6 Steps To A Sparkling You

My book is FREE for 5 days only – BUY or UPGRADE

6 Steps To A Sparkling You
6 Steps To A Sparkling You

It’s here, it’s here!!!

The 2nd edition of my book is now available and it will be FREE from
tomorrow Aug 1st to my birthday Aug 5th!

I can’t for the life of me persuade Amazon to let previous buyers download the new version.  So if you have bought it before, GO AND BUY IT AGAIN NOW while it is free!

Tell ALL YOUR FRIENDS as they only have 5 days to get it free.

 

Buy it here (UK – it is in all other countries too)).

Or get more information on it here (there is even a video!).

Or find out why I wrote a 2nd edition here.

Read how to read a kindle book without a kindle here.

(Sorry the paperback version won’t be out for a couple of months).

 

This book is for you if:

You are a little stressed.

Or a lot stressed.

It will keep helping you over and over – just as it did for me when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

 

It’s not another parenting technique book.  This is all about YOU, the mum.

When you feel great you will either know or find the way to deal with your family’s challenges much more easily.

YOU are the key, and YOU deserve to be happy and healthy.

 

UPDATE FOR PREVIOUS BUYERS

HUGE Apologies – Amazon are being complete *insert very rude word*. When I published the 2nd version, they said that I then had to wait 4 weeks for them to review the changes before they emailed everyone to say it had been updated.

Then I asked them to just allow it to be updated automatically and not send the email. No that takes 4 weeks too.  (It must be just a switch – argh!).

So I made the book free in the hope it could be repurchased because I found something on the internet that suggested it could be – but now that won’t work *very sad face*
It will be available in 4 weeks :o(

If you have an urgent requirement for it, then send me a picture of the book on your kindle and I will email you a copy.  mummywhisperer at me dot com.

UPDATE No 2 FOR PREVIOUS BUYERS!

YAY you can now update your old versions.  Go to your amazon account and ‘manage my kindle’ and you will be able to update to edition 2.

Phew!

 

Stress

Where to go for help with stress: A summary of different therapies

Stress
Stress

So, you are stressed, unhappy, discontented, dis-satisfied, miserable, unhappy, overwhelmed, down, depressed; and it’s been a while.

Your body is now rebelling and you are getting problems with your sleep, stomach, memory, exhaustion and aches and pains.

You’ve read all my stuff about what stress is with some hints and tips on what to do.

You’ve checked out my favourite books for when you feel overwhelmed or depressed, including mine.

But you need some outside help from a professional, so where to go?

I’m going to give a brief introduction to some of the therapies that might help.  They are all my views, based upon my experiences, so some people may disagree!  However, the idea is to have a look and see which ones jump out to you as suiting you.

 

Counselling

Who are you ?
Who are you ?

Available free from NHS if you can wait, or private.

Tends to be pretty cheap e.g. £40 per session.

Face to face.

But takes a long time.

Basically the idea is that you talk about stuff, so that you can dig down to find out ‘why’ you feel the way that you do.  It is really useful if you aren’t sure why, and for some people just understanding can shift the problem.

The downside is that for others, they just get stuck deeper in the story of their lives and become more of a victim.

 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Available free from the NHS if you can wait, or private.

Tends to be pretty cheap e.g. £40 per session.

Face to face or over the phone/skype.

I love CBT, it’s what got me interested in personal development in the first place over 20yrs ago.  It helps you to tackle the thoughts that are running around in your head and look at life a different way.  The idea is that by behaving differently we will get a different outcome from situations.

I think it is quicker, but maybe less deep and therefore if you don’t understand much about your thought processes/past it will be difficult to use it to get over bigger problems.  Plus, behaving differently doesn’t always make people react differently.

 

Coaching

Tends to be private and ranges from cheap to very expensive.

Face to face or over the phone/skype.

A coach is more focussed on the present and giving you goals that you can aim for and less about trauma’s from your past.

Be careful and thoroughly check their training and experience, as currently there aren’t any laws about who can and can’t call themselves a coach.

Some people use NLP (neurolinguistic programming) in the coaching, to help you.  Simply put they look at how your language affects your mind and therefore your behaviour.  I personally find it a little too orientated towards the mind.  I prefer a more intuitive approach with a more feeling/heart centered objective.  It can feel very manipulative, but it is’t without merit.

