When Suicide Calls


Being an advocate for living a fulfilling life, and making therapists a funk load better at what they do.

 I get these calls from time to time. 

Phone rings,  normally Sunday morning or I get a very sketchy messenger. 

They tend to be abrupt straight to the point and just lay it out.

“I cant do this anymore”.

Or phone call … ..Amanda Speaking ..

“I just I’m done’ I cant go on” 


Me on the other end.

 Ok 


Inside my head does one thing.

I don’t panic I let my body relax.  I give myself the if I was the last person they ever speak to picture. And then think what would I want them to know about living. 

 That’s it..

I’ve had a few of those conversations looking someone square in the eyes, holding their hand knowing my eyes are the last they will see, this is the last conversation they will hear.

My hand is the last they will hold. I am as close to the last memory of being alive, as they will have to being  human.

It has really sets me up for this conversation, the chances are if they are going to kill themselves I can’t stop them.

 So why ring me? 

To check they have got it right.

So back to the conversation above?

“I just, I’m done’ I cant go on” 

Me

Ok, now before you go on I need to check something. Because I want to make sure you are doing this absolutely correctly. It’s the responsible thing to do. In my family we are experts at suicide you see. In my family we get it right first time


Seeing as your calling me I should make sure you get this right. I have great experience at being an expert in this, obviously I’m not dead. I lived closely to an expert who is.

My mum absolutely nailed it. 

She was an expert at suicide.

Silence on the othe end of the line..

Can I just check this is important.

Getting it right is important, I want to know you are absolutely certain you are doing it right..

 ok..

Have you thought about whether you will be cremated or buried..?


Well No


Well that’s important do you know?


I haven’t thought about it.

Ok


Do you want a procession cars, a horse drawn carriage or motorbikes?

Or is everyone walking? Much more somber that way.

Looks very stately.

Did you know you can have motorbikes?

“A confused sound, silence followed by laughing”

I keep going …

I know a great place in London where you can get a coffin painted in bright colours it’s super cool like day of the dead…

More laughing… and exhale…Maybe relief…

I would like to know, have you thought  

about your plans. If you are going to do this, the least I can do is support you to make a decision you are happy with.

Well…. I hadn’t thought about any of that.

No, why not..

I just hadn’t 


And now you have, because we want to get this right.


It would suck to have to do all this planning and have to do it again!!! 


So horse drawn or motorbike procession..


Starts laughing and laughing … Motorbikes ..


Hey this is serious, this is your life.


I’m laughing now …


Can I speak to you tomorrow, let’s start there. 


Ok that would be good you dont mind.


 I would love to talk to you again. Tomorrow 

…..

It seems utterly crazy and I’ve done that call a few times now, I absolutely do not try to talk them out of their thinking ever.

I am someone that classically hated authority. So if someone said No, I would just push harder. I dont want to drive them towards an abrupt end of their life. 

Being helpful and good at suicide is the last thing they are likely to expect. And I KNOW they haven’t had that conversation. 

I mean who has that conversation right!

I’ll tell you who, No one.

No matter what is going on getting them thinking differently even for a second counts, it leads to newness and a new conversation leads to new thinking. 

And that new thought well it might be enough to raise a moment of connection, humaness hand holding, eye contact. Laughter. Togetherness.

I know they are torn one part of them wants out another part isnt sure. 

I need to convey a message of uncertainty and reach the part of them that wants out. 

How, by asking it how well its prepared.

Now I know I’m talking in parts. But this is a split decision stay or go. If it wasnt I wouldn’t have the call in the first place. 

I avoid creating resistance. That will lead to distrust and trust is essential right now. 

I want them to know I am on their team, I’m not in the way and what ever they are thinking it’s their choice. Even in this moment empowerment counts, selfesteem counts.

Being at peace with their choice it counts. I may be the last person they ever speak to at least I know it was a great conversation. 

Belly laughing, any laughing counts…

Certainly closes off options in the thinking world, uncertainty creates opportunity to come up with a creative alternative.

What ever you may think and I know it’s going to be thought provoking.

Conversations about death and dying will always make.us think.

I can think of a group of people who didn’t kill themselves after this conversation.

For that I am greatful to the expert in my family.

