A Metaphorical Salad

salad

You know I was making a salad the other night so I laid all my ingredients out on the worktop – crisp iceberg lettuce, luscious red tomatoes, sweet yellow, orange and red peppers, long spring onions, purple red onions and a large Spanish onion; a hard boiled egg, a block of mature Irish cheddar cheese, a stick of celery, a pink lady apple and a handful of walnuts.

I carefully washed all the fruit and vegetables under the running tap the ice cold water making my fingers go numb. I then roughly tore up the lettuce, cracking and ripping every leaf. I cut up the tomatoes into quarters and finely chopped the peppers and onions. My eyes wept as I did so. I quickly chopped the celery, peeled and cored the apple then sliced it as was the hard boiled egg, Finally the cheese was cubed and  the walnuts crushed.

I got my large salad bowl from the cupboard above my head and throw all the prepared ingredients into the bowl. A pinch of salt and black pepper and a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil were poured over the salad and then all the ingredients were gently tossed and mixed around the bowl. How tempting it looked all those fresh vibrant colours, reds, yellows, orange, green, white and brown. All those fragrances and aromas, woody and sweet, young and old wafting into the air.

Then I looked closely at the salad and thought isn’t it funny that I would gladly choose any of the ingredients by themselves yet together how better they become working together to complement each other in their own unique way.

Unique as despite my best efforts of tossing them high into the sky and mixing them up in and around the bowl they still remained the same –still a piece of lettuce, tomato, pepper, onion, egg, cheese, celery, apple and nut. Yes they had a bit of seasoning and dressing but that is like a uniform that could be removed for beneath this they continued to be themselves providing the flavour and aroma they always did but now even better in so many ways.

 

Book Review :Mindfulness and Hypnosis –The Power of Suggestion to Transform Experience

I would just like to share my book review I wrote for my association. It’s good  to share.

Mindfulness and Hypnosis –The Power of Suggestion to Transform Experience

Author: Michael D. Yapko, PhD    Published by: W.W.Norton&Company Ltd. In 2011

Dr Yapko has written an intriguing account where he endeavours to bridge the gap between guided mindfulness meditation (GMM) and clinical hypnosis. Suggesting that despite the difference of backgrounds, they are essentially two halves of the same walnut drawing on shared experiential and suggestion-based approaches with focussed attention paramount to both GMM and hypnosis.

However whereas GMM has found considerable support and recognition in health and mental wellbeing settings (perhaps due to both its original Buddhist roots and clinical research highlighting its effectiveness); clinical hypnosis struggles to attain a similar standing as it still suffers from both the historic and modern sham practitioners and populist misconceptions of stage and entertainment shows.

Nonetheless, Yapko goes to considerable length to dissect and analyse GMM transcripts to highlight the hypnosis content, such as direct and indirect suggestions. Although his comparative account may be somewhat reductionist to the meditation process implying it is a form of hypnosis and perhaps misses the spiritual point and unique values of meditation to the individual.

Despite this Yapko makes a valid point that the label is not what is important, it is the process and outcome that counts. Therefore, through his well-structured composition, drawing on both scientific evidence and clinical judgement, Yapko provides the reader an opportunity to utilise different strategies to engage with clients and broaden both clinician and client resources towards greater attunement.

On a personal note, I found the book interesting, as I required some information about GMM to help me deliver mindfulness sessions in CUH Temple Street. I wanted to deliver these sessions with a hypnotic content and this book certainly helped justify my approach to the sessions highlighting the common ground hypnosis and GMM share. It also provided me with a plethora of excellent reference sources, which have been useful in expanding my knowledge of GMM and in the delivery of the hypnotic mindfulness sessions.

I would certainly recommend this book as an invaluable addition to any therapist’s library or indeed to anyone with an interest in GMM / Hypnosis.

Cure for insomnia?

Image result for bedsocks

I was helping someone who had difficulty sleeping and I had to admit I was stumped. I had tried various interventions with them – Hypnosis, mindfulness, meditation, CBT, relaxing music, warm baths, warm milk , cold milk , no milk…

I was on the verge of insomnia myself trying to resolve it when I happened to mention the issue to a colleague, who suggested I ask my client if they had cold feet. Why? Well apparently he had suffered insomnia for years and one night he was lying in bed and forgot to take his socks off and had the best sleep in ages.

Now whether this is a coincidence or a correlation I’m not sure but it worked for my client  (who happened to be a qualified physician) and guess what it works for me too.

Try it, it might just be what you are missing. Sweet dreams zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The curious tale of chasing time and the mercurial peach

peach

How often is it that we feel obliged to say “yes” to every demand placed upon us knowing fine well that we already have too much to do in the first place?

How often do you hear, “it is good to be stretched” or “sure it is a challenge” when more tasks are piled on top of a very long “to do” list?

How many people do you know scurry around flapping like a budgie, bouncing around the room like a burst hose pipe and don’t actually start doing anything near productive until 5 minutes before deadline?

Even if you have a plan or a schedule somehow time never seems to be there to get things done. An illusion, an elusive shadow that you seem to constantly chase but just like the mercurial peach is destined to be just out of reach.

But what if you  say “no” occasionally and not feel guilty as long as you can explain the reasons behind it (reasonable ones about tasks in hand, deadlines already expected not childish “it’s not fair”, “why me?”)

Perhaps it is ok to be “stretched” or “challenged” occasionally indeed I would suggest it is essential that we get out our comfort zones once and awhile to see what we are made of.

Maybe the flappers and bouncers require to channel their energies in a more productive way, find out what they are good at and leave them to it, leaving you to get on with the things you need to get done without the distractions.

Sure everybody knows if you don’t plan you plan to fail, right? However maybe the plan needs to be flexible to consider the possibility that time needs to cherished, loved, taken care of to ensure that it will always be there for you instead of chasing after it like a desperate drunk seeking a partner for the last dance.

And who knows maybe, just maybe, you will get your hands on and taste the sweet juices of the mercurial peach.