Growth…by Amy Jeetley

#DailyWritingChallenge

Image Credit : https://www.goalcast.com/2017/03/01/top-20-most-inspiring-martin-luther-king-jr-quotes/

The quote above sums up growth for me.

As souls we arrive on this Earth to grow, to experience whatever we can to achieve this. Sometimes we fall, get stuck, upset or sail through. However, if we look around there is always help, support and inspiration available. At times this help could be from the least expected sources. Nevertheless it is important to keep growing in some way, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Having grown up in a very difficult household, faced with many challenges, I quickly learned to take any opportunity I could to grow and develop myself. I also knew at a very young age I need to have my own back, as no one else was in a position to have it for me. I don’t recall it being a conscious decision, it just happened.

Maybe that was a way to escape. If I could lose myself in a project, a venture, or a goal it helped me focus on what I could achieve, rather than the adversities.

Whenever I am faced with adversity, I look at how I can grow out of it, as growth to me is very important and often it’s been quite painful. I’d like to share some of my happier and odd moments of growth.

I recall my first introduction to meditation on the Diploma for Energy Field Healing, trained by @suezange. She was teaching us to sit still and centre ourselves at our core. I had never sat still and now I had to sit still surrounded by a room full of people I hardly knew. We were only going to try it for two minutes. It seemed like forever. I started fidgeting and opening my eyes a little bit and peeping. I could only manage just over a minute! 17 years later through a lot of painful growth and practise, I am now trained to teach mediation and visualisation. And I can manage more than two minutes!! I’m grateful to have been able to focus on my spiritual growth.

When I worked at a school where @ottleyoconnor was the Interim Headteacher, I remember taking up every opportunity I could to develop professionally. Budgets were an issue and I remember being offered a whole school role for literacy and T&L as well as departmental roles. I took them all on…in the name of growth. Professionally, it was one of the best things I did. Again, it had its challenges and I was grateful for the opportunity to grow, including the coaching given to me by @ottleyocconor who guided me and helped me grow through some very distressful situations.

Last year unfortunately I had to have major surgery. It was physically, mentally and emotionally traumatising. Leading up to the surgery (which was cancelled three times) I was medically unfit to work as I could barely stand, or walk and was in intense pain. So, I decided to go online and find a course I could do in my own time, that would help me grow and develop, and make use of this time. So I decided to study a Level 3 Diploma in Health Coaching! ( Which I didn’t finish, however they gave me extended time this year to complete). By this time loved ones thought I had lost the plot!

Coming to the current situation. Since being off from work, as I come under the risk category, I have not stopped! Whilst still at work, I was completing NQT documents and reports and then planning lessons.

Sometimes when things need doing and completing, it can come in the way of the flow of our growth. So, my next venture was to clear and organise my house over the Easter holidays and the spare small room I call my office which I am pleased to say is now done. Old school folders, paperwork 10-15 years old has now been binned. There is a better flow of energy through my house and no doubt getting rid of the old will allow new growth….mentally and creatively.

In the next few days, I plan on growing though building my repertoire of films on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Surely that will help me answer some trivia questions……at some point?!

Humour aside, research has shown when we allow ourselves to stop and do things like watching films, gardening (I still need to grow my garden as well as grow in my garden!) our minds wander, and daydream. This creates space for creativity and inspiration to flow and grow.

Growth feeds the soul. We are not designed to become stagnant or stay still. Whether we grow for ourselves, or we grow by helping others. It nurtures the soul.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’d love to hear funny or weird ways you have grown. Please share with me @amyjeetley #growth

I hope you keep growing, keep learning at whatever pace you can manage and however you can manage.

Blessings of light

Amy Jeetley

@amyjeetley

P.S. I love books and audiobooks … where I can learn and grow 🙂 I have many I could recommend so please feel free to DM me.