Better conversations matter. 

Amanda x

Check Your People – Eyes On Minds Hands On Hearts

As our Heroes and Sheros take on the mamoth task of caring for our sick and injuried are we looking out for them?

These are 10 signs That I Had PTSD From Work Based Exposure To My MEDICAL Job

• I had unexplainable levels of Anxiety

• I became hyper vigilant

• I could no longer watch the news

• I became withdrawn

• I would would have flash back dreams that felt like I lived them

• I stopped doing the things I loved

• I would cry easily for me

• Normal tasks for me became overwhelming

• I would avoid situations that made me uneasy

• I became distant from family and friends.

It’s a common misconception that PTSD only is experinced by people in certain situations.

It can happen to anyone and is very much a part of the HUMAN condition.

It is about a person experiencing something traumatic for them.

What might be difficult to handle for one person. Might not even scratch the SURFACE for another.

The circumstances of normal may change a situation that they normally can experience becomes one they no longer have resilience to handle.

Fatigue, stress, pressure can all contribute.

If you know someone that is under significant pressure and may be exposed to situations that are normal.

However the tempo is high or the situational demands have now changed significantly.

Check in..

Operators, NHS Workers, Nurses, Drs ODPs, paramedics, Police all say …

“I’m ok, I’m just doing my job, everyone is having a hard time, someone is having a worse day than me”..

It doesn’t exclude the fact that emotionally something could have happened.

The entire team that LISTENED to and triaged a major plane crash incident in the UK ..

All experienced PTSD … these where the EXPERTS on the subject …

It was their FAMILY members who NOTICED, the short fuses,.the withdrawal, fatigue and avoidance..

It was only on re-inspection the WHOLE team realised they the triage team required Triage from all they had heard ..

It was their job to LISTEN and then FLAG post people for further assistance, they also needed to be listened to after.

If the best in the buisness can as an entire team miss that they where experincing PTSD

How much vigilance do YOU think we need to take care of our PEOPLE in a national crisis.

Mental Health Difficulties LEAVE clues…

Look out for your people

…Dish out the emotional 1st Aid

  • Ask How are you feeling After …’insert situation’
  • Get The Mood Meter App
  • https://moodmeterapp.com/
  • Leave Messages Of Support

I know its challenging out there right now

And YOU ARE ALL DOING US PROUD ..

We CARE about YOU …

Make sure you Talk to SOMEONE if you are just not feeling yourself ..

The good news is intervention HELPS and is very effective.

If you have someone who is Trim Trained talk to them.

Reach out to your mental health support team.

Or tell someone ANYONE

Even if its ‘I’m having weird dreams and can’t sleep’

It’s not a sickness and what you are expressing can be changed with help.

Speed matters

Let’s start healing minds and helping hearts through 2021..

Amanda xxx

How Cute Where You?

I was encouraged recently to get a picture of my younger self out.

For when ever I had a difficult time working, writing, creating.

Or even doing nothing productive and feeling guilty about that.

To be fair it’s been a non stop roller coaster of home schooling, working from home juggle fest of lock down life..

So the doing nothing productive guilt is not a problemo right now..

This lil beauty of a snap, in full 80s cord and home knitwear is to really remind myself

I am talking to my inner child.

The version of me, that most likely is responding with unconscious behaviours

when I feel uncomfortable, unconfident, uncertain, abdondened or afraid.

Or even at times when I have allowed my own boundaries to be crossed.

Sometimes I find myself lacking a mature and well practiced response to use unconsciously.

It happens, it’s part of life no one is perfect..

My downfall is I give myself a hard time about not responding in a way I think I should.

And just like that she is unleashed … out bursts my inner critic .. she is harsh, and does not shut up!

Although these days I’ve found a way to bench that sucker… She disappears if I become playful.

Play is practice, I see my kids doing it all the time.

They see something they play and practice it with one another.

Until they have it worked out.

I know there were significant gaps in my emotional development. How could there not be.

Awareness was the key take away there, foster parents, mentors and later trusted therapists and coaches.

It took lots of journaling, questioning and being playful to begin plugging holes that a nomadic and chaotic childhood and becoming a foster child left behind.

