The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Monday, January 22, 2018

Footwear and the Bridlepath

Booting-Up

I had two walks last Saturday: a ‘tough’ morning walk, along the South West Coast Path with some steep climbs on wet terrain – and a simpler, though longer, afternoon walk involving the beach at Woolacombe. The weather in the morning was misty with increasingly hard rain; the afternoon was gloriously sunny by comparison – and that can happen in January, on our coastline!

In the autumn of 2016 I purchased some walking shoes, which have stood me in good stead on my walks, hikes and climbs since. Until, that was when, in November 2017, I climbed up West Mill Tor and then across to Yes Tor on Dartmoor. It was then that I realised I needed walking boots for traversing the rocky and boggy terrain I encountered that day.
In December 2017 I road-tested my new boots going across Saunton Down, back in North Devon, and found them ideal for the wet, muddy and slippery footpaths along the way. Appropriate footwear can elicit a felt sense of confidence.


Brave or Foolhardy?

On the Saturday morning walk I was part way up a long, steep climb when I met a couple coming down. This was a climb that I’d fallen and slipped down some distance in the autumn of 2016, and it was a wake-up call for me.
“Respect and attend to everything about the journey – for there are potential mishaps around every corner. You may not always get lucky.” I got lucky that day.

To return to the walking couple - the lady also had two small dogs with her, on leads, whilst her husband was about 5m behind, on the steps coming down. I could tell from her voice and demeanour she was not fully at ease, so I asked, “Are you OK?”
“No, I’ve just had a fall and I’m a bit shaken up, as I’ve only got a plastic kneecap,” she replied. I didn’t tell her I’ve had one knee with no patella since 1976, since it has never stopped me from doing exercise or playing sport. As I was telling her the variation routes to the next village along the coast, my eyes came to rest on the wellington boots she was wearing – and I remembered my previous fall on the same walk.
“Go easy on the rest of the descent,” I said, wishing her well. I did think that she should at least consider passing the dogs over to her husband – as the toughest bits on the descent were yet to come. Hopefully, they all got safely to where they were going, though I did think she was both brave and foolhardy at the same time.


Coast Path and Bridleway

The signposts I encounter on my coastal walks invariably show both the Coast Path AND any linked Bridleway.


On my afternoon walk I encountered a sign rather similar to the one pictured – and it was whilst negotiating the muddy and horse-worn pathway that I mused on the juxtaposition of the two descriptions – coming up with the actual and also metaphorical signposts of:

Coast Way and Bridal Path.

It only took a momentary bit of further musing – for me to arrive at linking Bridle Path – and Bridal Path with Appropriate Footwear.


Our Journeys in Life

We all undertake many journeys in our lives – both physically and metaphorically. Some of the journeys are regular and mundane; some are Life changing; some are on coast paths and some are on bridleways, perhaps even on horseback; sometimes we are coasting, free-wheeling, and sometimes we’re are striding out with a purpose; sometimes we are on a “Bridal Path”, stepping into pastures completely new; sometimes we are on the path more travelled.

Whichever the journeys, and whatever the purpose, we need to ask ourselves whether we have appropriate footwear. Will our footwear carry us, with confidence, along the way – or will we find ourselves on a hill steeper than we might have imagined, wearing wellington boots? Wellies are great for walking squelchy and muddy meadows or testing out the depth of flooded roads before venturing to drive through them – as I discovered on yesterday's travels – however, they do not have good enough tread or support to see us safely down a steep and slippery descent.

Our best footwear for any metaphorical journey is, arguably, the last thing we consider before setting out – unless it is part of our checklist!

Consider the Bridal Path itself, or a new job, or emigration, moving house, going to University, transitioning from primary to secondary school. These are all crucial journeys, laced with and enriched by a considerable amount of emotion. Are we prepared enough for these types of journey? Or does the emotional involvement distract us from the real physical and mental metaphors of checking out that which is often the furthest away from our brains, or our minds – OUR FEET!

I know that, in terms of my emotion-filled journeys, I took on a number of them without any preparation or consideration of appropriate “footwear”. The “shoes” I wore on those journeys made them difficult to negotiate at best – and doomed to failure at the other end of the scale.


Self - Realisation

Yet, you might say, blundering footloose into those journeys and learning THE HARD WAY is all about Life’s Lessons. The ME that I AM right now would have been different if I had not learned the hard way. The mistakes and the learnings are all part of MY STORY.

What if I don’t realise? What if I don’t learn? What then?

Well then our STORY, our life, goes blundering off in another direction, doesn’t it?

And there’s a point I’d like to make about the word Réalisation – in French.
It actually means PRODUCTION. So, if we are to become the PRODUCERS, the shapers, of our lives – then we are engaged in our own Réalisation. The Réalisation of our selves.