Joy…by Amy Jeetley

#DailyWritingChallenge

Image: https://boomsumo.com/inspirational-quotes-positive-sayings-life-heal-heart/

Joy is an act of heart. We know this because when we experience joy, the passion, love, excitement and enthusiasm will just flow out of us. It is hard to contain. The opposite of joy is sorrow. These are times when our hearts may be in need of more tender love and care. We may seek these from another, or maybe self care can heal us.

In either case, we should understand our energies will ebb and flow on a day to day basis. At the moment, there may be some extremes to these ebbs and flows. However, it is important that we find things, experience things and connect to things that will make our heart sing , open and flow.

It is through an open heart we feel joy, happiness and healing. Even if you are self isolating and are on your own, please do not underestimate the power of joy. It is uplifting, it is a high vibration, a higher resonance which feeds your soul, your family, your community and global community.

So I ask you to reflect:

1. What makes your heart sing?

2. What makes your heart overflow with love?

3. Share one thing in the current climate that brings you. (#JoyIs)

The heart does not see big or small. It just experiences joy.

Things that bring me immense joy is being grateful for having my own home since September 2019. For spending time in my garden where my flowers are blooming, even if half of them are lopsided because I didn’t plant the bulbs deep enough! I’m finding joy in starting to cook again, so that I nurture and nourish myself. I found joy today when I gave my Aunt a virtual tour of my house. Having overhauled all the food and tins in my kitchen …I find joy in opening my pantry 6 times a day to see how lovely and organised it looks!

The heart does not see big or small. It just feels joy.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Please share what brings you joy.

Wishing you a joyful heart💕

Amy Jeetley

@amyjeetley

Self care…self worth…self esteem by Amy Jeetley

#DailyWritingChallenge

Somehow these are all interlinked. Self esteem is having confidence in one’s own abilities. How about if your confidence has been knocked as it is has been, of late, for many of us? No doubt this will affect your self worth … and what do we have a tendency to do if our self worth is affected? We try and do things that will improve our self worth which involves putting ourselves out there to do things that prove this. We will make sure our friends and family are okay, do the shopping and at times put ourselves at risk. It is human nature. What ultimately suffers is our own self care.

In these challenging times it is so important to now put self care at the top of the priority list. Lives matter. People matter. YOU matter. Regardless of your beliefs, we all have a purpose in life and it is painful to hear that the Gift of Life is being taken prematurely in these times.

The message is clear. You have a lot to offer to your family, your community, your work, and play a collective part in a global community. In particular, educators, teachers, leaders, carers, medical staff find it very hard to practise self care, so ways and means need to be found to ensure this is done.

Bearing this in mind, I would like you to reflect on:

1. Are you giving yourself the compassion, kindness and care you are showing others?

2. If not, why not? What is stopping you?

3. What one thing can you change so you can do this.

“Self care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” Katie Reed

There are many things that can be done for physical care e.g. exercise, pampering, reading, TV/films. For emotional and mental care, using technology to catch up with friends, families, loved ones. What about inner peace? How do you bring calm to the constant bombardment from media, what’s app, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram? There will be a constant stream of these energies that we will be experiencing day in day out causing an underlying ripple of unrest. So, it is important to find the inner peace, to bring calm to yourself. As part of your self care routine find a few minutes a day, every day of quiet, calm time to sit and experience the stillness and silence. For it is from the silence the answers will come, as will peace. Reconnect to yourself, your inner being and the strength that lies within. It will increase your capacity to be patient, to care, to love and be loved.

Wishing you all inner peace and self care.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please let me know how you get on @amyjeetley

Amy Jeetley

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My work is invisible … am I?

(Image courtesy of picture quotes.com)

Growing up I remember in secondary school I always used to let my work speak for itself. I felt I had to prove my worth through the work I did….which I got on with quietly.

For example, I was good at playing sport and I recall when we used to be picked for teams…I’d be one of the last to be picked, yet as one student pointed out to me “I notice that every team you play on wins.” When I used to play hockey, I was a good left back (the irony of that position you will see), defence, yet the accolade always went to the centre forward, who made a lot of noise but didn’t make use of the wings as well as she could have. Instead, kept the ball to herself rather than using the skill set of the whole team.

