anxiety · identity · self development · selfcare

My Year as a Moderate Drinker

I’m feeling very proud that another of my blogs (you can read the first one on negative self beliefs here) has been published on website which I value and have benefited from reading myself.

I’ve been trying to get more comfortable telling the various parts of my story and sharing the experiences that make me who I am today, particularly around my experiences as a child-free stepmum and in overcoming anxiety and finding my way in business and life. I’ve also been trying to write more, it’s a big part of me but I’ve never identified or labelled myself as ‘a writer’ so it’s wonderful if a little scary to start seeing my name out there with words that I have written attached! And even better to see comments that people have enjoyed what I had to say.

I’ve found that talking about positive physical and mental health, childlessness and even the complexities of step family life is becoming more accepted and I’m comfortable sharing about them and the things that have helped me deal with them in my own life.

But when it comes to talking about alcohol use, it still seems like a bit of a taboo. We live in a society where drinking, even drinking a lot, is seen as a social norm. To talk about wanting to limit your intake or aren’t comfortable with your relationship with drink implies that you have ‘a problem’.

Drinking non alcoholic drinks or wanting to do activities that don’t involve drinking can elicit comments like, ‘don’t be boring’ or ‘have some fun’ and heaven forbid if you ‘can’t handle your drink’!

But the reality is that alcohol is an addictive substance and just like having one chocolate out of the box is never enough, one drink is never going to be enough for most people. A lot of people would like to drink less for a range of reasons; hangovers, health concerns, not liking how they behave after too many, needing more energy to play with their kids etc. So it feels like choosing to have a few nights off or drinking less overall should be a totally okay choice which is why Club Soda was set up to help anyone wanting to quit, take a break or just cut down on drinking to not feel left out and to have the support to see it though when it might feel hard.

And it’s for this reason that I’ve chosen to share a blog I wrote for them on my experiences over the last year as I’ve made the conscious choice to reduce how much and how often I drink.

The one or two wines that I could sleep off during the holidays or weekends were causing me more and more discomfort as I dragged myself up at 6:30 each day. I felt slightly hungover at least 2 days out of 5 days which triggered my chronic IBS problems and left me tired and fed up for days afterwards. Yet I felt annoyed at feeling that way after only a small amount of alcohol and I just couldn’t seem to accept the limitations. I’d cut out so much from my diet already to accommodate my condition, giving up my few glasses of red with a meal seemed a step too far!

I was in a kind of denial – I knew I’d have to cut down or else give up drinking but it never really came to the top of my ‘personal development to do list’.

Continue reading on Club Soda’s Website 

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manifestation · self development · selfcare

January – The month of planning & cleaning!

So, all of a sudden it’s past the midway point of January and it’s starting to feel like we’re getting ‘back to normal’ after the Christmas break. Whatever normal might be?! It’s also finally feeling like winter which feels strange after such a mild autumn and midwinter here in the UK.

January is generally a busy working month for me, I freelance so after taking time off over Christmas and before taking more time off for half term and ski season (which quickly turns into spring break and Easter!), during January it seems sensible to work as much as possible and it can certainly feel a little monotonous after the excitement and build up to Christmas.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that my ‘script’ (that inner critic or monkey brain) often tries to come up with problems, crisis and stuff requiring my attention during this time so I have to be conscious not to waste energy on this.

There are a few things that keep me going during this time, one is that I do my planning for the year. I book in my leave for the first half of the year so I have things to look forward to, I update my calendar with various commitments, book some trips to see my family (my sister usually visits in Jan/Feb too with her gorgeous babies. Squuuee!) and plan in which weekends I can deliver workshops.

I also complete my Leonie Dawson Workbooks and set my goals for the year. This will be my seventh year of doing so and it has become an essential part of my Christmas routine to begin filling them in, colouring the pages, collecting things for my dream board and just playing and dreaming. I rarely complete during December however so January is about taking my time, flicking through and adding in new thoughts and ideas.

This year I accidentally launched into a massive de-clutter session, that has so far lasted the whole month! It all came about because whilst I was putting away the Christmas decorations on the first weekend of January my friend text me the suggestion to check out the Maria Kundo show on Netflix. Like most of the country it would seem I got hooked and suddenly I understood why ‘complete de-cluttering’ and ‘sort out box in spare room’ had been on my To Do list in my goals workbook for the past 2 years and were in there again for 2019!

