Hi and welcome to Chapter Six 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 clients problem shared in the mailbag
  • Book reports from Mandy and Caylee
  • Information on forthcoming events/courses that kNOw Limits is offering
  • Information on chosen resources that I feel may be of benefit

Dear Mandy’s Mail bag.

A client of mine shared a very common experience the other day. She said she felt totally unappreciated by her 3 kids ranging from 9 – 13. She said it felt like they only ever spoke to her when they really wanted something especially with the 13 year old asking for money. In fact last month she was shocked to work out she had probably spent about £80 on her 13 year old daughter alone. This was nothing out of the ordinary but things like going out with friends, magazines, toiletries, make up etc….

The first thing I asked her to do was take a good look at how much she was showing she appreciated herself and her own self worth. Sometimes how your kids are treating you is because they don’t see you appreciating yourself enough. In other words you are not role modelling appreciation enough in your own life. So look at actively showing ways of appreciating yourself.

Also most young people as they develop are pushing the limits all the time to see how far you will give in. It sounds like its time to visit your boundaries of what you will and won’t do. With your 13 year old you need to ask yourself what life skill are you wanting her to learn. E.g. If its prioritising the value of things and managing a budget she’s not having to do either at the moment. She’s getting most of what she asks for and has no real appreciation of how much things cost. One of the things I did with my own daughter was decide on a weekly budget she would receive and the types of things I expected her to pay with it. This included going out with friends, magazines, sweets, toiletries, birthday presents etc… Things like school uniform and the upkeep of main clothes and footwear I would pay for. Initially Caylee spent it very quickly and then came moaning she needed more for presents and magazines etc… This is where you have to be very strong and reinforce what your agreement was. If you give in at this point and begin to buy other things you will end up paying out even more than you did in the first place. Once Caylee realised I was not going back on my word she stopped asking. After a few months as a development from this Caylee was managing her money o.k. but felt it could be better. We then decided to open a bank account for Caylee. What this has meant is she has a small amount of her allowance in cash and the rest direct into her account. She is less likely to spend it if she has not got it on her. The additional action of having to go to a bank and draw money out means that she sometimes decides its not really that important. She also now places a different value on the things that matter most to her. It also means that I do not feel our relationship is based on her constantly asking me for money. Try it and let me know the results.


See book review's 1 and 2 below.

Mandy and Caylees learning from their forthcoming book.

Emmmm. For those of you who received the last newsletter you may remember I made the point of explaining why you had been waiting a while longer than usual. Well its probably been even longer this time. So whats that about and how can we learn from it. Well firstly it felt like the Newsletter had become a big heavy burden. The idea when we set out was for the Newsletter to support the writing of the book. As the content for the book is nearly finished we need to review the amount we put into the Newsletter. It may be there is less word content for the future Newsletters. Does this mean it is any less important? Well no. It got me thinking about a theme I had been exploring with some coaching colleagues. When is less more? Sometimes silence is more powerful than having a verbal conversation for 60 minutes. I had offered the experience with some of my face to face clients of having the session in silence and finding alternative ways of communicating. Naturally there was an initial anxiety as this was not something they were used to. However as the session developed my clients gradually became more accustomed to listening to them selves more. With the verbal communication taken away it heightened their senses of using their ‘gut feeling’, listening to what their body was telling them and using more eye contact. We connected on a deeper level that made an impact on us both. Can I put that into words? Well no. Sometimes there are no words to describe a deep connection with someone. So that what I am offering you to explore for the next couple of weeks. Well lets call it the ‘less of and more of’ theme. Ask yourself the following question every day.

“Today what can I do less of to create more of?”

