Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jeff Chau came working with me in 1986


Meeting up with Jeff from Hong Kong visiting ROMFORD YMCA today. 
He came as a volunteer for a year doing everything with great enthusiasm & passion back in 1986 I think. 
He does a great job now with young people in HK - in the shadow of  the great China. 
A privilege to see him. 
Catch up. 
Ask him questions. 
Undress our souls together. 

It was strange being back in the YMCA 13 years after I left to go freelance - 
so many wondrous memories there -  
living / working in that 24x7  busy community. 

Great to see Phil Wright & Gill Holmes at the same time 
+ quite a few members & staff who are still there active doing great stuff. 



The Greenbelt Top Ten
From festival bookshop G-Books: the ten bestselling books at Greenbelt this summer:

  1. Accidental Saints – Nadia Bolz-Weber
Unlikely pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber was our bestselling author at Greenbelt this year. Told in her trademark confessional style, Accidental Saints takes us through a year in the life of her ministry as she encounters God in the least likely of people – a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, and a gun-toting member of the NRA.
  1. Taken on Trust – Terry Waite
Originally published 25 years ago, Terry Waite’s personal account of his experiences as a hostage in Beirut still makes compelling reading. This anniversary edition includes a new chapter covering Terry’s engagement in Middle East issues in the years since his release. 
  1. Cranky, Beautiful Faith – Nadia Bolz-Weber
Nadia’s first memoir, Cranky, Beautiful Faith tells the story of her unusual journey of faith, offering a fresh and uncompromising look at the transformative power of grace. 
  1. The Splash of Words: Believing in Poetry – Mark Oakley
In this diverse anthology Mark Oakley reflects on the power of poetry to challenge and transform. After all, if poetry is the language of love then it’s also the language of faith.
  1. Mindfulness and Christian Spirituality – Tim Stead
Mindfulness seems to be everywhere these days – but does it have a value for Christians? In this handbook Tim Stead explores how mindfulness practice can enable us to reflect on what it might mean to believe certain things, and to make changes that enable us to live the Christian life with greater integrity.
  1. Soulfulness: Deepening the Mindful Life – Brian Draper
Brian Draper also tackles mindfulness with this challenge to live soulfully. Going beyond the surface benefits of mindfulness he explores how we can flourish through living intentionally and compassionately.
  1. Gold from the Stone – Lemn Sissay
One of the nation’s best-loved poets, Lemn Sissay was a highlight of this year’s literature programme. Gold from the Stone is his latest book, brand new this summer.
  1. Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything – Sally Magnusson
Sad and funny, wise and honest, Where Memories Go is Sally Magnusson’s memoir of caring for her mother during many years of living with dementia.
  1. The Upside-Down Bible – Symon Hill
Fresh and often surprising insights into Jesus’ parables from non-Christians coming to the stories for the first time.
  1. The Dave Walker Colouring Book – Dave Walker
A selection of Dave Walker’s best cartoons celebrating the oddities of church life. Just waiting for you to colour them in!

Missed out on any of this year’s bestsellers? Find them all online here.
Plus, order any of the top ten online before the end of September and save 20% when you use the discount code GB2016.

Group Work gets humans talking connecting becoming .....

Group Work

I will be doing this with a group of extremely needy humans and 
it may Scratch you where you itch?

I am not ok ...... you are not ok
I am not ok........you are ok
I am ok................you are not ok
I am ok...............you are ok

1 The first is not feeling good about self or others
2 The second is not feeling good about self, or good about valuing self
and , at the same time disliking others for the 'smart' we see and
the qualities we see in them.
3 The third is feeling that I have something special and the others
are less, = selfishness
4 The fourth is .......I am a bhp, you are bhp, all different, all

unique, ......ONE

Sunday, September 25, 2016

WHATEVER - you are 100% totally and completely LOVED.

We have allsorts of thoughts slushing around in our heads 
like a cement mixer. 
When we pour out the concrete it sets and becomes more real. 
So, when we talk things out, 
we make things more concrete and we learn. 
Life is 'life long learning'. 

I was born in St Helens Lancashire, 
the home of glass and Rugby League. 

At school and in the park we never played football, 
even as little kids, 
we played rugby. 

My Dad was a miner in the coal mines. 
He didn't go to war because of that 
and he also was also an 'air raid warden' 
which meant helping people when the bombs dropped. 
I was born as the second world war broke out. 
See if you can work out the year?


Being Authentic .........

It is said:: 
that we only really know and truly love five humans in the whole of our life.
Have you considered?
Have you asked the question?
That just one of them could be you?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

“Presence and Availability are the essence of love”

Have you made a rather urgent, eager, keen telephone call and the line is busy - engaged?

There are feelings attached - we feel disappointed - 
hang up or sometimes give up.  

The moment of eagerness has gone.

In my work there are constant interactions between people.  

Communication between people in thousands of locations.  
I love seeing snapshots as I move around.

Have you ever shared a thought, 
a feeling, an experience to a person and they were busy, 
engaged - 
RIGHT THERE in front of you but
 ‘engaged’ with something else 
pre-occupying them - 
or tired and bored.

I remember visiting a friends home 
and being asked about how things were  - any news.