I’m always a work in progress. I know I’ve unearthed parts of me that find child like glee in even the most testing of circumstances.

Resilience is something I dont just have in bucket loads it courses through me like a powerful river.

It’s funny as I’ve noticed a much more compassionate inner voice and cheerleading team arrive in my inner world.

Since recognising the smaller version of me needs a break.

My inner Grandma has turned up and instead of being self critical. This much softer voice, keeps saying it’s not so bad why dont you have a brew.

I’m sitting here giggling at the ridiculousness of it.

But strangely my inner pensioner is such a welcome awesome alli.

Amanda x

It’s Been A Remarkable Week.

It’s been a remarkable week.

I know parents up and down the country have had to dig into the sort of reserves that have us questioning what bringing children up is all about.

This time in our history has us looking at each other in ways we never ever could have imagined. 

Polarised views about health, protection and how the leadership of our lifes is conducted.

Even the resources of time have felt the very real and external pressure that comes from outside. 

And what I have witnessed in abundance is the remarkable emotional resilience and flexibility that we all have. Our capability to THRIVE.

A day or twos adjustment to the changes and lifes conditions seem less of an uphill struggle.

I find myself feeling proud of my colleagues of old who tell me they are taking extra shifts in ITUs around the country when ever they can. I am so so fiercely proud of every single one of them. 

I find myself reveling in how single parents are managing their children in creative ways and being brave enough to express their vulnerabilities and reach out when they can.

I see so many of us making honey from our darkness.  I take a breath in the humanity I see beaming out from the humans I love.

I speak with friends who are experincing covid and I offer them a warm and comforting place to put their fears.

Even from this distance place over messenger I do my best to be the friend I always needed when I was scared. 

I find comfort in the way we are all taking care of one another.  

I find myself retreating less into myself and looking upto the setting suns that create incredible palettes across the sky in January.

Even with the most obsence amount of chaos and change I am finding myself anchoring to the earthy things I know are stable in life. 

Sundowns.

I feel a sense of calm deep within me. Somehow knowing it’s going to be ok.

Only time can tell, but as always I see remarkable humaness out beyond the edges of myself and I am grateful for the smiley eyes behind masks.

Amanda x

#heartwrite #friend #neverfeelalone #protected #proud #of #you #stronghearts

There Is A Story Everywhere If You Are Willing To Explore What It Means To You.

Frozen

We are in Teir 4 and for us that means as a family we are only allowed to move within a particular region. To minimise the spread of covid.

We went on what would be one of our usual stomps with our children.

The river unusually,caught my attention.

In this circumstances it was its beauty. The ice created a layer to it that demanded my attention.

Water predominantly represents our emotions in metaphor or take it a layer deeper and the distinction between the physical and not physical that we experience.

Gone in deep all ready! A frozen river is not only dramatically beautiful but its representative of what we can see on the surface and what is hidden beneath.

I could go on but for me today it was time out and away from the stories and inner workings of peoples subconscious minds.

That really is where I get to flow and experince my spark as I help entreperate what is hidden beneath a very real layer of ice for some people.

Today however was about being present and very much in my bones in the physical reality and realm I exsist in.

Saskia and I spoke today about how we are noticing how beautiful where we live is.

It sounds kinda strange even staying that out loud. That the expectation is I need to go to the hills or moors or Moutains to experience beauty.

Yet on my own door step there are breath taking natural wonders if I stop and look…Ice and jack frost rolls in magic as quick as a Disney film and it transforms locations that I expect to look mundane and uninspiring.

I see the importance in that, the days are ever changing and if just for a split second I take a moment to look I might be reminded of what it means to be alive.

The cold finger tips, the way a wooly hat feels like a a hug for my ears. The smell of the cold on someone that’s just come indoors.

The discomfort of the cold is comforting against the uncertainty of life right now. It has a presenting ability to it that holds me within my senses.

Fully able to remain within the moment.

Interestingly I dont recall anything that can do that to me with such effectiveness.

I have never been a fan of the cold I have a particular block around my fear of getting cold. My feet and hands have had me crying like a three year old without her favourite toy when the heat pains kick in.

And then the flip I love winter sunsets, being handed a hot drink straight of the jet boil. And the feeling of accomplishment for earning the rosie cheeks.