During my career in sales, I was good at mentoring and training people, and when potential recruits were called in, the regional manager used to get them to sit with me so I could suss them out & if I thought they could hack the job. I was just a sales person then with no additional title who went round supporting and trying to help people through the passion I had and goodness of my heart. I had proven myself by winning regional and national awards for top sales results. So it stood to reason for me to apply for an official job as a trainer. I didn’t get it. I was pipped at the post by a person who had left the organisation due to going through a disciplinary for poor performance and lack of sales. She was now considered to be able to train people in achieving top sales. By the way, did I mention she was the “best friend” out of work of the manager who interviewed her? My regional manager was shocked as she was rooting for me to get the job as she knew my skill set. She was a talent spotter. As it so happened my manager was absent for a short while, and I was put in charge of the sales team. Not only did I quietly manage them, I motivated them, trained them, helped them meet targets for products they couldn’t sell as well as meeting my own target. My regional manager was really pleased and said I did a better job than the actual manager getting paid for it. When she returned, she took me off the team leader role, mistook my focus for stress, and made another member of the team a team leader. To which there wasn’t a very good response from the team. I didn’t mention did I that this “new team leader” I found out used to go out with the manager for drinks. At a later date when things shuffled I still managed to lead a team successfully as the team manager was absent and I was the most experienced member of the team.

Therefore maybe a career change in teaching, which I’d always wanted to do would change this situation. I would definitely be visible as I was bringing a lot of experience in with training, peoples skills, management, yet wow, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Five schools in nine years … I have many stories to tell. I left my school once I’d gained my NQT as I was being spoken to by my manager in a condescending manner. I came from an adult world, I didn’t need to be spoken to like a child…and so I landed a job in another school as Deputy in Science. The Chair of Governors had meetings with the HoD and then asked to meet with me. He very quickly spotted my potential and talent, and said in my meetings with him I covered in one session, the equivalent of 4 sessions worth of work and ideas that Heads of Dept cover. He told the Head to raise my TLR within a month of me starting. On his recommendation I was asked to join the Aspiring Leaders sessions at school.

I proved myself, and that I could train and mentor staff, taking a failing dept in one school and improving the T&L to “good.” Staff were comfortable in asking me to come to their lessons off their own back, in my non contact time, to see if I could help and advise. I was on the extended T&L team. The MAT people came to do observations, I was paired up with them and they gave excellent feedback on my work and my ability to feedback, as did many of the staff, including several nominations for “star of the week.” Despite having proved myself, the school employed an external lead practitioner to work in science and completely took over and rail roaded the work I was doing. I was being questioned by staff as to why I wasn’t doing the role anymore. I had no answers. We were told how to teach, what to teach, things were not good enough. Interestingly when this LP was forced to teach due to staff shortage, she had 2 members of supply staff in with her, and still couldn’t manage the students in our tough school. Going against everything she told us to do, she got the students copying off the board, I had feedback and reports from the staff and the students.

The school advertised for a coach for the science dept. Should I be applying for this role? As I was already doing it. No, I was told, there were bigger things coming to me. An external candidate got the role who had been out of teaching for 2 years, worked at a university, and did some research. She was employed because the interviewers liked the names of the researchers she read and thought she was brilliant. On paper she was. She struggled with every class. She did observations and staff would come to me and completely break down about the feedback. She sought help on what to say about some observations to staff as she didn’t have a clue on what she was looking for. So it was second hand feedback, not even hers. Needless to say, she left the school and I too left the school after experiencing bullying, with no support from the hierarchy and no sign of value or progression.

I have many stories from the previous schools I’ve worked at with similar themes.

I have always developed and furthered myself through leadership courses, research and reading.