 

Hypnotherapy

Normally private.  Starting to get more expensive probably £60 or more.

But quicker.

You MUST get a well trained, well experienced hypnotherapist.  But if you get one, this can be a quick method of going into the past and working out what is causing your pain and then dealing with it.  Make sure that if they ‘remove’ a negative habit that they replace it with a positive alternative.

 

tapping points
Picture from Nick Ortner

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

Private.  But can be cheap and you can learn it yourself.  Probably £60.

I suspect the usefulness of it depends on the experience and intuition of the practitioner and how comfortable you feel with them.

EFT has been around for a while, but I didn’t become interested until recently.  I think that it has settled down now and is a very well established option.  The idea is that by discussing our problems whilst tapping on certain meridian points (energy points in the body), it reduces how upset we are about it, then we will be able to see things differently and find a new way of seeing our life or tackling the problem.  It can be very light e.g. just looking at a headache, or go deeper into why.

The great thing is that you can learn it yourself and therefore also use it at home for smaller issues.  I really recommend Nick Ortner’s book ‘The Tapping Solution’.

 

Kinesiology Based Therapies

Private.  Much more expensive.  But much quicker.

I learned a form of kinesiology 10yrs ago (Resonance Repatterning) which is very quick at dealing with people’s problems (I used to specialise in serious mental health issues).  The body has a muscular on/off reaction which you can use to check what beliefs and problems you have.  It’s great because it bi-passes your opinions and the potential biases of the practitioner, to make sure that you actually get to the ‘real’ truth really quickly.  Then a healing technique will be used to ‘shift’ the problem and replace it with a more positive option.

There are several different options, some more structured than others.  It can be a bit wacky, but very effective.

Nutritionist/Naturopath

Supplements
Supplements

Normally private (dieticians might be free).  Mid-priced around £60

It’s amazing what physical problems and some emotional ones can be resolved with the help of a nutritionist (better than a dietician in my opinion) or naturopath.  The naturopath training is longer and more rigorous, but they are also more likely to suggest bigger changes to your patterns and they can suggestion supplements and herbs to help you out as well.

Never under estimate the power of a simple supplement, mineral, vitamin or herb.  In fact if you start to take a few, I would recommend checking in with a professional to make sure that the combination you are taking is OK.

 

 

Herbalist/Homeopath

Private.  Often after a long initial session, they can help you quickly and you only pay a small amount.

I’m a big fan of homeopathy, but it hasn’t worked well for me so far.  You get a little sugar pill that is meant to redress the balance in the body and can help with emotional, mental or physical problems.

Herbalism has helped me a lot and is of course where modern medicine started.

 

Reiki

Reiki
Reiki

Private.  But normally cheap and you can learn it yourself.  Probably £60.

Reiki is a lovely form of hands on healing where the practitioner gently touches or hovers their hands just above the body.  It can help physical, mental and emotional problems.  I became a ‘Reiki Master’ 13 yrs ago – it’s not that clever actually, it basically means ‘teacher’.  I LOVE Reiki for it’s simplicity.  But be warned, some of the people who do Reiki are mad as a box of frogs (in the nicest way!) and although it has improved, there is no standard teaching, so some people mix in other alternative therapies e.g. crystal healing and all sorts.

Please don’t jump to learn it straight away – take some time out for yourself first.  If you do learn it, remember to focus on just yourself and your family first.  Don’t run off to heal the world!

There are also other forms of healing.  Some people are just ‘natural’ healers, i.e. they are born with or got the ability to give healing to people.  Others are ‘spiritual healers’, which means that they believe they get help from other spiritual beings.

 

Physical therapies

Private.  Can be cheap if you find someone local, but expensive in salons.

E.g. Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu Massage, Bowen Technique, Chiropractor, Osteopath

You could easily get a lovely therapist to give you a massage or reflexology session, talk through your worries and get a lovely relaxing treatment at the same time.  This is a very viable alternative and helps support the body while you are stressed.

 

More

Demartini Method – this was the final therapy that I learned (I’m a senior certified facilitator).  It tends to be more expensive, but very transformative and is based upon the healing power of gratitude.

Meta Medicine – a great method for discovering hidden reasons or potential events that had a hand to play in physical illnesses.

