds up in your body and has a cumulative effect. Mostly it was just fatigue so it was more succumbing I’m afraid. I am getting better at this but I am certainly no expert and do find it rather frustrating as I have so much I want to do.

This week I only have one hospital visit to see the consultant, so no chemo, (hooray) meaning less of an insult on my body. Professor Yong will have good news to report and my numbers will have gone down again. (lots of visualising going on here) This is the life of a multiple myeloma sufferer, until they find that magic cure, and they are getting closer, I must regularly visit the hospital where I wait to find out the next bit of news. I feel like a puppy dog at the mercy of its owner as I plead for another treat. Please give it to me, tell me the good news. I feel I am doing all I can at my end by keeping a positive mental attitude and trying to maintain a healthy diet. I am fortunate to be surrounded by such love and positive vibes and I know that is helping so I will be very disappointed if together we haven’t killed off a few more of those cancerous cells. This is not going to happen by the way. Just look at how well we did after the first cycle dropping from 53 to 11, I really haven’t got much further to go and then it’s just a simple matter of keeping the little monsters at bay.

Besides my hospital visit on Wednesday I am pretty busy. This morning I am catching up with daughter no 2 and my beautiful grandson. I am so proud of Jem who is doing such an amazing job of bringing her son up on her own. I have never seen such a happy child, he is a joy to have around. I wonder if he will take his first proper steps alone today?

Tuesday I am to going a wholesalers with my sister in law Lorna and her daughter Sophie. Sophie has set up her own ‘shabby chic’ furniture business. She really is an inspiration and I hope to pick her brains a bit for my own little enterprise. If you live locally I can thoroughly recommend visiting the Vintage Barns in Knebworth, there is a yard sale coming up next weekend, so plenty of bargains up for grabs.

Follow this link to her blog for some creative home design ideas: http://shabbylittleme.com/

I need pretty paper bags and tissue paper for Village Secrets and “Especially for You” my charity scarf appeal. Thank you to all of you who have dropped off or posted me a new scarf. I think I have about over twenty or more now which I will bag up with special positive messages and drop off at the hospital this week. I also have lots of second hand ones that will go to the cancer hair care charity. Do keep them coming please.

I am planning to hold my first Village Secret event on a march 22nd. I must admit I am finding this whole process very exciting although it’s quite hard work sourcing all the gear, making sure it’s good quality and getting it at the right price. It should be a really fun girls night in and I’m stocking up on Prosseco. If you want further details just private message me with your email address and I will send you an invitation. Not that I have made the invitations yet, that’s this afternoons job. So there will be no succumbing today my mind is taking control! My stock of designer gear is building up nicely now (I must apologise to my bank manager, don’t panic you have to speculate to accumulate, surly you must know that) and I have some great names including Prada, Gucci, Karen ‘Millen and Coast.

The rest of the week I will be catching up with old friends and some new ones. Now do I wear my Heather hair, one of my new head scarves or go for the punky very short spiky look. I think not the latter!

It’s going to be a good week I can feel it in my bones.

Why not make sure this is your best week ever? Get out there and shine, let the world bathe in your loveliness….. go on you know you can!


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:


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.


Education and co-incidence…

Our education system failed me I dreaded every day of school and after years of wasted opportunities I came out with nothing. (OK one English O’level). Such a disappointment I am sure to my parents who encouraged me to stay on another year in case I was a late developer, I was late alright by another 20 years! Never mind it was probably the school and they would have more luck with my sister who they somehow managed to get into an all girls catholic school. Guess what she did about as well as me. Perhaps my brother had a better chance of shining, his father had at least been to university so just maybe he had the more intelligent gene (not that our mother is stupid, far from it!) but alas he didn’t fair much better.

Back in the early 90’s I completed a full year of teacher training in order to achieve a bachelor of education degree but I dropped out at the end frustrated by the lack of opportunity to use any creativity. The education system seemed so rigid to me and my teaching practices didn’t allow for the sharing or exploration of new ideas with other teaching staff. With the curriculum as it stands , you deliver it as and when you are told and are measured as to how good a teacher you are by the number of A stars your pupils achieve.

