Memories are Made of This …..

First Learn to Be Silent , Then to Experience Silence and only then to Question the Silence ….

Memories are funny old things really .. as soon as an event has happened and we start to replay it from memory we create a whole new view on it.. we highlight the pieces we want to remember , the pieces we think we remember , the bits that stood out .. we forget or file away pieces that don’t interest us or are potentially too traumatic to focus on .. and hence the memory becomes our reality .. but it is not reality.

I do a lot of memory work with clients so I often find myself that memories of my own  from many years ago will just pop into my head .. no apparent reason and normally with no adverse effects, although like all therapists we have steps in place should that happen .. funny how the memory was like it wasn’t even there and then it’s like watching an old movie and everything comes back .. the sensations , the emotions , the smells even  . .. and then there are those key moments – memories of a time when you fixed a moment in your mind. You know when you sit somewhere and say I will always remember this moment .. in 10 years time I will look back and remember this …. Memories in therapy can work in many ways – focusing on memories of happiness will bring back that emotion , focusing on key events can provide anchors when life seems chaotic.

Memories have been on my mind a lot in recent weeks and perhaps throughout this year along with a feeling of disquiet…. As a scientist I would say its because of the client work I do and because I am running at full pace at the moment, setting up events , launching a new business and still spending far too much time in the social media world, taking in lots of bite size pieces of information rather than digesting and savouring learning .. But as a Pagan ( albeit rather lapsed) I would say it’s because we are reaching the end of the Pagan year – Samhain for us marks the final turn of our Wheel of the Year when dig down through the darkest days and wait to celebrate the return of the light at Yule . Like all new years a time for refresh and reflection .

Perhaps also memories are on my mind as it sees some key years coming to pass – both my daughters had banner birthdays – 21 and 18 which mean looking back at old photographs , reminiscing and of course thinking where did the years go – how old do I feel !! I was 44 this year and that for me feels like a turning point – 45 seems the start of the next stage of life I guess.

Then of course there is the combination of the changing of the year and a key memory which changed my life – for there is also another banner birthday this year – that of my eldest son Kieran who would have celebrated his 10th birthday. The first big birthday. But Kieran was born asleep and so along with his birthday is a whole host of emotions of sadness and grief and what if’s … memory of this time is hard but also important and the current #onemoreminute campaign and the fact that it is baby and child loss awareness month in October has of course had me thinking about the memories I have ( not that I don’t always do that). In the early years each anniversary was a reflection on all consuming loss that is felt when a child dies. In more recent I now work to focus on the few memories that remind me that I was and always will be his mum. ..I can still smell that baby smell as I held him  and I can remember like only yesterday sitting next to his crib in the hospital to keep my vigil that one and only night I had with him. I can also clearly remember feeling so anguished that in 10 years time he would be just a memory – a baby in a photograph.. and yet now we are there in the future I foresaw I know that isn’t true at all. Because he is so much more than a memory.

The loss of Kieran brought about a fundamental shift in my life – a huge change   for the people involved alongside overwhelming , gut wrenching grief … but in the years that came a feeling of wanting to make each day count, to do something of value , to work with others and help them see that you can achieve whatever your circumstances gave me a strength and a point… and that got me where I am now.

And so nearly 10 years to the day ( his birthday is on the 4th November) I will cherish those memories and create ones which fill me with pride and purpose. They may not be exact to the real events but that doesn’t matter .. because our memories are how we choose to learn. So take some time and reflect , wander down memory lane and perhaps create a new focus point right now to look back on in another 10 years… I never imagined I would be where I am now, at that moment in that hospital as I looked at my beautiful son to say goodbye.. but in 10 years time I will look back and remember that I was happy now, that we lived in a wonderful cottage called the Three Fishes next to our favourite pub .. and that 10 years on life was good… and I will lean into the disquiet and let it settle , I will look to not fight against it but to explore it as Mindfulness teaches us .. and then see where life takes me next.

 

ps I thought a lot about sharing this story hence why my blog has been rather sparse lately but one thing I wanted to be certain of was that he is not forgotten and therefore just as I write about my other children I write about him … and also I hope that others might see that life can good again .. you can be happy .. it will never be as it was – you will never be as you were .. but it can be good.

