Sunday, July 31, 2016

Family week-end

Becoming Questions Number 15 - for you to consider a challenge - Have a go?

Becoming Questions Number 15

This is a question for you.
Part of a series but 
please consider your unique answer?
Mail me?

When I am conducting Group-Work 
or Facilitating a Training Day
I only pose this question when I sense a group are ready.
There has to be a climate of trust before I ask this one.
I ask you because I believe you are ready for the challenge.

Becoming Question 15 is::

When did you become and Adult?
When? Why? Tell me the story?

This is the penultimate BQ 
Next week the last 
followed by a book with your contribution/s.
It has been a privilege to get to know you in your


Amy questions you have missed?
There is still time to answer them and send to me.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

BECOMING QUESTIONS Number 14 - The Answers.

Number 14
The Answers.

I have been asking YOU and as many as I can connect with
a question every week.
I have been encouraged
to receive such beautiful authentic reflections.

Here is the question I asked last Sunday
followed by the profoundly beautiful answers.

A new question will be posted tomorrow = BQ15
We will end with BQ16 the following week.
Then a book will be published with all the reflections
leaving space for the reader to add their own -
all with the purpose of being Becoming Humans.

Becoming Questions Number 14 of 16
What is you most used MASK?
AND, as usual, - say why it is most used?

I have 3 masks that I use the most:
1 - the religious mask - I try to live out my religion to the best of my ability and it's a huge part of my identity; I wear my religion and am proud to show it. However, I am flawed like every other human being. I sin, I get angry, I have feelings of bitterness and find it hard to forgive when I've been wronged (all things my religion teaches me not to do). However, many people who encounter me think I'm some kind of perfect religious guy because faith is a big deal to me. I don't think I wear this mask intentionally, it's just there. This mask worries me because if I live my religion out wrongly, people may see me as a hypocrite. However, this also motivates me to 'practice what I preach'; I try to make my actuality match my mask.
2 - the knowledge mask - I am a teacher so I am meant to be the source of knowledge in the classroom to my pupils. However, I am not very clever; I never was and still am not. Actually, I get intimidated by academic people, even if they are 10 years younger than me because they are genuinely cleverer than me and can make me look like a fool if they choose to (luckily I am humble enough to accept if this happens). However, I have to put on this mask of being a kind of know-it-all professor who can solve every problem and answer every question, even though I am not. 
3 - the 'everything is OK' mask - when going through a bad time, I put this mask on. I don't want others to worry and feel sympathy for me so I always try to wear this mask. This also links to my religion because I have to trust in God and put on this mask that everything will be OK and God is the one that can take care of my internal feelings. I am very good at putting on a brave face so this mask is easy to wear. However, there are only maybe 1-2 people in the world that can see through this mask because they can see in my eyes that everything is not OK at certain times; you cannot put a mask on your eyes and I know some people who have the ability to see into my soul through my eyes and know when everything is not OK.

Mask I use is the one that says “I’m very hurt but I am not going to show you!” You take your problems out on me but I do not do the same to you. I love you more than I can hang on to anger and hurt you throw in my face. As much as it hurts to be treated like an outsider I will not make you feel like an outsider. I cannot do that. I will never do that. 

The most common mask I wear is a mask of strength. I hide my weaknesses to those who depend on me. There are many people in my life who seek me for help (predominately emotional) & it is my duty to humbly help them. If I am weak around these people, they may also feel weak/helpless as they have come to me in hopes that I will restore their strength. When my grandad had a stroke & began having seizures, everyone in the room panicked & cried uncontrollably. I tried my best to hold everyone together & restore their strength with my mask although deep down I was extremely scared. It is always instinctive for me to hold in my emotion & release it when no one else is around, so I expressed my emotion alone the next day. Till this day there is only one person who I have exposed true weakness to, regarding mental health & removing my mask means that they are special to me.

My most used mask is the I am together and strong mask, because I have a fear of being seen as weak and pathetic, I have always had this fear because in the world I grew up in weak people were abused and humiliated ,so I where the mask of strong and together so as not to be seen  as weak.However I have learned how to be vunerable and let that mask go sometimes.
No Name

My most used mask - is a smile - (and a brave shoulders back, chest out, you can do it persona)
sometimes it is a mask and sometimes it then merges or becomes reality and isn’t any more - kind of fake it till you make it I suppose, so more often than not it is genuine :)
I use it because it’s the one with the most benefits and counteracts negative feelings. It protects and avoids too many questions - if you’re smiling then life is just simpler. It also allows me to be selective over who I open up to and avoids awkward questions.
I guess the difference is in my eyes - they find it hard to smile if I’m not genuinely happy
It’s generally not too bad a mask though…
But, very importantly, if you take time to ask me how I am then you will always get an honest answer :)

My most used mask is 'Charles Bronson'. It gets worn when I deal with conflict. Bronson was renown for not displaying his feelings. When people become angry, frustrated or aggressive, I dive into the nearest telephone box and find Mr Emotionless to wear.
Why? It seems to work best at calming tense situations when accompanied with a few pounds of listening and a sprinkle of nods. 

