'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 16 June 2016

Guest Post: Author Deirdre Brocklebank on Changing Unhappy to Happy

Suraya’s Secret For You is a self-help book for primary school children which was inspired by my love for kids. It is about learning how to change how they feel when they are worried and not happy.

I’d like to share with you my motivation for writing the book.

Suraya is my grand-daughter, and as I watch her grow up, I see her encountering many of the same issues that worried me as a child.

I had very painful memories of being bullied at school and not knowing what to do about it. I recall feeling alone and scared. I couldn’t think of what to do that wouldn’t make it worse, and telling my parents and teachers didn’t seem to be a viable option for me.

I somehow endured the constant teasing, and going to boarding school at 13 years of age seemed like a blessing, to take me away from my bullies. Consequently, I feel very strongly about bullying today and especially about cyber bullying, as children are very vulnerable, given the amount of time they spend online.

On another occasion, seeing the look of fear in Suraya’s eyes when the dentist wanted to give her an injection, also brought back memories of when I was a child at the dentist. I recall the injection seemed huge and painful and I had my mouth open for what felt like hours as the very slow drill whirred away.

My fear was compounded by the fact that one day a bull was wandering down the street, in the small country town where I grew up. I saw its reflection in the dentist’s window as it charged its supposed adversary. It was a nasty shock to the incumbent in the dentist's chair. Of course, this added to my stress around future dental visits.

Like Suraya, I often had nightmares as a child. Some of them seemed so real when I woke up, that they continued to recur for years. No one seemed able to help or pacify me, and I was left to endure them.

My parents were very busy managing various businesses when I was growing up and I didn’t feel they were always there for me when I needed them. I knew I was loved, but I also remember sometimes feeling sad and unimportant. Consequently, I encourage children to talk with their parents and/or carers about their feelings. I have suggested that they could do this through making a 'happy' list of things they like and, more importantly, that they make an 'unhappy' list.

Fortunately, I now know a way to let go of my problems and anxieties. As an NLP and Advanced FasterEFT practitioner, I have helped many people let go of their stress. I feel privileged to be able to share this knowledge with all my grandchildren so they too can use it to address their problems for the rest of their lives.

My objective in writing Suraya’s Secret For You is to reach out to other children so they can address their own concerns by relating to Suraya’s experiences and how she handled them. The book is written from Suraya’s perspective when she was eight years old. I am grateful that she agreed to share her feelings and worries with me through photographs and her own easy-to-follow language.

This is my first book for children and I have enjoyed writing it. Having taken the plunge, I would like to write more.

For more information about the book and the technique described within, see the website and Facebook page