THE FEAR OF ANXIETY – YOU ARE NOT ALONE

THE FEAR OF ANXIETY – YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

Performers are always having the conversation about the fear of first nights, their nerves when singing or dancing for the first time in a show, or the fear of forgetting their lines.  Their hearts pounding, mouths hellishly dry and beads of perspiration breaking out on their forehead.  Then all is all resolved when they walk on stage, the symptoms miraculously disappearing, allowing them to perform perfectly without a glitch.

In the majority of cases performers are at home on stage or in front of a camera, but what happens if the nerves really do take over, and start wreaking havoc in a performer’s life.

Actor Denise Welch recently admitted to an overwhelming bout of anxiety whilst on tour, and explained how she suffered from bouts of depression.  This brave lady has told the world how she has been suffering over the years, and how it creeps up on us without warning and sets out to wreak our lives.

Anxiety does not discriminate and can affect any one of us, and I am sure the majority of you will have suffered from this devastating condition at some time in your life.  Thankfully it is no longer a stigma or considered a weakness to own up to mental health issues, and it is now being encouraged by public figures, actors and even members of our Royal family, to speak out about it, because when we share problems they are far more easily overcome.

I have suffered personally from acute anxiety and it began at school when I was asked to read in assembly when I was 14.  I was incredibly excited as I had begun to be interested in a local amateur dramatic group for under 20s, and this was my opportunity to shine.  To my horror, as I began to read my hands started to shake, my voice began to tremble and I had to walk offstage not finishing the piece of prose I had been asked to perform.  I felt humiliated and desperate, which was not helped by the words of sympathy from my classmates, which only added to my grief.  In those days anxiety and depression were swept under the carpet, and yet I had managed to give a highly visible display of acute anxiety in front of 200 people.  I was devastated.

Fortunately, I had a wonderful teacher called Mrs Frears who taught literature and drama, who supported me throughout and encouraged me to get back on the stage and perform.  I owe so much to her as she not only helped me turn it round, she also was a big part of why I went to performing arts school and worked in theatre and television.

The best advice that was ever given to me when I was tackling the ongoing problem of acute anxiety was from a brilliant psychotherapist who told me to embrace the anxiety, and not try to push it away.  He said that I should give it a name as it was a living entity, and respect it and nurture it – I called it Martha.

I now live with the concept of ‘Martha’ and speak to her as a friend when she turns up unexpectedly.  She can be high maintenance sometimes, in terms of time, but is well worth it as I can then get to grips with my own agenda and learn to live with my own fears and anxieties.  It has certainly worked for me.

I now mentor and train speakers in Presentation and Public Speaking skills and a big part of that is managing anxiety.  Why am I such an expert, is it because I have performed on stage for decades as an actor and singer?  Of course that is a big part of it.  But the most important aspect of my training is my ability to recognise fear of speaking in public because I have suffered badly from anxiety.

The condition is also not just reserved for performers and can infiltrate any area of your life, affecting your social interactions your relationships and even your everyday working life.  It has no boundaries and there is no pattern of how or where it can manifest.

I have a friend who seems to have everything, a wonderful husband, beautiful kids, fabulous country house, great circle of friends, successful career – on the surface everything seems to be perfect, and yet she is the most anxious person I know.

There are so many ways of dealing with fear and anxiety, and these can be personal to you. You can begin by reaching out and knowing that you are not completely alone, which is a brilliant way to start.

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THE FLOWER POWER OF HEALING – SASKIA HOLDS ITS SECRET

THE FLOWER POWER OF HEALING – SASKIA HOLDS ITS SECRET

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

As I give another major shout out for the “Hub at no3” recently opened by the wonderful Lynne Franks in Somerset, I must to introduce you to Saskia Marjoram, another force of nature, who administers Flower Remedies.

Up until then I only knew about Rescue Remedy – that I took in abundance when under stress or in hiding from mankind.

But after a rather apprehensive start, I was persuaded by Lynne to book a session in Flower Remedy Healing and I was soon won over by Saskia’s utter belief in the power of her flower essences and knowledge of how to administer them.

Saskia arrived with all of her essences in a box, a bit like Mary Poppins, and as she brought them out, they seemed to hold a magic of their own, and as she described, their very own personality.

Saskia evokes your own choice of flowers by a method she has developed over years, and told me that whatever my choice, it will be relevant to my lifestyle.

I chose the flowers relating to fun and enjoyment, both of which I had shied away from in recent months for a variety of reasons, so this did not surprise me.  She then made me my very own mixture of the essences I had selected.