I shared about the recent ugly experience, 
a few years years ago this was, 
when a young man ran into our hostel and 
repeatedly swiped a meat cleaver at another with the intention, I am convinced, 
of killing him.  
I was half way through the sharing this horrific situation 
and a friend of my friend broke in to tell me about 
how he had “seen on television.....da de da…”  

I remember the feeling - it was…
..there was a busy engaged signal - 
I hung up - gave up.

A truth, I believe.

·    We will not be tender with a person if they communicate boredom.

·    We will not be deep and profound when we get a ‘busy’ signal

·    We will not be sensitive if faced with a yawn

·    We will not share our successes if a person is pre-occupied - line engaged - or 
(as they are standing right in front of us) 
- with the answer machine on!

SO most people shut up, 
hang up, give up, or stay simple, 
impersonal, cliché, basic in communication.
I believe we can fulfil our mission, make life more exciting, 
create a real positive groove in our community 
if more and more people take risks in communication.

 These three things we can all work at:-

·    Asking questions beyond the superficial.  
So often we talk about FACTS, 
give OPINIONS and so few times 
ask deep ‘feeling’ questions.

·    LISTENING naturally follows.  
We can’t ask a deep question 
(I think???) 
if we then ‘hang up’ and not listen.  
We talk at 120 words a minute but can listen at a speed of 
900 words a minute!
so it is not easy to be an effective listener.

·    “Presence and Availability are the essence of love” 
(Gabrielle Marcel) 

Here it is - that number one priority = love.  
Being really present and really available 
is worth a thought and a journey.


A child draws herself ...........

I bought a book called 
“The Spirituality of Children” 
by Robert Coles. 

He gets children to draw for him.  
One young, black girl drew white people taller than herself, 
and with precise features and the correct number of fingers and toes.  
She pictured herself as lacking an eye, an ear, and an arm.  

Think about it.  
Pause here………..


Friday, September 23, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The first essential skill of a people worker is ........

Group observation - dynamics .....

I read a poem online - I need to share this with you - I thought ...... The Shadow Me

Chris Redfern (Christine) Psychotherapist, singer/songwriter and Published Poet

I'm Chris Redfern. I was a teacher for many years working with students  from the age of 5-18 years of age. I also did a project working with young offenders and worked for 14 years with young people who became permanently excluded from school.
I trained to be a psychotherapist 12 years ago and now work independently as a therapist in schools and believe whole-heartedly that people can change.

It's a great truism that many therapists and people involved in supporting others are ‘wounded healers’. They have travelled a path where they have learned to heal their wounds and have a desire to aid others on their journey. I experienced depression many years ago, way before I knew anything about therapy and I discovered through my journey of therapy and the psychotherapy training that I had shut down many parts of who I am  in order to survive emotionally.

As I did my psychotherapy training, poetry and songs poured out of me, describing my history, my struggles, my healing, my therapy and my growth. In 2013 I sang three songs at an International Psychotherapy Conference that I thought  I had written about students I had worked with. Little did I realise  at the time that my story lay within the lyrics too. I was both overwhelmed and touched by the response from an audience of 150-200 therapists but feeling encouraged by their support I recorded an album called ‘Your Life –Making Contact through Songs’ and sold copies at the next International conference in Bilbao in 2015.

Throughout my journey of personal development as well as writing songs I started to write poetry so I decided to publish some of my poems in a book that was published in 2015 called ‘Shades of Self – Poetic Integration’ with a Foreword written by renowned Psychotherapist Richard G Erskine.
The book and CD are available from www.ypdbooks.com in the United Kingdom. I have a YouTube account, 60 Tilley, where you can view some of the songs I've written and some poetry I read from my book. I'm also on Twitter.

I hope readers will identify with the words. Look me up on my website: www.christineredfern.co.uk

Pip saw one of my poems ‘The Shadow Me’ from my book on the Manchester Institute of Psychotherapy site and asked me to write something for his website. Thank you Pip for your invitation. Pip says on his site that he didn't become an Adult until he was 40! I didn't become an Adult until my 50’s so there's hope for us all 👍!!!

We all have parts of ourselves we disown because we don't like certain aspects.
We also learn to adopt certain behaviours for various reasons – my reasons were to keep out of trouble, to be ‘good’ and to avoid being hit. We learn to stay quiet although inside we probably want to scream and shout! In staying quiet we adapt to please those around us but in doing so we lose parts of who we really are are and stay in what TA theory calls a Child ego state where we can often feel just like we have travelled back in time and we’re 6 years old!

This poem writes about my learned behaviour and shows me recognising that I wanted and needed to change.

The Shadow Me

I've always thought there are two of me
Walking side by side
One is there for the world to see
While the other one tries to hide

One is kind and loving
Staying calm and in control
Being polite and smiling
Playing the perfect role

The shadow side is darker
And wants to swear and shout
Is sometimes having a tug-of-war
To let her anger out 

The two sides have a battle
Almost every day
But my Inner Child behaves herself
And doesn't have her say

For my Inner Child was conditioned
To be seen and not be heard
Not to think and not to feel
And not to breathe a word

My shadow's getting restless
And wants to play her part
She's really tired of hiding and
She knows it's time to start

She's tired of being a shadow
Locked up out of view
She wants to share her feelings
She thinks they're overdue

My shadow side is standing
And showing me the way
My Inner Child now needs to grow
Speak out and have her say

My shadow side is merging 
She's standing side by side 
She wants to help my other part
The part that's been denied

When the two parts integrate
I will feel much more together
A healthier combination
Facing any kind of weather