Acceptance or Affection?

Acceptance or affection – what would your priority choice be?

two children hugging
Tender picture of a little girl showing her brother(?) how much she loves him!  (Borrowed from It seems to be a neat little multi-faith site and worth the visit I made to it.)

I’ve thought a lot about it this month  – not least because we are running the next ‘C’ in the SEVEN series in Powerchange and its ‘Clarity’ and as I was preparing the course I wanted clarity on this for me.  Acceptance or Affection?

For me it is definitely affection.  Acceptance is great, but affection is better.  Acceptance is an early condition that allows affection to flow, but affection changes us at a different level.  Acceptance makes the connection.  Affection is the content. It is the oil, acceptance is the pipeline and tap. Affection ‘affects’ us, pouring in the tenderness and warmth, the love that human beings are designed to respond to…

… provided it is sincere.  I guess insincere ‘affection’ is no more than treating the other person as a toy. I’m not even going to suggest ‘sincere affection’ as a qualifier, because affection HAS to be sincere in order to fulfil the definition.

Affection is giving not taking.  It means something is transferred from one person to another. Affection is transforming – even in animals. Their heart rate slows, breathing becomes deeper,  ‘good’ chemicals flow around their arteries and into their cells. Oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine.

Affection  – bring it on!  Sex is about reproduction. Making love is about affection. A kiss on each cheek is (normally – there are notable exceptions) about acceptance.  A sincere durable hug is more affectionate. Affection – the expression of sincere love.

Affection. It grows as it is spread around. People around you are desperate for some. Share some today.



So far to go?

I was mentored for three decades by Campbell McAlpine, an amazing man who I met when I was 24 and he was 56. I looked up to him as a role model, and a second father in many ways.

The epitome of a wise man. Gracious, perceptive, gentle, strong.
The epitome of a wise man. Gracious, perceptive, gentle, strong.

He was the father my old Dad could never be – however hard he tried! Campbell was amazing.  He accepted me just as I was and was kind enough not to leave me there.  Campbell died in 2009, but his spirit lives on in my head and my life. He taught me so much, and you’ve benefitted from his wisdom … and yes, you’re about to benefit from it again!

Campbell loved words. He was a persuasive public speaker, had several books published, recorded sets of CDs and thousands of tapes. (Yes, cassettes. It was a while ago, remember!)  Here are some of his favourite sayings that have impressed themselves on me.  Choose one for yourself and let it sink in:

1. “The room for improvement is the biggest room in the world – and I’m in it.”

2. “Andrew, go for influence, not prominence.”

3. “Live like a leader.”

3. “Andrew, have you got five minutes?” Yes, Campbell?  “Clean the car!” (My car, not his! He was a stickler for valuing and looking after things you have.)

But the one that was a challenge for me was “The thing is, I’ve so far to go.” (said in a Scots accent:  “…faar ta goo.”)  What, Campbell?  The most saintly person I knew?  If he had so far to go, I thought, I haven’t started yet.  But I have grown to realise that ALL of us, however far we’ve come, have faar ta goo. I don’t take this on board as a challenge that taunts me with an ever receding horizon, but simply as a reminder that I’m not in a situation where I can brag about my ‘arrival’ in life. We are invited, not to reach some impossible ideal perfection, but simply to keep walking and to get up when we fall. I’m invited to remind myself and others that the next mile is worth it, has never been travelled before (by anyone) and has something to teach me, something for me to experience that will enrich my life if I let it, and will enrich others’ lives when I share it.

… as I just have. Now its your turn to share Campbell’s legacy, and my legacy, and now your legacy. What you are discovering, plant it into the life of another person, and make the world a better place.

Courage and a Course.

