Archive October 12 2007 DonInLondon 'Day in the Life'



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The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.





Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.






















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October 12 2007

DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Mea Culpa

Who Am I?

A good question. I know more about who I am these days and what I stand for. I was always sure of how to be myself in my early years? To a large extent I knew what fitted me, open honest, fair as can be and trying to live to integrity. Easy how words form and the ideals we have are made, then of course life happens.

I know I saw how life was unfair most of the time. Anyone who sees the way our living is made, the difference and the varying wealth enjoyed by a few and not by the many. At least in my eyes I could see the value of hard work and reward for it. I always loved my work, whether it was a lorry driver, a handyman, a big shot in a small pond, or just a big shot in my own head. There was a lot of ego learned from my Dad, who had the solutions and no power to change much of anything.

Solutions

And truly one solution seemed to resolve most of the hard feelings about life for me, that solution was alcohol in the end. Ironic, as my Dad laboured as hard as anyone I have every met, he was crushed too many times and ended up with the disease of alcoholism. That final solution killed him too early. And for me? I had followed the same path in truth. Work as can be described can consume and become an obsession. As that obsession led to a nervous breakdown in the end, so I too found alcohol offered oblivion from shattered dreams.

I write this having just explained some of what happens when we are bullied.

Bully

Like any other label we have, a bully is made by their environment. And for many years, I either ignored or managed myself around bullies and got on with my life. And yet looking back I realise the final straw leading to my complete meltdown was because of bullying and what it did to me.

As I was bullied, and it’s a subtle process we don’t see straight off, I started to become one as well. This is over a decade ago. And now looking back with a different outlook I can see the long walk to ruin, bullying, drink and a life of nightmares. I played my part in it of course, others had their part in it too.

So two videos this morning, to let out a little more about me and my life.

Today

I don’t bully, me in particular. And if ever I do, it feels like the end of the world. And I snap out of it. I am content to move with equanimity to be equal, to be courteous, to be friendly and be myself.

As the videos give all the answers I will not elaborate further in writing today about bullying.

Sufficed to say, any human will adopt the behaviour of others as others have the power and control, the ability to manipulate. All these qualities are rife in society, as society flounders often and cannot make sense of anything, least of all their behaviour.

Great care with others and being sensitive to how people are is helpful. We need not ever try change the behaviour of a bully, we need find a way forward without them. We have one life. I need not waste it on changing anyone, that is their journey and not mine. And having said that I remain true to ideals of challenge and support. The caveat is to know ourselves well enough and draw a line in how we behave and stay true to ourselves.




12th October 2006 [all about last year]

Here is a question asked this morning from a doctor I know, which puzzles many, and hopefully helps understand my progression over recent years

-----------------

Don

[from an email to me],

I absolutely agree with you - doctors are too arrogant by half! we are gifted with half knowledge by our medical schools and we are constantly trying to insist we know everything ;-)

What happened to you that you ended up in a homeless unit ? after all being a management development consultant in the City?

Sorry you don't have to tell me - none of my business

best wishes

XXXXXX

-----------------

Subject : How Does a Management Consultant End up in Earl's Court Homeless - Smiles here [or maybe a grimace]

Hi XXXXXX,

Now that’s an interesting question and I am very open about it. I was head of training and Development for an International Reinsurance Company, as well as a consultant on Step Change in Organisations and People Development. Change Management and all that stuff too. And a Business School link manager and MBA coach. And other associations with other organisations I cannot share about. It was a busy life.

Anyway, what happened?

Wrong place, wrong boss, overworked, and a big, big problem I knew too much which made it and impossible situation to live with. So I had conflicts so large it made me ill and had a nervous breakdown.

There was a lot of nasty stuff but time has passed and telling it all again does no good. What I was unaware of, simply because I had lived with it for so long, was depression underlying much of my adult life. And being very "British" and "stiff upper lip", I lived with it till it was unbearable. And wanted to be dead.

Which was unacceptable simply because others would be affected. Dying was my best option, living and trying again was not for me, but for others. And as the façade of my life crumbled. Big mortgage, big income, then contracts were ended when two businesses got taken over, no cash flow, debt was piling up, did the right thing for creditors and my view on obligations, sold up when to hide away for a while, most of 1998. And really found out what depression can do. Made worse after a year or two of abstinence from booze and trying to be normal, by drinking myself stupid some years later in 2001-03.

Then to my utter relief I crossed the line to alcoholic and got into recovery. While being an alcoholic is very undesirable, I consider myself lucky as I would have killed myself otherwise. And as things are, in recovery its much better than the option of not being here at all. Still have depressive episodes which don't always respond to medication, but live with it.

I am missing out horrid stories and awful jobs and some homeless bits along the way, and then rehab, self discharged and homeless and Kings Cross B&B. And then B&B Earls Court, evicted twice as charities folded or B&B‘s closed down, and now still in emergency homeless and quite ok where I am and living on minimum benefits.

Type 1 Diabetes

Came along in sobriety, as did real nasty prolonged deep depression. And so did recovery and AA, which has meant I am able to keep going a day at a time. AA is cathartic and very, very good at keeping my regime on track. Now have diabetic neuropathy as well, and something not right with my left hip, but will see about that next Monday. Year three of sobriety by the way, which is excellent and the only reason I am still in the land of the living.

I do keep up to date with the world and write a lot as you have no doubt found. And also was a counsellor of sorts, having done a lot of this in business life and was trained via various providers and institutes. So you can imagine, I was very good at avoidance of my own problems by helping others along the way, knowing their insides when I was in denial about my own.

As to the GP problem and my problem with my GP is 50%the GP/50% me in hindsight. Apparently this situation going to resolve itself, as the practice is being sold on to new people. So with luck I can start afresh. And be a new patient, and very patient, patient. I don't feel there is any mileage in hurting reputations or people, who may know better now anyway, even if I cannot deal with them myself. And if they don't know better, truthfully, someone like me is probably not your standard patient anyway.

Hope this helps understand the journey, or has been said to me, how I worked my way into the gutter, its not really very nice to happen to anyone and I never expected to end up this way. So that's how my cards were dealt, and now I am doing all I can to keep the boat floating. And you never know what might happen next...

best wishes Don

-/-




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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.





Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.



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