 

 

 

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Switch off to Switch On!

The average social media user checks in every 6.5 MINUTES that’s around 150 times a day ! – so says the research carried out by Arianna Huffington for her Thrive book .. and I am a guilty addict .. so it needed to change …..

‘I am writing this blog initially in a pink pen on a notepad . Yes actual writing – not on a screen , not with my thumbs or clicking on keyboard – but physically moving my pen over the page , feeling it’s smooth movement and realising how much focus is needed to form the letters … and how slow I am at it! You see I am having a digital detox day – no social media or checking of messages .. and already I am feeling calmer and more relaxed.

As someone who is an avid ‘ poster’ – I have 4 FB pages inc home and business , a twitter , an Instagram and a Linked in plus both home and business email accounts it seems I am on line A LOT! But not just when I need to be . I am permanently attached to my phone, checking it , picking it up , carrying it with me , worrying where I put it – not even able to get out of the car without looking at it. I was convinced for a while I was connected , learning and taking part in the world – always engaged and up to date but since becoming a practitioner or mindfulness ( hence the creation of my Reconnection Project and Journal Program) and mindfulness becoming a big part of my life, I have started to become aware of some worrying behaviours.

  1. Anxiety constantly over where the said phone was!
  2. Lack of attention with no ability to focus for more than a few minutes at a task before needing to check in again!
  3. Worrying memory issues from constant short bursts of short pieces of info that I rarely read in-depth, which led to me having difficulty remembering anything at all.
  4. Never truly engaged especially with my young son – I would be with him whilst he played but I would be on screen time so never fully present and experiencing this precious time with him.

On top of all of these I have become disillusioned with the images and news I am  reading.

  • the constant outpouring of celebrity grief for every single person that passes ( that’s a whole other blog itself.)
  • suddenly seeing images of tortured animals and experimentations and horrific news  – especially those where people think saying Amen will do any good.
  • being asked to cut and paste and being basically told if I didn’t I was a dreadful human being.
  • The seemingly endless petitions which are now so easy to just click and share – no effort needed to support a cause anymore. .. and who follows up on everything they clicked on ?
  • and finally the feeling of motion sickness and headaches caused by the scrolling action which my eyes have taken offense to.

And so on Saturday I decided to disconnect! and writing this late on Saturday afternoon it’s been a revelation already.  Suddenly I am aware of what is going in the world – the real world – like spending time with my family at our favourite café – instead of sitting there on my phone I am reading stories to my son and chatting to my husband ( who is slightly disgruntled as he is still connected and trying to invade an imaginary land).

Watching a film together and really watching it – seeing my son so excited when his favourite character came on and realising that he could say the words of certain scenes – who knew ?

Reading a real magazine – fully immersed in the articles , making notes and highlighting favourite pieces and feeling the knowledge start to seep into my brain which was relieved we were not skim reading yet again .. and the writing  this blog from start to finish without interruption…already there is a calmness and a belief of purpose that has began to come through .’

Now typing this up on Monday I can say I have continued my digital detox – not totally as I do enjoy hearing people’s happy moments and I love interacting with my on line community which plays a big part in my business – but I have been limiting my social media time. Specifically putting the phone away whilst being on task and ensuring that I am in the moment when I am with people. Ironically I have discovered a whole host of great material to share with my on line tribes whilst also having some serious background knowledge rather than simply clicking share on interesting articles – my love of research never went away but it was sadly dimmed it seemed and is now being embraced fully! – many post it notes have been used this weekend 🙂

I have noticed of course how much others are firmly still head down – my whole family including my young son were all on devices on Saturday evening so there was no one there to talk to .. I shall gently tackle this on going plus I realised how much of an ‘ addict I was ‘ – after the initial first day of enjoyment there was also some anxiety about not checking in which worried me but in turn reminded me that this project is important to our mental wellbeing ..

So I will work to resist the urge to live in a virtual world and strive be mindful in the present.

Details of my Journaling Program can be found at http://www.bemoore.uk

The High Of The Buy!

It’s no fun being a shopaholic!