My most used mask is the mask of “normality” (to try and give the outer impression that I am just an average bloke coping with modern life). I used to jump out of bed each morning and put this mask on straightaway, and maybe just let it slip in the evenings or weekends at home. In those days my work colleagues used to say “Mark is such a fun person to work with” (my gallows humour) and my wife would smile knowingly. Although I did also have a few occasions of crying into my beer- talking about ‘taboo’ subjects that bring feelings into play  - when it was loosened completely after one beer too many.
Now it is a struggle to get up in the morning (trying hard to beat the ever present feeling of tiredness) and my family often suffer during my attempts to fit it correctly.
All that anxiety, frustration, anger, regrets, resignation, boredom and world-weariness is difficult to keep undercover…..and some days all slips out….
… shouting at the office TV when Farage comes on the morning after the referendum……or the (almost) ‘under my breath’ expletives aimed at my PC screen…. The mask is used as a means of “getting by” or “getting through” the daily life I have made for myself.

Confidence, working with hard to reach young people, easily damaged, although resilient. things can go wrong in my work, confidence at times is my most used mask.

My most used mask is one at work; it implies that i am perfectly ok and absolutely can be trusted at my job.
Of Course i know how to get out of the building ~ I came into it, didn't I? Of Course i can understand what you are saying ~ whilst at the same time some music is pumping out it's rhythms and rhymes. 
Of Course I can remember what you said to me but five minutes ago ~ only i forgot to write it down, so there is zero chance of my remembering now.
Of Course I can do this simple task ~ that i have not had a chance to practice before.
When all the time, under the gliding swan like exterior, the little feet are paddling away as fast as they can possibly go + my mind is having to be seriously 'talked to' in order to remain functional.
That mask is used as i have lost some abilities over the years, due to various medical episodes. But explanations take time. People just want the job done and the reason why it's difficult isn't really very interesting to most people, most of the time. 
So i've learned to fake it. 
Big smile first. 
Always ask early either for help or to have something repeated.  Always have a pen and paper. 
And finally if folk kick off, always say, "I have a kinda disability, could you help me?" 
They usually do.

My most used mask would be "looking well".  People say to me all the time, you look really well but underneath I am not. I suffer with rheumatoid arthritis so I am invariably in pain. Now when people say it, I just mutter thanks as they never really know the pain you are in. 

My most used mask is my " everything is okay mask!"
I use it fairly often. I don't like to be a bother to people so have a hard time asking for help. So I put on my mask and people think everything is okay.
Maybe I also use my mask to soothe the pain of a situation...kind of like a mantra or prayer...trying to convince myself everything will be okay! 
But I am the same person privately as I am publically. I may get more irritated by my family and feel more free to be more honest with them but still at the core am the same person. I don't pretend. 

This is interesting, I started to answer that my most used mask was probably wearing a cheesy grin when I didn’t feel it, but then I thought about it, and I don’t often use that with people I know well. So I thought a bit more, and decided that a mask I use often is probably ‘listening to others problems’ or ‘supporting/helping others’. I realised that very often I will prioritise listening to someone else and helping them over myself and current problems I might be facing. I was reminded of doing this a number of times already just this week.
So I thought a bit more, and wondered if it counted as a mask, but then decided it probably did. Whilst these things are good in themselves and something we should all practice doing, I thought about my reasoning behind it. I often feel that other people’s problems and struggles are far more important than my own, and they should be given priority in the conversation. I wondered if I felt something, some need in me is being met by this constant trying to help and be a ‘good help’ to others. It hit me square in the eyes. I do this, listen to others and help them wherever I can, because I often feel like no one wants to do this for me. I also think that if I am the support for others then maybe I too will feel supported. But then I look back at many of the people I have helped or listened to for hours on end, and I realised that they never do the same for me? I can have entire conversations with people when I’ve had horrendous weeks, they call me and tell me about their problems (because they already know I listen well and sometimes give good advice), and at the end of the conversation, they don’t even ask 'how was your day', or anything like that, just say 'thanks for that, I’ve got to go now’. And then I just sit with myself, thinking that they only want what I can offer them, they aren’t able, or don’t want, to return what I just did for them.
Maybe I’m just super-selfish, and I should realise that listening, supporting and helping others is something we should all just do. But then I am left thinking…. who will do that for me?
No Name

Hiya Pip, sorry late getting this to you, but my most worn mask is probably also my most common expression - a happy smile. I'm blessed to generally be pretty happy and manage to do life with a genuine smile, although the knock on of that is that even if I don't feel like doing so I'm pretty good at slapping one on regardless, rather than always being completely honest and open about how I'm actually feeling, and often it's only those really close to me who can actually see through it!