When I get an idea in my head I tend to just go for it right away (You can thank my Type 3 Energy for this) so I’ve been de-cluttering like a demon every spare second since. My aim is that I will spend less time and energy on moving things around the house and having to re-organise things. I’ve also let a lot of things I’ve simply been moving from house to house and haven’t looked at in the nearly 5 years since we bought our home. My plan is to take up scrap booking to display some of the more sentimental things I’ve kept rather than chucking them in a box!

So that’s pretty much been my year so far. I’ve also reinstated some things which were helping me last year, including weekly Pilates classes and therapy sessions. And I’ve been trying to be more proactive in documenting my story through my Facebook page and blog without it taking on the feeling of being a chore or oversharing. A difficult balance to strike for many I suspect.

The last few weeks of the month look to follow the same themes however I’ve a few more social events creeping in – a birthday dinner for a friend, a trip to the snow centre with my hubby to celebrate our dating anniversary and a painting class.

Then we’re into February which for me is always when I feel the year starts properly and things start to speed up. Spring seems closer.  Things start to happen and change. Plans made during January are suddenly upon you. And the whole cycle of the year begins again…

anxiety · Broadband Conciousness · self development · selfcare

How to take back control from the negative script in your head

“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” ~Dan Millman

I’d love to say I had an “Eat, Pray, Love” moment where sitting sobbing in the bathroom I received divine guidance to leave my husband and go traveling the world eating amazing food. But sadly, it wasn’t quite that profound.

It was more a long series of nights sobbing in the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror, and concluding “You’re broken.”

I wasn’t depressed and hadn’t been for a long time. My anxiety, a lifelong companion, was under control. So what was wrong?

You can read the rest of this blog on Tiny Budha

 

 

anxiety · Broadband Conciousness · health · selfcare

Why the trigger isn’t the reason

Not a typical New Year’s Eve post (I might write one over the next few days before returning to work) but as I was was sorting through my notes and tying up loose ends I came across this almost complete blog post so thought I’d just complete it and share it. 

It’s about how using my IBS condition as a metaphor I’ve been able to better understand my anxiety and how to deal with that negative voice we call the script and to put the blame for these feelings onto myself or others. 

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I have chronic IBS and an inflamed bowl. I have IBS every day. You can’t see it but it’s there. I have to take care with how much sleep I get, my stress levels and what I eat to keep it under control. 

Some days I don’t notice it, some days it’s a slight discomfort or bloating, most days it’s a lack of energy. But sometimes it’s full on pain, cramps, diarrhoea, back pain and exhaustion to the point I’m vibrating with discomfort. I call this a ‘flair up’. 

It really helps me to distinguish between ‘having IBS’ which is all the time and ‘having a flair up’ which is thankfully no longer that often but limits my ability to do things and requires action to get myself back on an even keel. 

It’s also worth noting that whilst I try not to talk constantly about having IBS (and the accompanying limiting diet) I have realised that it’s helpful to let people (or at least my husband) know when I’m having a ‘flair up’ otherwise they presume I’m fine and expect me to do all the things I usually do. 

And it’s the same with the script (that negative voice in our heads). 

I have a script. I have A script every day. We all do. You can’t see it but it’s there. I have to take care with how much sleep I get, my stress levels and what I think and say to keep it under control. 

Some days I don’t notice it, some days it’s a niglling disatisfaction or doubt, most days it’s an irritation. But sometimes it’s full on anxiety attack, tears, a flood of feelings and an onslaught of negative and hurtful thoughts and memories to the point I’m left devastated and convinced my life is hopeless and won’t get any better. 

I’ve learned to also think of this as a ‘flair up’. It really helps me to distinguish between ‘having a negative part of my brain’ which is all the time and ‘having a flair up’ which is thankfully no longer that often but limits my ability to think clearly and requires action to get myself back on an even keel. 

It’s also worth noting that whilst I try not to talk constantly about the script (and the accompanying anxiety which is how it often manifests for me) I have realised that I need to find a way to let people (or at least my husband) know when I’m having a flair up otherwise they presume I’m fine and expect me to do all the things I usually do. 

When I have an IBS flair up it could be triggered by a combination of food, lack of sleep or by stress. But it’s important to recognise that these triggers are not responsible for the pain. The reason for the pain is IBS.