Today I visit schools to deliver training or to take part in meetings to discuss a particular child and there so called problems and it seems not much has changed. Teachers are dictated to about what they teach and when and the children must be able to sit still and learn in a particular fashion. Now we know we all have different maps of the world and different learning styles so it must be an enormous challenge to deliver a lesson on a subject that quite frankly is probably completely irrelevant to a class of thirty very different individuals. Ah Ha you’re not allowed to be an individual, stray too far from the norm and you will end up being referred to our service! We mostly see very creative intelligent young people whose contribution to the world could be enormous if they could be channeled in the right direction. Instead these kids fit like square pegs in a round hole. They don’t do boredom and won’t sit there for hours just because that are told to do so. They don’t see the point and quite frankly I often have to agree with them. Unfortunately in this country unless your willing to pay a lot of money there doesn’t seem to be many choices available if any?

Have any of you read the Celestine Prophecy? I digress a little but bear with me. This is just a simple, easy to read, book of fiction (although the author admits his intention of it being more of a parable to illustrate a point) . It discuses various psychological and spiritual ideas and talks much about co- incidences. The book is a first-person narrative of spiritual awakening. The narrator is in a transitional period of his life, and begins to notice instances of synchronicity, which is the belief that coincidences have a meaning personal to those who experience them.

The book starts like this:

“For half a century now, a new consciousness has been entering the human world, a new awareness that can only be called transcendent, spiritual. If you find yourself reading this book, then perhaps you already sense what is happening, already feel it inside.”

Recently I have met a guy, well I haven’t actually met him yet, but he is coming to sing at my charity birthday festival. And by co- incidence he shares some of mine and Colin’s beliefs about the education system on offer for our children here in the UK today. (see there is a link) David kindly sent me a link to a school in America, which he was fortunate enough to spend some time visiting. At this school the children choose what they want to learn and when, If they choose to play video games all day then thats what they do. Now before you make a judgement, about what you think about that, take a look at the film on their website and then come back.


I was reminded of a conversation I had with a teacher who couldn’t understand why this particular boy had no interest in attending school. I asked her for a good reason why he should. She was flabbergasted by this question and looked at me in horror as she firmly stated to get an education of course! Is that the only way we become educated?

Here is a quote from one of the children who attend The Sudbury Valley School.

“I didn’t really think about getting an education. I didn’t understand the idea of having to artificially “get” an education. I thought that you lived in the world and you got smarter because every day you were learning. I thought that there was no way you could get dumber unless you were erasing stuff out of your brain. It seemed to me that one day you were talking to someone about one subject and another day you were talking to someone about another, and eventually you’d get around to all of them.”

A few years ago now a colleague and I were asked to speak to a large audience of teachers, on an inset day about managing stress. It was the end of the summer holidays and the day before the new school year. ( I’m not sure the timing was great). Besides speaking we were also on hand to offer a few individual sessions for any teachers wishing to make use of our skills and time. I think we only had time for 6 slots between us and they soon got filled. Each one of the teachers we saw broke down in tears as they described the stress of teaching, lack of supervision and support, bullying and fear of failure, and the new year hadn’t even started! How were these teachers meant to act as good role models? I very strongly believe to have mentally healthy children we need to start with mentally health adults. Sue and I ended up with recommending to some of these teachers they visit their GP as.the signs of clinical depression were clearly there.

Surely it is time for us to rethink our educational system.

Would you agree?

Have a great weekend


ps just in case your worried about your kids spelling this ones for you:

I cnduo’t bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh?

Measuring Success

Some days there seems so much to write about I wonder where to start. The challenge is to put all my thoughts down in the few words available to me in a blog. Oh I could write streams but surely I would lose a few of you along the way and I wouldn’t want to risk that.

I am excited about writing more about parenting, today’s education system and navigating adolescence (the lovely singer who is performing at my Summer party got me going!), but I think I will start today with how do we measure success?

When would we know we got it right?

