Anni Poole


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By annipoole, Jul 22 2017 05:22PM

Do you know where to find unlimited well -being? What if I told you a simple fact, that is the truth. We are all born with UNLIMITED innate well- being and resiliency.

WE ARE NOT PASSIVE RECEPTORS OF OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. It is our true nature to internally create them!

If an alien landed in the UK, in mid -winter, they may see the drabness of the landscape and feel the chill of a northerly wind. They would find very little food as they foraged. They would label our world as barren, unyielding, cold and unwelcoming. If those same aliens landed in summertime, they would see an abundance of colours, smell sweet fragrance and be able to fill up on lush strawberries.

Two vastly different external experiences of the same landscape. And both of those experiences are created from our personal thinking. (You will even read this blog post from your own thinking, yet hopefully some of it will bring insight.)

Imagine if that dark, icy, barren landscape feels so familiar, it may even feel like HOME, our preferred place to be. How could that possibly be? The answer is simple … our experience of what we create comes from within. Within each of us is a feeling of being HOME. A space of well- being and of ease. Our innate well- being space.

Every experience we ever have is ours. Every experience is created through our personal thinking. We become conscious of that thinking through our feelings

Where I see and feel drab, another might see and feel beauty. Where I experience a feeling of ease, of being at HOME, another may not. The difference is in how we see or personally create our thought story in the moment.

A staffroom story of discovery

Ms Worry and Mr Overwhelm are eating lunch and marking books. They share ideas of their best school trip adventures. Ms Worry remembers the day she took Y9’s on a field trip into a forest. They were given maps and safety instructions for finding their way to a giant redwood, deep in the middle of the forest. This was their place to meet back as a group.

Half the group made it easily in record time and half didn’t.

The lost group described their experiences as going around in circles, even though they had the very same map as the group that made it so easily. They thought themselves into being lost. They even labelled themselves as lost. They had the actions and behaviours of being lost.

The more confused and lost they became, the more their thinking seemed to speed up. They were just going over and over the same ground, past the same tree stump, never actually achieving anything - no matter how hard they tried.

They placed themselves very neatly in a landscape of lost thinking and lost feelings. Guess what? They became lost!

Mr Overwhelm laughed.

"That would be me too, I even get lost in planning and in marking. I really do go around in circles of overwhelm."


Being stuck or lost in overthinking is a very human ME TOO story.

The fact that our thoughts are tyransient (made of energy( and fluctuate up and down, means we are all capable of becoming lost AND we are EQUALLY capable of finding our way (like the group of Y9's who made it to the giant Redwood).

We experience our thought moment to moment. When we have high tension and low mood we have


Thinking clearly becomes impossible.

When we experience low tension and a neutral or high mood, we feel OK. Our thinking is slow, clear, and peaceful.

We are all capable of finding the giant redwood, until we THINK we are not!

What does all this point towards?

Michael Neill in his book ‘the space [within] FINDING YOUR WAY BACK HOME’ talks about our human potential being infinite and yet we choose to:

“ … live in a relatively limited range of that potential.”

When we can notice where we keep ourselves small (or lost) through fears and insecurities, not achieving who we really can be, we can see beyond such limitations.

I coach in hundreds of schools’ and I see this limitation in action. I also see them dissolve when students begin to see it for themselves. Our natural way of being is diagram 1, resilient and expansive. When we lose sight of our natural well- being, it is created through what Dr Bill Pettit calls ‘psychological innocence’ i.e. of being lost in our own thinking. (Diagram 2 below)

This is the stuff of our human psychology. WE are thinking feeling beings. We even create our OWN thought and feelings moment to moment, we are our very own experience creating machines!

Sometimes we create naturally lighter, easier thought, that brings deeper wisdom. And sometimes we create anxieties and overwhelm, losing sight of the wisdom, even though it is always there.



Like the field trip story, when we don't have much on our mind, we handle clallenge and change, and even conflict, from a place of EASE.

We now know that thought fluctuates up and down. Sometimes high, sometimes low.

When we are lost and stuck in a low mood we feel awful and lonely or isolated, disconnected even.

