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Seeing the Sunny Side of EVERYTHING!

A personal story about taking one of life challenges and finding ways to flip and reframe the meanings and experiences.

Have you ever had a mild stroke of luck?

I have, or to be more accurate, I had a mild stroke.

With hindsight, it’s been an incredible experience and journey of insight and recovery, not one I would wish to neither repeat nor wish on anyone. The word “mild” does not do justice to the physical or psychological trauma or impact of the experience.

However, its been an enlightening experience mainly from the perspective of a therapist/coach, …which is what I am!!!

A bit of scene-setting….

8:00pm Saturday 21st December 2019

Maggie (my partner): “So is that parcel hidden in the wardrobe for me?”

Me: “Why would I hide a parcel in the wardrobe?”

Maggie: “Because of Christmas?”

Me: “Is it Christmas?” looking confusedly around at the Christmas tree and decorations.

Maggie: “Are you joking? Are you alright you look confused and your starting to scare me?”

I then got up, went to the wardrobe and bought back a parcel, ripped it open, and held up a bright blue hoodie with #DrMaggieG printed in white, her twitter name, and stared at it bemused.

Maggie: “Well, you must have bought that for me, no one else did.”

Me: “I don’t remember buying it, I know who I am who you are and where I am, but I don’t know WHEN I am and can’t remember anything about today or the past…I think you better get me to the hospital.”

This was the beginning of my “isolate amnesic event,” which is what the neurologist called it also diagnosed as a mild stroke.

With the help of neighbors who called an uber, I went to the hospital and had a series of tests, all of which showed no brain damage, no cardiovascular problems, blood tests all excellent – in fact, I have a clean bill of health, and yet the event still happened.

For nearly 25 years, I have been a professional coach (therapist) and have worked with 1000’s of clients. For the first 8 years doing therapy with people with mental health issues ranging from bi-polar, schizophrenia, OCD, depression, and anxiety and have worked with 100’s of people recovering from strokes, heart attacks, paralysis.

Even during what I used to call “my event” but now call “my mild stroke of luck,” I went into coaching/therapy recovery mode.

In the Uber, on the way to the hospital, I was clicking my fingers.

Maggie: “What are you doing?”

Me: “I’ve checked with my unconscious, and there is no serious damage, so nothing to worry about, I can recover and repair all I need to do is rewire, so I’m exercising both hemispheres of my brain.”

Maggie: “Please stop and sit quietly?” Which I did!

So why am I sharing this….

A few reasons:

• I am a firm believer we live in a “cause-effect” world – whatever we experience at some level, we are the cause of it whether we like that or not. For me, it’s empowering as I can take full personal responsibility for it and learn and make adjustments, which gives me a new response-ability.

• I also believe things happen for reasons and that there are positive lessons to be learned in everything, especially mishaps, crises, catastrophes. For me, as a coach, the life lessons are not just for me; but for all the people I train and coach. I always have shared my journey and insights with my clients and students.

I have little recollection of Christmas or New Year, and most of January through till March is a blur still, but somehow I was functioning even though I was off with the fairies.

A tragic coincidence for many which helped me on my healing journey was that as I came out of my own internal lockdown the world went into its own lockdown with the Covid pandemic. The lockdown gave me isolation and time to heal using all the tools in the toolbox, hypnosis and NLP.

My mild stroke of luck has given me some deeper first-hand insights into many of the subjects I have coached, and I will be sharing some of these over the coming months in other articles.

Here are a few of the insights gained, and some of the transformations experienced …so far!

Subjects for future conversations and exploration.

Our amazing autopilot - The Monday day after my “mild stroke of luck,” I phoned my business manager and spent 2 hours discussing what had happened, sharing some of my insights, and explaining how it would shape the years ahead for our business. We all have an unconscious ability to function, and it can do amazing things; it keeps running the show, and most people have not even tapped into their amazingness. I will be exploring this more…

Hypersensitivity – After the event, my body went into trauma, a form of PTSD where emotions are amplified. I have experienced a range and scale of emotions beyond anything I’ve ever had. And I have explored amplifying and managing emotional states as anyone who has ever trained or worked with me will know – this was a whole new set of emotions.

Everything I know about emotional management has been put into practice in a way I’ve never had to before. As a result, I have new ways of dealing with grief, depression, anxieties stress, and panic.

Thoughts and feelings and energy – Every thought comes with an associated somatic sensation, whether we are aware of this or not. Thoughts not only create emotions, but they also drain energy. My fine-tuned calibrating (through 2 decades of training) of this effect means I can almost measure the negative charge of thought and how it empties the body of energy. And how to manage this – something I taught many ME, fibromyalgia, and clients in pain to do.

Synesthesia -is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is simultaneously perceived by one or more additional senses such as sight. At times I experienced full Synesthesia from music, movement, light, and even the emotions of others through the mirror neurons. I have a whole new experience to share with amplifying our sensory experiences and how to manage and re-organize it.

Chronic Fatigue - This is related to the thinking as well as the Synesthesia. I developed a model of fatigue many years ago to explain this and how to manage it. My experience has added a whole new level of understanding and management to this phenomenon.

Time-Related Distortions – My short term memory and ability to process time have slowly returned. Since Christmas and for nearly four month I had been unable to tell what day it was, without checking, what I would be doing that day, or even what I had done. On a few occasions, I had to be reminded to shower as I couldn’t recall if I had, and I forgot to eat on occasion. Part of my recovery process has involved retraining myself how to sequence and recode what in NLP we call the “cue picture,” which tells us what to do and when. So much to share with this subject.

A few final ones but not the complete list.

Being present – because I have no longer been in the future or the past, I have been so calm and peaceful (despite the hypersensitivity and Synesthesia) and now experience this as my new normal.

Enhanced Intuition – because my mind is so quiet, my ability to discern what is right for me or not has been amplified, my internal sat nav has been upgraded. I have taught this ability to be intuitive on trainings and now have a new way enhanced version to share…

A final my favorite..

An intolerance – to dabblers, time wasters, bullshitters, etc. etc. etc.

Things happen in life, and we never know when our time is up. My stroke was a mild stroke with no lasting damage – a wake up call nonetheless. I now know the causes of my mild stroke of luck (a subject for another article) but a form of Near-Death Experience as far as I’m concerned, just without the tunnel. Mind you, if had experienced the tunnel and walking into the light, I don’t remember!

What I don’t have any time for is drama, playing small, excuses – a new intolerant version, and I’m working on adding back compassion into the upgrade.

So there’s my story so far so lucky…

I’m curious, what was your mishap, which in hindsight looks like it was a mild stroke of luck and what tools did you use from your own personal repertoire of skills?

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