In today’s society and in our culture in particular, success is often measured by the amount of money we have, the size of house we own or the car we drive and occasionally by the number of exams we have passed.

I consider myself successful, but I am useless with money ( I haven’t even started to pay off my mortgage yet) , so I don’t actually own my own home, I haven’t got a flashy car and I only managed to scrape through school with one GCSE (ok I collected a few more as a mature student), however I do consider myself as being successful, because I am (most of the time) happy and content. Yes even though I am considered as having an incurable cancer and experiencing a few not so pleasant side effects at the moment including insomnia!

If one is happy and content in life then what does anything else matter?

I think most of us would agree that happiness and contentment are the primary factors when it comes to measuring success.

Here is a little story I found which I think illustrates success perfectly.

An American businessman was at a pier in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked the Mexican how he spent the rest of his time.

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and, with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.”

“You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your Expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?” asked the Mexican.

The American laughed, and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right, you would sell your company stock to the public. You’ll become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions, senor?” replied the Mexican. “Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal Fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Food for thought?

Don’t wait for success to happen in the future, have a think about how you would measure success today. How am I going to make today successful? Enjoy the moment and the journey.

You could put your new found visualisation skills into practice and go and visit the place right now.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a famous poet and philosopher defined success in a life as:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of
intelligent people and affection of children; to learn the
appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of
false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in
others; to leave the world a little bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social
condition; to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

I think the Mexican fisherman would have agreed with Emerson and so do I.

Life is short so get out there and have a successful day TODAY, don’t wait for it to happen in the future. Yesterday has already gone so there is no point in worrying about it now and tomorrow will come again, it’s today that’s important.

Ooh, look at me Miss future focused is really getting into the here and now. I really must do a piece on time lines!

Have a good one


Getting the balance right

I have been writing this blog for about 7 weeks now (39 posts altogether) and I am very grateful to know there are people out there actually enjoying it. Having only just scraped through an English GCSE writing wasn’t something I ever considered doing but I must admit I am enjoying it more than I thought.

Welcome to the Parallel Universe was intended as a way to share the experiences and progress into my new world and to feel I wasn’t alone on my journey. It certainly has done that and is much easier to bare knowing I have you all on board.

Looking at my statistics I am overwhelmed by the number of followers, views and comments I hope this continues to grow so please forward my blog on to any one you think may be interested.

Blog stats to date:

61 blog followers
117 Facebook followers
95 Twitterer’s

The important thing to me now is to get the balance right, as this blog seems so much more than charting my space like travels. It provides me with the opportunity to share with you all the experience and knowledge I have gained throughout the years of working within mental health, training as a psychotherapist, parenting, teaching and much more.

But I do so want to get the balance right and share with you the parts that you might find useful in your own lives. My audience is varied , many of you work in similar fields, some of you are friends and family interested to know how I’m doing, some are fellow myeloma sufferers, and who knows who else is reading. ( There may be even a famous celeb or two) So I do like to mix the blogs up a bit.

Let’s have a look at some of the emotional health sort of subject matter I have shared so far and explore I few ideas that may be of further interest. I can then get my thinking hat on.

The knowledge share so far:

Different maps of the world- how we all perceive things based on our own experiences, values and beliefs
Visualisation- techniques for achieving our goals
LAMBSS – emotional and mental health balance
The BrainBox – a useful resource
Taking care of ones self- the importance of being selfish
Re-framing – looking at situations in a different light
Story telling – making use of metaphors
Pushing buttons- owning our own feelings

Possible future ideas worth sharing?

Anger management using the BrainBox
The power of hypnotherapy
More about Neuro Linguistic Programming
Human Givens Psychotherapy
Cognitive behaviour therapy
Self harm
Anxiety and phobia’s
Time lines – living in the moment
Different preferences- auditory, visual, kinesthetic
Managing today’s teens – I have some great resources I could share.
Children’s mental health
Exam stress – coping and preparing or supporting your teen
Improving self esteem
General mental ill health

So as I have already said (several times i think), It is about getting the balance right, so these topics will be interspersed with various ramblings from every day life in the Parallel Universe. Of course I must keep you up to date with any exciting forth coming hot dates. And then there’s the a Village Secret event ( which I am also very excited about), the ‘Especially for You’ scarf donation appeal, my 50th birthday charity festival and just every day life as a cancer patient ( back down to reality!).