Similarly, a script/anxiety flair up might be triggered by something someone’s said, a stressful situation or overstimulation. These triggers are not responsible for the pain. The situation or person that has triggered this response is not at fault. You are not at fault. It is, and always has and always will be, the script!

anxiety · Broadband Conciousness · holidays · relationship · self development · selfcare · step family · stepparenting

The most wonderful time of the year! (If you can ignore the pressure, stress and anxiety)

It’s my favourite time of year. I love planning, buying and wrapping gifts and cards. I love organising the house, having a clear out and making way for the Christmas tree I love visiting friends, Christmas markets, yummy food, and the sense that everyone is busy working on the same project, Christmas!

I love loading up the car and heading off to share the holidays with my family and the joy on my stepdaughters face when she sees her cousins. I love lazy days in the house with my hubby, making jigsaws and watching movies.

But Christmas can be hard too.

We talk in BC a lot about ‘the script’. That negative voice at the back of your head that’s always putting a dampener on things and getting you anxious and wound up. The script will always tell you how you ‘should’ feel and when you inevitably don’t live up to that 24/7 it tells you there something ‘wrong’ with you.

Society has many scripts as well about how your life should be at certain stages of life, what constitutes fun and what is ‘normal’. If you compare your lives, careers, relationships, families to these ideals you will always fall short. Yet especially at Christmas we fall into this trap time and time again.

For me the Christmas script is I should be enjoying every second of it, I should eat ALL of the holiday foods, enjoy every possible Christmas activity, watch all my Christmas movies, catch up with everyone who’s ever meant anything in my life. I should also have a perfect relationship with someone who takes me ice-skating, helps old grannies across the road and fills my stockings with thoughtful goodies.  And I should probably have a couple of kids and a puppy as well since I’m well in my thirties. Christmas Day should be spent with all of my family and everyone should enjoy themselves.  Oh and their having enjoyed themselves or not is 100% my responsibility! So yeah, fun!

When I was single the script regularly spoiled Christmas as I felt like a failure going back to my hometown on my own. The script never noticed how much I enjoyed planning and wrapping my gifts to  carry back on the train, or watching White Christmas with my mam and sister, or having fun with my friends. It only focused on the fact that I was ‘alone’ and hadn’t found that special someone that I so longed for.

Yet it didn’t let up when I met my husband either. In fact if anything it got worse!

Being part of a stepfamily (both in my family of origin and in my marriage where I have a stepdaughter who on our first Christmas together was only 4) and living 300 miles away from my family, coupled with a mother-in-law in a care home 100 miles in the opposite direction and a school that breaks up 2 days before Christmas is frankly a Christmas logistical nightmare.

On top of this I was determined for us to have a ‘proper’ family Christmas.

For the first 4 years I drove myself (& probably everyone else) to distraction trying to fit a perfect family Christmas into the last weekend in November, one weekend in December and the 2-3 days we had before taking SD to her Mum and Sister on Christmas Eve. To me Christmas means family so this also meant a very long trip and my poor Mum hosting a separate Christmas Day a few days before the real thing. Which was wonderful but stressful.

Yet my script was adamant SD needed a proper Christmas morning with her Dad. She needed a stocking on the bottom of her bed, she needed to put out a mince pie for Santa, and she needed a Christmas lunch with all the family. And on and on.

My script was also keen to point out that a  Christmas Day with just me and my husband was NOT Christmas and I spent much of our first Christmas Day together in tears having already celebrated a few days earlier and now being just me & my hubby with my family and friends all miles away.

This madness accumulated in Christmas 2016 when:

a) we made the mistake of arranging two Christmas events with SD and the family in December one during a normal school time weekend to enable us to join in with a Christmas activity they were doing with ‘our extra Christmas’ scheduled for New Year’s Day. Which seemed at the time a great option and meant I could spend Christmas Day , which fell between the two events, with my family for the first time since I met my hubby. But we didn’t really think through the practicalities of spending 2 out of 4 weekends travelling followed by hosting Christmas/NYE on our return home. Although we probably would have just about managed if it wasn’t for the fact that

b) my Granddad took ill in early December and subsequently died a few days before our planned trip with his funeral the week before Christmas. Not only did this mean that we were as a family of course devastated but that 2 weekends travelling turned into 4 and we’d no sooner got back then my stepdaughter and half of my family descended on us for New Year. Me as usual deep in ‘Christmas Script’ mode was full of anxiety, my Mum still grieving, the children were over-excited and my hubby was just desperate for some time to ourselves. They left on 1 January and we went back to work on 2 January. I’ve never been so tired in my life! 