I have a sense of duty, care and moral purpose in all I do. I don’t need to shout about it. Its about unity. It’s about striving to reach a common goal. It’s in my make up. It’s in my DNA. Growing up I looked after my siblings, brought them up, studied hard, supported my Mum through very tough times, was married off (not anymore!). It was my duty as the eldest child to do so. This involved a lot of sacrifices. But I did it. An inner pulse was driving that what I was doing was dutiful. Today, having a member of my family critically ill due to alcoholism, and having had my Mum being poorly for 8 years, certain family members got involved in taking over her affairs and the current family member’s affairs. In this time I did what I could, where I could including holding down an extremely stressful job in teaching, and being a TLR holder. It’s interesting that now the whole world needs to hear about this other member. It’s become a political game. Just like the previous examples. Things get played out. There is a “stepping on toes” to get to the top position, to get the recognition, to get the accolade … at the expense of what? Human behaviour supports those that shout the loudest, or trample on top of others to be seen and make themselves visible. Human behaviour needs to change. People need to see what is truly there, than the single perspective that is being presented. But this requires a degree of intelligence, care, effort and vision. It’s not always about what is clearly visible. It can be the subtle….it can be the unseen.

So, in answer to my original question

my work may be invisible…but I’m not.

Thank you for reading and sharing my journey.

Reflections, comments or thoughts are welcome @amyjeetley

Further open, honest, reflective pieces on my journey are available www.amyjeetleyreflections.com

I’d like to thank @ottleyoconnor who was my Interim head. A talent spotter with integrity, intelligence, effort and vision…who literally told me to apply for a leadership course “Teaching Leaders” now @Ambition_Inst and all the staff I’ve worked with me who, though they were not necessarily in leadership positions, made me and my work visible. Thank you. 🙏🏼

Goodbye 2018…Hello 2019!