Some thing else that happened to me towards the end of November was my dad died. Now for anyone who knows me on a more personal level you may be aware that my mum died in 1999 aged 53. The two experiences of them dying were very different. Mum died within a month of being diagnosed suddenly with Cancer of the bone marrow. This was a very turbulent time not knowing if she would live from one week to the next and not being ready to let her go. There was also a lot of tears shed at this time with the double tragedy of my mums sister also dying a month before at 47. My dad on the other hand had been ill for a long time. In addition to his head injury he had suffered 15 years ago he had developed swallowing difficulties resulting in an operation to feed him through his stomach. His physical decline resulting in his death occurred over a 6 month period. I had also grieved for day twice over already. The first when he had suffered his head injury and he returned home a changed man in many different ways. The second time I grieved which took me by surprise was when mum died. I remember looking at the old photographs and seeing dad staring back at me as he used to be before his accident. And now I was grieving for the third time. So why am I telling you this. Well what struck me was other peoples reactions at my response to dads death. I carried on working through out most of it apart from the day of the funeral and the day after that. I did not cry a lot. When people asked me if I was o.k. I said I was. AND I MEANT IT. I FELT VERY AT PEACE. However other people had their own definition of how I SHOULD be grieving. When I said I was o.k. some people would try and challenge this by saying they understood I was in shock. Others kept telling me how hard and difficult it was for me. Well the truth of it was this. I was not in shock. I DID feel o.k. about dads death and at peace. I did not feel the need to cry other than on the day of his death and the funeral day. And may be I will cry at some other point in the future. Do I think about him all the time? NO I don’t. Am I finding it hard and difficult? NO I’m not.

So my message is:
We all grieve in many different ways. There is no one right or wrong way. If someone does not cry a lot it does not necessarily mean they care any less for the person than the person who is crying. People who have experienced any loss need time, support and space to grieve in their own way. The most important thing you can do is ask the person what type of support they need. If they say they don’t respect their wishes AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME. The type of support we need can change from day to day and week to week. So just because the person said they did not need your support at a particular given time, they may well need it at some other point. Keep checking in with the person as to the type of support needed. If you are a person grieving now or at any point in the future remember you know yourself better than anyone else. Allow yourself to grieve in a way that’s right for you. If it does not fit in with others expectations that’s o.k. Ultimately you are the person that has to live in your own skin with your own thoughts and feelings.
You also never know when you are going to lose people. I want you to consider all of the important relationships in your life. As you consider each person I want you to imagine you receive a phone call………RIGHT NOW……. as you are reading this newsletter saying that they have died. I want you to consider;
Would there be anything you wanted to say to them that you now can’t?
Would there be anything you said you were going to do with them that you never got round to?
Would you have any regrets?
If you answered YES to any of the above 3 questions what are you waiting for?
People often say speeches at funerals saying things they felt about the person concerned. The irony is the person that really needed to hear it most isn’t there to hear it any more. Make it count NOW.

And so to end our learning on where I started…… thoughts on the time lapse waiting for the newsletter. I have a similar request to all our subscribers that I gave you the last time. 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;

  1. Kind words of encouragement every now and again.
  2. Challenge me/hold me accountable.
  3. Any knowledge of particular publishers you think may be interested in the BOOK.
  4. Any contacts you think would be worthwhile me having connections with.
  5. Anything else!!

If you have any further ideas let me know by e-mailing me:

Book Report 1.

The New Peoplemaking. Virginia Satir. Science and Behavior Books Inc. 1998 ISBN 0-8314-0070-6

The author Virginia Satir, is a pioneer in family therapy. The New Peoplemaking is a revised version of the previous edition Peoplemaking. The revised version has been enlarged by 6 additional chapters that take into account all stages in life and also changes in family culture such as ‘extended families’. I like the way the book focuses all the way through on themes such as ‘taking responsibility for ourselves’ and the importance of self worth and uniqueness. In addition what I found really useful was the practical activities that families can do together to develop their relationship. I also found the questions she asked of the reader throughout the book made it very interactive. It offers an insight into the roles we develop in families and if you have a young family still growing up what you can do to change the dynamics. In Chapter 15 she goes on to say the best preparation for parenthood is for parents to develop an openness to new things, a sense of humour, an awareness of themselves, and a freedom to be honest. These are wise words that we could remind ourselves of regularly. If there is a downside to this book I think it has a ‘therapy feel’ to it that may put some people off. I also think that most parents would be inclined to use the information for their own understanding and adapt it accordingly. I think very few families would put the practical activities into action as a whole family unless they are family therapists themselves.  Overall I think the book is very informative for both parents and anyone working with families.

Book Report 2.

