Introduction;

Hi and welcome to Chapter Five of kNOw Limits Newsletter.

In this Chapter you will find the following morsels of inspiration to digest;

  • Update on Mandy and Caylees learning from their forthcoming book
  • A persons poems introduced in the mailbag
  • Book reports from Mandy and a poem from Caylee
  • Information on forthcoming courses that kNOw Limits is offering
  • Information on a chosen resource that I feel may be of benefit

Dear Mandy's mailbag.

I have something slightly different for the mailbag in this newsletter. I have not received any problems in the mailbag so have chosen to introduce 2 poems by a person I used to teach at College called Garry Bedford . Garry has given his kind permission for me to do this. Garry has received support from people both within mental health services, and other agencies external to mental health. Garry uses poetry as a way of expressing his experiences.

Tormented Mind

All I want is to be myself you see but I do not know who I am any more.

Everything that was part of me for 50 years or so has been

Knocked out of me by authority – this is true.

Men gave me my biggest nightmare, why should this be I do

Not understand, after all I am a man too.

I put up a front so as to hide my true feelings inside.

All I want is to be part of something again, to replace what

Has been taken away from me.

Everything I try has to end and this really scares me – like

College, this helps me be free for a while, it has even given

Me back my ability to smile, this gives my mind a rest even

For a short while.

Sometimes I think I need to be born again to reinvent myself,

But why should I? You see I do not know anymore.

The friends I meet I can never get near. This is another fear

Oh why can I not get things clear?

The world is so unkind all I want to say is what is on my mind.

Listen

You do not have to be seen
To be heard
To give of your time
This is no crime
To be there on the shift
To the callers this is our gift
To listen and to care
Understanding and thoughts we do share
After all that is why we are there
To give and not to take
This is for the callers sake
Confidentiality is our game
To treat everybody the same
Rethink help line.

Garry Bedford . 2004

 

 


See book review's 1 and 2 below.

Mandy and Caylees learning from their forthcoming book.

For those of you who have received our previous newsletters you may have noticed you have been waiting slightly longer for this one. The truth is it has been easier for me to put other commitments into the time I have allocated to write the Book. Its also no co-incidence the 2 book reports are about using your voice, something I have found hard to put into words and on to paper. I was talking to 2 of my colleagues about it the other day and one of them asked “Whats the message in your book?” The question led me to remind myself what the key message of the book is about and how passionate I feel about getting the book out into the world. It also reminded me of how easy it can be to get so engrossed in the detail, we can lose sight of the bigger picture. I had lost sight of the vision me and Caylee have for the book. How often do we all lose sight of our bigger picture because we get engrossed or bogged down with the detail? Do you know what your bigger picture and vision is…..for your day/week/month/year/life? Whats the message you have to share with your partner/kids/friends/colleagues/local community/bigger world? If you were to say what is REALLY true for you to the next person you speak to what would you say? What impact would this have on that relationship? On yourself? This week and coming month dig deeper and explore what is it that's not being said? What is it you can't be with? Whats the learning for you in this?

Something else that me and Caylee have explored more over the last few months is Principle Centred Questions. These are questions that focus on nurturing character and competence in ourselves and others. These sorts of questions focus on our own circle of influence rather than blaming or accusing another person.

e.g. BLAMING/ACCUSING QUESTIONS;

Why is Caylee been so annoying?

Why is it every time I try and talk to her about this she does not want to talk about it?

She's really annoying me every time she talks over me?

These sort of questions tend to focus on the OTHER person. The questions generally continues to fuel the feeling of annoyance. They tend to focus more on the whole person as opposed to specific detailed behaviour. They also look outward from the self.

e.g. PRINCIPLE CENTRED QUESTIONS;

What emotions or feelings are most present for ME?

What is that telling ME?

What do I need to do to manage these feelings in MYSELF?

What is it I am having difficulty being with?

These sort of questions tend to focus on the SELF. The questions are focusing on what the SELF can do as opposed to what they can't do. The questions are expansive and focus on growth and learning. It looks inward to the self.

Over the coming week and month become aware of the types of questions you are asking of yourself and others. If you are aware you are using BLAMING/ACCUSING questions change them to PRINCIPLE CENTRED questions. Diary your progress and learning. What impact is it having on how you are relating to others and how they are relating to you?

Let me and Caylee know how it goes.

And to end our learning on where I started……..which was the difficulty I have had in physically writing the BOOK. I have a request to all our subscribers. I would appreciate your support in helping me get this book out to the world. The following are some of the ways you may be able to help me;

•  Kind words of encouragement every now and again.

•  Challenge me/hold me accountable.

•  Any knowledge of particular publishers you think may be interested in the BOOK.

•  Any contacts you think would be worthwhile me having connections with.

5) Anything else!!


Book Report 1.