By the 3rd of Jan my hubby had booked for us to go away for the following New Year declaring that he was NEVER having another Christmas like that!

The result was that last Christmas (2017) I was forced to re-think things and the outcome was as close to a ‘perfect’ Christmas as I think we could get. I took two weeks off work. We had a lovely long weekend with my family doing Christmas activities such as going to the Panto and visiting Santa, we had our ‘Christmas morning’ where SD got her stocking and opened presents but we didn’t do the whole ‘Christmas Day’ thing which had the added benefit of not having to buy two presents for everyone and the whole weekend was a lot more relaxed.

I embraced the idea of a Christmas Day with just my hubby and instead of listening to the script that said it was boring and depressing not to be with my family instead I got excited about the idea of doing whatever we wanted, having a lie in and opening stockings in bed. I reminded myself how long I’d longed for a husband to share the day with. 

In short, It was wonderful!

So my approach now is to stop with the ‘should’ and ‘musts’, take each year as it comes and plan something that works for everyone involved on that particular year (What works one year might not work on another and Christmas evolves as children grow and family’s change), enjoy whatever gift that particular Christmas has to offer (last year it was lots of relaxing at home with my hubby, this year there is less of that but a Christmas lunch with both my parents , my sister and my niece and nephew to look forward to) and be grateful that I have so many people who love me and want to be with me for Christmas.

In addition I’ve learned what I love about Christmas and to focus on that. I’m taking time out to myself to watch Christmas movies and wrap presents, I’m saying no to things that I don’t really want to do, I’m looking forward to the small Christmas rituals that are easy to fit in whatever the schedule, like packing a stocking for my husband, stepdaughter and myself so we can enjoy opening them in bed.

So this year I’d encourage you to focus on what Christmas means to YOU, not to your family or society or the Hallmark people who make Christmas movies. What does it mean for you? What gift can you give yourself? What will you look back on and remember and cherish? 

Don’t wait to be at a certain stage in your life (when you’re married, when you have children, when you have more money, when the house is done, when you can travel for the holidays, when your health is better), just enjoy it for the stage you’re at now. As this particular Christmas will never come again and who knows what next year might bring!

health · self development · selfcare

Hygge season is upon us

I first published this on a old anonymous blog but as we approach winter and the nights are drawing in I am finding myself returning to the idea of Hygee. I’m embracing and enjoying nights in front of the fire under a blanket and going to bed early with a book. I’m cooking casseroles and drinking beautiful teas…..mmmmm.

So I thought i’d re-post and let these thoughts from past me join my other posts here and become part of the family. I hope you enjoy.

There are so many definitions for this Danish word which is pronounced hue-gah.

Hygee House, defines it as “a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day things more meaningful, beautiful or special. Whether it’s making coffee a verb by creating a ritual of making it then lingering over a cup to a cosy evening in with friends to the simple act of lighting a candle with every meal. Hygge is being aware of a good moment whether it’s simple or special.”

The Visit Denmark website says “In essence, hygge means creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. And let’s not forget the eating and drinking – preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life. ”

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There are two things I love about this concept.

One is the mindfulness in being connected to and appreciating those beautiful moment which can be found in daily life. I feel we can all learn a lot from this idea as we often rush through life planning and looking ahead rather than enjoying the moment. Or look for exciting things to happen before we will feel we can enjoy life.

And the other things I love about this word is the idea that you can actively create good things in your life by making incremental improvements to things you do daily. Making your tea in a china cup, sitting outside for your breakfast cereal, putting the best bubbles in the bath, lighting candles on a cold night, buying flowers for your home or wearing that dress you’ve been saving for ‘best’. Whatever ‘everyday luxury’ feels like for you. Whatever makes you feel good and cared for and loved.

This interestingly sits nicely with the manifesting work I’ve been doing with Denise Duffield-Thomas of Lucky Bitch as she suggests that in order to bring more abundance into your life (wether that be money, time, love or whatever else you value) you first need to act like you already have it, and offer yourself self-love. So if you feel poor because you’re wearing clothes that no longer fit you or shoes that have holes in then you are unlikely to attract money or to feel good even if you do. Or if you are always rushing around and take on to many commitments you will never feel an abundance of time because you’re always feeling rushed (e.g. a lack of time).

