George’s Hypno Journey… Part 1!

After a year of panic attacks, it was time to take some action to help my son get over his fear of letting our dog off her lead… so, after trying to solve the situation in a number of different ways with no success, we looked at Hypnotherapy!

For the last 14 months, my son George has found it impossible to cope when it comes to taking the dog out for a walk.  He could just about manage to walk her on the lead, but any time it came to taking her off the lead, he would suffer with severe panic attacks.  This trigger of panic all stemmed from an incident that happened when our dog was just a few months old.

One particular afternoon, our little puppy decided to follow some lads to the other side of the park and into the car park.  With the four of us all panicking, she bolted and ran across the road that our house sits on.  Thankfully a neighbour managed to secure her i in their garden and she was fine.

A few weeks later, we were out with her again and I’d persuaded George that everything was going to be ok.  He was very nervous about this and I’m sure the dog picked up on this.  As she ran across to greet another dog (which they do constantly when they’re puppies) George started to panic… and scream.  Our pup was having none of this and decided to run home – she literally took herself to our front door.  Sadly though, from that point on, George couldn’t cope with taking her out anymore.

We tried so many was to encourage George to let her off.  We’ve tried the softly softly approach to help gain his trust in her, tough love, persuasion and even bribery.  We went to an enclosed park space especially for dogs, but he wouldn’t entertain even getting out of the car!  As time went on, his anxiety only increased.  It got to a point where he would have a full on panic attack at the thought of taking her out.

I was at the end of my tether, and short of writing into ‘This Morning’ and asking that Speakman couple for help, I decided to look at getting George hypnotised.

Thankfully, I knew just the person to help…  I messaged my wonderful Reiki practitioner Michelle from Fairy Heart Therapies and got George booked in.

I can’t lie, having George be so afraid of taking the dog out has been quite a strain on the family.  We bought a campervan this year to replace our car and we envisaged having these wonderful adventures over the summer… running through forests and walking along beaches (all very idealistic and Instagram ready!).  But that just didn’t happen. We managed a few canal walks but that was about it.

George himself was really keen to get over his fear.  He so badly wanted to feel ok about taking our dog out and watching her run, but the memory of her running away as a four month old puppy would trigger the panic.  He was even a little excited to see Michelle and try some hypnotherapy!

‘The Cabin’ at Fairy Heart Therapies is a sanctuary of calm and warmth and George was very keen to get in and see Michelle.  When I say keen, I mean giggly, overexcited and not exactly in the right frame of mind to have hypnotherapy performed on him!  Michelle chatted for a little while about why he had come to see her and about his feelings and fears.

Michelle explained to George about why his brain kept reminding him about the scary situation with the dog and how she will be able to talk to this part of the brain and tell it to switch that feeling off.  She told him that she will explain to his subconscious part of his brain that Dusty (that’s the dog!) is ok and that he will not feel panic when she is taken off the lead.

Once George felt more relaxed, sat in the comfy chair, Michelle started to introduce an exercise that would help him focus on becoming sleepy… counting from 10 backwards and with each number his eyelids would get heavier and heavier.  George smirked and fidgeted and I was already starting to think he was just playing along.  Then Michelle moved onto another exercise, explaining that he was standing at the top of a flight of stairs and his eyes becoming heavier with each step.

He looked peaceful, but I still couldn’t tell if he was ‘under’ or not!  It all started to look promising… until he did a little smirk at the end and I wondered if anything had really happened. My heart sank.  Rightly or wrongly, I was pinning all my hopes on this working.

We then talked through some exercises we could do to help George with the panicky feeling.  Giving the feeling a colour and using our bodies to push the feeling away whilst repeating the mantra “keeping calm”.

Next day, on the way home from school, I decided to  walk with George and the dog around the park on the way home.  Just one minute at a time was the recommendation, so that’s what we did.  George did his deep breaths, pushing the anxious feeling up into his shoulders and down his arms and kept saying “keeping calm”.  We managed a minute before Dusty was back on the lead.  It was clear to see he was still struggling.

Any attempts over the coming days to go over the park was met with excuses.  A week later I approached the subject of taking the dog out… guess what happened… he had  complete meltdown!

We were back to square one!

To be continued…

Love and Hugs,

TOMD xxx

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Find Your Tribe… Love Them Hard!

silhouette of four people against sun background
Photo by Dennis Magati on Pexels.com

Ever since I started my social media course last September, I have had many experiences of  ‘women tribes’.  They have come in many forms… course cohorts, networking groups, and workshops.

What I’m talking about here isn’t my usual group of friends… not my ‘girls’ that have known me forever, who have seen me at my best and my worst (which was probably face down pissed up on a pavement in Newquay!).  These are women I have never met before, who sometimes live in different parts of the country, come from different walks of life but all thrown together for the same cause.