Having been faced with a quite a few challenges for the past few years, which culminated in me not achieving the goals I had in mind, 2018 brought a set of challenges that left me with no tools to deal with and a level of vulnerability I had never ever experienced in my entire life (which is full of many traumatic and adverse issues from the past already that I have healed and worked through).
However, through these set of challenges brought a huge realisation of what I still had left to find within me, I thought I had reached my capacity to love, to cope and be calm… what I learned was there is always something greater within us that needs to come out. This tends to happen when hope and faith is tested.
My courageous, kind and beautiful Mother had suffered a stroke in the motor cortex of her brain 8 years ago. Over time she deteriorated to the point where she could not walk, talk, eat or move. She had recurrent lung infections that used to flare up, and other issues. Whenever she would be rushed into the hospital, we took it in turns to stop overnight as her needs were so specific, she was unable to press the buzzer and call for help. We knew her every expression, her feelings and assisted and supported her, often going in the next day to work (2 of us in the family are teachers, me in secondary and my sister in FE). The drill became familiar …. the doctors would say she’s not going to make it and we would all leave work and rush to the hospital … only to find she’d pull through again and again. The doctors agreed she defied all textbooks.
Until early July this year, I was taken into hospital with viral lung issues, and my Mum was struggling so much with super resistant bacterial lung infection, that Dad decided on recommendation of the doctors that she should be allowed to release up, peacefully than just to keep her going with antibiotics. It was her time and she went peacefully. A very bitter sweet feeling.
There was a level of peace we all felt while we were looking at her body. We were still talking to her (well…I was doing most of the talking as that’s what I do well!). Many, many tears too. When the doctor came to check her ….he shone the light in her eyes. I watched. Hoping against hope her pupils would respond. They didn’t. Hoping against hope that her chest would rise once more and she would cough. She didn’t. She was gone. All I knew was we need to look out for each other and console each other knowing Mum was safely in her light.
Even though Mum was so poorly, she still managed to teach us lessons. She made me dig deeper and deeper. Resilience, perseverance, courage, kindness and compassion. When knowing doctors said she wouldn’t pull through, we took it in turns to be brave, to play and joke with her. Courage, compassion and an open heart, even through the heartache. Yet life went on, work went on, when I returned to work, teaching went on.
I, we, all felt vulnerable. I went to work and without the cushioning of my family, I felt exposed. I could not relate to this level of emotional vulnerability, the heartache, the emotions. I had no tools to cope with this and nothing anyone could say would make me feel better. Yet people shared their stories, a problem shared is a problem halved. Staff were kind and supportive.
I learned to sit with these feelings, emotions that came in waves. I cried when I needed to, I spoke to Mum in spirit when I needed to …I embraced it all as it was a part of me that helped me get through it. I learned what I needed to from this experience.
Then came October half term. Routine blood tests and certain niggling issues resulted in fast tracked appointments as they found CA markers that were elevated. People told me not to worry until there was something concrete to work with. Blood tests every week revealed the markers going up in their hundreds. My life was whizzing by my eyes, as were my dreams, goals and ambitions. “Don’t worry” people kept saying. Excruciating pain and definitely need to go for surgery. Consultant sent me for a 1 hour MRI scan just to make sure she “hadn’t missed anything.”
I broke down at the doctors, I cried with the consultant. I spent a few days in a further vulnerable state, emotional state ….again with no tools to deal with this news.
Then I had to dig deep….again.
I looked at what my Mum had been through (she’d had a brain tumour years back that was removed).
I learned to acknowledge and be with my fears, my anxieties, my vulnerability again. Being with them, sitting with them helped me to move through them. I learned to get up, and stand up and know I will get through this.
I still went to work this half term though was told by doctors I need time off to myself and dealing with the pain.
Only a few people were able to help me acknowledge these feelings, those who did were with me. The ones who couldn’t, kept skipping past the fact that I was worried and jumped straight onto “only worry about it when you are told specifically”….so basically, inadvertently my feelings, fears, emotions were not being acknowledged or even listened to.
I’m a trained subtle energy field healer (www.energyfieldhealing.com) and so started doing much self healing, meditation, sitting still. I pulled all the resources I could to get myself stronger emotionally, physically and mentally. Painkillers around the clock got me through every day, as did the support of team members.
The final week of term, the results came back and CA markers had dropped. Again I cried to the secretary on the phone. This time tears of joy and relief. I didn’t know I was holding myself together so much until it released. Yet I still did the best I could for my students and staff (and got a certificate for world class provision in teaching for that term).
The reason for sharing this is that every difficult situation becomes an opportunity to grow, to become, to be greater, yet at the time nothing feels like that. I became very human, with pain, grief, sadness….until I dug deep.
So, what did I learn?
  • We are far more resilient than we ever think we are.
  • To work through something means acknowledging your emotions, fears, anxieties first …or find someone who can help you acknowledge them.
  • Never, ever dismiss how someone or you are feeling. Once you acknowledge how they are feeling you will help yourself and them to move through it. Otherwise it becomes stuck, they become stuck and it becomes a compounded issue.
  • Perseverance grows patience and understanding. Never, ever give up hope and faith.
  • Work on opening your heart, feeling and giving love, for it is an open heart that will feed you and nourish you in times of pain. Yes….your heart can still love and heal even if you are in pain. Give it time and patience.
  • Once you have worked through the issues, you then have it in your make up to deal with them and support others through them if need be.
I learned we have far greater depth to our character than we ever can imagine. I have learned to be at peace with myself, my situation, the difficulties I was faced with and people around me (well…most of the time as I am only human!)
Hello to 2019 that will see me successfully through surgery and then embrace the learning lessons that I have learned and reignite my dreams, goals and passions. I would like to share my thoughts, feelings, journeys and most importantly the lessons I have learned more through blogs …which I wanted to do last year but hopefully you can see it would have been difficult.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it made a positive connection with you and helped you connect, or reconnect to your true being.
Reflection: What were your gifts and #learninglessons2018 that have helped you grow that you will bring into 2019.
Please RT your message #learninglessons2018
Wishing you all a peaceful, joyful and successful 2019.
Hugs and blessings

Personal energy management skill #PedagooHampshire18

Are you managing your own energies or someone else’s?

Last year, 3750 teachers were off sick due to stress, anxiety and mental illness. That’s one in 83! (Guardian, 2017).  Could some of the stress have been managed in a different way so teachers did not need to take time off or reach a point of ill health?

