You can't just stop
10th October 2008
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For many of us, our wants divide neatly into three caregories: a successful career, happy fulfilling relationships and personal pleasures. To benefit from these involves making commitments, and that's when you begin to realise that the price of success is pain! Once you have signed up for the commitments, you then have to put in the necessary effort, and regardless of how you're feeling!

It gets kinda tough when one or more departments of your life turn to poo. You can't just put the other areas on hold while you sort it out. Not only do have to do one thing when your very soul is screaming about something else, you're having to prevent the resultant emotion spilling out in inappropriate places.

This is not always achievable. In 2002 I was attempting to hold down my first contracted teaching post (as opposed to supply teaching) in a tough Primary School whilst my wife was becoming clinically psychotic. Here I was, just about struggling to cope with a highly stressful job and a couple of young children at home and their mum was getting messages from parked cars and was convinced I was impregnating most of Bradford. The last straw was when she rang me at work in the middle of the school day voicing her latest paranoid delusion, and after hanging up I wept uncontrollably there and then in the school office.

Fast forward two months and the missus was responding to treatment and I was back at work, but with all enthusiasm for the job destroyed. I limped on for another two years in teaching before I could stand it no longer, in which period I spent in emotional turmoil, watching the family finances and my anger management deteriorate and my weight go out of control. However at the same time the seeds of my recovery were also being sown as I began to explore more deeply my lifelong interest in spirituality and hypnosis. This led ultimately to my rebirth as a hypnotherapist.

These days, I'm far better prepared to cope with difficulties in one department while keeping another going. I thoroughly recommend a teenage daughter to really see what you're made of! As well as drawing on my own wisdom learning and experience, I have observed others doing it and attempted to adopt their strategies. The key strategy is undoubtedly BALANCE, FOCUS and COMPARTMENTALISATION. At any given moment, the master manager is completely absorbed on the task in hand until the alotted time is up, then they drop it like a stone, as if the task never existed and focus on the next task. The various departments of their life are given clear ringfenced time slots, long enough to keep each particular department going. These slots are periodically reviewed and modified to fit the circumstances.

I used to think these master managers were somewhat rudely abrupt, suddenly cutting you dead at the end of meetings, but I now understand that they are displaying excellent management skills and coping strategies. This technique is actually consistent with many spiritual teachings, which urge focus on the present yet to ensure that no duty is neglected. My life has been particularly transformed by the use of focused attention, concentrating all my awareness upon one task and one positive thought at a time.

It is also most important that all departments are given the appropriate attention, avoiding temptation to either over-indulge or neglect those that are distressing. Doing this enables one to draw strength from more successful areas to apply to those failing.

Of course, whatever mental robustness you may foster, nothing can withstand a category five hurricane. It is wise to remember that whatever we do to cope, we are inevitably dependent on grace or good luck, depending on what you believe. When for whatever reason everything you have built ends up as rubble, while you still live you can still build something new, and any building, be it greater than or a mere shadow of the past, is better than continuing to weep amid the ruins.

About the Author


Member since: 26th April 2012

I am a fully qualified and experienced hypnotherapist, Reiki practitioner and Stress Counsellor, based in Undercliffe, Bradford. I am proud to be a volunteer therapist for Bradford Cancer Support

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