As you may have read in previous blogs, I have recently started a course involving mindset and how you can up-level your business by getting over your fears and negative thoughts.  Last week our cohort of nine, plus our mentor Andrea, had our first Zoom meeting – posh term for ‘a meeting over the internet’!

The conversation involved how we got on with writing ‘Our Story’ (see previous blog)  and what our ‘Wins & Stretches’ have been this week.  What was so refreshing was to see how everyone was completely honest about how they were feeling. No pretence, no making out everything was great.  There were tears and fears laid out for all to see, and whilst there were apologies at first (we are British after all!) this vulnerability was so refreshing and gave us all permission to bear our feelings.  This is how you build trust within your ‘Tribe’.

I came to do this course following a workshop I did a couple of months ago.  Again, this involved women who, once they all got in a room together, realised they’re not alone in feeling inadequate, not good enough, that they can’t reach their potential and that they’re too fearful to push out of their comfort zone for fear of failure.  (Read ‘Yesterday, Three Women Changed My Life’ for more details).

During my six month course with Digital Mums, I was put together with six other women who were taking the journey with me.  We would meet over the internet every Thursday evening and talk daily on WhatsApp.  The fact that these other women didn’t know me from Adam nor I them, almost gives you permission to be your most honest… almost like a counsellor does.

During the six months of the course, we all went through the ups and downs and we were all there for each other on a daily basis… not only to get through the work that we needed to do to pass, but life in general.

Six months after qualifying, I still talk with my ‘Frida K’ girls daily and we managed to meet up in real life just after we graduated in May.  Another meet up is due soon… it’s just a logistical nightmare trying to get seven women free at the same time!

Something really incredible happens when you get a room full of women together… and I don’t mean on a Hen Night! 

On Saturday I went to a ‘Colour Me Beautiful’ workshop to support a wonderful lady I have recently met whilst networking.  I took a friend along with me and I had met a few of the  other ladies there before, but only really as much as ‘what do you do for a living?’.   However, once we all got chatting about how we felt about ourselves, there was a shift.  There was this ‘green light’ where it was perfectly OK to share our vulnerability.

With all these experiences I have come to realise, that it really doesn’t matter who you are or what your standing is in the community… we are all women going through similar things in our lives and we are best when we support each other, not tear each other down.

So, don’t be afraid to do something outside your comfort zone. Go and meet new people – whether it be at an exercise class, running club, mother and baby group, further education or workshops.

You never know where you might find another ‘Tribe’.

Until next time,

 

Love and hugs… TOMD xx

Writing ‘My Story’! Intro week of ‘Get Excited About Your Life’

blackboard chalk chalkboard concept
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This week I started my Introduction or ‘On Boarding’ for my new course ‘Get Excited About Your Life’.  This is a course which will help me to look at key points of my life and help me to move my mindset to a positive place which will inevitably help my business.

We’ve had a few actions to take on for this introduction week – one being to do a Facebook Live to our group.  Now, for me it was fine as I’m a complete show off, but for some of the ladies in my group it was a real baptism of fire… and they all nailed it!

The other big task for the week was to write ‘My Story’.  No rules, no template to follow… just write my story as I ‘feel it’.  This will be used as the basis of my 1:1 sessions with my mentor Andrea.

Jeeez! Where to start with that! How long should I make it?  How much detail is required?

I decided that I would tackle this after a meeting on Thursday.  I stayed on at the venue and made the most of the unlimited coffee and continental breakfast bar!   I powered up the laptop and started to type away.

Two hours later and I’d covered a lot of ground, revisiting lots of events in my life that I hadn’t thought about for a while, stuff to be proud about, stuff that I learned from and other situations in my life that still affect how I deal with situations today.

There was a point that I found incredibly hard to type about.  The experience losing Mum.  It’s amazing how my brain has managed to cope these last two and half years and almost put a lot of the feelings into a little filing cabinet so that I am able to function on a daily basis. Now and again though, the filing cabinet is opened and the documents come falling out… or the tears come falling down.

Being sat in the middle of a Brewsters crying at a laptop is not a good look so I made a hasty exit.

When I got home I managed to finish my story, warts and all and submitted it to Andrea.

After putting it all out there I thought I would feel like a weight had been lifted, but for a little while, the opposite happened.  I felt heavy and filled with anxiety! The following day I couldn’t catch my breath and just felt generally shitty!  Was this meant to happen after baring all in a word document?

That night I was due to go out with hubby for the night, and whilst I really just wanted to join my son and put my pj’s on at 6pm, but instead I got dolled up and went out.  I’m so glad I did.  Spending some much overdue time with my man was just the tonic (with Gin) that I needed!

