Category Archives: Writing

Relaxing in the bath

The artist Joe Fletcher Orr recently told Culture 24 that the bath is where he finds most of his ideas. Instead of a traditional studio, he’s planning on getting a membership at a luxury spa so he can spend time in a relaxation pool.

He’s not alone in the regard with which he holds the humble bath. Famously, Douglas Adams found it a perfect relaxing antidote to deadlines which allowed his ideas to mature unconsciously during bouts of procrastination.

Less famously, I, and others, find the bath an ideal place to perform mindfulness meditation.

Hot water, locked door, maybe some lavender essential oil, maybe some relaxing music in the background. Sounds an ideal recipe for beneficial altered states of mind.

Sleep well for a better brain

Psychological research into sleep sometimes offers us fresh insights into the benefits of good  sleep, and sometimes it reinforces widely held beliefs.

It seems obvious, for instance, that a good night’s sleep is necessary for health, well-being and optimal performance. And recent studies on shift work and sleeping patterns back-up this common sense belief.

The British Medical Journal’s Occupational & Environmental Medicine publication demonstrates that disrupted sleep due to shift work can prematurely age the brain and result in cognitive problems. Ten years on antisocial shifts can age the brain an extra six and a half years – it takes five years of normal sleep patterns to recover.

This is one more thing for insomniacs to worry about (as if they didn’t already worry enough), as some of them will end up with lifestyles emulating the worst of shift work sleeping patterns. My free eBook and accompanying audio download Sleep Well Hypnotically (on sale here at CDBaby as well as & iTunes) is designed to provide psychological support for establishing healthy sleeping patterns. It is based on years of experience working with clients on a one-to-one basis and has worked well for many people already.

Sleep Well Hypnotically album released

December 16, 201301cdcov

Sleep Well Hypnotically – 1 hour 33 minutes

Hypnotherapy, psychological interventions and music to help overcome sleeping problems

Getting a good night’s sleep is important, not only because it makes us feel human the next day, but also because our physical and psychological health depend on it.
Hypnotherapy is a very useful psychological tool for combatting stress and effectively restoring our ability to go to sleep to its factory default.

In this audio, I have packaged some tried and tested methods and techniques from my work with individual clients who have successfully overcome insomnia. There are breathing exercises, with music, designed to counter the effects of stress, a quick method of self-hypnosis, a visualisation process, and a formal hypnotherapy session. There’s even a lullaby.

You can explore the contents of the album and make your own playlists as you go along. However, there is also a free eBook which accompanies the recording and contains extra background detail and a suggested plan for using the audio tracks. It can be downloaded from here.

The audio download is available through most download stores or direct from CD Baby

Shift Control Escape

Transcript of The Sixth Swan Brother – listen on SoundCloud or watch on YouTube

Of all the freak show shades, the wolf lady was the only one with whom I felt kinship. Neither this nor that, a skin-shifting accident stuck in transformation.

After I left the treacherous court I joined the carnival, and she was like a sister to me. I know hard that can be: perpetual sacrifice and desperate belief, living only in hope that hope will not be unkind.

Hope spat on my wolf lady sister just as it let down Sydnee, my flesh sister, years before – not giving her time to finish the starwort shirt that would break the spell and restore my humanity.

When the wolf lady could no longer embrace what she was, I wept for a while. The temptation to follow her was strong, but I am made of sterner stuff.

I do not dream or live as others do.

My blade is sharp and the world will be cut to the bone as I settle into my shape at last.

On the grave of my wolf lady sister, I too will sacrifice. My five brothers are bound and gagged. And Sydnee, my seamstress sister, I am shedding a special tear for your pure blood. Your love.

One by one, brothers lie still as I separate them from life. Their bodies make a platform, down which run red rivulets – my bloodline cleansed, an offering to the ancestors.

I feel the plumage on my arm tremble in moon beams. Human thoughts slip from me like dew from down.

Swan feathers consume me.