2011 has been a difficult year. In February 2009 I qualified as a Life Coach, aspects of which have affected much of my practice within work, but also my life itself. Two quotes which stuck with me from the sessions:
- “There’s no point painting the wall if it needs knocking down”.
- “Sometimes you have to go through the shit, it’s just a case of finding a way of landing in 3ft, rather than 6ft of shit”.
Shortly afterwards I was put on antidepressants (yes, I know we’re not supposed to talk about that, but how are we supposed to support people in dealing with it if we don’t accept that it’s an illness that needs treatment), and started to meet with a counsellor to talk through how my life is the way it is…
Who gets depression?
It’s partly because I have been told so many times “you’re the last person I would have thought suffered from depression” that I thought I’d write this …
This Christmas I picked up Christopher Cantopher ‘The Curse of the Strong‘, a book that many others had identified as particularly helpful and this assessment of the ‘personality type’ that he identifies as most likely to struggle is striking (not the ‘should pull their socks up’ kinda person):
- (moral) strength
- strong conscience
- strong sense of reliability
- a tendency to focus on the needs of others before one’s own
- vulnerability to criticism
- self-esteem dependent on the evaluation of others (I’m not so sure about that one)
Things need to heal properly before putting too much pressure back on … otherwise relapse, potentially worse, will occur… Currently, I’m still on mine… it allows me to continue to be Bex…
A couple of great quotes from Cantopher’s book:
Now, what’s really hard but correspondingly rewarding is to fail well. This means taking on a range of tasks, experiences and challenges, understanding that you will win some and lost some, forgiving yourself your failures and learning from them. This way you develop a life that is rich in texture and free from fear.
followed up by:
While I had succeeded in avoiding failure, he had embraced it, with the result that he had a new skill, at which he was clearly having a great time. In order to achieve success that is worthwhile and wide-ranging, you must first learn to fail well. Every happy person I have met has achieved this. It doesn’t though, mean making your life a struggle to achieve the impossible.
On my Christmas/New Year holiday in Egypt last year I knew I had to make a big decision… not as a New Year Resolution (I don’t make those, if life coaching has taught me anything else, it’s that we need to make changes when the time is right, not at some random time in the calendar, although time off in the New Year can help us take time to think) … but moving forward… I’ve made huge steps in 2011… but I’m not good at congratulating myself! In many ways, I should congratulate myself that I managed to have nearly 6 days doing ‘nothing’ over Christmas, but instead I’m looking at what I still haven’t finished for 2011, and stressing about 2012!
So, what ARE my hopes and dreams for 2012?
Anyway, this was the original plan for my post… so what do I know I have to look forward to in 2012:
- Getting my paperwork (physical and digital) sorted… including my websites…
- Move PhD towards publication (with help from Martin Polley), along with other writing (including a book with @MarkHowe)
- Get lots of people involved in #BigRead12 with Tom Wright for Lent
- Working with @adamswbrown in getting the @bigbible site sorted, incorporating @biblefresh
- The Great South Run (October) and having fun down the gym
- Berlin with Erika, and seeing lots more of my friends, and working out more fun travel!
- Speaking engagements with CofE, in Dresden, with #DigiLocal (see here)
- Housegroup: Walks, The Scillies, Paralympics
- Greenbelt (August Bank Holiday)
- Conferences (they are fun!): Thinking Digital, PELECon12, ALTC12, CNMAC12, JISCEL12 (see 2011).
- Enjoying my Winchester work: JISC projects, training, teaching
I’ll probably remember more, but for now… let’s get some fresh air!!
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.