Someone asked me tonight how I was. I said I’m doing OK. I also said, I’m not OK. I could pick aspects of my life to tell a positive story. I could just as easily pick some bits to tell a story of defeat, sadness and stress.

Like many people I can look better than I am. I coach many others to find ways to transform their lives. I teach and write books. I look OK. And yet I can feel anxious, stressed and low. For me these feelings also impact the way I fail to look after myself. This…

In the next few months the UK is due to slowly emerge from lockdown. We have just had the year anniversary of the first lockdown and we now nervously anticipate some normal activities restarting. People will be able to meet outside and if things go according to plan, gyms, shops, restaurants and pubs will gradually reopen.

Coming out of lockdown is going to be psychologically challenging for many people. Even those who can’t wait to restart normal life might be surprised by some feelings of anxiety as the new normal starts to change. At the neurological level our brains have…

Do you feel like your life is on autopilot? The days roll into a familiar blur of activity, anxiety and task. Life can feel like it’s happening to you and you are not in control.

Part of the alphabet soup we swim in is the idea of change. Change your diet, your weight, your relationships, your phone, your spirituality, your parenting skills and on and on it goes. Billions are spent on the industry of change. As a therapist and coach I am also part of that system. And yet, however much we try to buy, work or struggle out…

I work as a therapist. I have also been in a lot of therapy. My life’s work is about transformation and change. I have studied, worked and trained to understand how our relationship to ourselves and others can be changed. I know my clients have benefited, often in life changing ways, from the work we have done together. Personally though, I have found it very difficult to escape stories that have haunted me down the years. My adoption at birth into a cold and stressed family seems to have made me fearful, anxious and prone to addictive tendencies. …

How we can really change

Photo by Peter Berko on Unsplash

When I talk about the concept and action of pivoting I am not talking about some kind of rootless post-modern fluidity where you can shape shift at will between roles and stories. This is an important ability but I believe we have to pivot FROM somewhere. I would call this somewhere our soul, some would call this our true self. It is a bit like the screen behind all the activity of a movie projection. A still point of consistent presence.

Pivoting is not just about swapping out a bad story for a better one…

Pivoting into 2021

I write this on New Years Day 2021. Usually the soothsayers, commentators and ‘experts’ are making their predictions by now. This year it all feels rather quiet. I live just north of London and in recent weeks our part of the U.K has been hit hard by a new strain of the Covid virus. The atmosphere is subdued, fearful and edgy. This also happens to be day 1 of the U.K formally leaving the European Union. It feels like the tectonic plates are shifting beneath our feet. …

This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Pivot Points

It is a description of one key part of a story that we can all identify with.

Failure

There is a point in our stories where we have been preparing for something, anticipating it, training for it. Hopes are high and confidence is up. We rehearse and rehearse and then finally we take on the new challenge. It may be a new job, relationship, leadership role or shift to a new culture. If you are an artist it might be showing your work in public for the first time. …

The French philosopher Foucault used the idea of the Panopticon to show how we are dominated by an imprisoning and controlling story.

Imagine a prison. In the centre of the prison is an observation building. From this building, every area of the prison can be observed. This means wherever you are in the prison, you could be seen. Nothing escapes the gaze of the panopticon. This means that if you are one of the prisoners, you will adapt your behaviour around the controlling gaze of the observation tower. This tower has rules that must be followed at all times, otherwise…

It was the early 1970’s. I was seven when I learned two lessons about race. There are I’m sure many other events still to be remembered but these sum up how racism became woven into the fabric and architecture of my life.

Lesson 1: Foreign people invade and disrupt

I was in my red and blue toy Wigwam. It occupied the bottom of our rose-bedded suburban garden and I sat in it for hours during the summer. I daydreamed about the Cowboys and Indians running across the sweaty canvas. One evening in June I heard a strange language coming from…

At its core ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ directed by Celine Sciamma is a meditation on being seen. The critics have made much of this being a story about the female gaze. A painter in 18th century Brittany is given the assignment of painting a portrait of a young woman. This will then be sent as a calling card to a man in another country, a man her mother has chosen for her to marry, a man she has never met.

The painter pays exquisite attention to her subject who remains detached, sullen and cold. A painting emerges that…

Andre Radmall

Andre is a life coach and therapist. He uses creative approaches to unlock new stories and opportunities for his clients.

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