It was a joy to be given my very own potion made for me by Saskia in hub@no3 – and I have just finished my first bottle after several weeks.

Did it work, have I had more fun?  I don’t really have to stop and think, as when you participate in magic – amazing things happen – and they are all full of fun fun fun.

I would recommend a visit to “hub at no3” if you have a free weekend or few days, but if not Saskia can do Flower Remedy healing on Skype or Facetime.

Saskia has been working with flowers her entire life. As a professional gardener for more than 30 years, and florist to HRH Prince of Wales, she started making flower essences in 2003 with her friend and business partner Christine Felce.

She goes on to say that she is ‘continually fascinated by how plants and humans interact.  My deep love, friendship and knowledge of the flowers has continued to grow as I discover just how powerfully their energy affects, and interacts, with us.

Flower essences contain the vibrational energy of the plant they came from, this energy is held as a memory in water. Taking this vibration into yourself reminds your own personal energy how to be, helping unlearn held patterns, bringing awareness to problems (and solutions) and rebalancing your whole being.

My essences are made in the same way as the Bach Flower Remedies and are usually taken as drops under the tongue. They do not smell.

Flower essences work deeply bringing positive and effective change to our lives. They act as catalysts, bringing awareness and shifting patterns so that you can take responsibility for your own healing in a safe, natural and simple way.

https://www.saskiasfloweressences.com/

https://www.hubatno3.com/

 

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THE UNIVERSAL HEALING OF REIKI

THE UNIVERSAL HEALING OF REIKI

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

With all of the wonderful alternative and holistic therapies I have tried, Reiki had alluded me until last week when at a Retreat in Somerset www.hubatno3.com  just opened by Lynne Franks, I decided to try it.

I had booked a massage with the lovely Helen, a resident practitioner, who is also an expert in Reiki and a clairvoyant, and as she described the Universal energy of healing called Reiki, felt compelled to book a session.

Helen had already told me that whilst rendering the treatment, she had flashes of insight into the person, in the form of images or names of people or even glimpses of their future.  She asked me if it was something I would be interesting in hearing throughout the session.  I was fascinated, and a little sceptical, even though I firmly believe in holistic healing and even clairvoyance, I had arrived with a severe lower back pain which I was sure would not be shifted in one session.

How wrong could I be?  Helen was obviously an expert in the field of Reiki, and came up with names she could have not possibly known before.

The practise of Reiki in Japanese is translated as ‘miraculous or divine spirit or intention’ and I could not describe it better.  After the session I felt elated if not a little light headed, and Helen told me to drink lots of water, which I did.

The following day my back pain had disappeared.

I couldn’t believe it either – it was miraculous, and Helen had not touched my body at all throughout the Reiki session, just held her hands across the areas she felt needed help, which were the painful areas and my left knee which had also been giving me a bit of discomfort.

Descriptions of Reiki seem to be Universal healing energy administered through healing hands, and even though I had questioned the validity, it had worked.

I have to confess, Helen seemed extremely tuned into me and a great practitioner in the art of healing and Reiki, which was an awesome combination, and so if you can’t get down the The Hub, at least contact an expert in your area and try it.

But for those of you who are believers in Universal energy, it is a good start, and perhaps you can begin by following these simple principles

Just for today do not worry
Just for today do not anger
Honour your parents, teachers and elders
Earn your living honestly
Show gratitude to every living thing

You can find a Reiki practitioner by logging onto www.reikiassociation.net

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YOUR FUTURE AWAITS WITH LYNNE FRANKS AND THE HUB AT NO 3

YOUR FUTURE AWAITS WITH LYNNE FRANKS AND THE HUB AT NO 3

Reading Time: 8 minutes

 

THE HUB AT NO 3 in Wincanton, Somerset, is a powerhouse of healing and alchemy, with Lynne Franks OBE as its heroic leader – heading up the unique fusion of magic and divine feminine, in true warrior fashion, within the DNA of its foundation.

Men are also very much a part of the picture, and both male visitors and mentors are welcomed to the Hub, as the male energy is equally respected as an essential ingredient of spiritual growth.

Lynne is famously known as the inspiration behind the dynamic but quirky PR guru Edina in Absolutely Fabulous played by Jennifer Saunders, but since her own fearless spiritual journey, Lynne has transformed into more of a Wise alchemist whose insight into each of her mentees is remarkable as she pinpoints their path and helps them rediscover their mission and self-worth.

I was determined to discover how accurate her reputation for personal growth had become and have recently returned from three days at The Hub in Wincanton, only to discover that Lynne really is a legend in her own lifetime, and that is quite separate from her Abs Fabs fame.