Denise’s advice is therefore to create mini ‘upgrades’ so if for example one of the areas you feel ‘poor’ in is your wardrobe, nothing fits and a lot of things are old and a bit past it then you could upgrade by throwing out some of the really bad stuff and buying a couple of pieces at the ‘next level’. So going to the next level for you might be throwing out those shoes with holes in and buying some new ones even if they are from Tesco. It’s not about how much you spend it’s about what the next level looks like for you, for example you might want to get rid of some old Tesco undis and replace them with new ones from M&S or it might be throwing out your oldest M&S bra and splashing out on a new ones from Agent Provocateur or anywhere in between.

If you’d like to experience more time in your life, an upgrade could be taking a bath instead of a shower, getting up 15min earlier  so you feel less rushed, or saying no to that event you don’t really want to go to.

So lets set ourselves a challenge for today. How can we bring more Hygee into our lives? What small upgrades can we make to take us closer to the life we want to live? And how can we make more time to enjoy those everyday pleasures?

 

 

 

anxiety · Broadband Conciousness · health · identity

Why we are not broken and don’t need fixing

When I was suffering with a depressive episode 10 years ago, I remember waking up one morning and just not being able to face getting up. I suddenly realised what was happening and felt ridiculous that I’d been trying to push on for so long. I called the doctor for an appointment and immediately felt a little better.

It helped me to have a diagnosis, a label, to explain why I was feeling as I was. There was medication and a process that I recognised from earlier episodes. I would sleep a lot, take some time off work, see a therapist, exercise, recuperate and eventually start to feel better. I knew to look after myself during this time, not to expect too much and to be kind to myself.

But once I started to recover it became, in a way, harder. I no longer needed medication, I needed to work every day even though sometimes it felt hard and I wanted to strive for ‘more’ but was scared of pushing myself. Life just felt like too much hard work at times and it was easy to use the label of ‘depression’ to excuse me from being my best self.

I eventually realised that holding onto a label of being depressed wasn’t serving me. I wasn’t depressed at that exact moment. I suppose a better description at that time would have been ‘prone to depression’. I experimented with thinking of myself in this way for a while and I found that the times when I actually felt depressed were now very few and far between. I stopped describing myself as ‘having depression’, stopped waiting for the next episode and instead focused on the things in life that kept depression at bay – having a project to occupy my mind, dancing, getting enough sleep, reading, being open about my feelings.

Over the years that followed I also suffered with feelings of anxiety and had been diagnosed with a ‘Generalised Anxiety Disorder’ so although I was no longer feeling depressed I still found life difficult and stressful and was very insecure, particularly in relationships.

I knew that I needed find better coping mechanisms and accept that some things others may find easy might be harder for me but not to use my diagnosis as a reason for spending the rest of my life anxious and unhappy.

And this is what I’d like to share today, that you do not need to be defined by your mental illness or the current state of your mental health and having difficulties with your mental health does not mean that you are broken.

In his book “7 ways & 7 days to banish your anxiety” Dr Terrace Watts encourages the reader to think beyond their anxiety. For example instead of thinking you ‘can’t’ do something to think in terms of ‘choosing’ not to do something because of the anxiety associated with it. This is doubly important because not only are you taking the power away from anxiety by choosing not to do something for your own comfort levels but if you can begin to believe that you can be free from anxiety then that thing you are choosing not to do will no longer be a problem once you overcome the anxiety.

This was so powerful for me. I completed the 7 days of exercises over about 10 days and at the end of it I no longer considered myself to have generalised anxiety. How unbelievable is that?! That was more than 2 years ago and I haven’t in that time referred to myself as having anxiety or an anxiety disorder.

Does that mean that I am suddenly cured from worrying, that I no longer struggle in social situations, that my fear of public speaking has gone away? No, but I’m more aware of that negative voice in my head as being a separate thing and am able thank it for trying to protect me but I have confidence that my ‘real self’ can deal with the problem without ‘anxiety’ needing to get involved. There are various tools within Dr Watt’s book that enable you to do this and I would highly recommend this for anyone suffering with anxiety, excessive worry or limiting beliefs.

