Life Design


For a long time I thought I was happy with my job, I was doing what I’d set to do in joining the Royal Marines. I worked with like-minded people, got paid to stay exceptionally fit, got fed four times a day and was provided with a roof over my head. The trade-off was that I was expected to do what I was told do whether I liked it or not and, some of the things I was asked to do I really didn’t like. However I was still happy living my dream.

Or so I thought.

Continue reading Life Design

Choice: Excuse or Success


My last post ended on the subject of choice, you have plenty in front of you and some of those in the past may have been considered as reasons for not doing things that help you achieve your goals. In truth, they’re not reasons, they are excuses. For one reason or another you chose a goal, or were given a goal that you did not believe in 100%, it wasn’t something that you were prepared to work hard to get or have, there wasn’t enough of a fire in your belly.

It’s actually really quite simple, your choice, you can either work to achieve your goals or you can stay as you are no keep making excuses as to why you can’t or won’t be able to achieve them. Whatever you decide is ultimately your choice and it’s you that has to live with that decision not me. What you must understand is that there is no third option and as Yoda said, “There is no try, only do.”

When you make the decision to work towards your goals, you will find that you discover a huge amount about yourself and for a large proportion of people that’s going to be quite a scary prospect, yet it can be one of the most significant times in your life as you discover more of who you truly are and what you’re capable of.

As part of this process you are going to experience a huge amount of change and despite every single person on this planet being familiar with change, there are still so many who are afraid of it and sometimes it’s inevitability. Change affects us on a daily basis whether we look for it or not and whether we like it or not and it can overwhelm our day if we approach it in the wrong way.

So, before you go ahead and make your choice, take some time to figure out the best way for you to accept change. To start with, accepting that everything changes, both good and bad, and when you look hard enough you can see the good and the useful/beneficial in every situation. Next, do everything you can to participate in the changes that happen in your personal and professional life and also in your community. Stop trying to react out of necessity and find ways to embrace the changes, that way you remove the fear of change. It boils down to you taking control of your life instead of letting others control it and dictate your outcomes. It is massively important that it is your actions and intent that influences your outcomes.

As I said at the start, the buck stops with you and you have a really simple choice to make, do or don’t.

You may think that this is putting a lot of pressure on you, and tough shit, that’s the reality of it, it’s just the way it is and you will either work toward what you want or you will make excuses to justify, in your own mind, why you won’t or can’t.

Any one excuse is as good as another so you can pick from a long list, some of which are quite creative, yet they are all still excuses. So now that you know that it’s all your choice is there really much of a choice?

Are you going to choose to work towards what you do want or make excuses to justify staying where you are? Your life of excuses will be pretty much as it is now, it will not be much different, change will continue to happen round you, you will carry on reacting to it out of necessity and your levels of satisfaction and disappointment will be roughly the same as they always have been. Sounds exciting doesn’t it?

Now, how different would it be if you chose to take control of your life by making positive choices about what you do or do not want to do, have to be as opposed to having your life dictated to you?

What would it take for you to make that decision?
What would you have to do?
What would you have to sacrifice?

Well the first thing you would sacrifice is making excuses, that’s not really much of a sacrifice when you think about it, is it?

This is a very logical concept when you think about it. You will either go find what you want or you’ll make crappy excuses and all they do is keep you where you are right now. And, agreeing to do nothing achieves exactly yah same thing, it holds you back from moving on and achieving.

Now we all have a threshold of sorts where we reach a certain number of excuses and then that seals the deal for someone to give up. They can give a long list of excuses yet the bottom line is their intention, desire and ultimately commitment to achieve that goal was not strong enough.

There is a very long list of people throughout history who have made a choice to achieve something that they felt compelled to achieve, something felt very personally, and they made some incredible sacrifices in order to make it happen. Yet day after day, I speak to people who have trouble making a commitment to themselves let alone to anyone or anything else.

Why is this, why do the majority of us make up such crap, weak and pathetic excuses to stay in bed a little longer and not get up and exercise. To eat that junk food because you can always start that diet tomorrow or next week. To take those drugs again because what difference does once more make and I can give up whenever I want to, I’m not addicted?

We delude ourselves, lie to ourselves, limit ourselves, criticise ourselves and demean ourselves time after time. Why do this to ourselves when other people do it to us as well at times? Trust me I know, I’ve done all those things to myself over the years and occasionally I still catch myself doing it and then I have a quiet chat with myself, reframe what’s going on in my head and get myself back on track. I also have a small, select group of friends that help keep me motivated and on the right track.

This is a massively important piece of the puzzle and if you have people you currently consider friends, who are anything but supportive, I’m going to let you into a little secret, they’re not your friends, they are called wankers. True friends will support you even if they think you’re mental for doing what you’re doing, so if you haven’t already, get rid and find people who will support you regardless of what they think about your goals.