The movie was funny and the books have sold in their millions – most women are familiar with the character in Shopaholic and enjoy the adventures she goes on. Most women have also experienced ‘ The High Of The Buy!’ – that feeling of euphoria that overcomes us when we buy that new item – it could be shoes, clothes , gadgets, makeup .. for me it’s jackets ( surely everyone has 52 different jackets in their wardrobe right ? )

But what happens when the feeling goes out of control – the need to keep buying and the need to get that hit of happiness strikes again and again?  For some the habit can be destructive on their lives, giving them massive debts and anxiety and stress.

What turns an innocent enjoyable experience into a nightmare out of which it is so difficult to escape?

Well there are many reasons and it makes it easier to work through when we understand that this type of behaviour is clinically linked to other compulsive behaviours – or disorders ( OCD) as we commonly refer to them.  We often think about the people who clean to an extreme and of course those which hoard what we feel are totally random objects.

All of these behaviours in this spectrum are driven by a need from the person – most often linked to self- esteem and worries about consequences should they not give into the compulsion.

With our shopping compulsive there can be that belief that by having that new item it will not only create a new look but will fundamentally shift their lives – they will be a new person , a better person – they will be different – improved and people around them will like them more and they will look into the mirror and like themselves.  The initial rush of feel good hormones when the purchase is made buys into that  view. It is indeed an addiction psychologically and coupled with the desire for the object and the overriding belief that there is a ‘ need’ not a want, the compulsion kicks in .

Sadly once the item is bought the effects quickly wear off. In some cases it will be when the item is worn once and the realisation that life is still the same and You are still the same starts to dawn. For others the item may never be used – it may end up in the shopping graveyard – tucked away in the back of the wardrobe ,still in the bag with the tags on  – but again it’s the same reason. All the problems and anxieties you had before the purchase are still there and  with  the high of the buy gone from your system you now experience a true low. There may be a feeling of shame itself that you let yourself fall prey to the habit, there may be feelings of panic that you spent more money that you could not afford, increasing your debt and for some there may be the lies which follow as they cover their tracks leading to an increase in anxiety and stress. All of this reduces the person’s self esteem and the roller coaster starts to crank up again leading up to the thrill at the top of the hill when the next purchase will be made because surely that will cure everything – followed once again by the rapid crash down the other side.

The good news is that with the right support the roller coaster ride can be halted. Cognitive Therapy enables people to start seeing that they can control their feelings and have choice. They can start to see the good things about themselves which are already there – which do not need boosting with external and material items.

Being able to examine evidence of the lack of impact the items have on their feel good factor long term, coupled with seeing that they can bring positive thoughts into their lives just from within themselves, empowers the feeling of choice. .. and with choice there is control. Additionally having a safe environment in which to explore what started the roller coaster can give clarity and understanding – realising that there is an explanation can be empowering in itself.

We all love some external gratification  – I will never be a minimalist and my next blog will follow on from this to talk about how hoarding takes over .. but if this blog brought up feelings in you that were familiar perhaps just stop and think .. in this material 1st world we are in no one ‘ needs’ that new item.. and no item will solve your problems. Enjoy what you own and what you buy but see it for what it is – it’s just a dress, it’s just a lip stick , it’s just a pair of shoes.. what you have inside of you ? … now that is life transforming !

Dream More .. See More … Be and Feel Fabulous Being You !

Connection Interrupted ….

In a digital and virtual world in which we are connected to individuals all over the globe on a 24/7 basis , wherever we are, it appears we are more disconnected with life than ever.

Those that follow my various social media threads will know that connection and reconnection have been weighing on my mind recently. Initially it was a self interest in which I noticed that we spent many hours connected to machines which connected us to others, but that sharing of personal connections did not seem to be apparent. Everything was taking place in the virtual world – to the extent where whole families ( mine included ) could be sitting in the same room , with the TV on and all on different devices having 10 different conversations – but none were with the people they were actually sharing space and air with.

Conversations take place in bite size chunks whether on text or whether totally condensed by the rules of the virtual world, in which you can  only share 140 characters in which to have your say, or send an image or thought only for it to be deleted from existence a matter of moments later. We are sharing more and more of our lives – and yet it is a filtered life where we filter not only the information to show ,mainly the best bits of our fabulous lives  but also the actual image – the food needs to be at the right angle, the selfie the right tone , the body shape altered to appeal to the masses.