Since then I have felt much better and I’m really looking forward to working through all the aspects that make me who I am and turning it into positive mindset.

The course is all about putting yourself out there, having belief in what you’re doing and owning it. I have no doubt that by the end of the 13 weeks we will all be nailing it and completely owning it!

I hope you will follow along with me on the journey!

Until next time,

 

Love and hugs,

TOMD xxx

 

 

It’s time to get excited about my life!

As I write this post, I’m not exactly in the most excited mood.  I’ve been suffering literally all day with a hangover from hell which I can only put down to the fact that I’ve had two unscathed weekends away and my night out last night with hubby was my major payback.  Better to have happened here at home rather than at Center Parcs or beautiful Barcelona!

So why am I getting excited about my life?

Well, if you’ve been following my blogs, you would have read about how three women changed my life at a workshop I attended in Bristol.  One of those women was a lady called Andrea Callanan.  She made such huge impression on me (read the blog Yesterday Three Women Change My Life) and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of a free webinar she was offering a couple of weeks ago.

So, I attended the webinar with a group of around 20 women, listening to Andrea talk through my laptop screen.  She spoke about all the of kinds of insecurities and fears we face as women in business (saying that out loud is still weird for me!) and life in general.  Talking about why we put things off, why we doubt ourselves and how it stops us moving forward.

At the end of the webinar, Andrea explained that she was about to run a new 12 week programme called ‘Get Excited About Your Life’.  It covers;

Week 1 – Get Present  Week 2 – Own Your Story  Week 3 – Healing Week 4 – Acceptance Week 5 – Self Worth   Week 6 – Self Care  Week 7 – Kick Ass Mindset  Week 8 – Desire  Week 9 – Intention  Week 10 – Vision  Week 11 – Planning  Week 12 – Execute, Achieve, Celebrate.

Whilst this looks like it will be quite intensive and Andrea has already warned us that it will take a places emotionally that we probably won’t want to go (I’m sure the loss of Mum will come up more than once) I am genuinely excited about changing my current mindset.

I literally find myself constantly swinging from a kick-ass attitude of ‘I can do this’ to self doubting thoughts of ‘I’m gonna fuck this up’! I’m forever playing the following questions over in my mind;

Can I really make a go of this blogging and working with companies in the well woman arena?

Will they want to work with me?

Can I work with companies and help them with their Social Media?

Do I know enough?

It’s true,  I didn’t jump in straight away. Why?  The fear. That bloody fear and self doubt of course.  Will I have the time?  Can I afford it?  After having a night to sleep on it, I decided that it was well worth investing in myself and took the plunge and signed up!

Over these next 12 weeks this course will help me get over these insecurities which in turn will help me to plan and building my brand ‘Tales of a Mother’s Daughter’ and also my social media training business ‘Social in Somerset’.

I really look forward in sharing this journey with you and passing on the things that I have learnt… and it all starts tomorrow!

Until next time,

Love and hugs from TOMD xxx

Remembering Mum… Performing Dusty Springfield from her hospital bed and showing Cancer a f***ing good fight.

img_0599-1Last night was the first night in a long time that I had a period of not being able to sleep… normally, once I’m out… I’m out!  Last night however, was different.  Two years ago at almost the exact time I woke up, I was on my way to the hospital to pick up my Dad.  He’d made the call an hour earlier to say that my Mum was now at peace and had passed away.  I was now reliving it all instead of sleeping.

This phone call wasn’t a shock . A month previous, Mum was admitted to The Beacon Ward at Musgrove Park Hospital as she was losing a lot of blood. Mum had been fighting ovarian cancer for five years, having multiple rounds of chemotherapy, but we had reached the point where nothing further could be done, and in the last few months, it was clear to see her body was getting weaker and weaker.

After being admitted to the ward during the night, we went over to the hospital the next day. When the consultant visited, she told us that Mum’s blood pressure would keep dropping with each loss of blood and that they would keep Mum comfortable and pain-free over the next few days (the time they now expected her to live).  As you can imagine, this was completely devastating.  I couldn’t believe that in a couple of days, we would lose her forever.  Even though I knew this day would come eventually, please, not yet.

I called my brother and he came straight up to Somerset from Dorset with his family.  That night the grandchildren had to say their goodbyes to their Nanny – it wasn’t fair to put them through the final days as they were all still so young (aged 10 and under).   That was one of the hardest nights of my life.

Little did we know, Mum had other plans.  Two days later, the huge blood loss she was experiencing had stopped.  What was to be a couple of days was now going to be a little longer.  Mum was still completely bed-bound, and it was clear to see that her body was starting to give up on her.  The consultant agreed that they would keep her at The Beacon Ward instead of moving her to the local hospice and Dad stayed with her the whole time, sleeping on the chair in the room.  My brother and his family stayed with us with the children staying at their grandparents when they visited whilst our children went to school.

