Someone once mentioned to me that “we are the sum total of the decisions we make in life” Did you see Chelsea Cameron on Victoria Derbyshire’s show when she thanked her drug-dependent parents for all the things they DIDN’T do for her as a child and the choices she made subsequently?:
With this in mind, my wife Georgie and I found ourselves last year at a craft exhibition in London. Whilst we were looking for a particular exhibitor, we came across the work of Peter Lanyon who was exhibiting his woodcraft furniture in one of the stalls (www.peterlanyonfurniture.co.uk).
Rewinding the clock nearly 50 years, one of the few subjects I enjoyed at school, apart from Biology, was woodworking but being a boy and it being the 1970s, science was the obvious avenue to pursue.
I was taken by Peter’s beautiful handmade Devon furniture, which uses coppiced wood i.e. freshly cut unseasoned Greenwood and traditional woodworking tools. On the spur of the moment, I signed up with my wife to do Peter’s ‘Introduction to Greenwood Furniture Making’ for my 60th birthday present!
Whilst this was relatively familiar territory for me, for Georgie it was very much out of her comfort zone. So why mention this in my newsletter to you? The answer I believe is that as we all become older, so we become more set in our ways, both emotionally and physically. For most of my patients and our society generally, lives are largely sedentary and much like me, one gravitates towards what is most comfortable and familiar.
It is interesting I find how conquering one’s own, seemingly trivial, mental limitations can have profound and far-reaching results in one’s lives. My wife, who is a primary school teacher, had an OFSTED-type class inspection the following week after her return from Peter’s course. She claims that her ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED result was, in part, due to the positive emotional influence she felt having conquered her reservations of her own ability to do woodcraft.
So my message to everyone is: DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! It needn’t be doing a course – I sometimes ride my motorbike to work a different way …. it’s very small and trivial but it’s just “doing something different”. When was the last time you spontaneously said “hello” to a stranger in an elevator? How often do you stop to say “hello” to someone living rough? And so the list goes on and on. In NLP jargon, it’s called “changing state”.