Let me know what interests you and I shall blog it. Funny word blog but preferable to succumb!

I have a feeling today’s going to be a good day for us all but before I go I must share something that I love receiving and you can have too for free. There are no strings attached.

It is a message from the universe that’s emailed to you daily. You just need to sign up at :


Today I received this one from the universe:

Often, Deborah, simply showing up is enough.
Because the friends, abundance, and health you now dream of possessing have long been in place.
Because the coincidences, surprises, and serendipities that will transform your life already lie in wait for your passing.
And because little else could speak louder of your belief in success than physically putting yourself in a position to receive.
It’s fun to stay at the YMCA,
The Universe

How amazing is that?


PS. How many exclamation marks in this posting? ….Only 2 I think! 😉

Who presses your buttons?

I have noticed that I have become a little more irritable than usual. I suppose it’s hardly surprising really. Most of the irritability is to do with my frustration and having to succumb. (I can’t get this stupid word out of my head now).

Yesterday we had a good run to London it took us exactly an hour to get there and one hour fifteen min to get back. Not bad going, so with the treatment in between we were home by 1.30pm

That meant I could start my painting or at least the preparation for it. I was delighted with the large canvas and my choice of colours and spent a good couple of hours preparing to put the first strokes of paint down then WHAM!

I was overwhelmed with tiredness. On top of this my body ached, I felt sick and my tongue felt like a well used doormat in my mouth with someone still rubbing there feet on it . So I had to succumb, drop tools and just go and lie there on the sofa like an invalid.

I didn’t even have the strength or inclination to watch my recording of Mr Selfridge! I really felt mega sorry for myself and poor Colin had to put up with a really miserable cow, up until I managed to move from sofa to bed at about 8pm.

This got me thinking about who or what presses your buttons and another little story came to mind.

Billy the Robot by Paul Humphreys

Billy is a robot, a big new shiny Robot. He had a set of buttons on his chest. When the children push the green one he laughs, when they push the orange on he cries, when they push the blue one he is sad and when they push the big red one he gets very, very angry. The children laughed and laughed as they pushed the buttons and Billy did his tricks, first sad, then angry, laughing then crying.

At first Billy enjoyed these games, he liked playing with the children and making them laugh and doing exactly what they wanted. He had only just come from the shop and this was much more fun. After a while however Billy began to wish he could choose when to be sad, and when to be happy.

So one night Billy got a screwdriver from the garage and took the shiny plate with the big buttons off his chest. He then carefully turned it round so that the buttons were on the inside where only Billy could find them. When the Children got home from school they were surprised to find Billy’s button had gone. But they soon found out that Billy was much more fun when he chose to be sad or happy. And Billy was very, very happy now because no one ever made him sad, or happy or cry again because he decided what mood to be in because he was in charge of his own button. Are you?

So who or what presses your buttons?

If we believe that someone has the power to upset us then we must believe in…..Cause and Effect and that others have the power to cause us to feel unhappy.
How does this one sit with you? Do you believe this to be true and correct?
I think most of us would, however I would like to share a different way for you to look at cause and effect. In order for someone to makes us feel unhappy or for us to cause pain and unhappiness in others we must have access to their emotional buttons.
We must be able to press or stimulate these buttons to get a reaction?
Cause – pressing the button/ saying or doing something
Effect – emotional reaction to the words or actions
So where are your buttons? Do we have buttons on the outside of our bodies that read
”Press here for Anger”
“Press here for Sadness”
“Press here for Happiness”
Of course not! We all have full control of our emotions and how we react to situations.
The key to changing this pattern is to have “awareness” of these emotions and make a conscious choice to react differently.
If you have someone in your life who is constantly causing you pain and unhappiness, try looking at the situation from this new perspective.
You now know that only you can press your emotional buttons
Make a conscious choice to react differently to the same behaviour and watch your relationships change.