Leading groups and the development in self-disclosure experiences.

Leading groups over the years
I have asked people to write ......
Each given an index card
asked to write out something
they have never told anyone about.

As you can imagine
this is a big ask.
All with the objectives of - 
*Self Revelation
*Awareness of own feelings
*Experiencing vulnerability
*Experiencing empathy
*Growth and development

The card are then pic&mix 
Each person taking different card
and then each being read to the whole group
in silence
feeling the feelings
within themselves
+ empathy with others as their revelation is read.

I have found a bunch of cards from distant past.
I don't know who wrote them.
I am planning to post one at a time.


I once went through fear of life.
My wife was depressed for so long, so often
I thought she would commit suicide.
It was horrible, I didn't know how to cope.
It was the sort of thing you couldn't tell others about.


When teenager withdraws .................

When a teenager withdraws, 
it's usually due to several things, 
and their anger usually masks 
sadness and 
Your teenager is probably terrified 
not adapting fast enough to an adult situation. 
They won't say 'I'm really worried' - they act out. 
The adult may say 
'What this person needs is a firm hand' - 
actually, the child needs to 
be understood with expressed
consistent love."


Friday, July 29, 2016

BackInTheDay StHelens - My Blackbrook #RugbyLeague & Y Club Football team 1968

We all have an UPSTREAM - Blob Tree Materials here + my reflections on my UPSTREAM.

About his Upstream Bob Communication Tool 
( only an example of it on show here - 
the full version is a download on )
I only use it in a training context 
when a group/team I am working with 
have progressed into a climate of trust. 
When they have journeyed through some self disclosure - 
usually some relaxing/fun stuff as well.

I use UPSTREAM to get them to consider their own childhood, 
youth and family context, 
with view to to self understanding to enable them to be equipped 
to be in helping relationships with others.

We all need to understand ourselves better.
Not a one-off.
It is a perpetual journey.
We never step into the same river twice.
As we never step into the next day twice.
Life has motion.
AND we need to be in the flow in terms of our development.

1) When you was young, did members of your household communicate their emotions?
When I was young my Father expressed them in outburst of temper.
Anger rising in him like a flash.
His leather belt was used on all his four sons.

I didn’t discover feelings until I was 40.
I had them.
They exploded from me too.
BUT - I only discovered how to get in touch with them
and start on the process of managing them - at 40!

Start by talking to someone about the 1) question above.
Were emotions discussed?
delivered in an outburst?

How did your family members cope with stress or pressure?
Can you recall any special times in your family,
either positive or negative?

How did the household handle the death of someone close?
What was the experiences like?
How did you react in times of tension?
How did you fit in with all those around you?

If you can go beyond reading these words
to talking about such things with someone close
it can be a great step forward in relationships
and in terms of learning and development.

How we learned was in our family/household.
Those around us learn from us.

The most powerful communication
is what we are not saying.

I am always pleased if someone writes to me about these things.
Maybe you could do that?
I believe it can be a special experience for you - and me.

Pip BHP 


Job Vacancies Nation wide - please spread to help people in need.



Greenbelt Festival getting ready for you .....

It's all coming together ...

Just four weeks today, Greenbelt 2016 begins! We've been finalising the Festival Guide and Daily Diary and it's made us realise again what a great programme we have in store. We're excited. We hope you are, too.
Oh, and thanks to all who voted for us for the AIM Indy Festival awards. The shortlist is out on August 2nd.

Avoid the queues: get your weekend and day tickets now, in advance

Great prices on childyouth18 to 25-yr-oldfirst-time leader, and group bookings. Also showerscampus roomsonsite glamping and Tangerine FieldsDay tickets, too.

All are welcome ...

We're hoping to upgrade our Silver Award from Attitude is Everythingfor a Gold one after this year's festival. In the meantime, here's a reminder from Louise, our Access Team leader, about the range of practical things we have in placeready to support all those with access needs and to ensure you enjoy the festival to the max.

