Monthly Archives: April 2015

#NotGuilty

There is a # doing the rounds on social media at the moment – #NotGuilty

It was started by a brave young lady who wrote an open letter to somebody who had sexually attacked her. She never knew his name and although he has been arrested and prosecuted, she will never know his name as he was only 17 years old and therefore his anonymity protected as a minor.

This is what she wrote

“I cannot address this letter to you, because I do not know your name. I only know that you have just been charged with serious sexual assault and prolonged attack of a violent nature. And I have one question.

When you were caught on CCTV following me through my own neighbourhood from the Tube, when you waited until I was on my own street to approach me, when you clapped your hand around my face until I could not breathe, when you pushed me to my knees until my face bled, when I wrestled with your hand just enough so that I could scream. When you dragged me by my hair, and when you smashed my head against the pavement and told me to stop screaming for help, when my neighbour saw you from her window and shouted at you and you looked her in the eye and carried on kicking me in the back and neck. When you tore my bra in half from the sheer force you grabbed my breast, when you didn’t reach once for my belongings because you wanted my body, when you failed to have my body because all my neighbours and family came out, and you saw them face-to-face. When CCTV caught you running from your attempted assault on me… and then following another woman twenty minutes later from the same tube station before you were arrested on suspicion. When I was in the police station until 5am while you were four floors below me in custody, when I had to hand over my clothes and photographs of the marks and cuts on my naked body to forensic teams – did you ever think of the people in your life?

I don’t know who the people in your life are. I don’t know anything about you. But I do know this: you did not just attack me that night. I am a daughter, I am a friend, I am a girlfriend, I am a pupil, I am a cousin, I am a niece, I am a neighbour, I am the employee who served everyone down the road coffee in the café under the railway. All the people who form those relations to me make up my community, and you assaulted every single one of them. You violated the truth that I will never cease to fight for, and which all of those people represent – that there are infinitely more good people in the world than bad.

This letter is not really for you at all, but for all the victims of attempted or perpetrated serious sexual assault and every member of their communities. I’m sure you remember the 7/7 bombings. I’m also sure you’ll remember how the terrorists did not win, because the whole community of London got back on the Tube the next day. You’ve carried out your attack, but now I’m getting back on my tube.

My community will not feel we are unsafe walking back home after dark. We will get on the last tube home, and we will walk up our streets alone, because we will not ingrain or submit to the idea that we are putting ourselves in danger in doing so. We will continue to come together, like an army, when any member of our community is threatened, and this is a fight you will not win.

Community is a force we all underestimate. We get our papers every day from the same newsagents, we wave to the same woman walking her dog in the park, we sit next to the same commuters each day on the tube. Each individual we know and care about may take up no more than a few seconds of each day, but they make up a huge proportion of our lives. Somebody even once told me that, however unfamiliar they appear, the faces of our dreams are always faces we have seen before. Our community is embedded in our psyche. You, my attacker, have not proved any weakness in me, or my actions, but only demonstrated the solidarity of humanity.

Tomorrow, you find out whether you’re to be held in prison until your trial, because you pleaded ‘not guilty’ and pose a threat to the community. Tomorrow, I have my life back. As you sit awaiting trial, I hope that you do not just think about what you have done. I hope you think about community. Your community – even if you can’t see it around you every day. It is there. It is everywhere. You underestimated mine. Or should I say ours? I could say something along the lines of, ‘Imagine if it had been a member of your community,’ but instead let me say this. There are no boundaries to community; there are only exceptions, and you are one of them.

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Food Phobia – Fussy Eating and it’s causes

Most of the people I see as a Hypnotherapist come to me for something to do with food.

For the vast majority of those people it’s that they would like to not eat so much of it. They want to change their relationship with food so that they are in charge and so that they can easily say no to junk food and eat in a more healthy way.

For some people it’s that they would like to eat more. They either have some obsessive compulsive behaviour around food (separating foods out, liquidising food, not allowing foods to touch, feeling sick at the thought of eating certain foods etc. etc.) Anorexic and bulimic behaviours also fall into this category but are often more complicated and have underlying emotional issues that need to be resolved alongside them.