Getting outside it’s good for my soul its healing and powerful. It calms the dragon in me and takes my mind right into my body.

Sometimes I forget that it’s simple that wins the day.

As much as I feel the frustration of remaining g in on region, like a teenager who has been grounded and told to remain in my room.

I am only a prisoner to my own thoughts if I do not allow myself the freedoms of knowing, I create my reality and how I feel about it.

Stay high

Amanda x

Could Hypnosis Save Your Life In 2021

Deployed To Afghanistan 2011

I had woken up out of a torturous dream, covered in sweat. The fear rising in my chest building after what I had experienced.This one was worse a new kind of hellish, children this time. Why was this happening? I wracked my brains. Blast victims everywhere hopeless, helpless no one alive, I have to tidy it up.I was stood next to my bed trying to work out what next. ‘I’m awake I’m awake’ its not real, it had felt so real. I spent the next two days confirming it wasn’t real.

My whole body carrying the tension of a medic on high alert. Telling myself over and over it couldn’t be real. Looking for any clue in the dream to distinguish it from reality. Finally I settled on the sink being in the wrong place.That evening I felt the fear closing in again. I begged my mind not to take me back. My stomach in knots so tight I couldn’t eat. The thought of sleeping now seeped in dread and terror. I prayed it would not repeat…I didn’t think I had PTSD.

I knew I was a shadow of myself. I put it down to fatigue of being a parent. Sleepless nights and running around after energy abundant small children. Everyone has dreams like that if they’ve been to places like that right?It wasn’t until I found myself participating in a training course. I realised I was not only living with PTSD. I was in a full blown fight with myself and I wasn’t winning. I was hardly surviving.I never thought I would be free of the dreams, nightmares and flashbacks.

They plagued my mind when ever I became stressed. The faces, I would see from my time in Afghanistan. I had accepted that this was how it was.When my children started to appear in those dreams I plummeted to a whole new level of fear. Something had to change. I still didn’t recognise it as PTSD. So many others had been through so much more, worse tours, pain, injury. How could I have PTSD? Not only did I have it. I had it in all its brutality.

To add fuel to a well stoked fire I was battling the shame of being a child of someone who had committed suicide. Not someone, my mum.From the moment I took the phone call my world had been painfully torn apart. I never thought I could get over that.The darkness that accompanied it all, the pain the triggers more and more of the same but different.

The anxiety the fear.I couldn’t suppress the undeniable power of the subconscious mind. It was pushing forward the very things I had wanted to keep hidden from the world. It was plain as day, the heightened alertness, the inability to sleep.

Avoidance of even my closet friends. Continuous pain present in places in my body.I could no longer watch the news. Colour disapeared from my life, everything became grey, dull, lifeless. The pushing away of the things I loved to do.On the inside I was burning caged and dying an internal death everyday. It was easier to not feel. The self doubt and the withdrawal from wanting to work with people. I had no energy for it. Exhausted inside and out.

Caffeine and sugar had become some sort of lifeline. I had hated who I had become I had hated myself. My essence and identity completely invisible, I had become hollow empty and filled with an energy I didn’t recognise as my own. The one piece of myself I had managed to hold onto was the part that took care of and loved my children and my partner. That was the only thing keeping me grounded. Inside I was beating myself up for not being a better parent, mother, wife, practitioner. Shattering myself into a million pieces daily. My mind was its own prison and my body reflected that. The resilience I had come to rely on in my youth was no where to be seen.

The optimism and hopefulness that drove me day after day was lost. I was lost. My memory was in shreds I was struggling to recall simple day to day tasks. When I could muster emotion instead of the constant emptiness it had to be extreme to raise me out of the soulless heavy numbness, I was locked in. I think in someways this was why I had chased adrenaline fuelled activities. I exercised to the extreme to feel the release of endorphins. It also worked to knock my self unconscious with exhaustion. I would compensate hugely with these out lets.

After the birth of my second child I wasn’t in a position to do that. I stopped all activity apart from taking care of my children.I didn’t want to speak my fear or face the shame of it all. I was being buried under the feelings. Going numb and not being present came at a cost. I huge one. I was missing out on my beautiful babies life’s. And then 6 years after returning home, six years of being lost..I discovered this beautiful, gentle hypnotic process. The moment when hypnotic change fluttered in like a feather on a breeze. This was not therapy. This was none of that. This was Hypnosis in action.