The Work of Byron Katie – A very simple method with just 4 questions, that you can also read about and use in your own life.  I find that one of the questions reduces about 80% of my stress levels.

 

Overall

My advice is that we ALL need OUTSIDE help from time to time and sometimes our friends and family are not the right people to help us.

However, it would be unwise to ALWAYS rely on outside help as that doesn’t help to improve our self-esteem and sense of independence and self-sufficiency.

When picking someone to work with, they need to be strong enough to challenge you a little, otherwise you won’t be able to break out of your patterns.  However, you need to have a good rapport with them and feel very safe and certain of them – that is probably the most important thing.

You are also looking for someone you appears to be pretty sorted, or at least more sorted than you are in the particular area of life that you are struggling with.  It’s fine if they have experienced the problem, it’s just that you want them to be past it!

Another ‘rule’ is not to ‘overwork’ yourself.  So don’t have a massage in the same week as a therapy session etc.  Always leave time for you to adjust after a session.

I hope that this gives you an nice easy introduction to some of the options, therapies and alternative treatments that are available.  You are very welcome to tweet/facebook me for more information or if you hear of a therapy I haven’t mentioned.

Have you used any of these?

Did you find them useful?

 

Mental Health

Surviving Mental Health for #DoSomethingYummy

Mental Health

This post is being written as part of the blog prompt for #DoSomethingYummy  from Typecast which is the campaign for CLIC Sargent Charity for children with cancer.  I’ve picked the prompt ‘Something I’ve survived‘.  

Yummy Mummy Week is 10th-18th March, so if you haven’t had a chance to add your own post, you still have time. OR just donate a few quid.

I do hope that you will think about donating even a little bit to CLIC when you think about what those children and parents are surviving and dealing with.  This is a great practical charity, that does loads of things to help the families and help them survive the awful stress of a sick child.

 

I’m going to talk about how over my life I ‘survived’ a ‘nervous breakdown’, ‘suicidal tendencies’ and more recently some kind of ‘Identity/Midlife Crisis’ or ‘Mummy Breakdown’.

I’m really nervous of writing this post.  I don’t know why, as the stats show that at least 1 in 4 of us will have some sort of mental illness in our life.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had a few experiences of it that bothers me?  Makes me sound a bit ‘unstable’.  I didn’t even know I was worried about it, until I tried to write about it.  Plus I’ve been very ‘lucky’ with the help around me and knowledge I had, so I think that I feel a little guilty.

The other thing is what on earth to call it?  Because I’ve been in the alternative healing or therapy world for 12 yrs, I never had to go the medical route, so I was never labelled.  I don’t want to upset anyone who has had a label and get it wrong; there are so many different types of problems with mental health.

I’m not sure that it matters what I call it though, does it?  It was definitely something I survived; just.

My first experience was more like a sudden ‘nervous breakdown’, probably on the verge of a full ‘mental breakdown’.  It felt like I was teetering on the edge of a black hole.  I was pulled back from the edge by fellow therapists in a Kinesiology based therapy.  So I just experienced the shut down of my body for about 6 months.

In my second experience I just didn’t want to be in this world any more and grew an unhealthy fascination with trains; i.e. suicide.  (I know that makes no logical sense, and also I should have thought of the train driver; but I wasn’t ‘thinking straight’).  This time I was even luckier, as I was trained in a much deeper form of therapy and my mentor was in the UK.  After 2 very tough hours he got me back to life and able to work through the baggage.

What ’caused’ these two situations you might ask?  Why does someone, as we often see in the media these days, just crack?

I suspect the stresses of the previous 30yrs had taken their toll.

I was very up and down in nature at the time.

My very unhealthy belief in something that was impossible was a huge part of it.

Ironically learning all those therapies can make people less stable for a short while.

Plus I wasn’t taking care of myself well; always pushing too hard.

And I didn’t have a wide spread of interests.

It’s proved to be true that someone who has a wide spread of interests is more likely to survive the vagaries of life, because although one area of life might have the rug pulled from under it, the other areas will be able to keep them stable.  I had given up a well paid job, moved house and lost a lot of my ‘identity’ or ‘personal power’ in the process.  So since then I’ve very carefully watched my beliefs, and got rid of most of my ‘baggage’ and tried to keep a broad range of interests.

But it happened one last time, because I missed on important part of the equation; my basic foundations, which is pretty typical for a Mum.