Self Réalisation


Once I started on the journey of Self Réalisation, I knew was undertaking a much more sure-footed journey. This is now a journey of focussed intent and purpose; well beyond the mistakes and error-strewn journeys I took when much younger. True, I thought I had intent and purpose back then.
Now, I get a felt sense that the intent and purpose is aligned with who I truly am. I’m almost tempted to use the word authentic here, even though it is much-bandied-about buzz-word of our times.

So here, yet again, are the words of R D Laing’s timeless quote about the divided self:
“If I don’t know I don’t know – I think I know
If I don’t know I know – I think I don’t know”

And when we get to the pathway of Self-Realisation, there is this:
When I know I know – then I don’t Think

Bon Voyage!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Get your walking boots on!



The New Year has begun! The winter walking season is here and now!

It may be wet and windy today, but last Wednesday (10th January) I was out and about in Woolacombe and Mortehoe, from Marine Drive to Morte Point ... and back. The weather was beautiful and I was testing out the Zhiyun Smooth-Q gimbal. Practice is always necessary, and we all have to start somewhere! The video above, filmed on smartphone, gives a clue as to where I am on the learning curve. Next outing I hope to set it up for GoPro filming.







On next Saturday, 20th January, I'm doing the Mortehoe and Woolacombe walking set - weather permitting. Here is the link to the Eventbrite page WALKING THE SOUTH WEST COAST PATH

It would be great to see you there!


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Minimize to Tray

Booting-Up

Every time I fire up my laptop it goes through a sequential series of actions, a boot-up routine. Eventually the operating system is invoked, the screen comes to life, and I get invited to put in my password. After that there comes the automatic loading of some set programs, applications, of primary action.
I guess this happens for us all – right across the board, wherever we are. In fact, in some people’s perceptions, this could be the daily boot-up routine for us, ourselves – the “Human Computer”, if you like.

And, rather like with our computers, not every boot sequence runs smoothly. Something has got in there and made things run much slower, or we notice certain things we might describe as glitches. And for our laptops’ Human counterparts, these might be last night’s food or drink intake, a virus that has got in under the radar and attacked our immune system, the symptoms of a periodic illness that has flared up once more, a disturbed night of sleep for particular reasons either physical or mental…
And, I say this with a degree of tongue in cheek of course, all of this is long before we might notice what the weather outside is doing!

Well, now I’ve set the scene for you, I’ll return to my own laptop’s auto-load programs. 

For me, there is one that stops all action until I deal with it – Amazon Music. The screen just comes up saying “Act Now – or Freeze.” Well, no it doesn’t actually say that since it’s not yet been imbued with Alexa-like powers! But I am required to take some action – so I click the “X” in the top right-hand corner which then leads to a further “take action” request – which brings me to the creative kernel of this observation. I can do one of two things: I can either EXIT completely, or I can …

MINIMIZE TO TRAY

Now, for me with music, I would never EXIT completely. Music is a key component of my life – I hear it all the time, it is in my head; I see it all the time, in the world around me; I feel it all the time, in the resonances of the world and myself. Yes, I’m a bit weird, like that!
So, no, yes – it is an integral part of me, and of ME!
And so, on my laptop’s awakening, I always MINIMIZE TO TRAY.


Side-Tracking

Now, one of the things that tends to happen in our lives – it certainly happens to me – is that once MUSIC has been minimized to tray, or in other words set aside for however long the moment might be, then it is no longer active – on screen.

Even for me, given all that I’ve said about MUSIC being everywhere in my life and an integral part of the me that I am, there are times when I get side-tracked. Quite literally, at these times, the tracks in the play-list of my life do NOT contain any MUSIC. I am out of touch with that integral part of me.

I’ve got SO much going on in the foreground of my life – on the SCREEN, if you like – that the soundtrack, that’s been minimized to tray, is not in evidence. I’m dealing with on-screen stuff so much that I can’t hear that the MUSIC is not there. It’s missing.

Until, that is, the very moment that I do notice it’s missing.

OMG! Where’s the music gone to?

Well, deep down we know, I know it is – actually - always there, a bit like the sun on a bad weather day that’s there above the clouds.
And in that moment the OMG hits home, I intuitively know that I need to pause, take a deeper breath, and allow my metaphorical cursor finger to GO TO TRAY, in order to click on “music”.


Inside-Out

One of the most seductive things about the lives we lead is the SCREEN. We are told, very early in our lives, that we must attend to the screen and what’s going on there – and of course, in the metaphor of the Screen, that is how we get to live our lives “In the Now”.
However the screen is a very demanding place and what happens when we load and run LOTS of programs – and flip all of those things from foreground to background on a regular basis? We forget about the things we have MINIMIZED TO TRAY.