Every day we deal with different people, places, we move in time – projecting forwards, reflecting the past. We also are bombarded with a list of tasks, projects from every angle. Some of these will serve us, some don’t and at times this all comes at a very fast pace with no space in between.

As a result, do you sometimes feel quite overwhelmed? Stressed? Irritable? Chaotic or out of “control” (command)?

Everything is energy. Science tells us that. Every day, there are “invisible” energy transactions that we encounter, that can lead to feeling stressed, chaotic and out of command of our lives.

In this session, you will be intrigued with the world of subtle “invisible” energies and how they influence us on a daily basis. Join Amy Jeetley and…

  • Discover what happens to us when we become over busy
  • Learn what causes us to be stressed, chaotic and over-burdened
  • Recognise how these states can lead to ill health
  • Practise and apply simple techniques to cleanse, clear, manage and restore your energies and personal space
  • Gain insight into a new way of living daily life with more energy, focus, drive and improved wellbeing.

Enjoy a guided mediation session lead by Amy, to restore you to calm and peace!

I am looking forward to spending time with you in this session, and more importantly, a newer, restored and healthier you. See you soon at #PedagooHampshire2018 on 15th September 2018.

Best wishes

Amy Jeetley

@amyjeetley

 

 

 

Reflections on stress and its cost #pledgeforchange

The last academic year was challenging for me on many levels, in fact every level. It was a case of so many things were happening, so many plates were spinning that all I could do was get my head down and “survive” every day. Just as a general overview I had started a new school in September 2017, in the hope that I will progress with my career, rather than having to deal with a political minefield, bullying and intimidation which caused me to leave the five other schools I had worked at. A number of us were new here, so that helped. I side stepped from always being a second in science role to leading Teaching and Learning in the dept. I  love the coaching and mentoring of trainees and NQT’s and I always put my heart and soul into this. However, I had a very challenging time with one trainee who was not quite ready, though I had tried everything I could go ensure he would follow his dreams (he’ll return to teaching later in life now, though I learned a lot about myself – another blog!).

Furthermore, I was teaching out of my specialism, to a top set Yr11 and other sets which meant I had to learn the topics and exam questions before I could plan and teach them. In addition I taught AS and A2 topics that I had not taught before. Again, learning, before planning, then delivering. Teething issues had to be ironed out, as they would in any department where over half of it is new, including new management. Workload was just becoming off the scale as many new initiatives needed to be put in place.

In amongst this, my Mother had been taken ill in hospital. In 7 months she’d had 7 hospital admissions from her nursing home (she had a stroke in 2010 and was unable to move, speak, eat or talk). So a hospital admission meant me & family taking it in turns to stay around the clock, which included staying up at night, planning and marking at the hospital, and coming to teach the next day, sometimes with very little sleep (she was prone to aspiratory pneumonia so we had to keep an eye on her). Recently she’d spent the last 4 months or so in hospital. Where family members needed support, I gave it. Some needed it more than others on a regular basis. With Mum in hospital, it caused major instability within the family dynamics, emotions were rising high, patience and tolerance was running low. Giving up was not an option, keep going was.

In the meantime, the usual issues that form part and parcel of forming a team was throwing all sorts of things up, instabilities, high emotions, high stress levels. Everyone has a battle they are fighting as did everyone around me, including staff in the department, and all they needed was a listening ear to their emotions. ….where possible I did what I could and many supported me too. Students were stressed for various reasons, I supported and encouraged where I could, so I did regular meditation sessions with my A level students and some with Yr11.

I got tired, exhausted at times but kept up with everything the best I could, under the circumstances. I thought I managed it quite well. Yet did I….?