When we are in a more neutral space we experience greater depth of feeling and we can access our own wisdom. Both are sides of the same coin. Our natural true self and our created moment by moment self are all part of our human experience, we always have choice.

The great thing is, when you realise that choice is ever present, you can choose to continue to create your own fear and insecurity, OR NOT.

Because the cause is YOU, not something external, you now learn to have more of the feelings you want, and maybe even begin to understand how to accept your self -creations (worries etc.) with greater ease. This is what Michael Neill refers to as ‘effortless change.’

In the words of Syd Banks in his book The Missing Link

“The achievement of mental stability and peace of mind is one thought away from everyone on earth … if you can find that one thought.”

Anni Poole.

ThreePrinciples Transformative Coaching in Schools, and in Life.

Anything is possible

By annipoole, Jun 25 2017 10:01AM

Simply Being ME, whatever the weather! #Wellbeingdgmeet

As a former head, now vice chair of governors and a resiliency and well-being coach in schools since 2009, I have some well-tried resources and ideas for mental health and well- being. Just as in the aeroplane, and you needing the oxygen mask first, your well- being needs your attention and support too.


Within this blog you will discover:

•A calmer less stressful way of being in the moment

•How to be grateful for the highs and graceful with your lows.

•It will show you how to be less serious with your thinking (thought is just energy).

•It will bring an understanding of mind state that will inform everything you do aka the manual for our human operating system!

Serious Storms Ahead. ‘Thunder drops!’

This might well describe the climate in schools today, the pressure of teaching for results, of inspection and the pressure we place on ourselves. This all begins INSIDE us. WELL -BEING is learning that it’s only surface weather that passes through and the sun is always shining above the clouds.


Part One. Exploring our own well-being first.

“The way we feel comes out of our eyeballs and sometimes my eyeballs are huge.” Y6 pupil describing feeling scared, Greater Manchester, June 2017.

The way we ‘see’ or understand life informs everything we do, in that moment. The scared young child quoted above could be any student we teach, any colleague in our staffrooms. Emotions cloud our thinking. If you feel tired or overwhelmed, life seems to speed up.

How mental well-being impacts our day to day being.

The most important thing to understand in any school (or corporate business) is STATE OF MIND. Unless your own understanding of state of mind is clear, your raw horse power or thinking engine will not be running properly.

Thought is our gift, our way to create who we are moment by moment. It is pure neutral energy – pre- concepts. When we understand how we operate as humans, knowing that our thought creates feelings, we can be aware of our feeling state. Also, in any given moment, new thought is arriving- when we rid ourselves of yesterday’s thought. If we didn’t take our thoughts so seriously – we would see our lives so differently.

Fresh thought (always available as our wisdom or insight) brings clarity and hope.

Thoughts + Feelings = Actions or behaviour

Feelings really do come from our thought. There’s no WIFI downloading feelings, we are calibrated to have peace and calm – just look at babies!

All thought is energy (and transient), we have 60-80 000 thoughts a day. Thought is neutral, neither good nor bad and yet we learn to add value to it, we use our JUDGEMENT.

When we experience judgement from someone else we may feel hurt or angry.

We attribute our feelings to the other person. It’s their fault and beyond our control?


Have you ever observed a baby learning to walk? They aren’t doing this to pass a test or anything important. They just want to move faster. They have a try, fall over and stand back up. Repeatedly.

They don’t judge themselves.

They don’t get angry or give up or call themselves failures.

They don’t blame the floor, their parents or any other external factor.

They are just being in the moment. We see this with young children playing, or teenagers on their phones. Absorbed in the moment.

Teaching Point

State of mind comes from within us. We are the thinkers. When adults and students see this for themselves they experience relief. There’s a greater sense of well- being in knowing you are responsible for your feeling state inside out.

“We are only ever one thought away from mental stability and peace of mind”

Syd Banks the Missing Link.


WHY do I sometimes FEEL HURT, SAD OR LONELY, and sometimes not?

Michael Neill, in his book the space[within] describes our thought as the playdough of life. He describes how 2 …when we get caught up in our thinking we lose our bearings.” p121

The cumulative quality of our thinking, or becoming lost and stressed in the moment, defines the options we think have available to us. When we take our thinking seriously we may have a low mood state. (Sad, lonely frustrated, hopeless, angry, bored, stressed, time- pressured, repressed, grieving etcetera.)