We’ve crammed so much into our screen activity, that we’ve lost touch with the some of the key things that are important to us, perhaps those things integral to, nay even part of, our identity.
Once we understand that the stuff going on on-screen is, essentially, Outside of us – then we intuitively know how to handle the OMG moments.
Until that understanding arrives, we’ll perhaps get an inkling that we aren’t what’s going on on-screen. Yet these occasional and insightful moments will flash in and out, on and off, like shafts of sunlight through the breaks in those clouds on the bad weather days.


Those inklings were certainly KEY for me. They got me started on sorting out the things that I’d been wanting to change for years, yet didn’t have an idea how or where to start. You could say I got lucky.
I got curious – I got back to what we all are in the first years of our lives. CURIOUS about anything and everything around us. 
What’s that? How does this work? Where does that go? How do I …? And so on. Eventually I encountered the Inside-Out nature of reality – the perspective I was born with and then lost touch with.


Self-Satisfied

Pursue curiosity and you will place yourself on a pathway to becoming properly self-satisfied. Self-satisfied has nothing to do with SMUGNESS or being the great I AM.

When a baby moves from crawling to taking those first steps you know there’s a HUGE amount of self-satisfaction there on the inside, for baby. They’ve broken free into being now EVEN MORE capable of discovering more about this world they are part of. Their curiosity is being fired up now with every step they take.
Baby has not yet encountered the emotion and behaviour of SELF CENTRED AGGRANDISEMENT, of SMUG. Baby has merely satisfied a curiosity.

And on the metaphorical laptop for Baby, the Screen IS also the TRAY. Amongst everything baby does there is nothing that is minimized to tray. That comes later!



So, get curious enough to take a good long look at the TRAY of YOUR life. Notice what is there, notice what you regularly put there, and whether you lose touch with those things when the TRAY is unnoticeable in the hurly-burly of your daily lives as you attend to endless on-screen stuff?

Take care with what you Minimize to Tray. I’ve known a lot of people who actually, though unwittingly, have minimized their lives to Tray in order to deal with all that “really important” stuff that is on-screen. I used to be one of those people – and at the time I thought I knew myself. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Revision

Today’s Topic

Imagine that you are in the audience and I am giving a talk … and on the whiteboard or flip chart behind me you see the word “REVISION.”
Probably, like me, you are immediately transported back to a pre-exam scenario. Mutually, our minds will cloud our present moments - here at my talk - with snatches of individual memory around the topic of “REVISION.” The memories may be good, neutral or less than comfortable – depending upon our personal perceptions of Exam preparation. It is a road of experience we will have all travelled at some point.



Levers of Language

I have a more than fanciful awareness of the hypnotic domain – it is part of my being and my understanding of the nature of our human awareness; and it is also part of my professional approach to working with clients. Here too, I have an experiential understanding of how language (both verbal and non-verbal) is woven through all that occurs within the hypnotic domain.

Now, one of the linguistic levers that exists within this universal vehicle of conveying meaning, lies in framing; of “setting the scene.” I used one right at the start of the article by saying, “Imagine that you are in the audience … “, for instance.
I used another one by introducing the word “REVISION” into our proceedings, for “REVISION” – like that – is an evocative word. Our brains’ “Black Box Voice Recorders” will have picked up this internal dialogue in micro-time:

“Oh look – REVISION. I know that label. I have experience around that. It is flagged by my use of emotion at the time of experience, so I can recognise it with ease for future reference. That once future point has now arrived, and I can remember not just the experience (for knowing) but also the emotion (for feeling) all about REVISION. I’ll bring them both to my conscious awareness. Then, I’ll get to feel again how I used to feel back then.”   

I used the lever of getting you to remember a whole raft of things … and your predictable mind-body link did the rest.


Revision

Part of the emotive nature of that word, of course, is linked to HOW we revised, WHY we revised, WHAT we revised, WHEN we revised, perhaps WHERE we revised, and (after the event) WAS it worth it, did it WORK for us, did it give us WHAT we wanted?

Of course, HOW we revise bears a very close relationship with HOW we learn. And we all LEARN in quite different ways. So, if our teachers tell the entire class that there is only ONE optimal way to REVISE – AND that this is IT - then I’d venture to suggest that their persuasive suggestions are way off the mark; along with the “factory-method” style assumption about there being only ever one way of learning.

“Here is some knowledge I am imparting and which you should be learning.”
I am like a dog with a bone regarding ways that we learn, and I make no apologies for that. I have coached enough children over the years to know that my being inflexible in the way I am imparting the knowledge, will only work for a small percentage.

Anyway, to get back to the language side of REVISION – the primary meaning conveyed by this label, this word, is there in plain sight.
 
