Bertie was quite relieved when he was moved away from the gushing waterfall and placed safely back in the bag. Honestly! He thought, the things I do!!! And he brushed off a few bits of moss which had decided to attach themselves to his legs. Bertie decided he was out of practice with this adventure stuff and stuck his head out of the bag to see where they were heading next.
It was a beautiful day. The sun warmed his fur and a gentle, spring breeze brushed against him they made their way along a winding pathway. This is how Bertie remembered home. Not raining and dismal but a warm, fresh spring day like today where the birds were singing and everything seemed to come alive.
Suddenly, they stopped. Bertie heard a rustling noise and he knew this was his cue to stay very still. Looking around Bertie could feel he was being watched, but he wasn’t sure by who or by what!
He heard the soft rustle again and looked up. There, in the tree above him, was a squirrel looking back at him with small, black beady eyes. There was something very unusual about this squirrel. It was red in colour and quite small. The oak leaf it carried in its mouth looked as big as its head.
Bertie was face to face with a real, rare red squirrel. These squirrels can only be found in certain parts of the UK and are quite tricky to spot. What a treat!!! Thought Bertie. He was so pleased when he heard the familiar shutter of the camera. He didn’t dare move in case he scared the squirrel off but at least they got a photograph for Croc.
I wonder what Croc would make of a red squirrel? Thought Bertie. He would probably be hiding at the bottom of the camera bag. What do you think?
Bertie and Croc had had a long rest after running, well being carried on, a half marathon. Bertie’s legs ached from jumping up and down inside the pocket. Croc’s legs ached from clinging onto the material of the pocket for dear life praying he didn’t fall out.
The weather was beginning to warm up in the UK now. Croc hadn’t experienced the UK when it was warmer and he had found a safe and happy spot on the window sill where he could follow the sunshine all day. As the sun moved across the windowsill, so did Croc, shuffling when no one was watching.
Bertie was itching for another adventure and spent his time pacing backwards and forwards from the sunny windowsill to the camera case. This was how Croc got left behind!!!
You see on glancing into the camera case, and seeing Bertie, and being so use to Croc hiding. Nobody noticed that Croc was missing and so Bertie was whisked away on an adventure without his best friend. This was the first adventure he had been on by himself in a while and Bertie’s stomach began to churn and he felt quite upset! He hoped Croc wouldn’t be annoyed….
Bertie was whisked out into the light and heard mumbling noises, followed by a frantic fumble around in the bottom of the bag. Bertie knew he now wasn’t the only one who realised Croc was missing. “It’s OK, Croc will be at home” Bertie heard a voice say. “We will just have to take even more photographs of Bertie so he can show Croc where he has been!!!” Bertie suddenly felt a sense of purpose and responsibility.
He posed with his best smile, trying not to show how nervous he was, trying to be brave for the photographs for Croc, as he was placed on the cold, damp rocks in front of a loud and gushing waterfall. Bertie knew Croc liked water but he wasn’t sure what his best friend would make of water which was this enthusiastic…..what do you think Croc would think of the waterfall?
Have you ever been somewhere and it has taken you back to a memory from a previous point in your life? Isn’t it clever how visual images, audio sounds and different smells can bring back a memory?
How great would it be if you could change your association with places and images and songs so that they are positive and work with you rather than against you. Your brain creates an emotional reaction to things when they happen. That is why a smell from a flower can bring back a memory from childhood, or a song can reduce you to tears because you remember a lost loved one.
The key is to change the way your brain associates to this thing, change the chemical reaction. There are many techniques that can be used to do this. My favourite is to listen to the song or look at the photograph. Bring back the memory and feel those intense feelings. Close your eyes and really focus all of your intent on those feelings. Create an image of the memory in your mind. Then change this image to black and white. Slowly drain all the colour from the image so it is monochrome. Then, while firmly pressing your thumb and index finger together, give the image a soundtrack, something which makes you laugh like Benny Hill. Whilst playing your new sound track and still pushing your thumb and index finger together, make the image smaller and smaller until it starts to fade away.
When you open your eyes and release your thumb and index finger you should feel calmer. When you play the song or see the image again the emotions connected to it should be weaker.
What you have done is created a new association and empowered yourself.
When you find yourself falling back into the old association and feelings, push your thumb and index finger together and remember the silly tune and the monochrome image.
Everything takes time, patience and persistence.
Life will only be black and white if you choose it to be.