There are some things you don’t want to lose!

I’m sure we all have a story like this one…. But what can it tell us about listening to our subconscious?

Arriving home Monday lunchtime, and feeling quite tired after a long Dance weekend (I’m a keen ceroc dancer), I decided to check my diary to see what clients and appointments I had booked in for the week.

But.. NO DIARY!


I did my unpacking
. Checked every nook and cranny for the diary that should have been in my handbag.

Still, no diary.

Maybe it had fallen out of my bag in the car. I messaged my friend Chris we had travelled in his car for the weekend. Then I repeatedly phoned Pontins where we had stayed. Only to be cut off every time before even getting past the recorded message.

Frustration was starting to set in.

I decided to give up on the phone and send them an email. I thought I recalled looking at my diary once while I was there. So, it was quite possibly still there.

Chris got back to me very quickly. It wasn’t in the car.

“Right”, I thought. “Make a list of everyone you need to contact about appointments”. Then I realised I needed an awful lot of details from my diary for tax returns too! Concerned that I would miss an appointment or let someone down, I reminded myself that getting stressed about it wouldn’t help.

I am the Stress Medic after all….

I was pretty sure I must have lost it at Pontins. But tuning into my inner feelings I just couldn’t find any part of me that felt it would be returned from there. Now I don’t like that kind of negative feeling. I wanted to think positively about it being returned. But I couldn’t shake it off. Maybe I was just being realistic? I mean, they couldn’t even answer the phone!

On Tuesday morning (still nothing from Pontins), I went out to buy a new diary and started to contact people. Lunchtime came and I needed to get ready for a client. Walking through the door of my log cabin, I immediately noticed an oddly positioned piece of paper on my desk and picked it up.   

Underneath was my diary!

My memory of having it in Southport was entirely false. Poor Chris! He had twice (just to be sure) searched every inch of his car. I had wasted a whole day.

On reflection I know our minds and memories play tricks on us.

My memory of checking my diary that weekend could have been no more than a thought. Perhaps the reason I couldn’t see it being returned from Southport was because, subconsciously, I knew it wasn’t there. But then, subconsciously, I must have known I’d left it on my desk! Maybe if I’d accepted that inner feeling of ‘it won’t come back from there’, and stopped to remember how memory plays tricks (no pun intended) I might have found it sooner.

Counting my blessings

The understandings and techniques I work with now helped me get through the time when my diary was lost without going into a complete meltdown of stress and anxiety. So now I have my diary back and another interesting lesson on how our minds work…or don’t 😀

Oh, by the way, still no reply from Pontins…..

£5, Parachuting & Me

I’m not sure when I developed a fear of heights.  As a child I climbed trees but I grew to be a shy, anxious, introverted teenager.

My first jump. We didn’t have tandem jumping when I was training!

I found two things I loved.  Playing the piano – but only for myself!  And dancing.  In my mid-teens I as was introduced to Ballroom and Latin American dancing.  When I was 18, my examiners started to encourage me to compete.  At the time, there were more girls than boys dancing, this made finding a suitable partner difficult.  I also wondered whether I’d love it as much, as I’d need to spend most of my free time practising.

So, instead of dancing competitively I joined 18+.  A local social club for 18 to 30 year olds.  I got involved in lots of activities.  Often they’d finish with a take away and a group of us putting the world to rights into the early hours.

Fear of heights

On one occasion we went to the theatre.  We ended up with seats high-up in the circle. I walked happily (whilst laughing and joking with friends) through the door to the circle. I suddenly found myself violently frozen to the spot.  The height hadn’t dawned on me at all! Now, having walked into the circle, I was faced with a steep drop down into the stalls.  Every muscle in my body felt rigid.  My friends took my arms and somehow managed to drag, push and manoeuvre me to my seat.  It was a very uncomfortable experience, and the first time I’d realised the effect my fear of heights could have on me.

Here we are getting ready to jump. I’m second from the right with a big smile!

Jump out of an aeroplane? Me?

A while later the chairman of Bromsgrove 18+ asked if I’d do a sponsored parachute jump to raise money for charity.  I was horrified!  How could he ask me to do such a thing?  Since the evening at the theatre, my fear of heights wasn’t exactly a secret. I rounded on him saying, “don’t be stupid, I’m terrified of heights!” or words to that effect… I wasn’t prepared to entertain the idea – at the time anyhow.

