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And the 'interesting times' continue. During Lockdown 1, I often heard "Thank goodness the weather is so lovely and we can be outside a lot of the time. I can't imagine what it would be like during the winter months..." We can certainly imagine it now: days that we don't see the sun at all, leaving for work and returning home in darkness, colder temperatures... A lot of us feel a very real sense of isolation and dread. When will this end? What will next year be like? Will we get back to normal - whatever the 'normal' may turn out to be? The honest answer is: Nobody knows! However, I know this much: worrying about what may or may not happen is not helpful. Let's take it one day at a time. There seems to be an awful lot we don't have control over but there's is also quite a bit we are able to control! I would like to share with you my 'top tips' for giving yourself the best chance possible to steer a steady course Don't watch all the News reports (Don't leave TV or radio on in the background) Connect with others. Walk and talk if possible. Call friends. Go outside every day, however briefly. Eat well Sleep well (Netflix box sets will keep!) Watch funny clips, films you love, look at albums...feel GOOD Be kind to yourself- accept some days just SUCK Take time to do nothing and just BE or meditate Feel grateful. Take vitamin D ( Please be aware I am not a qualified doctor or nutritionist)
First FasterEFT/ Eutaptics World Summit
I have not been at all ‘good’ updating my blog posts so “Must do better…!” Instead, I tend to update my Facebook Page ‘Calm & Focus’. If you would like to find out more about what I do, please LIKE my Calm & Focus Page to receive the notifications. I was recently approached to take part in the upcoming FasterEFT/Eutaptics World Summit which will be held 1-3 December 2020. This is exciting and nerve-racking in equal parts! I will be interviewed about my practice, especially my work with children and young adults. My interview will be live on Wednesday 2nd December @ 7.30pm GMT Register here for more information and to secure your place https://fastereftsummit.com/
Dazzled by Frazzled!
I attended Ruby Wax’ ‘Frazzled’ show at the beautiful Regal Cinema in Evesham, Worcestershire. Ruby shared the ups and downs of her mental health journey with a crafty mixture of frankness and wit. She also talked about Mindfulness and even invited the audience to take part in a few simple exercises. It was great to see that the show had sold out and personally, I was delighted to notice that 20-25% of the audience were men! She managed to adroitly see-saw between empathy and humour and I felt the got the seriousness vs humour balance spot on. As someone who is fascinated by the brain, its plasticity, the role of the amygdala, the release of cortisol, the effect on our cognitive functions etc, I was surprised to hear Ruby mention several facts and statistics about the brain that I myself use in my workshop about Stress! I got quite excited and kept thinking ” I knew that!… I agree … Absolutely right…”. By the time the Q & A started in the second half, I just knew I had to ask her about her experience of Tapping. The mic finally made it to my row and I asked if she’d heard of Tapping. “Tapping? Yes, of course I have!” she said, frantically tapping around her eyes, she then mentioned that’s it’s only useful when you “do it every day” and I said I agreed with that. I also took the opportunity of mentioning how our brains have a negative bias and are 4x more likely to remember negative, rather than positive experiences and the importance of consciously going to happy emotions and memories because ‘Neurons that fire together, wire together’ and how this is especially helpful when people are grieving for loved ones that they’ve lost. (Someone in the audience bravely shared previously how she was struggling 2 years after losing her dad to cancer). I wished I’d recorded our brief exchange but it all happened too quickly. I’m so glad I spoke up, though, and if it means just one or two people in the audience Google ‘Tapping’ and finds EFT and/ or FasterEFT, it will have been totally worth it! Respect for Ruby. She’s spreading the word that needs to be spread… I’m going to end with my favourite quote of the evening: “In the future, it will no longer be about survival of the fittest. It will be survival of the wisest!” And this one I also love. I’m not sure who first said it but I Love the sea metaphor: "You cannot stop the waves but you can learn to surf!"
NHS Anti-stress workshop
I was invited to deliver a workshop to a team of around fifteen nurses in a large Birmingham NHS Hospital. We all know that NHS staff have been under a lot of pressure lately with budget cuts and understaffing, not to mention the emotionally and physically demanding. work that they do. To perform highly in such a job, they need to be able to cope with stressful situations. In many cases, they harness this stress and it can be a force for good but sometimes, we all need a little help to maintain a balance. Some people do exercise, or meditate, or smoke (not advised!) but I taught them other techniques that they can build into their busy lives to help deal with stressful situations and anxiety. We looked at how stress manifests itself in our bodies and our thoughts. We considered particular stresses in our daily life, be it private or professional. I felt privileged to be given the opportunity of teaching this lovely group of Health Professionals how they can help themselves to cope with the tremendous challenges and stresses in their lives.