This was the last time when I spoke any of those words thought any of those thoughts I would ever feel like that again. I was about to change in a way I could not believe, let alone imagine.

I had experienced one hypnotic taster session, the effect at that stage was so profound. I knew I needed to train as a practitioner. I moved heaven and earth to get a hypnosis course full and launched in the UK. I went from being lifeless, to a woman on a life saving mission.

I would get a american led hypnosis course filled and participate in it myself with in three months. I had no idea that signing up and participating in the hypnosis training course would alter my life beyond belief. It could only be described as a lightning bolt of intervention. It took something that felt truly unworldly to bring me back to life. Out of no where a sliver of hope. I was sitting on the precipice. It was now or never. I grabbed my chance with both hands, I knew this was change the rumble was on

I was ready. 

I got a sniff of the powerful, intelligent, funny, loving woman I had once been. I wasn’t lost, just misplaced in the very depths of my mind.I couldn’t have known that when I started locking down all the hurt, pain and vulnerability, all the feelings that terrified me. That I would lock away the parts of myself that loved life, living and laughing. I would lock away the woman that could take on anything and come out smiling. 

The minute I began diving into those beautiful transformative hypnosis sessions. The possibility of a breakthrough was not only real it was calling to me commanding I come back with the force of nature I had always embodied. 

The powerful, wondrous, untameable, protective energy I had alway had was demanding to burst from the depths of where it had been locked away. 

Session after session I dismantled, crushed and set myself free from the internal binds that had held me so tightly.  All the fear and terror lifted. Those hypnotherapy sessions where not only a lifeline they where injecting every part of me with nitrious. I was being woken with what felt like hypnotic lightning bolts. 

My courage, resilience and joy was thundering back a torrent of energy flowing like nothing I had ever felt. I can remember opening my eyes after the first session. I was drenched in sweat. My tear stained face now very much on my radar. As I sat up I blinked my eyes in disbelief. My body felt light strong and full of my energy…I could feel the breeze on my arms coming in through the window and the warmth of the summer sunshine on the air, I could taste the sweetness on the hot summer breeze.

My senses taking in everything. Some how the thing that had been missing was restored I was awake for the first time in years. Every part of me unshackled. I grew beyond measure I found I had more to offer myself than I could have ever imagined. I walked through my own personal hell, I kept going.

Once I came out the other side. I could feel the magnetic, spirited, elemental energy I had always embodied, the wild, care free woman with an unstoppable natural force and energy. I had been awoken. By the time I had returned home I knew I had to establish myself as a place. Where others could reach out to and access the keys to regaining their lives back.

This had become about so much more than me. The possibility to heal. I have seen remarkable things happen for others. The Breakthrough project and later Rogue Hypnotherapy was born and is here to stay.

 Ever since that day as I felt the tears carving long lines in my face, I have been working with other amazing humans. Its is some what incredible to witness someone opening their eyes for the first time and knowing their world feels different. 

 Daily I approach the problems that come through the lens of the sunconcious mind and hypnotherapy in my own unique way. I will be an advocate for Subconcious hypnotherapy and subconcious mind coaching for the rest of my life. 

I continue to be courageous, and a leader in my own practice

The possibility for change is real. If I can do it anyone can. 

Along that path I realised I could not do this alone, so I sort out some of the most unique and illuminated, humans I could access.

It was a time in which putting my past behind me became my own heroes journey and the lessons gave me the courage to begin exploring just how I can heal and bring my own authentic voice and hypnotic practices into the world.

As I began uncovering hypnotic techniques and practitioners that would have a profound affect on my health and wellbeing. I decided I would work with invisible trauma and how we communicate the stories that are within a person and affecting them everyday

Hypnosis saved my life..

If you would like to know more get in contact amandawanowski@gmail.com

Amanda. x

2020 Christmas Sundown

The Road Ahead

Christmas 2020 Sundown

Less of a looking up and more of a looking ahead.