By believing our illusory thinking or taking it seriously, we might think students are completely irritating, our boss is clueless, and maybe we wish we had chosen a different career!

From this thinking space, we feel we have less options within our thinking. AND we may even make poor choices, poor decisions. The illusion of our low thinking is informing what we do, moment by moment.

THE SECRET IS … we DO have more choice, we just can’t see it in this space. (Like the weather, it appears as if the sun has disappeared on a cloudy day. It hasn’t, we just cannot see it, yet we know it is there).

Teaching Point

Q. What are the consequences when operating from a low state of mind?

A: Less mental resources are available to us and we cannot think clearly, we might make mistakes we would not normally make.

Have you ever decided something you later regretted? Me too! (TV soaps are full of such decisions!) Using the option of the choice, I know I have, I let the low mood pass before I deal with the misbehaviour at break, the irate parent, or my son leaving dirty dishes EVERYWHERE. Life is much more graceful this way.

Understanding about THOUGHT in the moment will really help state of mind. It will also support successful learning, great resilient attitudes and clear decision making. It impacts relationships and makes for a joy filled school and life.

In the meantime, create your own M FaB! (Mental First aid Box) – things to do when you feel insecure.

Here is mine - Drink tea/ phone a friend sit under stars/play music

Resources Section Anni Poole #Wellbeingdgmeet

Agitated thinking is insecure thought having a party in our head.

I have coached resilience and well- being in over a hundred schools across the North with an utter passion. I have also been a teacher and principal for over many decades and I have observed the sense of overwhelm and numbing down of the time and space for teachers and kids to be creative, and to be able to take time to enjoy the moment.

Here are some ideas:

Finding great ways to not take our thinking quite so seriously. IMAGINE if we could share this whole school. Where would we begin?

A whole school resiliency and well- being approach #SimplyBeing Please request a sample via email

Working party group for the start-up is SLT/ Pupil and staff rep/local MP/parent rep/governor rep

Whole school well-being is infused through everything. It is modelled by the leaders, pupils and ALL staff.

•It pervades the ethos; the behaviour policy, inclusion and equality. It is in the respect between students and teachers, teachers and students. It is in all relationships within the community.

•It has time and space to listen to students and employees. Listening without an outcome, without judgement. Being really present to the speaker.

•It is the heart of great education and I am on a mission to bring it into every school in the land, not as a curriculum, way of being and understanding who we are. #Simply Being.

Anni Poole. 25th June 2017

Resiliency in Teaching Online Course:

Or … DISCOVER more about your own resilience and share it in your classrooms. (see some valuable resources and you tube links below)

“All feelings are an experience of the person’s thought”

Dr Aaron Turner 3PUK and director of One Thought Institute, London.


I phone a friend or sit under the night sky - I have a cup of tea - I listen to music.

What would you do?

Having a Mental First Aid Box (An M FaB!)

You can create Resilience Champions, where it becomes the norm to share stories of managing thoughts and feelings. As a head, I shared the times I felt nervous or unsure and spoke about the things I chose out of my mental first aid box to help me. The students had their own M FaB!

I also shared that the mind (like the body) self corrects, or heals itself, so even if we do nothing whatsoever the feeling eventually dissipates and moves on through.

When we begin to understand that we are the creators of our day to day reality, not some external thing or person, it is a welcome relief. If a friend is nasty to us, we don’t have to believe their words or take them on board. Great for easier friendlier break times too!

Slowing down your thinking

Often, in education, we can become lost in a turbulent sea of outcomes, particularly data and it may bring insecure stressful scary thinking. We may even be trying to fix our insecure mind state, or attempt to make things better with our intellect. (Analysing, going over and over something).We can’t.

The truest direction is a quieter mind, a neutral kinder more loving space. (We have this in abundance on Friday evening!) Less so on Monday mornings when we feel the mountain of prep catching us up.

“We are only ever one thought away from mental stability and peace of mind”

Syd Banks The Missing Link.

Good luck and may you find your peace!

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