It kicked in a little a few months after Little Dimples was born, I’d had a health scare and things weren’t going well at home.  I became the most pathetic version of pathetic that you can imagine.  A friend politely described it as ‘losing my mojo’; you know when a mum goes ‘grey’ and starts to disappear.  That’s where I was and I was TERRIFIED; sorry for the capital letters, but it seems such a silly thing to be scared of, and yet it felt like a life or death situation.  I was scared that if I didn’t do something I was going to soon end up a half-dead shell of a Mum, who cooked, cleaned, did all the basics, but that was all.  It could be considered a ‘mid-life crisis’ because I was just over 40.  It wasn’t the fog of depression.  It felt paralysing, so maybe it was some sort of long panic attack or ‘Identity crisis’?  Maybe I’ll call it a ‘Mummy Breakdown’; i.e. something to do with being a Mum, not PND, and not life/coping threatening?

This time no one else seemed available to help me, and I wasn’t in a space to use all the techniques I’ve learnt.  So what to do?  Run away?; I tried that, it didn’t help.  Give up?; However pathetic, there is something a bit bloody minded about me.  At last listen to the cliches and practical stuff I’d been spouting off about about looking after myself and the basics of life; Bingo!

After nearly a year, on the 11/11/2011 I woke up and thought ‘F*** this for a game of laughs’ and started to sort my ‘Sh*t’ out and blogged as I went.

The cliches were surprisingly true:

Change Yourself To Change Your Life

I was stunned by how really simple things could make me feel a thousand times better, within just a few months without changing anyone else or any of my circumstances.  I didn’t even ‘do therapy’ stuff as I would normally have done.

All I did was change me and look after my health.

I sorted myself by focussing on the things that I did have control over, rather than the things that I was missing or had no effect on, and by looking after myself and my body; And so was born my book ‘The Mummy Whisperer’s Six Steps To A Sparkling You And Enjoying Being A Mum’, which maybe should have been called ‘How To Survive A Mummy Breakdown’.  I decided that the things I did have control over where my thoughts, how I managed my time, my nutrition and fitness, how my house was laid out, some of the finances of the house, and getting a bit of sparkle back into my life.

I wouldn’t say that my ‘journey’ is over; I’m half way through finishing writing ‘Losing Weight for busy mums without diets or bootcamps’ and there are a good 3 more books to come after that I suspect.  But I love to write, so maybe that is the ‘silver lining’ from all of this?

In the next couple of days I’m going to write up a simple set of tips to help anyone get started who is feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

If you are currently suffering from a mental illness it will help you too, but it depends on the depth of it as to how much you’ll be able to do without a external help from someone else; I’m not in anyway underestimating how difficult it can be to pull yourself out of it on your own.  Maybe the stars where just aligned well for me that day to give me a kick start?  So I’ve got an idea for that too for how I could give you a little kick start and pick me up, so come back next week to check it out.

Most of all I hope that any Mums who don’t take basic care of themselves will now understand how potentially harmful it can be.  You need healthy food, a bit of exercise and sleep to manage as a Mum.  Running around like a headless chicken, in a house that stresses you out, and not getting your budget under control can lead to so much stress that you will one day not be able to deal with it.

Think of your kids and start to think more about yourself.

I’d really love to know what you think of my post as it’s the most honest I’ve ever been about these three times in my life, so feel free to add lots of comment love!

 

** The picture at the top comes from an amazing australian artist called Craig Martin www.craigmartinillustrations.com


Are you looking after the foundations of your health, strength and vitality?

Life is getting tricky at the moment.  Since the big hairy northern hubby got made redundant, all I keep getting is messages about how it’s happening to loads of people.  Then there are the awful stories about mainly men who freak out and kill themselves or their whole family just because they have gone down the financial pan.

So I’m going to get on my soap box for a bit, because there is no harm in making sure that you are strong enough just incase things go wrong.  It’s like buying insurance and putting it in a drawer just incase you need it.  In this case the insurance is all about taking care of yourself, getting stronger and enjoying your life as it is.  That way you have the strong foundations to handle whatever life throws at you, and if life doesn’t throw anything at you, then you gained anyway.