So having now reached a point where I was no longer deeply depressed and I had my anxiety under control you’d like I’d be pretty happy right?

But of course that same nagging voice in my head that made me feel anxious, that made me feel depressed and that told me I didn’t fit in just decided to find another route. I knew from my work with the 7&7 programme that the voice was the reptilian part of my brain and was designed to keep me safe through stubbornly rejecting change (even positive change like believing that people do in fact like me) and I knew that when it started obsessing about something or getting unnecessarily anxious I had to explain to it why I could cope and then focus on something different.

But what I didn’t recognise was when it started telling me I was ‘broken’ and ‘life was too hard and wouldn’t get better’ or that I wasn’t ‘good enough’, was ‘boring’ and ‘unlovable’. These were outdated feelings, I knew they didn’t help but if someone said anything even remotely critical I was bombarded with these kind of thoughts. I would stare at myself in the mirror, tears streaming down my face and wonder how everything had gone so badly wrong and why I was ‘never’ going to get any better. I realised I was starting to keep quiet rather be my usual chatty self, I was exhausted, all my physical issues were worse than usual, I found everything a pain in the arse and I was starting to believe that there was something wrong with me and I’d just have to live with it.

Enter BC!

At some point during all this I watched a video by a guy called Richard Wilkins. After a while of watching his insightful and usually upbeat and funny videos on Facebook I decided to go and see him speak at one of his regular ‘Recharge Days’. I wrote about this in my blog here so I won’t say too much more other than I cried a lot then signed up for his 5 Day Course.

During those 5 days I worked in a group of 8 and shared my story in a way I never had before. It felt almost like an exorcism of those useless negative beliefs. Spoken out loud they seemed ridiculous, (humorous even!) and certainly untrue.

I learned that it wasn’t just about anxiety but that any negative (unhelpful) thoughts came from the same place. Richard calls this ‘the script’ as when we believe these things we live life as though reading from a script, doing and saying things that we would not choose.

I learned to recognise the script and that it wasn’t part of my identity. Just like when I let go of the anxiety label I was able to stop behaving like an anxious person when I let go of the identity of the script (broken, not good enough, always gets it wrong!) I was able to see the real me. I was able to choose whether to listen to the real me (sometimes called our higher self) or to listen to the script.

And so now one year later the teachings of BC are still very much part of my daily thoughts, I’m working every day to build a life more around what my real self wants and to let my true self shine and when I get bombarded with negative words from the script I just wait it out then get on with life.

I’m starting to be brave and sharing bits of my journey on my blog and I’ve set up a Facebook page  to share my thoughts on BC, self care and positive mental health. I’ve even undertaken training with Richard and the BC team to be able to deliver a one day version of the BC course and will be doing my first workshop in Hadley Wood, North London on 23 September 2018. My hope is that I can help others to deal with negative beliefs about themselves and to reduce the stigma around mental illness. We all have mental health whether positive or negative and we all need to care for our mental wellbeing in the same way we do our physical health.

Kathryn ⭐️

Broadband Conciousness · health · identity · self development

Why do we make life hard for ourselves?

So a quick update since my last blog– after having a conversation with the one lady booked on my course for Sunday we agreed to postpone. I spent the day instead working on material and focusing on my ‘why’ for delivering it in the first place.

The script (negative self talk) of course wants me to feel like a failure and thinks that I obviously don’t have a very strong support network if I can’t even get a few people along to make up the numbers. 

But I’m ignoring that because I know that when I’m looking back on this having successfully delivered my first sell out course (with only 8 places per course this isn’t too ambitious I feel!) I’ll be able to see how it has helped shape my journey. I obviously had something more to learn before delivering my first solo workshop. 

Thinking about this I realised how much I’d been setting myself up to fail, by worrying too much about the detail of the delivery, whether I was ready, and the venues and other administrative elements rather than just showing up and sharing my story and what I’ve learned. 

And it’s interesting how often we do this – either subconsciously in order to ‘get out’ of whatever it is we’re worried about or just because we’re somehow conditioned to think that life shouldn’t be too easy!

On Saturday I was on a training day with a group of people who have all completed the  Broadband Consciousness (BC) course, we were sharing what brought us to BC in the first place. I summarised by saying that I had been making life hard for myself. 

So many people in the room said they felt the same or had done in the past. I looked around the table and everyone was nodding and laughing in recognition. 

