Wednesday, 30 November 2011

What's been going on...

Work in progress! With homemade Christmas cards and gifts for underway, my new venture is starting to get going, helped by my business cards arriving!

Elderflowery on Etsy
Elderflowery on Folksy

Watch this space, once I have worked out how to add items once they are made - news will be posted on here.  Follow me on Twitter elder__flower to see pictures of my latest makes and bakes!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Interesting Site

A neighbour recently alerted me to this site as she knows the lady, it is fascinating!
Take a look:

Computer says NO communication error...

Finally I have an internet connection, although a year ago I did not due to the snow that had fallen crisply overnight!

Over the last few weeks communication has been an idea explored at many levels and what really prompted me to put this into words was an event today where someone had been told a completely false recount of events through a status update being misread and misinterpreted – the result was actually no the person was not dead, and even then they did not believe it until the person appeared at the meeting!  The celebrity Neil Buchannan from Art Attack having had a similar experience, learning of his own death via Twitter!

How many of us live by our Twitter, Facebook, blog, texts and more? How many of us have become reliant on it? I know I often hear myself saying oh yes I saw it on the news update on Twitter, hours before it even reached the television news screens. How many of us rely on this form of communication and connected to that, the feedback generated from others? Back in the Spring I gave up my Facebook for 3 months, I did not even miss it.  However, the first glint of a moan or groan and the NEED to share disgruntlement and frustration, out  comes the Facebook and tap tap tap a status update is born to inform the masses.

So why do so many of us do this? What did we do before? And what can we learn from this?

Many of us do this in order to share, to gain sympathy or even to just reach out and know that there is someone out there taking notice of us.  Desperation? no. Act of loneliness? maybe. Being human? yes. Many people revel in the woes and tales of others, messages will flood in, jumping on the bandwagon and adding fuel to the fire of discontent.  Almost like emotional vampires (thank you CB for alerting me to these), they then glean every detail, relay and relate it to their own experiences that were of course FAR worse and then make you feel even worse.
You will then enjoy the relay of your woes from others whom read or heard it from their cousin 6 times removed who is now a hermit in outer Mongolia, ‘oh yes, I heard about what happened on Facebook.’ You then enjoy a totally different recount with as much hyperbole as is possible and the Chinese whisper is suddenly a saga of woe and tragedy.

But why? Is it because they have nothing better to do, is it because they care, in all honesty who knows as everybody has their own model and map of the world. The curiosity is, the pack mentality.  In a world where we are our own entire person with choices, it is interesting to observe that when it comes to communication the majority follow pack rules by pouncing on the very word that something bad has happened and they then feel obliged to spread the word via any form of communication. For users of Facebook, how many comments do you get on a positive update, compared to a bad status update? How many times do we see a happy status update? Throwing it out there to the larger audience, how often is the news bulletin happy, featuring positive events? SO is this where we get the mentality for communication from? Is this what we subconsciously see communication as a purpose for, to relay bad news? Just a thought.

So what did we do before the electronic age? How did we do this before the advent of Twitter and Facebook?  It’s okay we have the mobile.  Yes ..... but after the 20th call directly to the automated voicemail server– we are left pondering, does the person even have their phone with them, will they ever get the message I left, has the message been deleted, do they have credit to check the message, do they know I even tried? Okay, how about old fashioned landline, who uses that! How about a letter? Where I live it can take up to 3 weeks for a normal letter to travel from a neighbouring village! Oh my goodness I know what we used to do, we used to meet with the person and, TALK!!!!! Face to face! A scene from Austen’s Persuasion came to mind at this archaic vision, perambulating around a pump house or garden, talking with friends and sharing the news; albeit concerning Viscountess Dalrymple, William Elliot had read about it in the morning newspaper when conversing with Anne Elliot.

The most dangerous part of all of this is without face to face communication, how can the tweets and status updates be understood, how can the real meaning be fully appreciated as it was intended??? How many times will they be mis-interpreted and twisted, then the problems that can then arise from this! For Austen followers, before I get shouted at, yes it can be argued Anne listened to Lady Russell and did not act on her own choices, but what if she had met face to face with Captain Frederick Wentworth at the time? Now there is a thought! For non followers, Anne was ‘Persuaded’ by friends not to follow her heart as her love interest Wentworth had no money at the time and was therefore not a good match.  You can imagine the tweets, updates and texts now!

