Embracing Change

There is one thing for certain, as well as the fact death comes to all of us, change inevitably happens all the time, and usually when we are least expecting it.  Change you instigate yourself has a element of control, want and desire, but when change is thrust upon you, it can knock you for six.

A number of my dear friends and work colleagues after last week are facing a change of employment status.  Some at their request, some unrequested and un-welcomed.  All of them however are looking into the future and seeing change.

I’ve had many a personality assessment done over the years, but recently had one called Spotlight, with Mindflick (the pig wrestling company), and they very clearly defined me, as being most vulnerable when I am succeeding.  This could not be more true.  It is almost like I allow myself to get carried away with success and then ‘BOSH!’ something comes from left field which I wasn’t expecting.  This I know, is how some of my friends are feeling at the moment.

I am very lucky in that I have never been made redundant.  I have however had breastcancer, and that seriously came when we least expected.  I’d just been promoted, had a new baby, bought a new house, the hubby secured a new job with a much higher salary, we’d bought a lovely new enormous car, then ‘POP’, the bubble burst.

Fortunately the hubby and I are both very pragmatic and have never dwelled on the reason or cause.  We simply drew a line and said right how do we fix this.  We fixed it.  The house got renovated, we re-mortgaged to afford the car, and I was finally on the mend……Then “BOOM!” it side swept us from left field again, but this time the hubby was made redundant.  He had been there less than two years, so there was no big handshake goodbye…..just no job in the future.

Strangely this one was harder to deal with.  With cancer of any sort, but particularly breastcancer, you are smothered with attention.  How to fix it, medication urgency, new drugs, support groups.  You also accept that you didn’t really cause it (although I do love a drink, and alcohol has a very strong link), and other than losing a bit of hair, in theory if you come out the other end, you can go back to normal.

When you are told by your employer that they don’t actually need you any more, whatever they claim the reason, it is impossible not to take it personally.  “Why me and not him?” “Did I not do a good job?”, “Have I not been loyal?”, “What did I do wrong?”.

Even with all those questions, the burning feeling inside is “They chose not to keep me…”.


The logical you know’s it is a numbers game, but the emotional you is just a little bit heartbroken.

How you deal with it however, is the ONLY thing you can control.  It is a cycle of course; hurt, misery, anger, determination, courage and strength, but to get to strength you need to run through the other emotions first.  How fast you can do this, will be the thing that makes the difference to your recovery.


Change comes in all forms; illness, separation, redundancy, and then those you chose yourself, relocation, new job, new career, new relationship.  The difference with the latter is you bypass the hurt, misery and anger stages – and it feels better.

I have never yet met a person who was made redundant who didn’t eventually say it was the best thing that happened to them.  I have never met someone after a bad breakup, who didn’t finally say thank god it happened, and I personally can tell you that having cancer at 37 was the best thing that could have happened to me, it was enough to make me appreciate every single day of my life, and make changes for the better now, not tomorrow or next year. I know I was very lucky.

So to my wonderful friends out there who have had change forced upon them; firstly, I am sorry, it’s shit.  Secondly try to embrace this…. Draw the line in the sand, make this the time to do that thing you have always wanted too.  I know some of you have very young families, and large mortgages, all of this is manageable, you have your health and you have the love of your families and friends.  Companies are corporate entities and are designed to make money. You are a human being and designed to live life and have fun.  Embrace those around you, thank the universe for pushing you out of your comfort zone, and try to find that dream you buried years ago, then go for it.

Grab this change people, with both hands.  You cannot stop it happening to you, but the journey you take dealing with it, is all about you….. Good luck, and please keep in touch….I am excited for you, and cannot wait to see what you become…trapeze artist, painter, pilot……


My dream…..one day not to far away…..!



The environment to “Mindflick”, pig wrestle and fly…

This past week I travelled 3hrs north to a little place called Hathersage just outside of Sheffield. I worked with Dr Mark Bawden of Mindflick (www.mindflick.co.uk) wrestling pigs. I have referenced this in the past as I read the book this summer and have worked briefly with Mark before, but what happened Wednesday was incredible.

The day job as you know, can be exhausting and I often find the whole pace of life excessive; commuting daily, running a department, being a mum, wife…finding time for myself, but thought that this was just life, for now. Mark has shown me how wrong I was.

Mark met me at the little village station and two minutes later we were in the ‘Barn’. A converted farm, Mindflick’s hub was the top of the barn with huge windows showing off the Derbyshire hills.

The ‘office‘ itself was spectacular but simple. Three distinct areas, the main being a huge worn leather sofa, and two matching armchairs separated by a small but very stylish coffee table and of course that view.

To my left was a tall, long white table surrounded by white boards on the wall, and to my right was a long rustic dining table, a bench and some lovely Eames chairs, and just the one computer.

There were little references to pig wrestling everywhere; from the solid brass pig paperweight to the framed pig pictures drawn by Mark’s children.

The warmth of welcome and homely feel to this workplace blew me away. There was music gently playing in the background and a little coffee maker to feed my city-base caffeine requirements. The lack of technology was a dream.

Mark sat me down in a large leather chair with a hot coffee, hobnobs and a view of the rolling countryside hills and so we talked and then started to wrestle my pig.

There was nothing technologically advanced in what Mark did, just simple mind unravelling. We started with my perceived problem at work and ‘cleaned’ it. Needless to say the problem evolved into something entirely different by the end of the day, but this ‘different’ problem was one I could easily see how to solve. First rule of pig wrestling (see previous blogs for link) is never to resurrect the pig, so I’ll leave it there, but I’ll tell you honestly, the day was an eye opener for so many fabulous reasons.

The environment we worked in really stuck with me. My head felt completely clear and free, and my vision for the future energised. All the plans I had for my team, I could now clearly see happening, thinking outside the box, releasing the bungee cords that for 12 months had restrained my thinking.

I left Mark at 5:30pm and travelled the long way back down south. I got home late and crawled into bed. I then had the worst nights sleep ever….. Waking at 2am full of ideas, bursting with opportunities. I got up, scrawled as much as I could then tried to get back to sleep.

The next day I had planned to work from home, to be free of the office hum of computers, phones, and general noise. I couldn’t face the office after such a mind freeing day. I needed it to continue.

(Not my office but not far off!)

It was freezing outside, so I lit the log burner, donned my leggings, a baggy jumper and my slippers, poured a massive coffee, lit a Christmas candle and put on my new favourite chill out album…Islands by Ludovico Einaudi….. I had found peace. (If you want to sample it Islands by Einaudi)

I managed to sit, plan, explore and prepare for the ‘day-job’ moving into 2018, for virtually a whole day. My mind was racing with ideas and the lack of emails and instant messages popping up, meant I could really focus and let my energy fly…. you should try it.

If you’ve a problem you have tried everything to fix you need to wrestle it. By escaping the noise I achieved more in two days than I ever thought possible.

So this Christmas think about your environment, make sure it suits you and brings out the best in you, give yourself a setting and surrounding that makes you happy.

Finally, thank you Mark you are amazing!