I arrived early to avoid the snow, and was welcomed with open arms by Lynne and her team who looked after me as soon as I arrived, but gave me the space to find time to meditate and soak up the healing atmosphere.  I also managed to chant my mantra of many years, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, with Lynne who is a confirmed Buddhist.

The two buildings of The Hub have been restored and transformed by the passion of Lynne herself over almost two years, with all the trials and tribulations that come with a project of this magnitude, and which also involved a great deal of spiritual healing and cleansing, as it had been an old pub and drinking house.  I also heard through the local grape vine, that Lynne had created a bit of a stir in the area, even offending some of the local church going community with her ‘holistic’ messages.  Lynne has remained steadfast throughout as I understand, still respecting the people of the area, but sticking to her guns which is admirable and maintaining her integrity as always.

I had booked for three nights, and on arrival was taken to Rose room which was a lovely tranquil space with a cosy bed adorned with a duvet of Alpaca feathers – totally healing in itself.  I had the best night’s sleep in a long time, and this apparently is a shared experience of all the guests.

I then decided to sample all of the holistic treatments available as well as a special one-to-one experience with Lynne herself, which I was really looking forward to.

They started with the lovely Saskia Marjoram who administered Flower aromatherapy and healing with her incredible insight into flower essences.  I have to confess I was a little dubious at first, but quickly understood the relevance of the remedies, as I had used Rescue Remedy over the years, and was reassured by Saskia’s knowledge and confidence.  She seemed to pick the remedies associated to me personally, so I quickly knew where it was heading.

I then had a massage and facial with Helen, who I discovered is also a Reiki healer and clairvoyant, and as if this is not enough, completely tuned into me and identified areas of my body and indeed my life that needed attention.  She also explained more about the Hub, saying that they felt that the ‘healers’ and ‘witches’ are congregating there, which I found mesmerising and awe inspiring.  I have to agree, as spookily on the last day, I realised that my lower back pain had completely disappeared which was definitely down to the Reiki and so would really recommend this treatment too.

The one-to-one with Lynne Franks was life changing, as she not only tuned into me, but channelled my inner world and guided me into where my focuses should be.   She was pragmatic and honest as well as being sensitive and nurturing, and I know I have changed an essential part of my own self-discovery and future passage.

There was only one other guest at the Hub, who was a beautiful young woman from the corporate world who was there to redress the balance, and she and I built our vision boards together under the enchanted eye of our mentor.  The results were extraordinary with the vision boards reflecting our inner souls rather than skin deep illusions.

We all connected as Lynne had predicted and in many extraordinary ways, with shared and similar life experiences to help heal each other, and it made me feel that the Goddess was working her magic to bring us all together.  The food is organic, healthy and delicious and all part of the collective collaboration at meal times.

I had heard that when you visit the Hub, it facilitates the beginning of a new life and way of being, and incredibly I found all of this to be true.  Having said that, you have to be ready to change your life, and be open to all possibilities, and if you are – be brave, face your fears and visit Lynne Franks and her healers at The Hub at No 3, where your future awaits.

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DON’T TRADE PASSION FOR PARENTING – GET A GOOD WORK/SEX LIFE BALANCE

DON’T TRADE PASSION FOR PARENTING – GET A GOOD WORK/SEX LIFE BALANCE

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

Whether we have done a dry January, or planning a fitness February the one constant in our lives is Passion, but its killer is now lurking at every corner.

We are all insanely protective about our privacy but will discuss intimate details of our sex lives with complete strangers if we are coerced, so why not actually have one to shout about.

So many of us are trading passion for parenting or a healthy sex life for tetchy behind doors grouching.  So how about confronting those Winter blues and getting some passion back into your lives.

You don’t have to act out the Karma Sutra, just some gentle hugging and stroking will do for beginners to reinvent their ‘honeymoon’ or romantic early dating, if it has been a while.  It has even been advised by the experts to refrain from doing more than that for a few days to build up to a satisfactory ‘climax’, in more ways than one, if you have been experiencing problems in this area.

There is nothing better than forbidden fruit to rouse your desire, remember when you were dating and your parents told you to be home by 11.  Those frantic stolen kisses were worth their weight in gold, although the majority of us didn’t appreciate it at the time.  Avoid illicit affairs, as the majority end in tears, but if you are needing to get a bit of spice back into your life, you could do as one of our members of the Glotime office did (and she will remain anonymous) and dress up to meet your partner in a nearby bar, as if complete strangers, wearing only a faux fur coat and a pair of slingbacks!   We dare you!