A lot of people that fall into the ‘eat more’ group have had a negative experience when eating food. Quite often that was a choking incident and it has left them with a fear of eating. Almost all phobias are learned responses. We can learn them from the people around us (you tend to find that kids who have parents who are scared of spiders will continue that phobia themselves), or we can learn them through experience (something scared us, hurt us or upset us in some way). The initial scary event is often referred to as the sensitizing event of the phobia. Normally this is followed up some time later by a confirming event. Let’s say for instance you choked on a piece of steak. That initial choking is the sensitizing event. The next time you go to eat steak, you remember that you choked last time and are a little apprehensive. This causes your mouth to dry up, your throat to tighten slightly and your heart rate to increase. You notice this and it causes increased anxiety which in turn causes the anxiety to kick up a notch. The increase in adrenaline in your system makes you feel a bit queasy – like that sick feeling you get before you go on stage – but you link that churning stomach to the steak.  Now you have a phobia.

One of the common mistakes parents make when they have a child who is a fussy eater is to accept this behaviour. They can start to accommodate the child’s preference for this or that or their dislike of certain foods. By changing the foods that they give the child, they are confirming that they had a reason to refuse it in the first place. This in effect becomes confirming behaviour and leads to food issues. The other common mistake is to fight with the child and attempt to make them eat it. Now the confirming event is that every time the food that they don’t like is put in front of them, there will be stress and confrontation.

So what do you do?

Current thinking is that the best way to deal with a child who is a fussy eater is to continue to give them the foods they dislike if you are having them as part of a family meal. If they choose to leave them, don’t make a big deal of it. They just get less food. If they see their parents and siblings enjoying that food they are much more likely to give it a try and they have no negative associations with it.

If you are an adult who has developed food phobias in the past – get help! The world of food is an enjoyable one. As with any other phobia Hypnotherapy offers great success in getting rid of it for ever – what are you waiting for?

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Filed under coaching, Development, Dieting, experiment, Food, Good News, Happy, Health, hypnosis, inspiration, Mental Health, Motivation, nutrition, Phobia, Positivity, Psychology, Self Help, Stress, Worrying

What does the moon smell of?

If you want to see what it looks like on the other side of the world you can look at a picture.

If you want to find out the history of a building you can read a book.

If you want to hear what it sounds like in the jungle you can listen to a recording.

But, what does it smell like?

In the film Good Will Hunting, there is a famous monologue…

“So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel……”

That part of the speech has always stayed with me and one day I hope to visit the Sistine chapel and get a good nose full.

One place I can never expect to visit is the moon. I’ll never get to smell what the moon smells like – but then I thought that no-one else could either. I mean, even if your lucky enough to walk on the surface, you’re still in a space suit with a helmet and breathing air that you bought with you, right?

But then I heard someone talking on a daytime TV show. They had interviewed someone who had walked on the moon and the guy had said that he was bored with all the usual questions. The interviewer asked him what he’d like to be asked, and he replied that no-one had ever asked him what the moon smells of. The interviewer laughed and said that this was a trick question, because no-one could take a sniff when they were on the surface of the moon, but the astronaut replied that when he came back to the space ship and came through the airlock, he took off his suit and it was covered in dust – and he had smelled that. ‘What did it smell of?’ the interviewer asked. ‘Rusty buckets in the rain’ he replied.

I may never see a rusty bucket again without wanting to sniff it and think about what the moon smells of.

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The rightness in the wrong – Gin soaked boy by Divine Comedy

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Mental Illness is not contagious

Don’t be scared about being around someone who has a mental illness – it’s not contagious!

You can’t catch it by being kind to them.

You can’t catch it by spending time with them.

You can’t catch it by asking them what you can do to help.

You can’t catch it by talking to them.

In actual fact you can’t catch it at all.

That’s not to say that it is always easy living with someone who has a mental illness. It can be hard, confusing, scary and frustrating because you want them to be well and struggle to understand how you can help and support them.

Help is out there.

Help is there for people struggling with mental illness and help is also there for people trying to support someone who is suffering.

Getting help doesn’t mean that you’re weak or that you can’t cope – it just means that it’s OK to make it easier on yourself.

