In this moment you may have found some silence if you’re lucky, whether it is internally or externally. The picture looks blissful but is this person alone in silence happy or in turmoil?. Some human beings in company, either with one person or several, are uncomfortable and will break the silence no matter what. Is this simply because we are not used to it……….I once held the silence for almost three hours and I was truly amazed by my thought processes, it was a most enlightening experience, primarily as I was uncertain of my own reaction, as I engaged with myself throughout this duration.

Adults and parents ssh children and ask them to be quiet, which I find fascinating and intriguing as I ponder the reason why they want them to be quiet. At school teachers would play games with the children “see who can remain the quietest for as long as possible.” Invariably that would not last long………what were the teachers’ motives? Culturally silence has different meanings e.g. in Japan if someone wishes to engage with you in conversation and you ignore them you are considered as being extremely rude.

In company sometimes we are not ready to talk and we just want to be alone with our thoughts, especially when we might be struggling emotionally and the words will not come out at all, replaced by tears or a bottom lip that is being bitten. So here we are forced to experience the silence, yet people ask “what’s the matter?”. Perhaps we could design a little banner which simply says ” I need to be silent.” It is the other person again that wants to break the silence. If you choose not to respond and remain silent they may become more agitated.

Silence can be very self empowering, try it……………….




Time is precious so do it now

Time is always disappearing, it never stands still and before you know it it’s gone. Surely since we cannot capture it, would we not consider it to be incredibly valuable? Yet I never cease to be amazed by the line which is uttered universally ” I did not have the time” .

Lots of people say and think oh I’ll do it later/tomorrow/next week or month or year, yet I wonder how many times in a lifetime one person sets out with intentions to do something, anything and before they realise the opportunity to do it, whatever it was has passed. To say that you are going to do something requires discipline, effort, endeavour and then the commitment to follow through with the action of the doing.

As time is clearly very precious indeed, I guess when we decide to delay or put off what we said or thought we had an intention to do, we are left feeling somewhat disappointed, perhaps holding on to regrets because the moment in time i.e. the opportunity to do it has been lost forever, it is too late now and that is that.

One hour alone consists of sixty minutes, I challenge you to sit just for five minutes alone, silent in a room and time yourself. When you think the five minutes are up get up and check, see how close you were to thinking that the five minutes had lapsed. Five minutes in silence is a long time! So if you agree with me that five minutes in silence is a long time then with yourflying clock new added perception of time which is clearly priceless just imagine what you are now going to do with the time you’ve got, but remember, time is precious so do it now.



Positive distractions…

Sometimes in life when things go wrong, we are left wondering at that moment going forward  what to: do, say, think, feel; with a sense of despair; really struggling and wanting to do anything to lessen the pain whether it is emotional or physical or both……….

This idea of doing something to act as a distraction can be on the whole more of a positive rather than a negative. I remember 1998 was a particularly difficult year for me and all I wanted to do was press the fast forward button, wanting desperately to be anywhere else with my thoughts and feelings than where I was currently at.

It is well known that doing some form of exercise is good for you, because the endorphins are stimulated and you do feel better physically, which itself leads to a more heightened level of mental awareness.

The negative side of distraction is using it in its extreme as avoidance, where you do many other things to self-collude in order to put off facing your issues, which are real. As we are human  beings we do use avoidance, but it requires tremendous effort, so eventually we run out of energy……….

Positive distractions might be: remembering all the things you have in your life, the list may be longer than you realise, then looking around and offering help to others that are struggling in their own lives. That way you do something to help another human being, it does not matter what it is, they gain and so do you,boy looking at painting because you feel good about helping someone else which makes you feel valued by them and also you value yourself too.


Whatever you do, do something, anything – today!

Getting the balance right…

If the tightrope walker gets the balance wrong then that’s probably the end….as human beings I often wonder if many of us stop to think and ask ourselves about the imbalances in our own lives? Whether its work versus play, or eating and drinking sensibly, taking some form of exercise, being able to take steps to quit something that we know isn’t good for us – take your pick this list is endless. The old adage “moderation in everything” is a wise statement, yet I’m not sure this comment is followed by many.

