Archive for the Uncategorized Category

I did it again!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 5, 2016 by racheljackson

I enjoyed myself AGAIN at work.

I enjoyed listening to Radio Two announcing the sign up of Matt Le Blanc to co-host Top Gear with Chris Evans as I drove to just past Bury St Edmunds.  I enjoyed driving home listening to a debate about whether Sheffield trees should be cut down or whether butter is better. I enjoyed setting up my banner stand in the glorious lecture hall at Claas UK and chatting with Emma and Helen and the team from Waddington Brown…but most of all I enjoyed the company of 15 fabulous HR Directors from across the region as we explored the challenges to their resilience, the choices they are faced with to balance work and life and the pleasure they too feel when able to give their best work in the service of their organisations.

Having attended a brilliantly stimulating and inspiring day with Robertson Cooper a week or so ago up in Manchester learning about their passionate focus on A Great Day at Work, it made me once again reflect how much I love working in this field and how incredibly important it is that we continue with this drive to recognise our working days as not simply a means to an end – but an end in itself.

Most people spend most of 5 out of 7 days a week at work. If we want people, teams and organisations to thrive in an environment where there are so many more choices out there for every employee  – both in career terms and life choices – being at work HAS to be worth it at more than just a financial level. Meaning, and growth, and stimulation and satisfaction –  these are all part of building resilient people, in resilient teams, in resilient organisations – and I love being part of that.


Behaviour support

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2016 by racheljackson

I’m just waiting to pick up my son from a behaviour support centre in Ipswich. He’s been struggling to control his emotions and regularly hits out and hurts others – including me. As someone who trains others how to understand their own thinking and emotional acting out it’s hard to admit that I’m not sure where to go with helping my 5 year old son. It’s so much easier when we have words sufficient to explain our frustrations and fears clearly. But it does make me wonder how much of it we really learn to manage as adults and how many childlike rages we experience for what, in adulthood, would be considered petty concerns or irrational fears. How many of these infantile instincts do we simply learn to express in ‘adult’ ways through gossiping, moaning, resistance or oppression of others in subtle yet self -serving ways.

Next time you find yourself fuming in traffic, cursing in the supermarket or berating a well intentioned yet ultimately annoying act from friends or colleagues – get in touch with your inner child and ask it what it’s really trying to say. What are the words that effectively express your innermost gripes. See if you can find a way to hear yourself thinking and ask – what can I let go of here? What can I ‘grow up’ about and what would I tell a 5 year old to do?You might be surprised what you learn.

How to tell a “Not-Book”.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 9, 2016 by racheljackson

There comes a moment when I have to confess to my son, in words he may not understand, that I truly can’t read another Thomas the Tank engine story with feeling or real commitment.

Sadly, this confession generally falls on tired, deaf ears – so I have come up with an alternative, and it has become part of the language of my family. We do a ‘Not-Book’ – of which there are two main variants (lights on or lights off) and a multitude of permutations.

We begin, as tradition dictates, with “Once upon a time there was…” but from there on in we are co-creators to often devastating effect. Sometimes I weave in elements of the day – what did we learn, what did we struggle with, how did we feel. Other days Superman is locked in deadly combat with a chicken named John for the arm of a Chinese princess named Jenny. Leo generally weaves in Batman and the names of various friends and inevitably they all live happily ever after. The journey flows with gasps and giggles and “do you know what happened next?” and there are often parts where one of us loses track of what went before. It is always an eye to eye story. Nothing is written down or recorded.  It is always shared space. We both love it.

I am determined that in my house stories won’t be just something mum reads to us in books. Stories aren’t what other people invent and we absorb. We are the stories – even though many of us have forgotten how to craft the narrative. Our roots sit around camp fires and talking circles. Our customs and histories were passed for far longer by word of mouth than by printed words, kindles and audiobooks.

Find your story again and learn to tell it. Start a dialogue.


Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2015 by racheljackson

Well it’s here again – just over two weeks to go and the tree is up, the advent string hung, the wreaths made, the lights untangled and re-tangled and crowded onto overloaded extension cables. The cat has shredded tinsel all over the floor and the boys have dressed dad as an elf in an ohsoslightly tight Christmas t-shirt. The Christmas train is playing jingle bells as it chugs around the floor and we are ready.

Despite sneaking away for Christmas this year I can’t help but reflect on the usual annual festivities we will be missing this year by choice and consider those families up north suffering a less chosen deletion of Christmas due to the insertion of a foot of water into their preparations for the season. I simply can’t imagine watching sodden tinsel merge with river mud and tree branches as the sparkling lights fizz out under a deluge of water. This season can be stressful enough for many families without such catastrophic events intervening.

So when you cringe at yet another appealing cracker joke, grimace as you enter yet another sale-ridden shopping experience or gulp as your mother in law piles another soggy sprout onto your plate – spare a thought for some. They won’t be enjoying Christmas choices like yours until at least 2016


A question about the Ipswich Open Space event…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 3, 2015 by racheljackson

The intent of Open Space is to bring together people who care about a specific question to discuss, engage in and take action upon that issue. Asking the question can itself highlight some complex dynamics surrounding the issue and has done just that in our case – to my mind this simply reconfirms the complexity of the question and the need to work together to solve it.

However….I want to run an event for Ipswich that is valuable and have given my time for free to that end. I am aware that there are a number of other activities and events taking place in parallel to this Open Space and it is my sense that to continue with our own event at this time would not fit with a spirit of collaboration and an avoidance of duplication.

In the spirit of Open Space I would like to gather your views on the way forward before I make any changes. I have kept it simple and very very quick – you can share your view by clicking

You are welcome to forward the questions to others if you feel they have a view we should capture but please only click the link if you really care about Ipswich and it’s future.

We have over 30 of the great and good of Ipswich already signed up so there is clearly energy and reason to have the dialogue…the question here is when and where.
Thank you for getting involved


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.