What Is Your “Real Feel” This Morning

It’s cold this morning, 1-degree Celsius, “Real Feel” -2 degrees. My icy toes suggest it’s a little lower than that, although maybe the last 6 months in the sun have turned me into one of these “Soft Southerners”, as they are often referred to in Scotland. I snuggle as I pull on the warm, towelling, slipper socks, then put the fading, tanned moccasins on as well just to be sure there are no editor-like distractions to take me from the page today, the work ahead. That’s better…warming up now. I grab an uncovered duvet and start-up the laptop, excited about what may appear today to shock and surprise me. Real Feel gets me thinking about how we can have “all the feels” but only show a glimmer of what is going on behind the majestic curtain of our Wizard’s mind. Why can we not shine brightly all the time, so let’s see what the real feel is today?

When I meet a huge personality who is big, outgoing, heart-on-the-sleeve and a confident, creative and quite beautiful being, I am transported back in time. I arrive at the schoolyard of that private, all-boys school of torment, during which I lasted, what seemed a lifetime, but was ‘just’ 2 whole years, before getting myself kicked out. I clam up, I go inside, I take my time, I seek out the quiet ones, I become more mindful, more thoughtful, yes, I even dim my light a little. It’s not such a bad thing as often it’s where I need to go and where I can find my best creative work, but there is still a sense of discomfort. There were 2 such loud characters in those days who punished me, turns out their behaviour was largely due to their own shit that they were dealing with at home, dad in prison, broken home and a lack of real, true, honest, heartfelt love in their hearts. I hear one also followed in his father’s footsteps sadly, unable to be saved from that ancestral path.

Cricket bat to the knees, shuddering pain, unable to walk or barely stand up. I’m still able to smell the stale, crackling cigarette smell saliva of all the spits that arrived on my tear-stained face. I still feel the weight of the punches reigning down on my throbbing face before I get on the long, bus journey home. I still feel the hurt in my heart of all the name-calling – possibly the worst of all, destroying the hope of that young, creative, funny, gifted dreamer. Arriving from the bus I still had a long, walk up the hill to my home, past the village bullies where my heavy schoolbag prevented me from using my speed to escape yet more of the same, more of the same. Their family allegedly dealt in drugs and I also recently heard one of the younger bullies had been given some time for GBH and stalking a poor unfortunate woman, some things never change. I often wonder how these young, lost boys can be rescued from this fate and placed on a new path. Through love, care, something to do with their time and a mindfulness practice infused within them at a young age perhaps?

It was a mention of a space-hopper this last week that took me back to the time when I stood up to them and was not bothered by them again. My younger brother was being bullied this time and at the local community centre I exploded, all those years of bullying unleashed, picking up the nearest weapon at my disposal – a large orange space hopper – the first strike sent the bully across the room, I was actually surprised at this human cannonball who got back up and came towards me full of anger in his eyes, foaming in the face. “Shit – what now Dave?” My arm was on auto-pilot as I just keep tight hold of those wrinkly, handles and unleashed a fury of bouncy, orangeness upon his unfortunate being. He started to cry but I didn’t relent, finally snapping and giving a ‘taste of their own medicine’. Eventually I remembered my brother and we left, and was later expelled from that local youth club, ahh the irony. It taught me to stand up to bullies, not always with a space hopper but with my attitude. I was worried for weeks after of the retribution from his other brothers but it never arrived, one of his older brothers approached me one day and faked a punch and I didn’t move – I had grown accustomed to it, the difference this time was I didn’t show fear or let myself become intimidated – he almost shot me a look of respect, perhaps the recipient himself for many years of bullying, abuse, pain and misery.

Looking back and through my own, personal journey, I realise this was a huge part of my anxiety, which led to a desire to be accepted, which led to addictive behavior through my 20’s and early 30’s and assuming a new persona, burying the bullied, creative child within and wearing many masks to become the entertainer. Thankfully, I received regression hypnosis and cradled that young boy, tightly in my warm embrace and gave him love, forgiveness and even a sense of gratitude toward those bullies. Using me as their target saved some other poor unfortunate soul and set me on my therapeutic path, training as a hypnotherapist to help others who had suffered childhood trauma or were struggling with anxiety, stress and depression because of whatever happened to them during their childhood. It’s very gentle but beautiful work and a real gift I can give back to others.

I do really worry though as I hear more and more parents talking about their children’s anxiety and stress levels, low self-esteem, lack of confidence and even self-harm. Cyber bullying is also a huge problem, but we really need to work with the bullied and the bullies to get to the heart of the issues and provide support for all and get the families involved and to take more responsibility. Having on-site mental health professionals in schools and establishing a mindfulness or wellbeing program in primary schools goes a long way to help address a lot of these potential issues, BEFORE they occur. Teaching children about self-compassion, kindness and to increase their awareness and resilience is so vitally important nowadays. I am almost ashamed that I trained with Youth Mindfulness to deliver a kids program and gave up after receiving just one “thanks but no thanks” email response from the 50 schools I contacted in and around Glasgow offering the 16-week program to their 7-11 year olds, it’s such vital and important for them to learn but the schools NEED to prioritise this ahead of everything else as it impacts everything else in their young and future lives. On the off-chance that anyone from a primary school in or around Glasgow is reading this, then please do get in touch as I’d love to offer this amazing program from Youth Mindfulness to your children.

So, I arrive here, again, with over 1200 words written, the sense of flow is amazing, this time letting the crazy, bullied child and recovered adult write. I have no idea how I got here as I pour the hot water into the cup, bulletproof coffee mixed with coconut oil and ghee butter…yes, it seemed a good idea at the time to indulge in this morning practice years ago but after listening to Dr David Hamilton I’m willing to give this another try. It will perhaps give me another creative kick up the arse to continue with the day, after a restless night of dreams, passions and infinite possibilities – the creative dreamer now fully awakened, alive, in this moment and ready to start the deep work on his first book of poetry.

If you or your children are struggling with being bullied, the following website is a good resource, or feel free to reach out to me for a hypnotherapy appointment -: https://www.bullying.co.uk/