freedom - represented by a barbed wire fence and a plan in the background

As I write this I’m stuck in a prison – the prison of the mind. A lot of people run aground in their lives and stay in that place most of the time. I am determined to break free and live a life of freedom. Sure, things, or should I say, circumstances, happen in one’s life but the most important emotion is our reactions to these. We can be negative and feel sorry for ourselves or get into a positive state of mind and ‘tighten our belts’ and move on to the next chapter. The most important piont in your life is to not compare yourself with others.

You have been given a blank canvas and it’s up to you what you’re going to paint on it. My own life has had its ups and downs and most of my life I’ve let the downs keep me from experiencing the joys that life has to offer: low in confidence; feeling worthless; lack of self-esteem and hiding away. My aim is to break free and break these chains, start a new journey and use every part of the canvas to paint my picture.

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I have published this interview on International Women’s Day 2021 because it has particular relevance to the theme of the event, which is #choosetochallenge.

In our interview, Sian Edwards talks about the lack of women at the highest level of orchestral conducting and why that may be. She also tells of the work she and others are doing to redress the balance.

In addition, Sian tells us how she achieved her own success and talks about her passions and pet projects, as well as talking about how to conduct an orchestra in a pandemic.

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wet floor sign as a metaphor for anxiety response

Have you ever tripped over a wet floor sign? I know I have. I guess I need to pay more attention to where I am going. I do think I have tripped over more wet floor signs than I have ever slipped on wet floors.

Really, there ought to be a sign – to warn you about the sign. A ‘caution wet floor sign’ sign!

Now there’s an idea for a new product.

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Weight-loss at Christmas is something of a nightmare. Someone told me the other day that in order to burn off the calories gained by eating just one mince pie you would have to complete about 25 minutes of Burpees.
Now, if you have ever tried to do a burpee you will know that this is not something you want to spend time on over Christmas.
The thing about a calorie control diet is that it focusses on just that one thing – calories. Our thinking around calories tends to be:

calories in = bad; calories burned = good

If you’re a fan, as I am – the fact that a mince pie is a gorgeous hit of spicy fruity sweetness and we are saying ‘hello’ to a potentially lovely time of year when we have our first one, doesn’t enter into the equation.
In our minds it probably looks more like this:Read more »

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Dealing with guilt, regret or shame using NLP or Timeline Therapy can be very helpful in enabling you to move on in life.

All of us, at one time or another, have had moments where we have made choices that we have later had cause to regret. Guilt for doing something, or failing to do something seems inevitable and can cause us great unhappiness and pain.

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In the last blog I visited the concept of ‘metaprograms’ – the general approaches to life that influence our view of the world and affect the success of our choices and outcomes, both positively and negatively. There are no ‘wrong’ metaprograms, and they are preferences rather than hard and fast rules. So in the last example, having a preference for a ‘toward’ metaprogram, or an ‘away from’ metaprogram each has their own benefits and disadvantages.

Another metaprogram that can have a significant effect on your world view is ‘chunk-size’.Read more »

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Here`s the scenario.  You are on your way to a meeting.  Perhaps it is work related, or a club committee, or simply catching up with a friend.  You’re about to head into the cafe, or the office and you suddenly realise that you haven’t got a pen.  You’re going to look a bit silly if you need to take some notes or jot down some figures, or even just put a date in your diary.

Just down the road from the venue for the meeting is a local supermarket – a pretty big one. They will definitely be selling pens.Read more »

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man singing on stageStage-fright on some level, is pretty much a given with many of the performers and speakers that I work with.

On one level it is completely understandable. Few of us like the idea of standing up there in front of an audience of hundreds, maybe even thousands and singing, dancing or even just speaking.

At the same time, many of my clients are hugely talented people.As one successful client put it ‘I beat myself up over being so nervous. I should be used to it by now.’

The thing that frustrates many performers is that they know that having this fear over performing can mean that they actually perform less well. Read more »

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various amounts of moneyWhat sort of income do you have currently? How comfortable are you right now with how much you earn? Which of these statements fits you best?

  1. I’ve got plenty of money to get everything I need, there’s no desperate need to improve my wealth;
  2. I’m generally comfortable, so long as there are no unexpected crises, and even then we could probably weather the storm through savings and temporary cutbacks;
  3. I am constantly on a treadmill, there always seems to be more going out than coming in. I need to make more money.
  4. I just can’t make ends meet and I’m spiralling into debt.

These are broad descriptions, and I bet you can recognise yourself in one of them. Working with clients I find that individually they can be on any one of these descriptors.  For some of them, money, and the lack of it, is one of their main issues. For others it is the thing that is lowest down their priorities. Money doesn’t make happiness, that’s for certain.

The interesting thing is that the actual ‘amount’ of money that clients have or earn doesn’t necessarily relate to where they are on this scale.Read more »

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There can be many ways in which we can be uncomfortable about our bodies. The most common, perhaps, is when we become aware that we are not that particular size, or weight that we ‘should’ be.

That ‘should be’ can come from lots of sources. It may be a standard we believe is set by our society, our friends, the media. It could be a measure our parents have handed down to us, unintentionally or intentionally, by trying to manage our food intake – ‘don’t eat too many cakes or you’ll get fat’.

You may be someone who has experienced those patterns of putting on the pounds and then intensively dieting and exercising to lose them again, only to find that a few months later you are back where you started or worse! Alternatively you may have just always been ‘big’ in comparison to others and feel that there is nothing you can do about it.

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