I was where some of you are.  I was trying to make life work, be a great mum, work, be a wife, and keep all the juggling going.  But life started to get really hard for me when Little Dimples was born (the reasons really don’t matter, it’s just life), and for a year I got worse and worse, eventually ending up quite pathetic, very weak and terribly shocked at how I’d managed to get there.  I wouldn’t really call it depressed, because I was able to pull myself out of it, but it wasn’t a contented place either, despite Little Dimples.

On January 11th of 2011 I woke up one morning and thought ‘F*ck this for a game of laughs’ and started turning it around.  On November 11th of 2011 I published my book about it and it hit the best sellers list straight away; which is slightly freaky!

This time I did it the ‘right way’.  Because I’m a ‘coach’ type person I’d often go straight to problem solving, therapy or personal development types of stuff.  But I was in too bad a state to do that.  So I started at the beginning with the basics.  I blogged as I went, not always sharing how tough life was, but giving the odd hint here and there (you can see the blogs under the ‘sparkling you’ tab).  Gradually I realised what I’d always ‘known to be true’, but I really ‘got it’ at last.  A mum needs her foundations to be strong.  They are the foundations upon which she will stand and hold up her family in times of trouble.  They will help her support her hubby when he struggles.  Most importantly they will keep her going.  In many ways there is no point in doing the ‘clever stuff’ if the foundations aren’t in place, because everything will just come tumbling down.  Frankly, thank God I did it, because otherwise the last couple of months would have been really crap; whereas instead they’ve just been challenging and I can see the possibilities in them.

So what are these foundations?

  1. Simple ways of keeping mentally focussed on what we wants in our life and what we are grateful for, so that we can feel more contented and less worried about what is lacking.  Things that don’t take any extra time per day, and are practical to fit into a busy Mum’s life and help us to work out what our big priority is going to be.
  2. Sorting out our time with Dump, Delegate, Do and Delay according to what our priority is and making sure that there is time for other sides of life.  It is so important to keep the rest of our life going, not just as mums, because that is our safety net when the shit hits the fan.  You won’t believe the help I’ve been getting from the Mummy Blogging community over the last couple of weeks, to try and get my blog to pay more and take the pressure off.
  3. Getting Healthier and Fitter, because the body does an awful lot to keep us emotionally stable and give us stamina to keep going in the toughest times.  My running girls are great, come rain or shine, someone is daft enough to come out with me!
  4. Organise the house so that there is space to breath in by de-cluttering and organising it, otherwise for many it can be a constant source of discomfort all day long.  There is often so little time in the day, but there are ways of saving time and effort when the house flows well for the family.
  5. Sort out the financial mgmt so that it’s clear how the money is and will be spent.  It’s not about blame, it’s about being sure what the situation is so that you can adapt if need be.  I’m sure that you can imagine how important it is for us as a family now to know how we can cut costs quickly and easily, and we can only do that because we had a clear budget.
  6. Then add a serious amount of sparkle!
You might be surprised to see no talk of relationships in the list (thats my next book!), but that is because I focussed on what a Mum could adapt and change all on her own.  There is no need to change the kids, the partner, the friends, the house, the job or the financial situation.  It’s about making what you have got work before you move onto improving the rest.  I can’t tell you how much difference this has made to me, but I know that the people close to me have felt it, and that the Mums who were testing my book over the summer are beginning to get there now as well.
I’ve talked to so many Mums and clients this week who don’t have these foundations set, so I thought I would blog about them as maybe lots of people are thinking about it this week;  They aren’t clever foundations.  They aren’t some big complicated new personal development technique.  But they will work.
I really hope that with my book I can help thousands of Mums get stronger; which at the moment is really important as things out there in the economy still look gloomy.  That’s one of the reasons why I self-published instead of the traditional route.  This way my book is just 99p (you can read it on a Computer, phone, iPad or Kindle) and nearly everyone can afford it.
Anyway, wether you buy my book or not, just remember to check and see that your basic foundations are strong, and that you are taking care of yourself.  You are important in your family, and you deserve to enjoy your life.

If you’d like more information about the book <click here>

If you’d like to buy it <click here> (UK) or <here> (US) or search for ‘Mummy Whisperer’ on your local Amazon site.

<<Click here to find out how to read a Kindle book without a Kindle!>>

If you’d like to ask me a question please come and join my Facebook page.