In NLP and hypnotherapy the clear intent of what is said is important to us as it helps the brain achieve the outcome we desire. So imagine a client wanted to stop smoking and we worked with the idea 'stop smoking.'  The brain like a computer then has the status update, 'stop smoking' put in. How does the brain then know when to stop, how to stop, or when by? Is it tomorrow, next year, next millenium, is it stopping smoking cigarettes, smoking fish or having bonfires!!! Sounds silly, but how does the brain know? The status update needs to not only have purpose, it now needs to look at specifics. 

Communication, face-to-face, specific and to the point, not vague one liners, you can’t beat it. So when was the last time you did it? When was the last time you met physically with a friend and talked properly giving them an update and catching up? When was the last time you put a positive update or tweet on your social media accounts?

Do it now!

See what response you get. For those of a mischievous nature, put an ambiguous status and see how many jump on the bandwagon of doom and gloom – it is quite interesting to watch it unravel x

Friday, 11 November 2011


Yesterday I talked about taking a minute, and today most of us took 2 minutes.
So what were you doing on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 2011?
Did you wear a poppy, did you observe the 2 minutes silence? If so, do you know what it meant, what it stood for? When you see a poppy at other times of the year, does it trigger an inner meaning to you?

For me, I found myself thinking back to all the different points in my life, and what I was doing and where I was on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. I found that my experiences ranged from standing on a very cold parade ground feeling my wedgewood shirt crunching and hoping my hair was in place or I would be in trouble, to feeling very nervous being as a flag bearer, earlier years as a brownie left in charge to place the wreath on a memorial , as a teacher educating primary children about poppy day, as a parent hearing my son fluently giving me a potted history of what it means and why. In all cases, regardless of where I was or what I was doing, I had an image in my mind, the fallen men and women, the muddy fields and the poppies growing in the fields years after and in my time, friends who have served and lost their lives.  

At 11am this morning everything went silent, not dis-similar to the Blackadder sketch as they go over and the encapsulated silence at the end where the poppies appear  Classic FM had their news at 3 minutes to the hour, and then silence, eerily as if the world had stopped.  The workmen nearby turned their radio off and just stood silently, I couldn’t even hear the traffic  in the distance although I am sure there was plenty! All I could hear were the birds, the leaves rustling and my daughter feeding.  Looking down at my daughter I wondered what it would mean to her in years to come?  At 9 weeks old she currently has no idea about this moment in time that is observed. Where will she be on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in the future?  Will she too look back marking this moment in time throughout her life?

This year 11.11.11 has been in the paper a lot, sadly not to observe the fallen in WW1, WW2 and more recent conflicts. Instead, the contentious issue of wearing the poppies has dominated with  some shops requesting staff not to wear the poppy deeming it a ‘sectarian flower’ and it may upset someone.  Likewise, the issue of football teams hitting the headlines and the u-turn after public and well known outcry.  I often wander off on a tangent getting lost in thought, but I found myself wondering, how many times do we hear of ‘freedom’  and ‘rights’ yet certain symbols, emblems and dress are restricted or banned? How does this work? I do not have the answers, but it certainly makes you stop and think. 

For all the people that have died and made sacrifices be it poppy day or otherwise, just how free are we?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Hang on a minute...

How often have you stopped, stopped and just nothing? It may be for a few seconds or minutes.  This used to meditation and spellcasting use this time, a time to focus and connect.  A friend recently said to me, yes but what about us 'muggles'? My answer, anyone can do this, it is just we re so busy in life we automatically overlook our abilities to connect, an ability to connect with ourselves.  How often do you hear yourself saying, oh I will just do this email quickly, yes once I have checked my Twitter or Facebook, in a minute ...


Close your eyes and just notice what you can see, what you can hear and what you can feel.  It does not matter if ideas or to do lists pop into your head. The aim of the exercise is to stop. Make that minute yours.  Reclaim it.