If you had to move a piano down a flight of steps would you try and do it on your own? Maybe you could, but wouldn’t it be easier with some friends to help – or even better some people who’s job it was to move pianos. Those people have the tools, skills and experience to do it in the easiest way.

So if you know someone who is suffering – either personally or because they are trying to support someone who is – be a friend. Lend a hand, or an ear, or even a shoulder to cry on. I know it can be difficult to know what to say or do, but just ask them if they’re ok and let them know that you’re there if they need to talk. You might be the only one who does and it can make a world of difference.

Did you know that statistically the biggest killer of men under 50 in the western world is suicide. Notice that I said men not people.

That’s because men are much more likely to commit suicide than women.

Do you know why? Because women talk more.

If you walk into work and see a woman colleague in tears, it’s pretty likely that at least one other woman will gather her up, take her off to the toilets and talk to her.

Now imagine it was a male colleague – what would happen then?

It should be the same, but it’s not.

Talking doesn’t make the problem go away, but somehow it makes it easier to deal with. You get support, caring, understanding and find a way through. When you try and do it all alone, you find that you can get into very destructive negative thinking patterns and have no one there to offer a different perspective. The downward spiral can be fast and horrific but it can be stopped – just by talking.

If people can’t talk to friends or family encourage them to talk to someone else. Maybe it’s a doctor or therapist, maybe it’s someone on a help line – hell, maybe it’s a bartender, but talking is always good.

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Filed under coaching, depression, Good News, inspiration, Mental Health, Motivation, Peace, Positivity, Psychology

Your Task for today

Here’s a simple little exercise that could change your life.

1. Write down a list of things that make you happy.

2.On another piece of paper write a list of things you do every day.

3. Compare the lists.

4. Adjust accordingly.

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Know yourself

Hi, my name is Sue.

I’m good at some things and not so good at others.

I am easily distracted – I think I may have been a magpie in a former incarnation. Shiny things (shiny ideas, toys, time wasters) can grab my attention.

I am good at finding creative solutions to problems.

For instance I get very excited at the start of a project – I come up with lots of ideas and think of imaginative and creative ways to do things. As time goes by I can become bored with my ideas and / or lose confidence in them and some of my plans and ideas fall by the wayside – my long term consistency can be lacking.

Other people can struggle with coming up with a plan, but once it’s made they will see it through to the finish, no matter what.

We are all different.

Now, of course, you can try to mould yourself into the person you want to be, but if you are fighting against your nature, then you are going to find it a difficult task to achieve.

The trick to achieving want you want is to understand yourself and try to work with your strengths.

Whenever I see a client who wants to change their life in some way, I ask them what they are good at, and what they are not so good at.

It constantly surprises me how difficult people find these questions to answer.

So – What are you good at?

– What are you not so good at?

Now think about a goal or plan that you have for yourself – maybe it’s to lose weight, get fitter, get a promotion, start your own business, grow your blog, change your relationship – whatever it is, think about how you can use your strengths to help you to achieve it. When you’ve worked out how you can get things changed, think about what might go wrong. Go back and look at the things you don’t do so well, and try to use your strengths to find solutions to overcome these potential obstacles.

This achieves two things.

Firstly you are working to your strengths – even when dealing with the things you don’t do so well. This means you are far more likely to succeed than if you are trying to change the things you struggle with.

Secondly – you have a plan. I know it’s a cheesy old saying but ‘Fail to plan and you plan to fail’. We are all at risk of forgetting what our goal is for thinking about what we want/don’t want right now. By having a plan – and writing it down – you achieve a different mindset. You keep your eyes on the prize and don’t forget about the overall aim so easily. If you set yourself mini goals within your overall goal it also helps to keep you focussed and motivated as you tick off the things that you have achieved.

Anyone can do anything the set their mind to – it takes work and dedication, but it can be done. I just think knowing yourself and acting accordingly makes it so much easier.

Good Luck with your goals 🙂

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Filed under Blogging, coaching, depression, Development, Dieting, Exercise, Food, Good News, Happy, Health, inspiration, Mental Health, Motivation, nutrition, Self Help, Stress

Never too old

You are never too old to do something you want to do.

If you think you are, then that’s exactly the right time to do it anyway.

Recently a 95 year old smashed the record for the 200m sprint.