Take control and ownership of your own emotions and let others do the same.

I will not let Cancer take control of mine but I will pace myself and really enjoy the moments that are filled with more energy and excitement.

Have a good day


Story telling…

I love story telling and the use of metaphor and have used  it with many of the young people and families I have worked with. This morning I was thinking of a particular story (and I have so many I would love to share with you ), when I remembered that together with a good friend we had written a book.  Not only that, it had won a national award presented to us by Jo Brand.  I had forgotten all about it up until now but thought I would use this opportunity to share it with you.  Maybe we should get it properly published and available through Amazon?

So here it is ‘Sticking Plasters for Children’s Souls’ I am particularly proud of the Light and Dark story. Click on the link to read.
Using story telling and in particular metaphors  in therapy can harness creative and imaginative energy and lead to a greater understanding and resolution of even deeply seated difficulties.
My belief is that if you can see a situation in a related yet different way, and you can see your own role in the experience, you have a chance of getting out of the stuck places in your mind if you so wish to do do. Metaphors can help “reframe” the situation, and thus can be a tool for genuine self-help. You can use metaphors to deal with stress, and to reduce feelings of anger, hurt, depression, worry, anxiety, guilt and fear.
So here is one of my very favourite stories:
Happy reading ….
It was not long after the Gods had created humankind that they very soon realised that they had made a huge mistake. The creatures that they had created were so adept, so skilful, so full of curiosity and the spirit of enquiry that it was only a matter of time before they would start to challenge the Gods themselves for supremacy.
To ensure their pre-eminence, the Gods held a large conference to discuss the issue. Gods were summoned from all over the known and unknown worlds. The debates were long, detailed, and soul-searching, and lasted well into the night.
They were all unanimous about one thing. What differentiated the Gods from the mortals that they had created were the differences between the quality of the resources they had. While humans had their egos and were concerned with the external, material aspects of the world, the Gods had spirit, soul, and an understanding of the workings of the inner self.
The Gods realised that sooner or later the humans would want some of that too.
And so the Gods decided to hide their precious resources. The question was: where? This was the reason for the length and passion of the debates at the Great Conference of the Gods.
Some suggested hiding these resources at the top of the highest mountain. But it was realised that sooner or later the humans would scale such a mountain.
And the deepest crater in the deepest ocean would be discovered.
And mines would be sunk into the earth.
And the most impenetrable jungles would give up their secrets.
And mechanical birds would explore the sky and space.
And the moon and the planets would become tourist attractions.
And even the wisest and most creative of the Gods fell silent as if every avenue had been explored and found wanting. Where on earth could they hide these precious resources?
And then, the Littlest God, who had been silent until now, spoke up. “Why don’t we hide these resources inside each human? They will never think to look for them there.”
And so they did. Many of us don’t think to look at our own resources, or those of our workforces, but when we do we can often find real power.
Look inside yourself today and wonder at all the wonderful resources you have within.
Use them wisely and have a great day.


I’ve never had much time for sleep and always considered it rather over rated. There are so many exciting things to do that I don’t want to waste my time sleeping the hours away. Now sleep is being forced upon me sucking the creative energy from my weary bones.  Yesterday I slept most of the morning and much of the later afternoon, punctuated with tea and scones with friends and family , which was lovely. Frustratingly, I open my eyes to see the canvas and paints awaiting me but my energy levels are not matching my artistic desire’s.  I must succumb ( I really don’t like that word) be patient and wait for the moment. I wonder if Luxozade would help? No perhaps a large vat of Red Bull!

Sunday is a traditional day of rest, I shall pace myself. Colin will ring the church bells whilst I take a leisurely bath, Uncle Jack is treating us to lunch and then fingers crossed I shall get started on my masterpiece.
I shall let you know how I get on.
Yesterday my brother face- timed me from Jamaica, how amazing is that! I look forward to him coming home though as I would really appreciate a brotherly hug. I do hope him and Jo  have had a good rest in the glorious sunshine .
Happy Sunday