Exhaustion …. What it feels like

I’m writing this for three reasons.  (Well, I actually started writing it 14 days ago, but have been that exhausted that it has taken this long to finish!).

  • Firstly to share with non mums what it feels like.  I’m sorry to do the whole ‘you can’t understand what its like’ card, but seriously, I reckon that only Mums or people who have illnesses or who work shifts, can really understand the true meaning of ‘exhaustion’!
  • Secondly so that other mums know it is not just them.
  • And finally to remind me when these days are over, that my body really is too old to get broody again!

It starts with overwhelming sleepiness. I like the feeling of this stage as for years I was a rubbish sleeper. My eyelids get heavy, blinking takes twice as long, and it takes a huge effort to reopen my eyes. Suddenly I find myself asleep on whinnie the pooh. Max (4.5yrs) will either be shaking me awake or kindly putting a blanket over me, depending on his mood. But in a couple of months time this type if tiredness will be potentially dangerous when little Willow starts to crawl; there are stairs, small toys, so many potential problems. I remember waking up oneday with a start to find myself asleep on the floor and max nose to nose with one of our old dogs, who just woken up was trying to work out if max was a dog (who could be bitten) or a child. (We sadly found him a safer home very shortly after, which was extremely heartbreaking to do, but he was worried, let alone us).

Soon sleep becomes more difficult though as the worst stage kicks in. Your head hurts, there’s a dull ache constantly behind the eyes, your stomach feels like a washing machine, and all I want to eat is chocolate. After days of sleep torture, where you are dragged out of a heavy collapse several times, I then find myself incapable of getting back to sleep, which is just the worst kind of torture ever. The brain gets noisy and I get GRUMPY!

When we are grumpy, the ability to be nice to people, give them the benefit of the doubt, have endless patience with the children and be fun rather than shout, disappears in a puff of smoke. But no one appears to be willing to understand or let you be grumpy, or not as grumpy for as long as I’d like anyway! Expectations are high, children are disappointed, husbands snap back and ‘normal’ people either think you are stupid or a cow.  I suspect this is where many of the arguments in the blogosphere/twittersphere/facebooksphere originate from.

Soon perspective goes. That’s when there are tears hiding behind my eyes constantly all day long, and all I can see is an interminable long haul ahead with no hope of rescue. And frankly I’ve been tempted to throw both kids out of the window.  I hate the crying bit.  I hate the pathetic bit.  When I’m out of it, I can see how useful it can be (I’ll post about that in a few days, as I’m on my way out, cross fingers).  But when I’m in it, it feels like big dark sticky goo.

So don’t feel sorry for me, or be put off having kids, because it isn’t every day or forever, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  It’s not their fault that tonsilitus in one (mega puke city!), inevitably is passed to the other, and then other things go wrong like child-care etc.  But when you see a mum parking really badly or slowly, be patient.  She may very well be stupid, but she may also be operating on minimum brain cells due to the exhaustion.  Remember, it’s one of the most effective forms of torture, and lack of sleep can kill you!  When she snaps at you, hold your tongue and give her a hug instead. Most of all, have realistic expectations on what she can achieve and tell her how fabulous she is for managing it.  Finally remember, ‘this too shall pass’ (one of my mates favourite sayings, you know who you are SB!), and normal service will resume very soon, with a much cheerier version of me/your wife/mum/friend/workmate/neighbour.

To be continued …. Tips for picking up the pieces when exhausted.

Never Say Never – Just In Case

So last night twitterville took off whilst watching Cutting Edge’s program on 8yr old girls going to boarding school.  Now I admit that I’m way too hormonal (No2 is more than imminent, she’s literally seconds away!), so I only managed 5 minutes and had to turn off.  But I chatted to a couple of Mums and thought it through a little afterwards, and regained a more balanced perspective, because there are Pro’s and Con’s to all options.

For one thing ‘Never say never‘;  It does tend to come back to haunt you!