Ok it wasn’t the fastest time ever recorded for anyone, but it was the fastest time for a person of 95.

What I loved about this story wasn’t that a 95 year old was the fastest 95 year old, but that a 95 year old wanted to run the 200m in the first place.

Charles Eugster – dubbed the world’s fittest old aged pensioner – eclipsed the previous world’s best for over-95s by 2.4 seconds as he romped around an indoor track in 55.48 seconds.

It’s a truly remarkable feat from the retired dentist, who also boasts the British Masters outdoor records over 100m and 200m.

And to make his exploits even more impressive, it was revealed that he only took up exercise a decade ago, at the ripe age of 85.

Apparently he said that he was becoming a bit of a couch potato, so he decided to take up some exercise!

How amazing is that.

Think about how much fun it was to do things as a kid.

I loved doing handstands, rolling down hills, jumping in puddles, finger painting, eating raw cake mixture, going on the round about or the swings, climbing trees, skipping and doing a hundred and one other things that I don’t do now because I’m too old for that sort of thing.

Well, I’ve decided I’m not.

So if you want to wear a bubble bath beard or chase butterflies in the fields – you can come and join me 🙂

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Slimming for Summer

hypnotherapy in coventry for weight loss

It’s that time of year again.

The weather is getting warmer, the clothes are getting lighter and we’re all starting to think about how we will look in our swimwear in a few months.

Maybe that’s why I’m getting so many call about losing weight with Hypnosis at the moment.

Often when it’s time to start to take control of our diet we end up having an argument with ourselves.

Part of us want to lose weight – it wants to maintain a healthy weight and/or manage our weight to look good.

Part of us wants to keep up the eating habits that got us to put on weight in the first place.

The tricky part is that the part that wants to keep going is the part that’s currently in charge.

That’s why Hypnosis is such a good option.

Whether you go for something like Hypnotic Gastric Band which immediately and dramatically reduces your appetite, or you go for a weight management system that helps you change your eating habits, what you are doing is short circuiting all the problems and going straight to the solution.

Instead of having the constant battle of wanting to be slimmer, but still wanting to maintain your current eating habits, both parts of your mind can be working together to help you to achieve the figure you want.

You don’t have to have iron willpower, as there is nothing to resist! It’s just the pleasure and excitement you get from achieving your goals.

Here’s a little exercise to help you say no to the food’s you are trying to avoid – I call it Hell NO!

In this exercise I want you to have a really good think about what your life would be like if you gained the body shape you desire. Think about how you would feel, what clothes you would wear, the reactions of other people to the new you.
Importantly at this stage, as you think about that outcome, that goal, that achievement in your life, think about the actions you have to take to accomplish this new fitter, trimmer you.
When you think about those actions you’d have to take, notice and become really tuned in to yourself…
·         What is it that you actually do instead?
·         What feelings and thoughts come up before you get sidetracked?
·         What are the excuses that you come up with to make it ok not to accomplish?
If the excuses do not directly make themselves obvious, perhaps notice how your thoughts redirect you, and what thoughts do actually redirect. We can refer to those thoughts as excuses for the rest of this exercise.

All the time, notice subtle thoughts, images in your mind, feelings that you feel and be very perceptive of this.
You might find that if you attempted to put these feelings or thoughts into words, they possibly sound silly, that’s OK, and in fact it’s great.
They are deep routed rationalisations and excuses that tend to get buried and hidden usually, yet have all the power to keep you off track to achieving that outcome you really do desire

So get as much of an awareness as possible of these excuses, notice how you perceive them if they have sounds to them, any internal dialogue, feelings and so on…

Then when you really have a feel for them, you can carry on with the next part.

Now we want to assess the excuses and see what they are up to…

The best way to ascertain the pattern of your excuses is to ask yourself some questions and trust your unconscious mind’s responses…

·         Is it really just an excuse?

·         Do I want to keep this excuse?

·         How does using the excuse serve me?

·         Is there some way that I gain from using this excuse?
If there is some valid value you receive from this excuse, then you can allow yourself to keep those parts of it, you can maintain them should you wish

With the answers and getting an idea of the purpose of your excuse, move on to the next step.