So why do so many of us make life difficult for ourselves, put barriers in our own way and make already difficult situations worse? 

Would we choose to do this? 

And if we wouldn’t choose, then who is choosing? Why do we keep doing it? 

Why do many of us continue to do things that we know are not a good idea? Why do we refuse to do the things we know will make us happy and improve our lives? Or find excuses for putting things off? Why do we put up with feeling less than content?

BC gives the simple answer that if you are not actively choosing then ‘the script’ is choosing for you and teaches you how to detach from that script (which includes all those inherited beliefs like, ‘if it’s too easy it’s not worth having’ or ‘don’t get ideas above your station’) and choose your own feelings and experiences of the world.

This idea is backed up by another amazing programme which I credit with both me stopping referring to myself as ‘having an anxiety disorder’ and also me passing my driving test (and actually daring to get in the car after!). This programme is available in the book “Seven Ways & Seven Days to overcome anxiety” by Dr Terrance Watts. 

In Seven Ways & Seven Days Dr Watts explains that the primitive part of our brain is designed to respond to threat and programmed to be resistant to change (even good change!). He also explains that this part of our brain is a lot quicker to respond than our rational brain which is why if we don’t actively choose it will jump in and respond for us. 

So ask yourself now: 

Would I choose for life to feel easier? 

Would I choose to enjoy life and have more fun? 

Would I choose to act on opportunities?

Would I choose to be healthy and look after myself?

Would I choose to be loving and compassionate to those around me?

Would I choose to greet the day with enthusiasm? 

Would I choose to believe the best about myself and others?

If the answer is yes, then make a choice to find small ways you can choose an easier life over the next few days. 

I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments. I’ll start off with mine in the first comment…

Broadband Conciousness · business · manifestation · self development

When things don’t go as planned…

So filling the 8 spaces on my upcoming workshop hasn’t been as easy as I’d expected. 

I’d thought that friends and family would take up a few slots after hearing me talk about how helpful BC had been for me and I’d expected people already interested in BC but unable to get to the 5 day course or wanting a taster would jump at the chance. 

Perhaps I was naïve or overly optimistic. 

Many friends who had seemed interested were unavailable and acquaintances who’d seemed keen didn’t commit. 

I’ve spent more time explaining what BC is and creating content than I have actually talking about the event. 

I’ve found that face to face interactions are the best way to get my passion across but with a full-time job and a lot of family commitments I’ve not been getting out and about chatting to people that much- or talking to the same people when I do! 

I’ve also been feeling a lot of fear (panic?) about delivering my first solo workshop and, having had the final part of my own facilitator training pushed back, been preparing and practicing delivery at same time as trying to get people to sign up. (I do wonder if my panic has impacted on my ability to attract the right people?)

On top of other personal things going on, It’s been stressful! 

Last night 2 of my possible volunteers / helpers confirmed they couldn’t make it. 

I’d had multiple people over the last week confirm they couldn’t make it. Even my ‘safe’ people that I’d thought might come along as back up. 

In the past I would have cried. 

I didn’t. 

I poured a cup of tea and made a list of 5 things I needed to do today then went to bed. 

To be fair I didn’t sleep well, which is unusual for me.

On the way to work today I listened to a Sue Stone and a Lisa Bean video. 

Lisa’s offering was about posting Vlogs with your iPhone. I’ve been receiving a lot of not so subtle messages from the universe that I need to start sharing more of my story and in particular making videos and I’ve even gone as far as to order a phone tripod from Amazon and promise myself I will figure out how to make a half decent video. I should point out I am in no way either artistic nor technical so the best I’m hoping for is that I can at least speak to the camera with it at a flattering angle and (taking a tip from Lisa ) make use of the natural light in my conservatory.

I’d also promised myself that I would post something every day this week then make a decision as to whether to cancel the workshop. 

I must admit part of me felt a bit of relief at the idea of cancelling. I’ve been so anxious about it and I’m away all day the previous day training myself, which involves driving- something I don’t do often enough to feel confident about. So yeah a Sunday with a lie in and a day to myself (hubby is away) would be amazing but at the same time I’ve been excited to share what I’ve learned. I’ve put a lot of effort into preparing for it and I’d like to turn up at the venue and see how it feels to host my own event. Only then will I know if this is something for my future and what the next steps are.