We walk along the street with headphones in having conversations with invisible people or we scroll through page after page of someone else’s news… but what is happening around us?

I also noticed that direct communication is filtering out. In a recent post ( and yes I am a frequent poster on numerous sites so I aim these thoughts at myself also as a good therapist should) I spoke of no longer phoning someone. The invention and wonder of the landline was so short lived. Could those people only 30 years ago even imagine we had grown bored of the phone in the house?  When being able to phone your friends was a luxury and a thing to be treasured, when everyone would rush to answer the phone eager to see who was connecting and when you sat on the stairs -because for those younger readers – phones had cords and normally had to be wired into the hallway near the door – you stretched the cord and you chatted with your friends until someone shouted about the bill. Now we worry we will disturb and so we text first and often the text will do- no need now to talk and chat. Actually ringing someone seems so invasive and for my children’s generation it seems almost bizarre and scary that you would ring some one and wait for a real person to speak.

Even when ordering coffee and food people are speaking but looking into their phones.

It made me think about the way we interact in the virtual world – the way it is OK for many people to be so angry , so hurtful , so cruel in their comments regarding matters and people which have no impact on them and they have no reason to be so offensive over. Yes it could be said it is easy to hide behind the virtual world but could we also be losing touch of the fact that there is a real person behind that profile who has feelings? Could it be because we share so much and have so much insight into another’s life we feel we have a right to make such personal comments and there is no consequence in this celebrity driven universe we inhabit? Perhaps made even harder to keep in context when many have avatars to represent them bearing no resemblance to a real person.

This curiosity became more a focused item when only recently a very dear friend of mine passed away suddenly. As is the way in this modern world the news was filtered through a friend of a friends social media post – to which my daughter woke up to just hours after the event…. the insight into someone else’s world which we have come to accept as normal highlighted the often forgotten impact of news on others outside of the virtual world bubble. Ironically we had lost touch because she was one of my few friends that I actually needed to speak to in person and call – she did not really text and she had no on line life in which we shared.. I had more actual connection in that friendship than in many others and I realise now how much that will be missed.

And so I will be launching soon my reconnection project in which you are encouraged to connect with those around you and yourself , to come out of the online world and take notice of the what is happening within the reality space.  To look to make connections with real people and to spend time connecting back with the real you.

My thoughts today are not meant to be saying it is all bad- social media keeps us in touch with people we would struggle to do so with – I have friends in other countries and I enjoy seeing all my virtual world news updates and pictures and of course my business is reliant in many ways on these media outlets .. I just want to highlight that there is a world out there , a real world with real people .. look up and reconnect with each other and see how amazing it can be.

#Just Eat Normal

 

I say this quietly and a little cautiously – I am not on a diet .. nor am I on a nutrition program or a food plan – I am not having meals delivered made to measure and I am not , excluding food groups. The reason I am cautious is that it would appear this is now not the norm – it appears everyone is doing some kind of ‘eating thing’! and to eat normally i.e just a normal day of food -sometimes good food , sometimes rushed on the run food, sometimes admitting I skip lunch then have a packet of crisps for tea, is quite frowned upon – added to the fact that many people are deciding they know best about what you should eat and more importantly what you shouldn’t eat ..and overall it’s making me hurrumph !

Hurrumph – the noise you make when you also perhaps roll your eyes and have that feeling of ‘ really !  the noise I make when the ‘ food police’ make their appearance.

Now before you all start saying -well it’s all about education and everyone needs to eat healthy. I agree .. so stop because I agree. People do need to eat a healthy diet – they do need to understand what’s in food and have options about what they buy and from where … and from that they are free to do an amazing thing – they are free to have choice.

Choice is great – and if you are choosing to eat any of the above types of diets or lifestyle things then go ahead – you may medical needs or moral and ethical views or you may just like eating that way .. but remember it is your choice! – and others can make theirs. What really makes me hurrumph is firstly that you are surrounded by so many differing messages about what is and isn’t good, which change depending on the fashion of the time .. and that people then feel they can impose their choice on you. Recently I experienced a situation in which I reached for  a small piece of chocolate ( milk chocolate not pure 70% bitterness) ..and 4 people started to discuss how they just couldn’t eat it – they were juicing , detoxing , cleansing , only eating purple food , living off liquid smoothies , shakes , no carbs and various other non- enjoying eating pastimes.