Mum’s room for the next week was a hive of activity with visitors coming to see her – and we basically took over the family room and took it in turns each day to bring in lunch and treats from the supermarket on the way in.  I remember a lot of laughs that first week.  Mum could still chat here and there, she took pleasure in hearing us all talking and laughing together.  Humour is the only way we know how to get through crap times in our family… we’re a bit sick like that!

There were some evenings where Mum’s breathing got really shallow and the inevitable felt very close indeed.  We would all sit around her, holding her hands, and trying not to cry. We would sit for an hour just listening for her breathing which would be so erratic that sometimes it felt like the next breath would never come.

My Dad said jokingly one of these evenings, “Give us a song Else” … and with that Mum quietly started to sing ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ by Dusty Springfield.  We sat, jaws dropped as Mum gave us a rendition of Dusty, complete with facial expressions  (eyes still closed) and an air grab that frightened the life out of us all!  Even in the face of death, Mum was still making us laugh.

Mum amazingly went on a little more than a couple of days. My brother had to go back to Dorset during the week so could come up and visit on the weekends.

I swear, every time a nurse finished their run of shifts, they were amazed to come back to see Mum still occupying the room!  Even my friends, were being asked by their work colleagues “How’s your friend’s Mum?”  “Still here”, they’d reply.  It was just unbelievable.  The kids would ask me every day, ‘Is Nanny an Angel yet?’.

It was a Sunday morning and I was getting ready to go to the hospital. Mum had now been there for three weeks and five days.  My brother was up for the weekend visiting and was at the hospital.  Mum had been asleep for most of the week and had now not eaten anything for several days and even fluids were next to nothing.

However, today was different.  I had the call to get over to the hospital quickly.  Mum had woken up for the first time in days and was chatting.  “I don’t want you to miss this, come over now” my brother had said.  I’d read about this (I was a bloody expert on the process of dying by now) when a patient has a huge surge of energy just before they pass away.  All I kept thinking all the way there, was that I can’t miss her.  I sprinted across the car park, my legs were like jelly, my head willing them to move quicker.

When I got there, she was awake.  “You made it” she said.  I’ll never forget it.  I managed to show her the infinity ring I had bought with their birthday money for my 40th, promised I would buy a beautiful leather biker jacket with the rest so that she’d always have my back, told her how much I loved her and that she must not worry, we were all going to be ok, we had each other, we would be fine.

She managed to talk a little, see  some family and was more alive in the those few hours than she had been in the last two weeks.  It was wonderful, even if it was short-lived.

Once Mum had drifted back to wherever you go when you’re pumped full of morphine (which she told me was wonderful btw) my brother and I decided that we wouldn’t visit anymore.  He was about to go back to Dorset so wouldn’t be around and I felt awful being there without him… just as he did when he thought I was going to miss the ‘final moment’ as I made my way over to the hospital.

This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Watching this amazing woman deteriorate the way she did was just heartbreaking, but I was really struggling to watch it anymore.  She had no food or drink now for several days, this disease truly is evil.  I kept thinking that back in the day, someone would have helped things along by now, administering just a little more morphine than required.  You wouldn’t put an animal through this, so why do we do we let our fellow humans suffer in this way?

My Dad agreed that he didn’t want us seeing Mum deteriorate anymore and I couldn’t bear for my everlasting memory of her to be this shell of a woman, even though she already was.  After nearly four weeks, I just couldn’t take anymore.  It’s funny, but even though I was a 40-year-old woman, I felt very much like a small child at that time and Dad just wanted to protect us.

I know there will be people thinking, ‘I could never do that’, but I’ve learned, that unless you’ve walked down the same path as someone, you don’t know how you’d feel. Believe me, I have wrestled with that decision so many times.

Astonishingly, Mum remained in the hospital for a further five days, passing away in the early hours of Saturday morning, 20th February whilst my Dad sat sleeping in the chair.  She was The Beacon Ward’s ‘longest resident’ with her stay from 20th January to 20th February.

The day Mum passed, my wonderful friends came round and cooked for us, we drank wine, we played music loud and relived our memories. I don’t know how we would’ve got through everything without our friends and family.

As I sit and type this, I have ‘The Best of Dusty Springfield’ playing over the speakers, with our little cockapoo puppy, Dusty sat next to me.   The tears have flowed which have been locked away for too long, but getting it down on paper – or typed on screen… may be just what I needed to do to let it go.  I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you.

Tonight I will raise a glass to my wonderful, crazy, brave, beautiful Mum, who is always remembered and in our hearts forever.

img_6564-2This was our last picture together at my surprise 40th birthday bash- 10 days before she was admitted to hospital.

Until next time.

Love and hugs. xxxx