You know, there are people who think its not the ‘done thing’ to be passionate about what you know is good. It’s regarded as pushy, or arrogant. But think about that.  When you know that a person will never be the same again, will have their lives redefined, and their hearts and hopes brought alive again, well, in my view that’s priceless. And to withhold that knowledge because of fear of what people might think? It isn’t very loving is it?  Whether or not you join us on this PCS (see below), perhaps this blog will encourage you to be a little more courageous in speaking out. Sometimes you need to, don’t you?  So here goes…

For months people have been pestering me (in the nicest possible way, of course!) with questions like:  “When are you going to run another Coach Training course?” or “I’m looking for some more CPD – you do coaching skills training, don’t you?” and “I so need to upgrade my Powerchange skills!”

Well, ITS HERE – the Powerchange Coaching Skills course!  And yes, I AM delighted with it.  It looks to be a fantastic ten days (five monthly weekends) – starts 16thMarch – full of state-of-the-art information on how people change, powerful skills for you to practice, lots of insights and at the heart of it all, our regular compassion to make the world a (much) better place to live in, not least by improving ourselves.  I don’t always live up to my motto to ‘be part of the answer not part of the problem’, but this course is definitely part of the answer, and YOU are invited on board. In fact we would love to have you join us.

Join us.  You'll never be the same again.
Join us. You’ll never be the same again.

Yes, please apply – and if you can’t make it, click all the necessary Twitter and Facebook boxes on this page to ensure your friends know about it – or come with them, because unless we get the message out and get ourselves skilled, we cannot proactively make the difference we all want. (There is absolutely no need to be hampered by ignorance or apathy these days.) My guarantee is that no one will wish they hadn’t come. And anyone you invite will thank you for recommending it to them. And it is so affordable.

At the risk of getting myself in trouble for putting my phone number on a blog page, call me personally for more. leave a message/text on 07771631945, or email me: andrew(at), and I’ll get back to you asap. I’m so looking forward to us meeting up on the course. I wonder what will happen for you on those weekends.

Maybe you’ll learn, among all the other things, how you can coach yourself and others towards greater courage?!

See you there   😉

Persistent happiness?

K3 Solutions available here icon
K3 – the ‘Big Three’ killers. Thankfully there are viable and fast solutions available today – and you don’t need a prescription.

As you know, I cannot bear the fact that so many people live with persistent UN-happiness, and part of my mission in life is to be a relief worker in the world of emotional pain.  But I’m also concerned about people, me included, being persistently happy. For me it would imply that my life is wishy-washy, unchallenging, boring.  Life is about experiencing the ups and downs of emotion.  During the tough times we develop emotional and spiritual muscles (and often physical ones) and that keeps us fit and healthy. Muscles that are rarely used soon atrophy, or become easily strained. Ask any athlete.

However there is a difference between experiencing unhappiness and being overwhelmed by it or never knowing relief. Both are traumatic. Both are damaging psychologically for different reasons.  We pick up the belief in these times that we are trapped and have lost any ability to control, and that is what does the damage. Trappedness is another evidence of not being in control. It is a killer. It leads to the K3, the Big Three Killer emotional dis-eases: Worthlessness, Helplessness, and Hopelessness. Experienced together for any length of time, they bring a desire to permanently escape the trap – ultimately through a conscious choice of suicide or behaving oddly, or sometimes by our bodies taking over and making an unconscious choice on our behalf to free us from the pain via terminal illness or the use of other sorts of emotional pain relief: alcohol, sex, food, legal and illegal drugs, obsessive endorphine production, distraction techniques, etc. When we stop them the pain returns, so we become addicted to them.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of K3, do something about it now before the dis-ease ends up as serious illness. There is plenty of evidence now associating emotional trauma with serious physical illnesses. The good news is the downward spiral CAN usually be halted and then reversed by a skilled specialist. There are all sorts of ways of doing this, but it is rare for people to be able to coach themselves through them because we do not see our lives so clearly from the inside, and of course if we had known the answer we would have done it ages ago.

‘The sooner the better’ is the important thing to remember here. Time IS of the essence, because as the self-destruct process bites there is a stage beyond which (or in places of the body where) the physical damage may be so extensive that recovery is not so straightforward.

If you suspect that Powerchange can be part of the answer, just get in touch. We’re here to help.

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