Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2015 by racheljackson

Odd title for a post you may think. But for multitasking me it’s pretty appropriate.


Whilst my youngest son enjoys the ballpark at Felixstowe leisure centre, I am putting the finishing touches to my husband’s handiwork on my Bouncability website where he has managed to incorporate the words “some more ball for your bounce” in a moment of creative genius!

The ball metaphor has been quite a fun one to work with in my design work for the Resilience Series – but I know it has its limitations. For a start there are a huge range of balls with an equally broad range of purposes. Some are designed to bounce but others are certainly not – as my one time attempt to bounce a bowling ball reminds me. The glories of plastic have provided the ultimate flexibility from squash balls carefully graded by speed of bounce to table tennis balls – light as a feather and more prone to crack than squash under direct pressure.

Much like our metaphor, we too have different degrees and speeds of Bouncability. We each have different tolerances for being thrown, different heights of bounce and fall. I’ve learned  over the years that I bounce pretty hard and high – and that at times this capacity is far from healthy. Bouncing places a great deal of strain on both my own system and those around me and can lead to a distinct inability to relax and be mindful. So how do we each find the balance to roll, rest and bounce just enough?

My thoughts:

  • if you look after your elasticity and your energy, your bounce can be endless and serve to take you to new heights
  • learn to recognise the difference between bounce and buzz – if you’re buzzing you can often overpower others and your own limitations with detrimental outcomes
  • Tune into what makes other people around you bounce, buzz and break – and recognise that their bounce might not look like yours!
  • know that whilst fun and free, bouncing all day means you only experience snippets of both the ground and the sky and that you’re never actually present in either.

…and before I stretch the metaphor too far I’m going to sign off and do some more ball work with Benjamin

Share me your thoughts on the bounce

Open Space Ipswich

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2015 by racheljackson

What more can we do to improve the state of Ipswich?

On the 19th November I will be hosting an event in central Ipswich to bring together a diverse range of people from public, private and third sector, health, education and political plus the general public using Open Space Technology to explore how best to work together to deliver a future that we all want for a town we all care about.

Find out more and book your attendance today by emailing or by putting into your web-browser and signing up.

Mothers everywhere…

Posted in Life and Learning, On Dialogue, On Resilience, On Women in Work with tags , , , , , on September 4, 2015 by racheljackson

First Day

…are posting photos of their pride and joy entering a new phase of life – whether its “big school”, senior school, college courses, travel plans or first jobs.  The BPS magazine The Psychologist this month leads with “The Transition to School – Claire Hughes asks what matters and why” – talking about school readiness and the impact of family and community on successful transition and ‘developmental vulnerabilities’ (Brinkman et al., 2014).

For me this could not have been more poignant a subject.  After over a week of what I can only describe of total teenage rebellion from my 4 year old during perhaps the wettest summer holiday I can remember, I was on my knees – psychologically, emotionally and physically..and I had done something I often find difficult, embarrassing and vulnerable – I had asked for help.

Help arrived in the form of both family and friends and one thing stuck in my mind more than any other – ‘children are designed to be raised in a community – and that community doesn’t exist like it used to’.  I had been trying to cope on my own with two under fives for fear of failing in public.  The result was that I was isolated, my children were isolated, and the people who wanted to help felt ‘uninvited’ to do so. We were spiralling downwards and needed to reconnect with our community in order to recover.

Ironically my first two go-to jobs having dropped the boys off at school were a meeting around community dialogue (working with a number of passionate ‘Ipswich-ians’ to outline an Open Space event on the future state of the town) and the set up of a design planning session for Recovering from Motherhood for my own Resilience Series launching in Ipswich in November/December.

3 year old boyTalking to my own mother this morning about it all, she tells me she can no longer bear to watch the news following the reports of the 3 year old washed up on a Turkish beach and countless other heartbreaking stories of those fleeing Syria.  I reflected that the power of community and protection of others in danger has lead to a huge wave of opened doors across Europe – doors that may not even open regularly to neighbours and friends. Is our sense of community really so diminished in the UK…or do we become too easily paralysed in our goodwill by a fear of rejection, a fear of failure, a fear of judgement by others?  Is our famous ‘stiff upper lip’ still getting in the way of offering a clumsy, ill-thought through, perhaps foolish or unsustainable hand of help to someone who really doesn’t care if we have a plan or a solution…they just need a place to feel safe for a short while.

On a similar note I shared with my mother a wonderful comment made on Facebook about the news of a 13 year old who had been found wandering along the M5 near Oldbury on Thursday morning.  The news reels were full of the word “illegal immigrant”, “migrant” and “refugee”.  The comment on Facebook was incensed – “The word you are all looking for is CHILD”.  As I waved my son off to his second day at school, red jumper tucked under his arm, schoolbag swinging, I tried to imagine waving him off in 9 years time as he boards a small boat with 25 others to attempt a crossing of the worlds’  busiest shipping lane to reach a place he is not welcome and does not know. I could not.  I hope never to.