The Life Coaching Handbook. Everything You Need To Be An Effective Life Coach. Curly Martin. Crown House Publishing Ltd. 2001 Reprinted in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. ISBN 189983671-3

This book is a guide to life coaching exploring what life coaching is, how to coach yourself and others effectively and how to create and sustain a successful coaching practice. I particularly liked the emphasis on Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and how this can be incorporated into your coaching with clients. I found the section on representational systems particularly helpful in understanding other peoples language style they use. I began to listen to other peoples language more and try to match it back to enable faster rapport and understanding. She also had some additional useful questions for coaches to put to their clients which I have a particular interest in. As it says on the back of the book it would be useful for many people to read the book in addition to coaches. I think skipping aside the Chapter on ‘How to build a Coaching Practice’ anyone who is interested in developing more effective communication with those around them would take something from the book. What I did not like about the book was there were a number of statements and definitions on coaching that I did not agree with. However this is my personal opinion and I did not let it stop reading on and taking other benefits from it. I think for a more experienced coach you would probably skip the first few Chapters and move on to the other areas particularly those relating to NLP. However I don’t think it harms any coach no matter how experienced to remind themselves of the basics.

Wolf Review

Wolf - by Gillian Cross

    I think Wolf is a very page-turning book. Whenever you start reading it it’s hard to stop. The author (Gillian Cross) creates a lot of tension in the book. She does this by using short, sharp sentences, by using emotive language and also by showing the characters feelings and thoughts.

    My favourite thing about the book is how everything starts to add up, and when you figure something out or it just clicks in your mind, you start to get exited. It makes you eager to read on, it’s physically impossible to put the book down.

    I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of ten who enjoys reading a really good, page turning, thought-throwing book.

By Caylee Gutsell 8A/8RLS


The seasons are coming!!


Spring brings life back into the trees,
After the winter, as cold as the seas.
Everything turns into green,
It’s the best colour I’ve ever seen.


Summers here, getting hotter now,
The farmers have finished, doing the plough.
The sun doesn’t set until late at night,
That’s why it is light.


Autumns coming, Leaves fall to the ground,
When you step on them they make crunching sound.
The wind is flying in the sky,
And that makes everything move. Why?


Winters now drawing in,
Time to go to church and cleanse of a sin.
Snow starts to fall on my head,
Spring is coming soon, or so everyone has said.


Caylee Gutsell 8A/8RLS


In our 5 newsletters we have explored respect, listening, understanding, appreciation, support, responsibility and independence. Caylee and I also added an additional quality around trust.

What we will now do in any subsequent newsletters is add any update related to our book. We may also add additional stories on the qualities. However these will now appear more randomly rather than in a set sequence as they have done before.

I am going to share a piece that is in our book relating to support. I was exploring the definition of support in the Oxford Dictionary. Amongst a number of meanings it also had the phrase ‘take a part that is secondary to’. I am aware that Caylee and I can both be quite assertive in what we want, and it reminded me of a time when we were both running a telephone class on our book. I was aware I was leading a lot of the call. I also realised I was a bit wary of allowing Caylee to lead some of the call in case people thought she was too ‘full on’. I knew this was my concern, and something I have at times being concerned people will think of me. i.e. being too full on. This can make me think of toning my energy down a little.

However this was not Caylee’s concern and it was important I let Caylee be herself on the call. I made a concerted effort to be quiet and not interrupt particularly when Caylee was asking the callers about their own learning from the latest books they had been reading. This was one occasion where Caylee was able to find her own voice adequately by me ‘taking a secondary part’. This led me to think of the continual shift of power that is needed for both of us to have our voices heard. Sometimes my voice may drown Caylees out and sometimes Caylee may try to drown my voice out. We need to constantly look at creating the right environment where both our voices can be heard without drowning the others out. Where we create the space to breathe in between our sentences knowing there will be time for each other equally. A space where we can both ‘take a part that is secondary to’ when it is needed.

Consider what you need to do in your own living or work environment to create the space where all voices can be heard equally.
Consider the phrase ‘generosity of spirit’.
What does ‘generosity of spirit’ mean to you?
What is it to come from a place of ‘generosity of spirit’?
Who/What limits your ‘generosity of spirit’?
Who/what expands your  ‘generosity of spirit’?
What daily activities do you need to practise to develop your ‘generosity of spirit’?

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