I remember saying that I thought it was pointless to pay for Primary School education, when there was perfectly good state education available, and that I would ‘never’ pay for a 4yr old to go to school!  Ahem – oops!  So what am I about to do, oh yes, you know it, I’m totally about to send my 4-5yr old to a private primary.  Now thats a whole other story, as the the whys and wherefores, which I’m not getting into now.  However, it’s a good example of this very old and wise saying.  Whilst searching through all the local private schools, many of which are part boarding, one headmaster waxed lyrical about their very flexible boarding system.  He looked at all our rather naive and horrified faces, and rather wisely said ‘I know at this moment it is the furthest thing from your mind, however, in another 4yrs time that very well might change!’.  Then in the process of chatting to a mum on twitter last night, I remember actually requesting to become a boarder as a child.  Now I was older than eight, so it would obviously have been less difficult for me.  But still, looking back I can see that if my parents had gone ahead with it, I would have been gained a more stable environment, with much less heavy responsibility.  I wouldn’t change my childhood now for all the tea in china, but I can see how a ‘strong’ parent would make a difficult decision and sacrifice what they might prefer for the sake of a child’s stability and education.  It gave me an interesting and different perspective; after all, we all do things that make our children cry, because we know we have to in order to protect them from something else.  There are those of us who refuse to ever hurt or challenge our children, but does that work?  Nope, it creates spoilt, over-protected monsters, who are dependant and incapable of coping on their own.  So I go back to my rather repetitive advice of balancing support and challenge to your child.  If you find that you do end up boarding your child, then rather than panic with guilt, instead look for proactive ways of ensuring that you are creating a balance elsewhere.

These last couple of weeks have been full of husbands in the media having affairs as well, it’s been quite bizarre how many have been found out: From Tiger Woods, to John Terry, to most shockingly Vernon Kay (sorry mate, skype and texts do count), and potentially Ewan Mcgregor.  Of course, loads of husbands have been saying ‘I would never do that’.  But I warn them to think again (plus read all my blogs about affairs), because if you are naive about the potential for temptation and the predatory nature of some ‘other women’, then you are not going to be prepared for trouble.  There is no doubt that this is what happened to Vernon, who probably trusted himself as much as Tess did, and then when he got into trouble, it just spiralled out of control, partially I suspect because he couldn’t work out how come he had ended up there.

I remember warning one wife, that if she didn’t get her head around her husbands infidelities totally, then within a couple of years, she would find out how come it happens.  Have you ever noticed that?  You find yourself thinking ‘I would never do that, how on earth did they get themselves into such a situation’, to find yourself there within a few short blinks of an eye.  It can be anything from affairs, to drinking/eating unhealthily, to making ridiculous business/financial decisions, to picking the wrong relationships.

This is because of a very ironic rule of life that I was taught by my mentor, which is short and not very poetic, but the ramifications are huge when you really think about it: ‘Whatever you condemn, you breed, attract or become‘.  What it means is that judge someone or something, and you will either end up doing exactly the same thing yourself, or a close person in your life will do it, or your children will.  It’s as though life is trying to teach us the other side of the story, and because we weren’t open to learn about it ourselves, it provides us with the opportunity of experience instead. I’m not even suggesting that this is a ‘punishment’ or ‘karma’ gig; just that it is purely about seeing both sides of the story and gaining more understanding for life.

The other thing about ‘never say never’, is that however shocking it seems, we all have our price.  The price might be massive, and often not financial, but instead an alternative type of price that matches our value systems (our values are what we really love about life); but there will be a price.  Here’s me pregnant with No2, talking about not being available for work for a long time after she is born, and thinking about ways of making sure that she gets as much time with me as No1 did.  But then the phone rings, and someone offers me something that would absolutely catapult my blog, my book, my business, my mission, everything, and so yes, I am totally considering it and looking for ways to achieve it and balance out the potential ramifications.

If there is no price that can push us, there can be pressures.  Many people are terribly shocked the first time that someone who is close to them succumbs to depression, or a break down, or any kind of mental illness.  They wonder how on earth someone could let things get so bad that they would prefer to commit suicide (often considered a ‘selfish’ act).  But I can totally understand how suddenly it can feel as though your life has fallen apart, and your head becomes so full of noise that you can’t think straight.  I can’t imagine how parents can go one step further, either from anger or desperation, to take the lives of their children, but I suspect that it is similar, just magnified.  So next time you hear of someone struggling with mental illness, remember that the official statistics are that 1 in 4 of us will experience some kind of mental illness during our lives.  So rather than judge, you might want to think ‘there but for the grace of God go I’.

So remember, be careful when you find yourself say ‘I’d never do that’, because it might just come back to bite you in the butt!