I remember working late yet again in the office one December many years ago. It was a gloomy winter’s evening, I was tired and probably needed to go home. I was curious how many extra hours I had given my employer that year so I totted it up and it was over 550 extra hours- where had the year gone?  At school everyone loved the deputy head and during detention one afternoon he imparted an interesting one liner  “work hard, play hard “. On reflection, having had many years of life’s experiences, I have deliberately changed this in my thinking and in practise to “enjoy work, love to play .”

We are not tightrope walkers so we think it does not really matter about getting the balance right on any front. If you could go to your local church yard and interview all those buried there, not one person would tell you they didn’t spend enough time working, the opposite would probably be true – they didn’t spend enough time playing.

It’s 2014 and the pressures in life have remained the same throughout time, they’re just different that’s all. Surely by asking ourselves the question “have I got the balance right?” would be a step in the right direction towards thinking about perhaps making some changes in our lives for the better, because you only get one life and you’re a long time dead. My resolution for 2014 is one word ” LIVE”……

Why is it we struggle with endings?

It’s the end of the year, so once again I reflect on what I have experienced this year: the happy, the good, difficult things like physical and emotional pain, new friendships, the list is quite extensive.So traditionally many people in Great Britain, irrespective of where they are geographically on this great island will be singing Auld Lang Syne and as they do some will be relieved this year is drawing to a close ” glad to see the back of it”; while others will be filled with mixed emotions knowing that, as the year draws to a close and we all sing and wish everyone friend or stranger    “Happy New Year”  they know next year i.e. 2014 will bring lots of changes for them. Endings hold many different connotations -a break up of a relationship, moving home, changing job, death of a loved one… I suppose it’s not so much about the ending itself, I guess it’s whether I make the right decision to end something like a job or a relationship. I remember pulling the plug about a year ago on a thirty year friendship which is a long time, and I found this exceedingly difficult to do, especially as over the coming months, I still was unsure if the decision I had made was the right one. It hurt me emotionally to end this friendship – so many memories……

For those that are less fortunate and feel they have no control of the human things that happen to them like their husband or wife divorcing them – it must hurt deeply and in some cases the pain remains with them for the rest of their life. In time they make adjustments and learn to live with the situation. I know from my own personal experience what this feels like – not easy.

We struggle with endings in the many guises it represents, because we are meant to, we are human beings, complex in our thinking and in our behaviour to; it’s what make us and defines us. Perhaps if we were allowed to choose to be less human and live the life of a simple creature like the ladybird which has different needs yet fights for survival none the less, most of us would always choose to be human. One never knows what’s round the bend? As one door closes another one opens eventually .All you have to do is go through the door………..Happy New Year to you all!!
open door

Spring into action this Autumn

Once again it’s that time of year when “strictly come dancing” graces us with its presence  on national television. I love this programme and it’s always very thought-provoking: Celebrities of different ages and gender of mixed ability and fitness levels volunteering to dance in what can only be described as ” a scary live and very intimidating pressurised environment ” being scrutinised by millions. How will they cope with it all you wonder ? Some will embrace the experience and be able to jump out of their comfort zones, and as Len Goodman ( the lead judge) says  ” Give it some welly” whereas conversely others will perhaps feel emotionally that they have bitten off more than they can chew and are unable to deal with the demands of what is being asked of them to do in terms of physical endurance, and an ability to learn perhaps something very technically difficult to master and perform within a short space of time. Let’s not forget these professional dancer’s are the pick of some of the best acclaimed dancer’s worldwide, many have been dancing since they were young children.

Can you imagine the sheer enjoyment and love that it brings to you  when you are doing something that you are passionate about. Dancing like any other sport is so good for you in every sense. You are exercising and your endorphins kick in and you begin to feel so much better, fitter – more alive. This idea of doing any physical activity is great for the body, heart and mind – the list goes on.  When we are struggling with problems be they physical, mental, emotional or anything that impacts on us as human beings, sometimes springing into action is the best remedy, not just in Autumn when Strictly Come Dancing fever is here or when Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, but whenever you are able to because the benefits are endless.
Dancing is good for the heart

Understanding clients in distress

I had a back operation recently. I am beginning to realise even more, how important it is to convey my empathy to clients who are suffering with physical and emotional pain. My pain at the moment is physical, yet it is causing me emotional distress too. These experiences are very unpleasant, but is has added a deeper level to my understanding and desire to support clients in distress.