VISION.
If we are a Visual Learner, then our revision should literally be that … Re-Vision, or Vision-again. If we are an Auditory Learner, then we’ll be more in tune with revising from books, for the spoken word is going to work best for us. Kinaesthetic Learners are more in touch with subjects in the practical sense, so their best revision should involve a lot less via sight and sound, and be a lot more hands-on.
Now all of this is not woo-woo or rocket science. Especially when (and if) our Revision is meant to be a Re-visiting of what we have learned. After all, we are going to be examined on what we have learned – NOT on what we HAVEN’T learned – aren’t we?
Please remember - we will never learn anything when Revising. We may gain some further understanding and insight of that that we DO know, but in terms of something new – there is NO learning; only Conditioning.


Revising Our Thinking

There are, however, a number of other meanings within the domain of vision, revision, and revising – like that! There are Visionaries and ReVisionaries, Visionists and Revisionists. Revising can be examination and correction, proving and proofing a draft document, and so on.
Revising and its derivatives have now moved away from revisiting things we have already learned, into a domain of correction, change and re-assessment.
If our thinking about something is not entirely correct, or is not working very well for us, then we need to revise our thinking about it.

In visual terms, we might say we’re looking at it with different eyes and it will seem clearer; in an auditory sense we are hearing it from a whole new perspective which resonates with us a lot more; in a kinaesthetic sense we’ll feel more comfortable about it, more at ease, it will work much more smoothly.

If ever we needed proof that our non-verbal sensual language, and the ways we can express that language in a verbal way, is inextricably linked to our thinking – then here IS that proof.

Changing our Mind – is merely another way of describing what is going on when we Revise our Thinking. And we would do well to remember, also, that the only person who can change our mind – like that – is Ourselves.
In Outside-In terms, I may think that YOU have changed my mind, revised my thinking for me – YET I am the only person who can change MY mind. You have pointed me in another direction, you have facilitated my having a change of perspective, BUT only I can change my mind.



There was half a dozen of us sat around the dinner table a few days ago, and someone pointed out to one of the others that I was a hypnotist. “So, who do you hypnotise?” came the next question, which was a slight variance on the usual casual questions in conversations not involving hypnotists. You can imagine a rocket scientist in a similar social gathering: “So, tell me about your rockets?”
And yet also that slight variance, in and of itself, gives clues as to the personalities at the social gathering as well as the language of the questioner – which, again, is fascinating.
“Anyone who buys into the process,” I replied with rather vague intent – which one particular friend would describe as my being ‘woolly.’ Well, woolly or not, the conversational lever prompted my being invited to elaborate on my comment.

When I was first trained in hypnotherapy and the nature of hypnosis I would have never given such an answer. I had a set of thoughts and ideas around the process and the entire domain – and THAT set of thoughts, ideas, beliefs (almost) framed everything for me and my approach. Then I met certain people, began to move in certain circles, listened to and watched other hypnotists – and I became aware that my set of thoughts, ideas and beliefs (almost) were of such a narrow bandwidth as to severely restrict my understanding. My next step was simple …
I revised my thinking – I changed my mind.
I re-visioned my entire view of how the hypnotic domain sits within our Being.
I had many insights and light-bulb moments, which were both exciting and breath-taking in turn.


Curiosity

I believe that curiosity is a freedom granted to us before birth. It is the driver for ALL of our early learning. AND – if we were to allow it – can be the driver for our Learning for the rest of our lives. Yet most of us are told to hide our curiosity away – especially when it comes to educating ourselves – or have our educating done by others that sit in judgement.

“Our brain capacity peaks at 25 … “
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks … “
“I couldn’t learn to do that – I was no good at it at school … “
“My teacher says I shouldn’t take this subject at GCSE because … “

Don’t these, and other well-worn phrases, look just like a set of thoughts, ideas and beliefs (almost)? How narrow is the bandwidth of the minds behind them – believing them to be the one, true and only way?

Curiosity – at ANY age – is the driver for ALL learning. Curiosity says, “I want to know this, I want to know all about it, I want to know more about it, I want to experiment with it, I want to see how far it can be taken.” Curiosity always keeps an Open Mind – nothing is set in stone, everything is questioned. Nothing in the World has ever been advanced by the Narrow-Minded and those beset with self-imposed boundaries.


Conclusion

So, I invite you to take a new perspective on REVISION. Revise your thinking about it. 

I used to believe that 2+2=4 until I had it proved otherwise. The World was once believed to be flat – and indeed anyone questioning the views of the Church around that particular nature of the World was considered to be heretical, and was punished accordingly.

I invite you to learn about HOW you learn AT YOUR BEST.
I invite you to LEARN with Revision-in-Mind. By this, I mean be questioning from a perspective of Curiosity, so you can – at any time – revise what you have learned.

Take the book, the idea, the thought, in your right hand and recite these words of caution:

“You do not have to know something fully but it may harm your security if you do not understand when questioned something you rely on as truth. Anything you think you know may be given as evidence."