There is a banner stand in my living room!

Posted in On building my business, On Resilience on August 6, 2015 by racheljackson


I have been in business for nearly 8 years as an independent and for the first time (since getting delivery of those all important business cards), I have branded items in my possession.

I have just taken delivery of a banner stand, a large collection of pens and…wait for it…a branded mug and key fob – just the one for that exclusively mine feel! Isn’t it so true that it’s the little things that count? ;-)

My new landing page is also live with updates about the new Resilience Series running in the autumn.  Click on the link for more info.

…or if you are interested in getting people to talk to themselves and each other better…try this one:


Dates are booked and I’m writing web pages!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2015 by racheljackson

It feels odd to be sitting writing content for a workshop on Recovering from Motherhood…but so apt as that is what I feel like I am doing myself.

In the last two weeks I have booked venues, paid for banner stands, commissioned marketing and course booking work on the web and put a programme together for my half day FREE Resilience seminar which is now set for 23rd October at the Suffolk Food Hall just outside Ipswich.

I have also finally reached my first weight-loss/fitness goal and managed to put together a workable childcare schedule for the summer holidays so that I can write the Resilience Open Series courses and develop all my materials and marketing.  Its very very exciting ;-)

PS – if you want to come along, just drop me a line at

Things are hotting up…

Posted in Life and Learning, On building my business, On Resilience, On Women in Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2015 by racheljackson

So today I have spent my day juggling small boys who have accidentally spilt suntan cream/pressed exit on their Superhero Game and killed Spiderman/ emptied Travel Battleships pieces all over the floor…as well as negotiating with a Virtual Assistant from Time etc (recommended to me by Carrie Beddingfield from the glorious OneFishTwoFish), researching website redesigns and….agreeing to host a FREE Resilience session in October for HRDs across Suffolk and East Anglia in association with Waddington Brown HR recruitment specialists.

bouncing-backThe event will be a half day session aimed at fraught HRDs who support fraught employees, fraught managers (and equally completely calm “hand it to HR” managers) and generally work to keep the ship afloat whilst potentially also juggling a similar home-life to myself!

At the moment we are looking at a couple of venues in Ipswich with a ‘stay for lunch afterwards’ option and are hoping to offer 13-15 places for that intimate feel, with a potential for follow on events (also FREE) where demand dictates.

Delegates will be treated to a discounted rate on the Open Sessions that I plan to run in November/December on EI, Leadership, Recovering from Motherhood and Managing in Uncertainty

Details to follow.  If you are interested in registering your place, drop me a line at…and remember – its FREE!

Hard ways to learn

Posted in Uncategorized on June 12, 2015 by racheljackson

This week I was reminded that there are many ways to achieve insight in this world – some more appealing than others and some more effective than others.  I mentioned last week that my son starts school in September and we had his school induction afternoon for which he insisted on dressing in his entire correct school uniform including the appropriate bag and socks.  Its possible he was trying to blend in with existing pupils and thus get into school 6 months early but I think he blew that plan by boldly directing a question to the head mistress midway through her opening speech!  I don’t know where he gets it from honestly!! He is so ready for school you can almost feel the magnetic pull of the books, brains and experiences tugging at him constantly.  He can’t get to sleep at night thinking of things like “Mummy – What is my hair made of?” and other crucial parts of the puzzle he is about to begin. When we look back at our school years are we still as aware of what a huge journey it was and quite how much we learned about the world and ourselves…or do those retorts of “well I’ve never needed calculus in my job or my life” just render it a waste of precious time.

By contrast I suspect someone in our local area learned an incredible set of lessons in a split second last week following a head on collision with a car whilst racing his L-plated dirt bike round the single carriage backroads near my home. I had been observing a growing group of young men donning their red L plates and enjoying the freedom of an engine under their control for the first time – swerving carelessly from one side of the road to the other, throwing exuberant wheelies past the high school and turning to see if they’d grabbed the eye of anyone standing outside. I remember that feeling only too well – released from parental eyes and effort-powered movement in the fresh warmth of early summer with mock exams over and only the finals to consider.  Beach parties and late night gatherings galore. But one young man will have a very different view upon this phase of his life from now on.  He is lying in hospital with a shattered leg and broken ribs and perhaps a slightly quieter spirit.

His friends seem…to borrow from the much read “Gruffalo’s Child” in our house…”a bit less brave…” with their riding techniques.  It is quieter in the evenings with the roar of revved engines gone…and with it has gone a certain innocence that my son is breathing for the first time…an innocence we would all recognise.  It is intoxicating and it drives curiosity and exploration and…of course…risk taking.

Insight is gained in a myriad of ways…and is in no way a privilege of youth.  Cultivate your curiosity, explore your world and all is has to offer…and take the occasional risk…its what make life worth living.


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