So we are encouraging you to reinvent the wheel, or at least the wondrous early days of your life before you had the responsibility of a mortgage, family and career – all monumental passion killers.  Which is why the over 60s seem to be having the most fun in their retirement, although they often need help in this area too.

There are some fabulous sex toys on the market, try Agent Provocateur in deepest sexy Soho for the more unique chic sex toy, as well as Ann Summers who always have the latest invention in eroticism, so why not go together to explore what you both enjoy.

The same goes if you are single, and the staff will make you feel welcome and help you chose if you get stuck.  Yes really, you should not get embarrassed as they are quite au fait with most fantasies, and will even encourage you with the most recent additions to their variety of sex toys and lingerie.

There are some excellent lubes on the market too if you need them, and they come in a variety of flavours as do condoms.  You can buy them online as with any sex toy, if you have difficulty in buying in person.  Try www.lovehoney.co.uk who have a good selection.

Vibrators are also extremely useful for both couples and lone lovers, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours – with a variety of speeds and vibrations.  Take a look at www.lelo.com

In finality, don’t rule out a good sexy book – if you have exhausted Fifty Shades, then you may like something a bit more romantic with an erotic undertone like some of the following titles.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman
by John Fowles
avg rating 3.86 — 42,771 ratings — published 1969

Vision in White
by Nora Roberts 
avg rating 4.11 — 117,180 ratings — published 2009

Frostbite
by Richelle Mead
avg rating 4.29 — 284,773 ratings — published 2008

The World According to Garp
by John Irving
avg rating 4.08 — 190,067 ratings — published 1978

Anna Karenina
by Leo Tolstoy
avg rating 4.04 — 543,195 ratings — published 1877

There is nothing better than snuggling up in front of a roaring fire with your favourite sexy story, it is guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart, and hopefully a great deal more.

 

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THE TOWN FOOD CRYER

THE TOWN FOOD CRYER

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Remember you heard it here as I sample and report back on some of the best kept food secrets in town

 

Bob Bob Ricard

If you want sheer decadence as well as absolutely delight, Bob Bob Ricard is famous for each table sporting a button reading ‘press for Champagne’ as well as its ‘all booth’ ambience. As you can imagine the British/Russian menu is sumptuous as well as the fine wine and cocktails.  Wallow in sheer luxury in this glamorous restaurant in the heart of Soho.

Where: 1 Upper James Street, Soho, W1F 9DF
Website: www.bobbobricard.com

 

 

Brasserie Zedel

‘A stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus, out of No 1 exit and continue to walk straight were the perfect directions.  You can’t miss its distinctive front entrance on the left of Sherwood Street, with the distinctive style reminiscent of Paris of a bi-gone era, consistently reflected within its vast haughty walls.   The Brasserie sprawls proudly across its basement level alongside its Cabaret Club, The Crazy Coqs, and rather than confuse you, if you want a French meal at a meagre £10.50, you can order two courses in the Brasserie and then book to see one of its acts in the club.  It is also perfect for lunch when shopping or in the evening as a pre-theatre dinner.

Where: 20 Sherwood St, Soho, London W1F 7ED
Website: https://www.brasseriezedel.com/

 

 

Joe Allen

I have recently been re-introduced to this iconic restaurant in Covent Garden by my friend Debbie Arnold, who has a table in her name.  I was a regular in the nineties when performing in the West End, and it has held its own in spite of steep competition over the years.  But classics never date and Joe’s never does.  A great supporter of the arts and the homeless charities, you will always see a familiar face either from theatre or TV and as our very own national treasure Joanna Lumley says ‘when in doubt eat at Joe Allen, they will take good care of you’ and the food is always absolutely fabulous.

Where: 2 Burleigh St, London WC2E 7PX
Website: https://www.joeallen.co.uk/

 

 

Alounak 

This authentic Persian Restaurant has become one of the most recommended places in town to experience Persian food at its best.   I was taken there impromptu by my new friend Gudrun Jonsson, a wonderful biopath and holistic practitioner, who lives nearby in Napier Street, after having reflexology.   It is always a good sign when you are recommended personally and also see local Iranians and foodies sampling the mixed mezze of strained yoghurt, freshly walnuts and mirza ghassemi (smoked aubergine, garlic and tomato). For our main course, we had the grilled kebabs – chicken with saffron and lemon. Other sides include warm bread, and basmati rice –with raw egg yolk, butter and herbs if required. The spiced tea was really refreshing, and the service is great too with friendly staff who look as if they really care about their customers.

Where: 10 Russell Gardens, Kensington, London W14 8EZ

 

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