Back at home I was very indignant as I ranted on to my Dad about the Chairman’s request.  He listened quietly and then, without any memorable comment, went off to do something else.  “That’s odd” I thought.  But, at least I’d been able to let off steam a bit. Sometime later he casually came back and said, “if you do the parachute jump I’ll sponsor you £5.00.”

Aren’t Dad’s supposed to protect their daughters?!

Well, it gave me the push to decide I could do it. And I’m glad it did. Conquering this fear is just one of many challenges I would face over the coming years.

I also continue to do my bit for charity.  Last year I supported the Midlands Air Ambulance’s 25th Anniversary celebrations and 2017 will be my second year supporting Healing Hands Network in Sarajevo.

Group talks

The lovely ladies of Swanpool WI recently gave me my first opportunity to deliver this new talk. So, in addition to my popular Hereford & Worcester’s 1st female paramedic and Recognising Stress Early talks you can now book £5, Parachuting & Me.

See the my full list of group talks.

When are you going to write your book?


This was the question I was asked by one of the 60 or so members, of the ‘Bromsgrove NHS Retirement Fellowship’ group earlier this week. Very flattering, nonetheless the voice in the back of my head questions that a whole hour (or so) of me rabbiting on isn’t enough? But I keep getting this message, and find myself thinking, maybe I just might…..!

Later in the day I also got to speak to Hollywood WI, a smaller group of about 20 lovely ladies, and after I’d finished they agreed I could take a picture, it’s not great quality but you can see their lovely smiles.

My thanks go to both groups for their donations in support of my continued work in Sarajevo.

“I never looked at my watch once!”

Stress Medic group talksIn addition to my one 2 one client sessions I am very lucky to have a busy schedule of Stress Medic group talks. My latest was last Thursday for the Wyre Forest Friendship group meeting, held at Stourport Community Centre. Megan, who booked me to talk, was smiling and relieved when I arrived, with just 5 minutes remaining before the start of their meeting. I’d taken a wrong turn on the way and been held up by roadworks.

Wyre Forest Friendship Centre is a thriving group. Fifty or so of the members had arrived for the meeting. I often talk to WI groups, which I really enjoy, but it was nice to see a mixed audience.

They had chosen my most popular talk ‘Hereford & Worcester’s 1st Female Paramedic’. This has a lot of content and, noting that no one was yawning, I will admit I did run over a little. This really is not something to be encouraged in a speaker! So, that’s why I was delighted at how surprised a gentleman seemed when he came to tell me “I never looked at my watch once, and I always do!”

I chatted with several of the members over a cup of tea and biscuits. It was a lovely way to spend a morning and my thanks go to Megan for inviting me.

If you are looking for a different talk for your group or society, you can find a list of my Stress Medic group talks here.

Image courtesy of www.stourportcommunitycentre.co.uk

Fundraising event for 2017 Sarajevo trip

Sarajevo fundraiser - The Stress Medic

I’ve made the commitment to return to Sarajevo next April! To help continue the wonderful voluntary work of Healing Hands Network. Imagine how amazed and delighted I was when Rose Hutton of Astley Music Group contacted me to offer me a fundraising event, to kick start my fundraising for the trip. In fact they did two, raising a total of £150 which is a fabulous boost towards the £800 I need to raise.

You can make a donation here

About the fundraising event

I was delighted when Rose contacted me. How amazing to be offered a fundraising event to support me going back to Sarajevo with Healing Hands Network – helping to continue the charities work with those suffering as a result of the war. Naturally I accepted, having just made the commitment to return to Sarajevo next April, this would be the perfect boost to start my £800 of required fundraising. In fact they ran two events for me and raised a fabulous £150.

Rose organises regular charity events and supports many charities, and she is very good at it. I could only attend the first event because I had another commitment to Healing Hands Network, but we had a wonderful evening of comedy and song in October, and I’m sure the second event was equally entertaining.

On the 8th October our entertainers were Kelly Louise and Dave Chance. Kelly Louise has a beautiful, clear voice and performed a wide repertoire of songs, and is no stranger to comedy. Dave Chance is a comedian, and had the room in stitches, but he’s also a singer and has an excellent voice, it was a great combination. The evening was such good value, with a ploughmans supper included and a raffle with many donated prizes. A lovely evening was had by all and I am so grateful for everyone’s support.