Your Voice and How to Use it. The Classic Guide to Speaking with Confidence. Cicely Berry . Virgin books Ltd. 2003 ISBN 0-86369-826-3

In this book Cicely Berry, Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company tackles the reasons for anxiety in speaking outloud. It explores practical exercises for relaxation and breathing, clarity of diction and vocal flexibility. Although I already had some knowledge in breathing and relaxation techniques I was very impressed by the detail of the book. I found the chapters exploring how the use of the teeth, tongue and mouth

effect specific sounds and letters very informative and enlightening. There is a lot of emphasis at present on getting physically and nutritionally fit. What I find fascinating is the lack of education on how to strengthen and look after our voices considering for the majority of the population this is still one of the main forms of communication. This book makes you think quite seriously about doing that. The only part I was a little disappointed with was the introduction as it began to explore the influences on us as we develop our voice, including what may prevent this occurring. I would have liked even more indepth exploration of this area. However I appreciate this book was not exploring any deeper psychological issues as to why the voice may not be used to its maximum. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to use their voice more effectively particularly focusing on the physical aspect of the words and sounds we express.

Book Report 2

Fierce Conversations. Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time. Susan Scott. Judy Piatkus Publishers Ltd. 2002. ISBN 0-7499-2381-4

This book is all about how to have ‘Fierce Conversations.' Susan Scotts defines this as robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager and unbridled. She shows how to fully engage with our conversations and make them real. The book explores principles and practises that will help you engage in conversations to enrich relationships, no matter how challenging or sensitive the subject. I also like the way it explores the difference between ‘having a conversation ABOUT the relationship' and ‘the conversation IS the relationship'.

I also really like the way the book engages you in the process with powerful questions and assignments. This book is not just about reading and learning. Its also about applying it in practise. The case studies help in the process of engagement and considering how it has worked for others. It really reinforces the message that EVERY conversation does really count.

As Caylee has not done a book report this month she has done the poem you see on the first page of this document. This is her contribution. I was thinking of putting it in after the 2 book reports but if you think it looks better somewhere else then let me know.

What it becomes

There was a single mum,
And with that single mum,
There was a boyfriend,
And with that boyfriend,
Became a beating,
And with that beating,
Became bruises,
And with those bruises,
Became pain,
And with that pain,
Became a young girl's great mind,
Turned into a bad mind,
And with that bad mind became a cliff,
And with that cliff,
Became a jump,
And with that jump,
Became a suicide.
And it is so sad that it takes a suicide,
For a bad mind,
To become a great mind.

By Caylee Gutsell.
 

In our 4 newsletters we have explored respect, listening, understanding, appreciation, support and responsibility. Since our last newsletter we continued to explore responsibility and how this connects to independence.

As a general rule me and Caylee go for something to eat together on a Friday evening, normally Pizza Hut! As those of you who have been following our story will know that is where Caylee instigated the idea of writing the BOOK. Well one Friday recently she asked me if I would mind if she went swimming with her friends. I said I did not mind but Caylee then said she felt torn as she knows that is our time together. She kept pushing for me to actually make the decision for her as to what she should decide to do. I said it was Caylees decision and I would not make it for her. I supported her in considering the benefits she would gain from each. We also discussed the room for flexibility with our Friday evening arrangement now she was getting involved in other activities with new friends. It would have been easier in the short term for me to have made the decision for Caylee. However this would have not taught Caylee it can be hard to make decisions and the process by which she came to her conclusion.

To the Reader; Do you jump in to quickly at times to help people make decisions? What do you gain from doing this? What does the other person gain and lose by you doing this? What support can you give people in making decisions without actually making the decision for them?

Staying with the same story Caylee also asked if she could go over the road from swimming to the chip shop. I know there are normally a lot of young people older than Caylee that hang out there as well so I said to Caylee “If there is any trouble come straight out of the chip shop and go back over to the swimming baths.” She looked at me with an annoyed look and said “ Of course I would do that but it will be fine.” On reflection I realised that what I was saying to Caylee was for my own piece of mind rather than Caylees. If I was really honest I trusted Caylee and know that's what Caylee would do anyway. I felt it may come across like I did not trust her or respect her judgement.

Next time;

I will think about the reason I am sharing my concerns with her.

e.g. Am I voicing my concerns to express them and make myself feel better?

Am I voicing my concerns because I don't think Caylee would know what to do in a particular situation?

 

I will Ask Caylee first to tell me what to do if a particular incident occurred. I will assess her response and then decide if I need to add anything else or leave it as it is.

 

The other thing I have noticed recently is Caylee making note of things she does not like about my appearance and verbalising it to me. e.g. I don't like your hair like that! You're not wearing them trousers are you?

In the main Caylee has often wanted to wear things of mine! which I have found extremely flattering. I found that I was starting to find it really hard to not take these comments to heart and feel offended. I was re-reading one of my Adolescent Development books a little while after and realised that what was happening with Caylee was healthy. She is at an age where it is becoming important for her to see herself as separate from me and her dad. She wants to spend more time with her friends where she is starting to make sense of who she is and how she relates to them. What I know is if I give her the space to express her thoughts and feelings without judgement she will want to spend MORE rather then LESS time with us when it feels right for her.

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