 Did you ever say the expression “Hell NO!”?? Did you ever deeply refute and refuse something with a strong sense of “NO!” ??
Now is the time to recall a time when you said or felt like saying “Hell No!”

Maybe it was an occasion when you were absolutely disgusted at something, when you totally refuted something, or maybe when something was utterly and completely unacceptable to you. Get in to a state of “Hell No!” and the more disgusted, the more you mean and refute with that sense of “Hell No!” the better!!

Imagine that you spread this state throughout your body. Imagine it as a colour. Imagine the sense of it connecting to every cell in your being.

Spend as much time as you possibly can to ensure you get a very deep rooted sense of “Hell no!” running through every cell of your being.

 Imagine your excuse in front of you.
Tread on it.

That’s right, stamp on itStomp on it. Jump and down viciously on it. Use all the mustered up power of your “hell no” state and bounce up and down on that excuse.

Pick up and throw it to the ground. Tear it in two, cast it to the floor again and stamp ferociously upon it.

Keep stomping. Keep stamping. 

Unleash every ounce of your “hell no” state upon that empty excuse. Make it sorry!

Only move on when you are sure as possible that you have got all that pent up state unleashed on that excuse and it is fully destroyed

 Have a good test to make sure you did this.
Think about your goal, your desired outcome, the body that you want to achieve.

Notice what happens when you imagine taking the actions that move you toward that outcome. Notice what you feel right now, what thoughts you have and what images come into your mind as you think about it.

Get a real sense to see if there are any other excuses lurking in the darkness somewhere. If you get a flavour of any, then return to the earlier steps and run through the process again. Think about how any lingering excuses can interfere with the very enjoyment of your life, how they can be hurdles to your accomplishments and leave your life a lot less satisfying.

When you are sure that you are free of those last remnants of excuses in relation to this outcome, then move on to the next step.

Remind yourself of your state of “Hell No” and how you used this with such conviction. Think about a time in your future, ideally the next occasion when you will be tempted to break your resolve – eat that take away, buy those snacks, choose not to exercise…
Just imagine that as you start doing that thing, you smash the last remnants of the old excuse with a massive “Hell NO!” response… Then imagine watching yourself ignoring the fatty food, walking past the snacks in the shop, getting ready to go for a walk.

Enjoy the beautiful feelings you get with knowing that you are in control and have all the tools and resolve to make a change in your life for the better. Notice how wonderful it feels.

Then – and this is important – go and take an action that is undeniably convincing to you that you have gotten rid of all those old excuses and start hatching your plans for a happier, healthier  life.

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Nightmare or adventure – it’s all about attitude!

Hypnotherapy Coventry

For those of you that have not met my dog yet – this is Flump.

The thing she loves doing most in the world is getting in the Big Blue Car and going on an adventure.

She doesn’t care where that adventure takes her, as long as there are new things to sniff and preferably some trees and grass to explore.

She doesn’t care what the weather is like – literally – rain, sleet and snow are no obstacles to her. Gale force winds just make her fur fly around in interesting patterns, and freezing temperatures mean that she can run around more before she gets hot. Admittedly blazing sunshine can be a bit of an issue, but if there’s one thing my dog can always do, it’s find water. Puddles, lakes, streams, canals and dirty ditches are all fair game in Flump’s book. She can’t always find her own way out of them, but I swear you could send her into the Sahara Desert and she’d come back dripping.

Today was no exception.

She looked as though she was going to burst with excitement as we were getting ready to go out in the Big Blue Car. She get’s walked every single day – without fail – but the Big Blue Car is normally reserved for weekends. Today was a Bank Holiday though, so bonus Big Blue Car time was available.

She literally bounces up and down with excitement over the prospect of a trip in the Big Blue Car.

That’s no mean feat when you weigh 60 Kg and are in your dotage, but it does’t stop her.

Sometimes it makes her hurt her paw, but still, up and down she bounces.

So, today, with much excitement and flying of fur, we went of to explore somewhere new.

We got lost, we got stuck in holiday traffic jams, we got a flat tire and had to change in on a lay-by on the motorway.

Do you think Flump cared?

Not one jot.

She got to sniff new sniffs and have an adventure.

I love her attitude.

And she loves the Big Blue Car.

Have a great week – find adventures where you can x

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