Aside from the way this makes me feel on a personal level there is a more serious side to this which I view in my world as a Psychotherapist and my view as a mother to a number of young women.

I grow concerned about the number of people who set themselves up as food experts, all saying their way is best, when in fact they have no real qualification to do this – they have no knowledge of how to educate and work with, or in some cases importantly without, individuals who have medical conditions. I grow concerned by some of the messages available on social media that advise people that if they break away from this ‘ clean eating trend’ they have somehow failed themselves. These messages which drive impressionable people to focus solely on what they are told they shouldn’t be eating – not as a healthy balanced diet but because it is THE way to eat. Feeding literally into the eating disorders so many young adults can struggle with, linked with self esteem and body image challenges.

I also grow concerned by the scare tactics used by individuals who believe one way of eating is best and anyone who eats differently is helping in  the extortion and pain  of all animals or towards a ruined world. Grouping everyone together rather than again helping people make good balanced choices about where they source their food.

I love food – I love the social aspect of it and the sharing of it and it feels to me as though we are in a world where that is no longer really enjoyed. Rather that every ingredient is dissected and judged lest it not meet approval. Beware of the dinner party you cook for the list of what people will and will not eat could be mind boggling!.. and to be perhaps really controversial I don’t want the calories of every choice laid out for me in certain coffee shops – if I am buying cake and a milky coffee I am aware that it is not ‘slimming’.

So I guess what I am looking for is a way in which we can enjoy food again. We can choose what we eat and have a balanced and healthy approach with clear and consistent guidelines. Where we don’t have regular reminders from salt / sugar / protein police and people telling us over cooked potatoes could be toxic…  to find a way in which we can #justeatnormal again …..

 

 

 

What’s in a Label?

Labels – we love them! They define everything around us. They give context to things , stuff … and people!

I am fascinated by how people are defined by others but also by self through the label they wear – of course it’s not a visible label but it’s there non the less. You can often have many labels all at once,  your luggage covered like a well-travelled explorer of life.

The fascination comes from how simply these words can instantly create a change in how a person feels.

They can lift you up – head proud – this is me. They can dictate how you see your social circle, who you mix with , what objects you choose to covert in your life.  But what about when that changes and you get a label you never expected to have .. suddenly you see yourself in a different light – you are not the person you were and that changes everything around you as well..

Many of my clients have changed their lives and thus changed the label and it is almost always this piece which makes it so hard to move on.

Labels are totally linked to  our view of self-esteem.

For women more so than men we have a label for almost every event – it seems as though you blink and suddenly someone has come up and stuck a sticky label on you – that’s it – that’s you now – you are in that box!

I think about the labels I have had over the years .Although I have no issue with the label wife or mum, in fact I see these often as titles which I proudly bear, of course I cannot just be that. So we must define further – I was initially a ‘ young mum’ when I had my first daughter the age of 22. A label which seems to say – ‘perhaps not quite able to cope ? ‘

When I had my son 2 years ago I was a Geriatric mum, even though many women are now having children much later in life.You can imagine the looks and comments I gave to the staff around me at that time. But again a label which also said ‘ perhaps not quite able to cope ‘ but from a totally different view-point 😦

Then of course we must label further …

I have always been a working mum. It appears I could not be a full-time mum as I went to work and therefore I stopped being a mum a work and was only a mum on a part-time basis. On the flip side of  course mums who are full time in the home are not labelled as working because well – they just don’t ! ( yes I am saying this all tongue in cheek before people implode with rage)

I have been career girl , single parent , separated , divorced ,  second wife, mature student – all of which conjure up feelings in me of times in my life, but also honestly about whether I liked that label or not – and whether I liked it, was I guess, very much based on how society saw the wider group they associated with it.  Career girl was very high flying , always busy , juggling everything , single parent always felt a bit sad even though we were extremely happy and I really enjoyed that part of my life. separated felt unfinished and divorced was a label which some people almost whispered as if to say – on the shelf again. Second wife is a favourite. It doesn’t sound very permanent does it. As if you are just there for a bit until another one comes along and also brings up feelings sometimes of  not quite belonging in the family group.