Have you ever written down the kinds of excuses you’ve used yourself and the ones you’ve heard from other people. When you put them on paper and read them, they do look and sound a load of crap and much harder to justify, because externalising them takes you outside of the excuses and allows you to see them objectively making it much harder to back them up. Try it, I have a feeling you’ll be quite surprised.

Some of the excuses I’ve heard are:

I haven’t go enough money

I haven’t go enough time

I don’t know how to

There’s too much work involved

I’m not fit enough

I’m not healthy enough

I’m too old

I had a bad childhood

I have one word for all of these and the myriad of other excuses out there. Bullshit!!!

They are not reasons, they are all excuses and there are so many amazing examples of people who have smashed these excuses to pieces and this makes those of you who keep using them look more and more ridiculous. The only person you’re fooling is yourself. Stop bullshitting yourself and be honest with yourself, you either want to do something or you don’t. If you don’t that’s absolutely fine, you don’t have to do it, however, if you do want to do, have or be something and you keep making excuses then you have no one else to blame for your continued failure but yourself. Stop blaming other people, circumstances, the weather and get off your arse, make a few hard choices and commit to something…commit to yourself that you will move your life forwards, make positive changes one small step at time and keep moving forwards.

I have been in that place, making excuses, complaining about not achieving what I wanted, all be it I was a teenager. Then I joined the Royal Marines and I learned even more self discipline and I made a commitment to myself that I would complete training, which I did and I had a great time in my career. That set me up for everything else I have achieved in my life to date.

Now you don’t need to be a Royal Marine to achieve your goals in life, what you do need is a similar mindset. A stubborn, pigheaded desire to win at all costs, to make a plan that is flexible and adaptable, broken down into small manageable chunks, to remove the word excuse from your vocabulary, be solution focused. Once you know there’s a problem there is no need to focus on it, what you need to do is to focus on finding a way to resolve it, that’s a much more productive use of your time and energy.

The essence of this post is about taking responsibility and accountability for your own life, taking the lessons you can learn from your past and using them to create the future of your choice. From this moment on you can take charge of your present and your future and live your life full of positive intent, free from excuses and full of smart choices.

“Life isn’t measured by the quality of your excuses.”

“A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting.” Carlos Castaneda

Professional Community Cooperation to Enhance Healthcare


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Community healthcare can be a hot topic at times, particularly with waiting lists varying from area to area and the NHS being continuously stretched. I have heard from many clients that they have waited months to be seen for an initial consultation with a specialist in the NHS, and I do appreciate that the NHS is over stretched and the people working in the service are doing everything they can to provide the best service possible.

While this is the case, it is so important that other healthcare professionals are made available to the public as an alternative for those who either do not want to or can not wait to be treated.

This is why I have been extremely happy to work with my local Pharmacist in Turriff, Johnathan Laird. Over the last year he has invited myself and other local healthcare professionals to take part in health and well being days which have highlighted to the public that there are other options that they can pursue, either while they wait or instead of waiting.

Jonathan Laird is extremely proactive and encourages healthcare providers to get out there and make themselves known to the community, which obviously raises community awareness of who and what else is on their doorstep.

This has been extremely useful for me as a clinical hypnotist with a base in psychology and psychotherapy, as hypnosis still has a tendency too freak some people out. So my first job is to enlighten the public as a whole as to what its actually about, with my main focus to reinforce the point that hypnosis gives you more control of your mind rather than the other way round, which is what most people have been led to believe.

I see clients for many reasons and one of the most frequent is for Smoking Cessation and surprisingly, there are many people who continue to smoke despite have breathing difficulties through a variety of conditions. One such condition that is multi-faceted is COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

I wanted to write a short piece below to explain how hypnosis can help people with COPD that continue to smoke, to find a way to make that choice for themselves to stop. This information is taken from an article by Alan B. Densky, CH – http://www.neuro-vision.us/wordpress/2010/07/copd-hypnosis-stop-smoking-is-the-best-way-to-treat-copd/

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic health problem that develops as a result of damage to the lungs. The acronym is used to identify three medical diagnoses categorised as COPD. These include emphysema, asthma, and chronic bronchitis.

Asthma starts when a person’s body views something in its environment, such as chemicals, cigarette smoke, or foods, as hazardous. The immune system begins to release proteins known as histamines. These proteins produce inflammation in lung tissues to help the body ward off invaders. This stiffens lung tissues and weakens breathing.

People can be diagnosed with asthma at any point in life. One of the best ways that family and friends can help individuals with this condition is to quit smoking, because even secondhand smoke kills. If someone just diagnosed with this condition does smoke, he or she must stop smoking as soon as possible in order to better manage the condition.

Physicians also classify chronic bronchitis as a form of COPD. This condition develops in people who have smoked for a number of years. Tobacco smoke causes tar and bacteria to become trapped in the lungs. This bacteria causes recurrent inflammation of the bronchi, or airway tubes, of a person’s lungs.

Chronic bronchitis irritates and stiffens these passages and people with this disease find deep breathing and exercise difficult, because their lung tissues are stiff and irritated, they become short of breath with even a small amount of exertion. Sometimes, when these people stop smoking, some of their breathing difficulties will diminish.