But what a gift I was given as the sun began to kiss the horizon on this Christmas evening.

Colours like I’ve never seen painted across the sky. I have always found peace in looking to the sky.

A gift from the universe for me.

This really has been a year of digging deep, heartbreak for humanity and moving through the overwhelm of the ever changing world I see before me.

Huge questions of myself and how does someone like me with my very unique gifts offer something in these ever changing times that enables hope optimism or the promise of feeling diffrent.

I have watched my children thrive become more resilient and adapt to a world so diffrent for them to all they knew before.

We started this year under a huge moon in Finland. I am so greatful  we made the trip to that wonderland. Even with resistance from outside and missing school that adventure created memories for our family we will cherish, it really Marks the before era for me. And will be treasured in my heart.

I’m reflective on what I have what I’ve lost and what I’ve come to learn …

For years I hid behind busy… 2020 was a year where I had no choice but to still, with distractions reduced I found my self looking into the shadows of my past.

And much like the Muppets Christmas Carol… I came out singing and hoping for a dance with Gonzo and Ramone the rat … It wasnt always fun in fact sometimes it hurt in ways I hadn’t let myself experience for years if ever.

But I had time … and so each day I would be on the lookout for a sunset.

My thoughts now go to the blanket of the night sky that covers us all on this Christmas night. We are all under it together. And together we’ll come out into daybreak.

The longest part of the night is just before first light.

Sending love, Christmas blessings warmth and the hugs that warm you from your toes to your ears.

If you read to here ..I love you for being here with my words they always come from my heart.

Stay connected, make th call, send the text, we are all in this together.

I  care about you, the people you love the ambitions, hopes and dreams you have.

Amanda x.

Being Human

We all deal with things differently, I never ever used to cry.

I would fight with all my might almost to the point that I would shake to avoid what I thought was weakness.

That was a much younger mindset as a teen and in my early to mid twenties I just would not give myself permission to shed tears.

Over the years I’ve learnt not to resist how my body and mind are requesting I deal with what I had just experienced.

Years in Trauma theatres and deployments to sandy places required a new way.

I hadn’t cultivated a mature way to cope with the extremes of humanity I observed.

It took for me to get personal with my emotions, to literally begin naming them and recognising the bodily feelings that accompanied them.

Writing played an enormous part, as the depths to which I was feeling would pour out of the pen in ink, to my surprise!!

Healing and then going on to helping others …

It for me is about having a relationship with all parts of myself.

No emotion is any less valuable than another. They all play parts in our very human experince.

Sometimes its tears that need to fall.

Sometimes it’s just how we all move past what came before.

Amanda x

Micro Magic Habbit Change

Micro Magic..

Change in minutes … lots and lots of minutes …

If I spend 2 minutes a day working out at max chat for a month … I will have 60 minutes of hard gruelling consistent work in my back pocket.

But more importantly I will have a habit I performed every day without fail. One I can absorb enjoy and grow from. One that wont cause me to burn out act in an extreme way or over reward.

2mins a day.

It doesnt sound like much

It doesnt sound like enough

It doesnt sound sexy

And it doesnt sound like magic..

Well the magic is in the micro…

We all got taught being productive, producing lots equals worth and value …

That our worth goes up if we produce …

Its BS you are worthy and valuable no matter what.

The trappings of thinking that way, we hurt ourselves when we fail to make something, make something of ourselves.

So some people do a churn a big load of work and then the energy and output gone .. they disappear…

The tempo is lost

The genius disappears

And they wait …
Wait for the stroke of energy, enthusiasm or genius to strike …

Never reaching the oh so elusive goal..

That’s not the sad bit …
It is the relationship they build with themselves everytime it doesn’t work out.

As the inner coach / critic beats the living shit out of them with a verbal baseball bat. daily every food choice, life choice and interaction with other humans …

Self esteem and confidence bombing and decision making becoming something to be palmed off

Eg “what do you want for dinner “?

“I dont mind what would you like” …
The maybe mind is at play …

That’s when making decisions is never clear, because to commit could equal a painful encounter with your inner critic after things go south.

In comes micro magic ..