A great exercise that many of the old craft working would suggest is staring into a candle, simple it may seem but only when you perform this can you appreciate the multitude of variations in shape, size and colour, the crackle the hiss.

For me, a great way to reclaim that time is to just stop when out and about. Clouds.
An approach to ground, connect with yourself and nature and reclaim.
SO today, and with the full moon energy in mind I have actively put that time aside.
My challenge for you, is to just try it, even if it is only once.
 Just STOP. STOP and look around, you will be quite amazed.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Inspiration yes, but how do I succeed?

So what is your inspiration and what is your goal? This is something I have been pondering today, mainly when it comes to my blog and web presence, what I want to do and where to go with it - even more so after seeing the site by The Village Witch !!!

So what is it that you want to do and achieve in this new turn of the wheel? Is it to further something you already do, is it something you have always wanted to do, maybe a craft or study during the long dark evening nights? Or, do you just feel stuck in a rut or feel it is now the time to carry out all the things you have aspired to achieve or try? In my case, time to practice what I preach and get on with it!

So where to start? In NLP we look at outcomes and how the mind works, steps we can take in order to use our brains to the maximum, or work with our brain.  Unfortunately the brain is very good at taking the path that requires the least effort – how many of us have tried diets and by the end of the day thought, never mind I will try again tomorrow? Before you know it its a year later and you are again vowing to this year make it your New Year Resolution – again!

Well, focus on what you DO want, not what you do not want. 

The brain cannot process a negative. So, if I said to you, do not think if an autumn leaf falling, you will most likely find yourself now thinking of said leaf falling, in order to not think of a leaf falling! Clear as mud right?

In other words, really hone in on what you want, state it in the positive, make it bright and vibrant, close your eyes and in your mind’s eye, see, smell and be what it is you want to do or achieve, see and feel yourself living the dream. This is also a great way to know when you have reached and achieved what it is you want. You will know what evidence or proof to look out for.  

Some clients in the past have used mind maps, writing in the middle of a piece of paper their goal, then outside of this linking it with lines or patterns, ideas and notes associated to this.  For some a picture or photo helps them rein in their goal, the picture or photo being their inspiration to succeed.  And make sure you do have that inspiration in place or the clear idea of reaching that end goal, without it we can fall by the wayside or delay.  But on’t forget, make it realistic, check the resources list have you got everything you need, do the research, make the contact with people who can help, and actually do something – take positive actions!

As for me, my inspiration? Both of my children. As I sit here typing myblog I have beady eyes watching me :) A witchling in training, who knows ...

I love to have feedback so please contact me if you have any questions or stories of success to share. Also, as a fully qualified NLP practitioner amongst other therapies, I can offer sessions to help on an individual basis using  a nature based approach including reiki healing, cards and crystals, distance healing also available. Not based in Kent or prefer a session in the privacy of your own home, not a problem, sessions can be booked and conducted online via Skype. To contact me DM on Twitter @ elder__flower or click on the links to the right of this blog.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Autumnal Weather

Whilst out walking the dogs I could not help but notice the Autumnal change in the air, crisply defined today in it's marked cool temperatures, light drizzle and grey skies. For many a reason to complain, but look closer and you will notice the crunchy leaves a myriad of colours from deep reds, browns and yellows to the green shoots of brave bulbs and late crops attempting to break through. Look closer and squirrels are out collecting, birds are gathering to migrate and so the wheel turns.

"Take a moment to stop, a chance to take stock,
To assess and evaluate, to thank and consolidate,
Look around and take note,
What to you means the most.
Looking brightly to the future
Or living life as a ghost?"

Friday, 4 November 2011

Samhain 2011

As a hedgewytch, Samhain to me is about all things natural and what can be sourced from the village hedgerows, garden and fields. As always what felt right at the time and was found whilst out on a walk, or if something called to me, this became part of the celebrations. I do not subscribe to elaborate rituals and expensive trinkets, so as with other years - simple, down to earth and what went with the flow was the key.
"As the veil betwixt the two worlds thins, look to the new turn of the wheel and our dreams within"