The third lung disease categorized as COPD is emphysema. A person’s lungs have air sacs at the end of the bronchial tubes. These grape-shaped sacs, called alveoli, inflate and deflate as an individual inhales and exhales. A person with emphysema becomes short of breath and unable to breathe deeply or exhale completely since air stays trapped in these alveoli. If these people find ways to stop smoking, their symptoms may get better.

Medication and breathing exercises may help people who have COPD. In spite of these therapies, however, these people continue to have significant anxiety levels. Having COPD is like trying to breathe underwater. Even though you try to stay under longer, you feel you must breathe – now! Therefore, you swim toward the surface and take a deep breath. Those who have COPD, however, cannot swim to the surface and take a deep breath.

There are several stop smoking programs to treat clients with COPD. Most COPD patients understand that smoking increases their breathing problems and most have been smoking for many years, however, which often makes consciously quitting extremely hard.

Many stop smoking programs are available. Most encourage people to utilise the conscious mind to stop smoking. Since the dependency on smoking is etched strongly in the unconscious mind, few people who stop smoking with the help of these types of approaches stay stopped without making changes at the unconscious level. Moreover, the majority of these programs center on the smoker’s physical addiction to nicotine, which comprises only about one-tenth of their smoking addiction.

A number of stop smoking programs claim to help people to relax better. The most effective ones use Ericksonian hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP. Polarity responses often happen with traditional hypnotherapy and straightforward post-hypnotic suggestions.

Ericksonian hypnosis uses metaphors that relay suggested thoughts that promote peace to the unconscious to help people to overcome the propensity to do the opposite of what is suggested. Often, people who learn to relax are able to decrease anxiety and panic attacks better. Therefore, they breathe more easily.

Ericksonian Hypnotherapy provides an innovative alternative strategy for helping individuals learn how to stop smoking. Professionals who teach this understand that the patients problem is rooted in their unconscious. Therefore, they assist people at this level, through stop smoking hypnosis. Contrary to the techniques used by traditional approaches, hypnosis to stop smoking focuses on stress reduction, mental addiction, and the habit, which together make up 90 percent of one’s smoking habit.

Through Ericksonian hypnosis and NLP, these patients can live a better life. These approaches coach individuals with breathing problems to decrease anxiety. In addition, they assist in eliminating unconscious associations between cigarettes, specific contexts, situations, mental and emotional states and environmental factors. This extinguishes nicotine cravings. These treatments provide increased hope for people with COPD.

For more information on my Break Free from Smoking Programme and a free PDF outlining how the programme works, email me on simon@simonmaryan.com

 Also take a look at the link below to the Hypnotherapy Directory for their Stop Smoking page, I am also registered with them and you will find my profile there:

http://www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk/articles/smoking.html

General perception of weight loss/fat loss


I have been involved in physically training other people for around 25 years now, I started before there were any real governing bodies and I signed up to REPS, The Register of Exercise Professionals, from its inception and have been an Advanced Level 4 Trainer for the last 15 odd years. That combined with a BSc in Sports Psychology helped me enormously and over the last 10 years I have had much more success by starting the process with peoples minds and their perception of the many myths and legends disseminated by the fitness and diet industries.

It is almost as though many people are afraid of the word FAT, because it is all to common to talk about weight loss as opposed to fat loss. Weight in general terms is irrelevant, although their is a section of society where this is not the case because they are clinically obese and at huge risk of long term damage due to their excess weight. However, for the majority, they need to refocus their attention on how they look and how they feel about how they look.

When I work with clients, I begin with visualisation exercises to enable them to get a sense of how they want to look, how that feels and how long they realistically think it will take to reach. Most of my clients already have a pretty realistic idea of timescale and, once they get their heads around talking about fat loss, they find it much easier to create realistic and effective goals.

Now goal setting is hugely important and is one of  the key early elements in working with someones shift in mindset, because often people don’t really have a very clear idea at the beginning, it is a kind of vague and sometimes distant vision. By bringing that close and clear, it makes it much easier, along with the visualisation exercises to help that person set some simple and very effective targets to reach, while also building in flexibility to allow for a short plateau, unforeseen setbacks etc that happen in life.

Part of being that specific is consistently talking in terms of fat loss as opposed to weight and allowing clients to forget about the scales, educating them about body composition and how it will change and that leaner, toned muscle tissue will help them live a healthy and enjoyable life.

I run half-day goal setting workshops for the general public as well as trainers and I also run a 4 Day Sports Coaching Diploma that goes into great detail regarding the mindset of a client and how to change beliefs, perceptions and thinking patterns, which ultimately lead to a change in behaviour, for the better.

This is a big drive behind my latest brand of products, Brain2Body, because we are all driven by what goes on in our minds and when we learn how to us sit it, instead of it using us we can create a life that is far more enjoyable and satisfying than we ever thought possible.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.