The psychological stress I was experiencing manifested in the following ways:-

  • a chronic sinus infection with ear infection which went on for months.
  • Asthma not regulating very well so always out of breath.
  • Persistent cough throughout most of the year.
  • Unexplained weight loss, persistent tiredness and feeling unwell all the time… I was diagnosed with anaemia (never had it before!)
  • A small insect bite on foot which lead to cellulitis (where A&E though I had been either on immunosuppressants or very stressed as my immune system was very low – chronic stress is what she said).
  • High blood pressure (never had that before either) doctor said that along with other symptoms was all work related stress so gave me a contact to stress counselling, as I wasn’t talking to anyone about work stresses & told me to start going to the gym).
  • Viral chest infection where I was taken into hospital, along with other symptoms, in July, at same time as Mum passed away so I was signed off for 2 weeks sick and bereavement.
  • I visited the GP in the last 9 months more than I had in the last 9 years!

This prompted me to read the book “When The Body Says No, The Cost of Hidden Stress”  by @DrMate. It is backed up by research, very easy to read and understand. He highlights there are so many illnesses that start as an emotion. If emotions are repressed, and anger or frustration cannot be expressed, over time this will start building up in your system. The emotional centres in the brain, the hormonal network, nervous system and immune system are all linked. Affect one, you affect them all. They cannot be isolated. Many of the things that affect them arises in childhood.

So, take a scenario if someone is doing things or saying things that are unprofessional, or you are shouted at, patronised, intimidated,  lied to etc., each time this happens you have a psychological response. Your adrenal glands release adrenalin. Your heart beats faster. Your breathing gets faster. Blood is diverted away as you go into the fight or flight mode. Your emotions also rise high, your nervous system gets heightened.

Then you rationalise whether to say anything or not, or just leave it as there is no point….until the next time. Take any situation that removes you from your authentic self, or represses your emotions, and your voice,  or causes excessive levels of anxiety. Persistently facing this “fight or flight” response and high cortisol levels (stress hormone which inhibits the immune system, amongst other things) every single day without being able to do something about it, or say something so you are heard, or stand up for yourself will result in physical health issues. Even if someone comes across calm, they have learned a skill to do this (maybe through things like meditation),  yet persistently stressful situations still cause the psychological stress response and eventually it affects your immune system, and other systems resulting in chronic stress related conditions, including autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis etc. So, if you don’ t say no, as @DrMate points out, your body will say no!

(Let me know on Twitter if you want me to do a brief overview blog of the book one I’ve finished it, in the meantime his You Tube clip, lengthy yet fascinating to watch/listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6IL8WVyMMs).

So, how does all this relate to my pledge?

When my Mother passed away, it had a profound effect on me. It put my life in perspective and made me realise life is finite. The time we have on Earth is finite. Also each day that goes by is a day less, so how will I spend that day? Furthermore, my Mother took nothing with her. This is where ego ends. She left a legacy of her heart, compassion, her love and kindness. Yet on a day to day basis, I see people struggle to show kindness or heart, even seeing these attributes as a weakness.

So here are my pledges to try and  minimise carrying “hidden stress” (I seem to have perfected that!)

10% braver emotionally:-

  1. To remind myself that I am equal to anyone else that even though they may have a position of authority and title, it doesn’t make me any less human.
  2. To ensure I do not put up with anyone shouting at me, being aggressive or trying to intimidate me. To tackle it and speak to the person rather than just leaving it. If it doesn’t work, then I have choices, wherever that may be.
  3. Not to hold my breath and run on the treadmill of work until the next holiday! Ensure I stop and smell the roses in term time.
  4. To book breaks away in advance (have started to do this – short yoga break booked already J).
  5. To take time out for myself more often and know that my good enough is definitely good enough so I know when to stop.

All these are to look after my emotional wellbeing. Once I’ve done that I know the mental and physical wellbeing will follow which will include meditation, personal energy management, sleep for at least 7 hours a day, continue with slimming world & healthy eating (most of the time) … and stick to it!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I’d like you to reflect :

In what area of your life are your emotions being repressed, dismissed or unheard? What one thing will you/could you do to improve your emotional wellbeing?

Best wishes, love and hugs for the coming academic year.

@amyjeetley