A scorching day in Somerset. At the cottage with the folks. There’s no doubt they’re older, slower, particularly Dad.
Did someone tell me when I was young that it wouldn’t always be peaches and cream? Probably. Did I listen? Probably. And then like with everything in life we move on. We’re not designed to be able to empathise with a different faze or mode of life. It wouldn’t work and it would have ruined all that fun I was having.
I have been ‘working’ with an NLP guru and hypnotherapist called Dominic Knight. He started off life in corporate sales but now works as a professional who guarantees he can can cure people’s phobias and be the best person that they can be by rewriting their unconscious script to make them erase all those negative thoughts – the ones which say ‘What if I mess it up?’ ‘What if those students start being rude or confrontational?’ ‘What if I fail?’ Those thoughts we all get. By reprogramming the unconscious part of our brain we can get rid of our fees and achieve success. I am part way through working with him and it’s encouraging but not sure if it’s totally worlked on me yet.
When I first met him on South Molton Street earlier this month we talked for 3 hours and there was a lot of reference to amazing success stories of the past where people had got to the top of their game apparently just through force of will and self belief. Dominc is convinced we must do the thing that we love / that we want to do. With me we established it was writing (not teaching) so he has made it his mission to convince me to focus on this, to make this my mission. ‘You have 10 or 12 years of teaching this, of knowing what it is that you need to do to achieve this so you have, with belief, the ability to be world class at what you do. Do you see?’ There is something persuasive about his manner and uplifting about his absoulte belief in me. A cynic would say he’s a good salesman but it helps his business that this would be deemed negative thinking and so must be pushed away.
He hypnotised that first time in the last hour and I think this was an attempt to reset the programme. He took me to a place where I had been happy and when I woke he said ‘You will now feel a feeling of wellbeing and confidence and take that with you and think about what we have talked about today.’ And, sure, I did but I don’t know if it’s addressed my anxiety / sleeplessness. This he tackles in an odd way:
Think this mantra “How would the person I want to be do what I am
> to do?”
> If negative thinking attempts to appear. Realise you are thinking
> what you don’t want to experience, so pivot immediately and think of
> best possible scenario.
(This is a tricky one – how do I think the best possible scenario about 2 kids who are going to be abusive? – I suppose that they are a bundle of hormones and only children. I am a trained teacher and in control of the situation. This makes me a stronger person and teacher. Be the person who stay calm and deals with it in mature and consistent way. DON’T LOSE YOUR TEMPER. I have been successful recently in being this person although I can feel the heat of anger rising up in me, I haven’t let it come out.)
> Never say anything about yourself that you don’t wish to be true.
> Any negative situations that may appear look for the instantaneous
> in it by asking “How can this serve me? or How can I profit from this
Hmm..he makes it sound so easy. However I must try to put it into practice.
He called me again earlier this week and I was disappointed that it was just a phonecall where he really just reinforced the same message. Focus on the person you want to be. Pivot away from negative thoughts. He is convinced it is that easy. With a dedication to working at your dream too. His last piece of advice was ‘I want you to start taking the initial steps to getting your new life underway’ (ie writing) so here I am. If I can knock out 1000 words a few times a week then that is a good start. I did 1000 words last Friday about AP provision in Bristol / Somerset and yesterday I wrote to TES and The Guardian with 2 pitches:
As you probably know, there’s been a significant cut to education funding particularly in Somerset. I’d like to write an article about how lack of funding is affecting school environments, resources, but also behaviour and staff morale. These are things that I have noticed changing over the last few years and something which many members of staff are also talking about. With this in mind I am interviewing my present head teacher and previous head teacher next week both of whom have concerns about how schools should act. My present head went to a meeting with Damian Hinds about this the other day along with other Somerset school leaders so it’d be interesting to get something down about that meeting and what was said.
Secondly, I would like to do an article about how AP providers in Somerset are coping with reduced funding. I have been visiting AP providers eg Forest School, PRUs and other AP providers in the Somerset area who are also saying they are seeing a knock on effect from lack of funding. This was inspired by last July’s House of Commons report ‘Forgotten children: alternative provision and the scandal of ever increasing exclusions’ which found how AP providers are under increasing pressure from government cuts, ‘off-rolling’ and increasing numbers of permanent exclusions. My aim is to see how AP providers are coping one year on from the report.
The next question is it worth writing without any hope of getting it published?
Realistic yet negative thinking. Just do the fucking article. It might not get picked up and soon it might be out of date but it’s good practice for me and means I’ll be on the path to pursuing what I want to do. Meanwhile Is has told me that The Tablet wanted her to do an article about education for kids in foster care and she passed on my details to her editor but so far nothing. I am determined to do those 2 pitches: I am interviewing Mark woodlock, my Head on Thursday followed by a PRU in Taunton the following week. That with the interview with Joe at Forest School should make for a good article.
KEEP IT GOING. Then this week I should sign up for my diploma in journalism. Well done, buddy.
Just heard from Buc . Jess was outside their tent when her son, Ben, ran into her and somehow her eye has got a serious cut from a glass. She’s just had a major operation in Bristol Eye Hospital where they are trying to save her eye. Thoughts / prayers…