Now I am a step mum – a label which brings images of dreadful relationships between child and adult ( when in fact we do alright – that is subject for another blog) and to be honest I am not even sure what the label means – because in actual fact I am not their mum. They have a mum – I am ,dare I say it ‘ Ali ‘. And there in is my point.

Throughout all of these labels I have been given and the roles I have undertaken – I have been Ali. Of course I have changed , grown and filtered during the years – that is life… But I look back and I see how I allowed the label to define me in many instances, when in fact I needed to define me by who I was. That is why when life changes and your label changes to something you don’t identify with it is so hard to pick up and move on. Add into the mix the fact we all love a diagnosis so you can now be anxious , stressed , depressed etc. and it’s no wonder people say to me – I am am not even sure who I am any more ? .

You need to remember that  you are still you .. you are all the things you were before as a being. Your routine may have changed , your physical tasks may be different .. but you are always there . When we take time to connect and be still we can just be. A wonderful coach talked to me recently about really owning who you are being. Owning who that person is that you are portraying.

Without going in the realms of darkness that is political society we are so keen to label people now adays so we can make a judgement that it seems a good place to say :

A label cannot ‘ make you feel’ anything unless you choose to let it do so.

A label should not define how we view ourselves or how we view others.

A label should be something you choose to have or not have ….

Sending much love out there from this business women / mum / step mum / second wife/ slightly frazzled psychotherapist!

 

 

Perfume – The Sense of It.

At this time of the year many women will be using new bottles of perfume received as a Christmas gift. Perfume comes with the heady promise of a slightly different you – if the adverts are to be believed we shall be transported into a glamorous adventure, whilst being transformed into a goddess who can bungee jump in taffeta and not lose our tiara – and everyone will be unable to resist us!

In a way the perfume ads are tapping into something – our sense of smell is such an important part of our emotional make up. Smell can trigger a whole range of emotional responses -from elation to disgust and of course the aroma practises are all about selecting the right smells to create the feeling – be it energised or calm. It’s no wonder that victims of crime ( especially those of a personal nature) will be able to remember a certain smell, when perhaps details of the attack itself are hazy.

For me though the perfume ads are missing a trick – they are focusing on the world we could have. Everyone of course wants that bit of escapism and look externally to get a boost in the right direction. I often speak to clients of needing to be able to produce emotions from within and thus being in control of your emotional responses and not needing external factors –  but there is no harm is allowing an outside influence to help us along the way on occasion.

Perfume  for me though is not about a different life that is out of reach. I, like many women, will be spraying my favourite scent whilst juggling the whole ‘ getting out the door ‘ routine in the morning. For me this involves negotiating  with a 2 year old and a 17 year old. Both on their own time zone, and both focused on what they need to do before we leave – the fact that my schedule is fitting around them is often of course not even in their zone.

But when I choose my scent of choice for me it brings back memories – of lives gone by and people that were in them. It’s like Silvrikrin hairspray – just a whiff of this  and I am back in my nanna’s dining room whilst Liz the hairdresser does her weekly wash and set- a blue rinse all finished off with waves of Silvrikrin hairspray – I can see every ornament  and even the mats on the dining room table – just like it was yesterday.

Again like many women, when it comes to perfume I have had my select few – the specially chosen perfume which has stayed with me for significant times. .. and like old friends or flirtatious courting, they all have their own memories.

I am a Chanel girl myself- coco chanel to be exact – my go to scent which reminds me that I am a women , a grown up. I swapped to this soon after I left home and started out on my own life adventure. I see my first house that we rented and my dresser on which my first bottle sat. I found it through my mum who was a No.5 lady and so together it holds many emotions of the past. It’s like a comfort blanket which I know will always be there for me. I like to think I stay true but then there are the scents which try to lure me away – at the moment I am flirting outrageously with Black Opium..adding that little spice of life . Chanel of course will always be there for me patiently waiting.

Finally there are those scents of days gone by .. Charlie was my teenage choice and the smell takes me right back to my bedroom at home, which I vacated  nearly 30 years ago. I persuaded my parents to let me decorate in black and red – the must have colours of the 80’s – I can see Morten Harket from Aha , Prince and John Taylor all staring at me from the walls , alongside the old cassette player onto which I would record the weekly chart show. .. Then there’s Tommy Girl – my move into a cool more grown up world – my first power suits complete with shoulder pads.