That’s where you can shut up that coach or critic …

With a micro change … minutes add up and so does change …

One meal, one tiny work out one act of gratitude daily

It adds up …

You don’t have to work hard …

You do have to work smart

consistent, concious kindness
Repeated daily just a few minutes
A day.

If you never got where you where going before …

Why not try a different path..

Find the magic …

Your body and mind will listen if you learn how to play for a couple of minutes each day.

How To Get A Job Street Kid Style …

How to get a job street kid style..

Basic Breakthrough Turbo Skills

Do you have somewhere you really really want to work somewhere you want to connect with to be associated with?

The First Job I ever had pretty much saved my life. I’m not joking when I say that. I had one GCSE I had just gone into foster care and my options where seriously narrow.

Part of my college course involved work experience and I had wangled my way into the sports development offices for Kensington and Chelsea..

They had an office in a building with a wonderful charity the Canalside Activity Trust.

Everyday I would watch the lads taking children out on the water or spend the day trampolining.

I was at a desk doing zip to do with sport chasing options for the London Youth Games, licking envelopes. Actual soul destroying mind numbing awfulness.

One day I walked across the corridor with cup of tea for the manager

Errr hi I’m Amanda.

Hello!

How do I get to do what they do?

I was pretty ballsy and just asked.

Its simple volunteer see if you like it

Give us some hours and we’ll pay for your training!

Ding ding ding……

Within six months I was qualified and had a solid offer of a job.

This is how much I needed help the assistant manager walked me down to the local bank so I could open an account.

I didn’t have one! And to be paid I needed one.

Over the time I was there I would get qualifications, take inner city children on experience holidays to the coast, kayak big whitewater.

Be supported all the way through every GCSE I needed. Be given the responsibility of managing 100’s of children on the water.

I would get sponsored and end up competing in my kayak most weekends. Money and equipment was actually being given to me. I would work with the charity on and off for 5 years.

It gave me access to the outdoors and more importantly my own income and that gave me freedom.

It was a family and the stability I had craved so much, more than just a job.

Canalside really did go miles to build a place where so many of us learnt to feel so much more than where we had come from.

We worked damn hard it never ever felt like that.

I was willing to take a risk and give up a bit of my time. I was rewarded in ways that transformed my life, options and possibilities.

So how to ask the question?

If you have to get through gate guardians and I’ve pulled this off for landing a few invisible jobs when the stakes where high.

I needed to talk directly to the person that really could make a decision and change my life.

This was how I approached it.

Track Them Down !!!

Who is it I need to ask, how can I do something for you?

In the above case it was easy I knew exactly who to approach and I also knew they drank tea in bucket loads.

In other cases I’ve taken to the internet and trawled, until I had a name and phone number as well as all the details about the organisation. This could take a few days.

I start by sending a hand written letter

And somethings pertinent they might need.

Tea has never let me down !

I also say I’m going to call the following week at a specific time and it would be great if they could let me know if that’s inconvenient.

I ring when I said I would and inform the gate guardian that it’s pre organised.

Turbo cocky it always works.

At this point I normally end up talking with exactly the person I need to.

Instead of bombarding them with the super show that is Me … Fake it till you make it right!

I say would it be ok if I send you a letter about me and why I would love to do something anything for you and your organisation.

At this point because I did my research so would drop my specific reasons for loving said company or org.

Location

History

Ethos

Etc

Then I send in the good stuff

A parcel with a book, something I think is amazing want to go extra level tag a couple of chapters and express why you think they are useful.

And I pop a hand written letter about me in. I would ask can I be considered for a position any position even if I have to work for free.

And I call back make sure they got my parcel.

You can use this very same approach for networking or getting to talk to someone who seems so distant and unreachable.

Because of all of the above I have managed to have a direct conversation with my absolute sporting idle. And this woman is not someone you can easily get a chat with.

I have always got exactly where I planned to be. It took work.

It rewarded me in ways I still can’t believe.

I spent two months at the heart of the London Olympic Games. I sent a letter myself instead of waiting for no one to nominate me.

I was seriously rewarded with the crown jewel of positions and access to track side action that would have cost thousands. More importantly I was part of the biggest show on the planet working along side the producers and teams involved in the medals ceremonies.

So when you might think I can’t or the stakes seem high.

Just think what’s possible if you try.

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