Pinterest Pressure to be Perfect
I was having quite a chilled day yesterday: pottering about, doing a few little jobs and even bribing my youngest to play a game of Rummicub with me. I consciously reflected on just how relaxing it was not to be racing round, trying to get through an endless list of tasks. I felt content and ‘in the moment’… until I made the mistake of downloading the Pinterest App on my mobile! Up popped 100s of ideas of how 1000s of (mainly) women are getting ready for Christmas. I read through a few of them and wondered how these women have the time to make these creative masterpieces. Clearly, they are all much more artistic than me! They are finding time to sit at their kitchen table, assembling crafty masterpieces, baking ingenious Christmas treats. They are more organised than me. They manage their time more efficiently. They are no doubt successful, happy and content. Their children are probably at the other end of the table, engrossed in their own unique project. I bet their glue gun does not clog up every 5 minutes, the glitter doesn’t get spilled, the cakes do not end up lopsided! So instead of inspiring me it all left me feeling quite deflated for a little while. And then I gave myself a talking to: there was a suspicious number of ‘Nutella’ projects and ‘Terry’s chocolate orange’ creations. I bet a lot of these posts are from professionals who are paid to spend their days churning out creations, photographing them and putting them on Social Media, in order for us to feel inspired to buy into the fantasy and end up feeling we SHOULD be doing it all! At what cost? So I urge CAUTION in the run up to the Festive Season. We cannot and should not attempt to do it all. Spend a few hours being creative but then don’t feel guilty about serving a ready meal or beans on toast. Bake the cakes but save time by leaving the bed sheets for another week. Is anyone really going to notice? At the end of the day, Who is the ONE person who puts you under pressure? Who is the person with high expectations? Who is the person who can change your thinking? We all know the answer. TAP! This feeling of inadequacy… How do I know? Where do I feel it? (Start tapping) I release and let it go… Let it go…Let it go… PEACE! Repeat until the feeling’s gone ♥
Tapping daily is my ’emotional toothbrush’. It has become a habit, a routine that ensures I maintain good emotional hygiene! It prevents little niggles becoming big problems, just like brushing prevents cavities appearing. However… occasionally, I need a thorough emotional equivalent of a ‘scale and polish’ and it is quite hard (and sometimes awkward!) to administer this myself. That’s when I contact an experienced practitioner. Another practitioner helps me clean up in places where my own toothbrush can’t quite reach. So if you have discovered tapping and are good at maintenance but there are some cavities from years ago that won’t disappear and need attention, contact me and I will get you into my chair! But the treatment I shall offer you does not involve needles, anaesthetics or root canal – promised. If reading the above makes you at all uncomfortable, you probably have a phobia of visiting the dentist. Remember: we can tap on that :)
Sea, sand, surf and SOME sun
I have just worked out that I have probably spent about 30 summer holidays in Mid Wales. 30 x 2 weeks = well over a year. There are no big theme parks where we go, no rides, no clubs or particularly sophisticated restaurants… There’s not even any guaranteed sunshine! And I think that’s where the attraction lies exactly. Because the weather is changeable, we can’t expect it to be wall to wall sunshine and it rarely is! It is precisely because the weather is NOT good all the time, we really appreciate it when the sun shines. We feel grateful, happy and delighted and make the most of it. Often spending the whole day on the beach or in the sea. Making the best of every warm ray. For me, it makes the Welsh sunshine very special indeed. This made me think about other factors we appreciate in our lives. Quite simply, unless you have to do without, you don’t always appreciate what you’ve got. It’s only because you know what thirst is like that you can savour a simple drink of water, you appreciate the cool air from a fan when you step out of the heat, you enjoy the weekends and holidays so much more when you have a job and without a doubt, you never take for granted the light when you have been surrounded by prolonged darkness. We all experience darkness in our lives at some point: brought on by unhappy relationships, financial circumstances, failing mental or physical health, the loss of a loved one. As a FasterEFT practitioner, I have started to make a difference. It’s not my aim to banish your darkness but to help you find the light switch, to help you stand, on tiptoes if necessary, to reach that switch and make you see light again. If your light switch is broken or you just cannot remember where to find it, let me point you in the right direction!