So you see I also enjoy some escapism but that moment when I spray my perfume, I take a breath to remember life and where I was and where I am now – and I smile over the years gone by .. Natalie Portman can keep her rope ladder – if he can’t be bothered to land the helicopter I am not climbing up and the bad boy from Diesel – if your going to treat me rotten  then you can just jog on yourself.  I am happy to stop for just a second and recall the memories of days gone by .. before I am jolted back to reality by a toddler who’s world is ending because his shoe is ‘ wrong ‘ and a teenager who has lost a vital item and will now spend 10 minutes searching for it whilst I stress about being late for wherever I am meant to be:)

So next time you indulge in your favourite scent focus on what you had and what you have now .. fantasy is wonderful but your memories and your reality can be just as amazing.

 

 

Bemoore .. Be You in 2017!

It’s that middle week .. the ‘not very sure who’s doing what week’ … the ‘ should stop Christmas eating .. but have a few days left’ week … the ‘ thinking about next year’ week!

At Bemoore, rather like many other businesses I am busy planning ahead for the 2017 season. My aim – my goal within Bemoore is enable individuals to feel good about themselves and a large part of this are my Women Achieving Workshops.

Achieving means many different things to different people and these workshops give women a chance to share their experiences about what achieving is in their lives. It also focuses on the challenges women face and why, on occasion, we don’t feel confident to just be ourselves.. Bemoore is not about changing you .. but embracing YOU!

As well as continuing with the partnership at Bedford’s wonderful Harpur Street Business Parlour,  I am really excited to have partnered  up with Nat West Business Boost to launch my new Milton Keynes location.

So with 2 locations and with day and evening sessions available there is even more opportunity to sign up and get involved.

  • Discover what you really like about yourself.
  • Learn how to give out  and  receive own those compliments.
  • Start to find ways to overcome anxieties or unhelpful thoughts which are holding you back.
  • Make plans to reach your goals and dreams

You can find links to all the up and coming sessions on my webpage http://www.bemoore.uk

.. but here are couple to get you started 🙂

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-achieving-find-your-roar-workshop-in-assoc-with-natwest-boost-tickets-30217762140

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-achieving-find-your-roar-workshop-tickets-30217245595

 

 

New Year .. Same Me!

It’s that time of year when you are trying to juggle everything, whilst still feeling festive and enjoying the season. The time of year when we all look for presents for each other and of course secretly think about what we would really like to have for Christmas.

In my house, just as in many others, we have the Christmas box of snacks to allow us to over indulge ( meant to be saved for Christmas – which technically has started though right – so we can sneak some out every so often!). Calories don’t count if it has come out ‘The Box’.

We will have a full house this year with all 5 children and my mum and step dad and it will be about giving and receiving and eating .. and eating .. and eating … toys will be strewn across the floor, which will turn into a Lego injury waiting to happen and our 2 year old will end up in a box happily playing with the wrapping paper !

The week in-between is of course that magic week in which we all lose touch with reality – even the days of the week stop having meaning as we roam from Christmas Eve to Day to Boxing to ‘ those days in the middle’ New Year’s Eve and so on.. until finally ..

It’s now a whole different ball game! Suddenly it’s all about exercising , giving up bad habits, dieting , not smoking and generally being a better person all round. As a psychotherapist and coach I am already buying into this, advertising my 2017 specials offers to help you get on your way ( fabulous weight loss and smoking cessation programs available btw :)).. and thus it got me thinking about it all and wondering actually if there was also other things we should focus on and not forget from the year we have just had.

It’s been a rotten year in many way with wars and evacuees fighting for their lives, for the loss of many loved icons and the loss of personal close loved ones – of political decisions which made us sit up and say ‘ blimey I wasn’t expecting that!@’ and wondering what will happen going forward.

So as this New Year starts and you make your list of resolutions, think back to what you have learned and what you have gained from this year .

Remember that you got through it. That you started last year with the same view of doing better and think about what you did there and how it went.