So whilst out doing some tasks I got to thinking (or should I say I stopped thinking and allowed inspiration to come in) and realised that I was massively selling myself short thinking that I needed to cancel because I only had one participant. 

Yes the workshop is designed for 8 people and yes a huge benefit is in learning from each other but there are still things to be gained from 1-1 coaching.  But ultimately it’s her choice, I decided that if she feels it will benefit her then I’ll go ahead and we can both make the best of it.

She would still get a more in-depth teaching on BC, a longer chance to share her story and get feedback if not from a group then at least from me, she would still learn from me and complete the BC exercises. I’d also have time to do some extra activities and things there wouldn’t be time for with a group of people, maybe even going into some of the other areas I’ve studied outside of BC and using my coaching skills.

And what would I get? 

I’d get to practice, get more detailed feedback and maybe some pictures and videos to use to make future events a success, I’d feel less scared having done it once and I’d be able to perfect the running times and content having seen how it all works out in practice. 

So instead of getting worried about what isn’t working about the event (or the money lost) I’m  focusing on putting together a bespoke package that can be used for individuals or very small groups, which gives me a Plan B for future events.

I also realised there are other benefits to me not filling all my places. It’s really pushed me to share more and on different platforms and given me ideas about what I’d like to do in the future to better share my story. It’s also encouraged me to focus in on my own journey again and prioritise being the person I would choose and living a life I’m proud of. 

So whether it goes ahead next week or not it’s been an interesting lesson already and I’m looking forward to planning my Plan B…

Broadband Conciousness · health · identity · self development

Do you know a real life superhero?

If you’ve spoken to me ( or read any of my Facebook posts) in the last year you will likely have heard me mention, Broadband Consciousness (BC). BC is an amazing 5 day intensive course which dramatically helps sufferers of anxiety, stress, depression, low self esteem and lack of focus/direction. Having done it myself I can testify to how powerful it is.

I’ve been asked a lot why it’s so powerful so here is the first in a few posts explaining why I think it’s super and why you should be part of it!

One extraordinary thing about BC is that all around the country there are people (normal people just like you & me), who having seen first hand the amazing transformation that attending the course brings, are now trained to go out and help others through delivering one day BC workshops.

So no matter where you live in the UK there is bound to be a real life superhero within reach.

I deliver workshops in London, Hertfordshire and Durham but if you live elsewhere in the UK then get in touch and I will search out a local superhero for you 🙂

But why bother? 

  1. A whole day dedicated to you.

The courses are for a maximum of 10 people, including the facilitator(s), meaning you get plenty of one to one focus and can actively participate rather than just listening to theory. For my own courses I always pick beautiful venues (like the iconic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel) and serve breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day, so it’s a real experience and a treat. You can switch off from normal life and focus on feeling better about yourself.

2. Tried and tested content.

Richard and Liz at The Ministry of Inspiration have been delivering the full 5 Day BC experience for over 10 years with amazing results. Their 1 day version is packed full of the most impactful elements of their course and has been honed by numerous BC graduates who deliver it in their own unique style.

3. Leave feeling better.

BC doesn’t require years of self analysis, nor does it focus on the negative things in your life. Instead it helps you to recognise and externalise the negative voice in your head and accept that it is not who you are. This is incredibly powerful and liberating and you will leave the course feeling positive and motivated.

4. It gets even better with time!

Another reason BC differs from other motivational talks and workshops is that rather than leaving on a massive high and then reverting back to your usual thought patterns and behaviour, BC actually gets stronger with time. It plants a seed of doubt about what that negative voice has been saying all these years, this belief gets stronger and stronger each day as you find more and more examples of how the negative beliefs you’ve held about yourself are not true.

5. It’s not all about you.

There is a saying in addiction counselling that you need to turn the ‘Me’ upside down to form a ‘We’ to succeed. This is also part of what makes BC so powerful. You will connect with others who have their own struggles and as you turn away from focusing on your own problems to help one another you will find that you end up helping yourself.

So if any of the above sounds appealing then please feel free to drop me a line. I’ll be more than happy to chat to you about my own experiences with BC and help you figure out if it’s for you.

And as I said, I will help you find a local superhero who can help you.

If you’re in London, Hertfordshire or the North East check out my own workshops below and use code LINKEDIN30 for 30% off.

Kathryn