Volunteer with Greenbelt

We can still welcome volunteers onto some of our festival teams. Our Children's and Family Support Team needs more volunteers. There are still opportunities to join our Site Vibing Team. And for those with the right experience, we have some last-minute opportunities to join our Programming Team onsite. Click here for more and to apply.

Be part of the action

One of best parts of the festival programme this year will be ... YOU! Besides the three sign-up opportunities below, we're also introducing a Village Hall venue with enough slack in its schedule to give space for you to set the agenda. Post-Brexit, in a divided society, this is your chance to talk and work things though in a safe space.
We're looking for some not-so-silent-stars to headline the festival! You have until midnight on August 1st to sign up to be part of Hope & Social's A Band Anyone Can Join.
No instrument required! Slap your knee. Tap your spoons. Clink your glass.
A story to tell?

The Tenx9 team from Belfast are back with two storytelling events at the festival this year – one on the theme of being 'Famous' and one entitled ‘Shut Up!'. Sign up here to be part of this most treasured of festival experiences.
Do you know any under 18's with something to say? We want young people to be part of our programme – to tell us what's on their minds in just 12 minutes. Simply, to: Tell It Like It Is.
Apply before midnightthis Sunday, 31 July.

And, in other news ...

Paul Mason now can't come to festival for family reasons. We'll try for him in 2017. In the meantime, watch his Comment is Free piece on the need for a progressive alliance hereto see why we're so keen to get him to Greenbelt.
Don't keep to the path
At this year's festival, we'd encourage you not to stick to the path! We lay the plastic walkways to help those with buggies, in wheelchairs, or who are unsteady on their feet. For everyone else: make your own path at the festival!
Our associates Embrace the Middle East have created a free Harvest fundraising pack to turn our attention to all those driven from their homes and land in Syria during the conflict which has ravaged their country.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The BEAUTIFUL story.

Giving up all hope
of ever having had
a better past

At aged 21 I started on the road of 
believing that God loved me.
I was puzzled by this.
How could anyone love 
a fat thick slob like me?

Around that time I met a
Brigadier from the armed forces.
He didn’t 'speak down' to me!
He spoke to this young lad
as an equal ………
I could’t believe it.
It was a shock.

Forgiveness is
giving up hope that
I could be educated
& could be more than
plain ordinary slob.

20 years forward
I still believed
but had trouble 
feeling it.

I had stepped out of my
comfort zone
sacrificed security
for freedom.

Stepped out of my culture
established network
into leading a
young offenders unit.

AND on deep into
other projects with
intensely needy teenagers
living in intensely needy

I was working with who the media called::

I knew I had to counter that.
I wanted to get up close with them.
‘Relationally’ it is called.

I realised that I need to love them
despite their behaviour.
To love the human first
even though behaviour
was for-ever in my face.

The first task of a leader
is to define the reality.

I decided I must concentrate on their beautiful
hiding behind their violet/aggressive behaviour.

I could see their beautiful
behind their cold hard eyes.

My belief in them changed.
that was not enough.
I had to live this belief.
I had to speak this belief.

I decided to love - whatever.
Feel their pain - whatever.
Practice, live love - whatever.
Speak this love - whatever.

I worked this through
in my daily late night
written reflections.
The last sentence always being -
“I will …………”

I started to say::
“You are beautiful” 
Whatever their behaviour.
“You are beautiful” whatever the response.

We can see a persons behaviour
but we can’t see their journey.

They would only tell me their journey
if they felt I accepted them - whatever.

I could only be in a helping relationship
if they trusted me - whatever.
Could confide in me - whatever.

'You are beautiful' became a philosophy.
and I call it::
Loveology -  Pipology.
That is how it started.

I hit a problem.
Back at 21
I believed God loved me.
But I didn’t believe that -
I loved me.

I did not believe what I believed for others
That I too needed love Divine.
Accepting myself with all my 

So I started to believe that
‘You are beautiful’ was me too.
Even now-  it is not comfortable
to click/speak/acknowledge those three words.

But I must to be able to do that
to truly be able to see
the beautiful in YOU
and in humans not as attractive as

So now I have a love
a LOVE that will not 
let me go …………
Even though I regret
most of my life I have not loved
as I understand, believe, practice (inadequately) NOW.

At the end of my first book::
'Gutter Feelings’
I quoted a Bible verse::
‘Seek the Shalom of the city
where I have sent you ...
because in it’s Shalom
you will find your own SHALOM’

That Shalom is about wholeness
in every way - my guiding star
on this journey into life & eternity …..

Pip Wilson
July 2016