Remember that you already do your best in so many ways – you are in so many ways already Good Enough! Think about the time with your friends and family and the achievements you have already accomplished.

Small changes can always make things in life seem brighter – getting up and committed to my morning Yoga routine I know is something that will do that for me. .. large changes can be done in small steps such as building on my growing business.

When we try and change everything in one go it can feel daunting and inevitably by the end of Jan the queue at the gym will have diminished and chocolate biscuits will be back in the tins in the cupboard. I always say I will try and remember everyone’s birthday and send cards on time .. and I miss nearly everyone’s on the day – but I will remember and make time for them throughout the year .. in fact one dear friend and I always say that if we exchanged on the right day it would be a sign our friendship was in trouble!

I guess what I am saying is rather than think about all the things you will stop or change think about what you will continue and what you have already done. Be kind to yourself and those around you and will have started the year in a good way .. and good is Good Enough.

Have a wonderful holiday whichever festival you celebrate – A Bright Yule, a Happy Christmas and a Merry and Positive New Year !

 

I’m an Introvert – and it’s OK!

So this is the thing.. I am an introvert.

People who don’t know me will think how can this be in my role – the whole working with people and standing in front of groups and presenting and running workshops .. but the fact is I am and although I was also surprised when this first came out in different psychometrics, I am now very comfortable with this.

I love working with people, but I also love and need my space. Space to be alone – to recharge my batteries and just be quiet. I have noticed more and more that due to my job  it is vital for me to make time for this – otherwise something else happens.. I stop being the person who wants to make small talk and chat and I become ‘ that person!’

This happened to me very recently and was a very clear reminder that down time is a definite for introverts.

Having started my own coaching practise I have been interacting with people more and more, networking , talking to clients and alongside this still doing a full time job, which is all about development of others.

I had agreed to run a full day coaching course for a corporate client. It was on a Sunday and although this was over the weekend I was happy to oblige. Having been full on all day with a great group of people, I was looking forward to what I thought would be a quiet train journey home – that could be my down time that was very much needed.

I boarded the train and sat myself in the window seat with a copy of the Times. I was clearly saying in my mind to anyone who saw me –’ I am having me time’ – please do not approach. All was well until I got into London central. A young man boarded and before he had even sat down I had a sinking feeling that this was going to be a talker. He got settled and soon was asking all the usual questions – where was I heading , telling me about his role and asking about mine. I made some small talk and tried to go back to my paper. He was having none of it. The questions kept coming! Slightly irritated, I thought – ‘how can he not tell I am not in the mood for conversations!’

But it was  he explained, his first time travelling into London on business and he was keen to share – he wanted to know all about my business , where my stop was and how often I travelled in and it was at that point  a strange thing started to happen in my brain … Firstly I started to regret my decision to sit in the seat by the window – there was no escape and slowly but with purpose ‘that person’ was starting to take over.

Why was he asking all these questions? What did it mean ?

Was he in fact some kind of weird stalker?.. I started to panic about what I had told him – anything personal ?  where I lived ?

By the time he got off and shook my hand  -( bit weird anyway) and stated he hoped our paths would cross again, I had created a whole scenario in my mind – he had been following me for a while , he had got on the train and was now sussing out my potential victim status. I found myself trying to see if he really had stayed off the train and not got back on in another carriage.

It would be dark when I got to my station – the car would most likely be on it’s own in the carpark ..

The psychotherapist in me was now in diagnosis mode – I was seriously thinking this person was some kind of psychotic individual. I got off the train, checking behind me that he wasn’t following me …… and yep now it was clear I  myself had developed a serious condition .. frazzelled mind introvert psychotherapist syndrome!

As you can guess he did not pop up at my window and I have never seen him since. When I finally got to go home to sit and take some time and  sleep, my brain re worked itself and of course he wasn’t a nutter – he was a nice person who had made his first London trip and just wanted to chat – he must have thought I was weird and probably a bit rude based on my behaviour – telling my friends and family they all thought it was hilarious.

But it was a good reminder that as much as I do love my role it is so very important to have that downtime – to re charge and embrace the fact that being an introvert doesn’t mean I never want to mix or have friends, I just need different ways of getting back to the energy needed .. and that’s just what I am going to do now before facing another full on week in the world of Bemoore.