Dave’s story – the final instalment!

Dave’s story – the final instalment!

It’s time for the fifth and final instalment of Dave Fardoe’s story on how he used simple graphics to deal with his feelings and chart his story following a sudden change in life circumstances.

Missed the previous instalments? You can read them here:
Article 1 Out of The Blue
Article 2 What the hell just happened?
Article 3 Learning to Walk Again
Article 5 Good Days Bad Days

Following on from the last time…

…Accept these bad days, they happen – but move on…

I’m now just under six months on and feeling pretty good – I marked five months by climbing on a plane and spending a week in the Caribbean. I went swimming, a bit, but I’m not yet ready to pick up my scuba gear and explore wrecks and reefs, which was my passion before, yet I will be, and I’m looking forward to that.  Taking on an eight hour flight I admit, I was nervous, yet I got advice and it was fine. I never drank much, although a couple of rum punches may have passed my lips during that week away – take it slow and it will all work out fine.  Life is about living and not hiding away in fear, so the fifth cartoon needed to capture that. And more, without the support of so many professionals, the brilliant NHS, my family and so many friends, it would have been so much harder. The cartoons and the drawing of course have been so important to me, putting perspective to the thing and charting the journey. Has it been therapeutic, I’d say so, and how – they have helped me express how things feel, and to show the people around me in ways they can relate to, when for me to find the right words would have been so hard.  The title of the last cartoon – simply  “Future Days”

To everyone involved, thank you.

And a big thank you to you Dave for sharing your story and fantastic drawings with us. May your Future Days be bright!

Does Dave’s story resonate with you? Are you inspired by the use of simple graphics as a form of therapy? Please send feedback and comments to Dave at Fardoe.Dave@gmail.com

And if you have a story you’d like to share about how you use simple graphics I’d love to hear it. Please get in touch.

Guest Post: Good Days, Bad Days

Guest Post: Good Days, Bad Days

This week it’s time for our fourth article by Dave Fardoe in our ‘Simple Graphics as Therapy’ series. Click here to find out what happened last time)

The first walks were ok, I got my feet and pushed on, it went well….

Back home it was a huge relief to be out of hospital and back in a familiar place, and yet, the new normal hasn’t quite established itself yet so some unknowns remain. Of course, there is residual pain to manage, your breast bone takes six months to heal and the mental impact at least that long, so the fourth cartoon wasn’t long in coming – what else could it be entitled but “Good Days / Bad Days”.

Your body takes a while to adjust, the breast bone alone takes six months to fully heal and your head at least that long, and some more – and so you have good days when you’re feeling better and everything’s bright, getting up and going for a walk or to the rehab is a pleasure, other days are not so good and moods clash and strong words can be spoken – accept these bad day, they happen – but move on…

As always, please send any comments/feedback you feel compelled to share either to me or directly to Dave on Fardoe.Dave@gmail.com

Don’t forget to tune in to the final instalment of Dave’s story next month!

Guest Post: Learning to walk again

Guest Post: Learning to walk again

This week it’s time for our third article by Dave Fardoe in our ‘Simple Graphics as Therapy’ series. Click here to find out what happened last time)

 …been given a quadruple bypass – I’d been told to expect a triple.  What the hell!!??

I woke up attached to lines and tubes and wires with wonderful staff looking after me, and my family close by; by day three I was clear of IV’s and other “drains” and the staff were keen to get me walking.  Now I’d learnt walking quite early on in life, as a baby in fact, so this would be straight forward. Ha! The nurses and physio were awesome, quiet, assured and encouraging. The first walks were ok, I got my feet and pushed on, it went well. “Try to breathe as deeply as you can…” and my third cartoon emerged.

As always, please send any comments/feedback you feel compelled to share either to me or directly to Dave on Fardoe.Dave@gmail.com

 P.S. As you may recall from the first instalment of Dave’s story his journey with graphics began with Secrets of Simple Graphics. There are a couple of spaces available for the September 27th 2019. Click here for more info and to book your place. 

Guest Post: What the hell just happened?

Guest Post: What the hell just happened?

This week it’s time for our second article by Dave Fardoe in our ‘Simple Graphics as Therapy’ series. Click here to find out what happened last time)

 …the potential loss of everything I’d held close.

Suffice to say that in such circumstances the medical authorities don’t hang about; after the immediate treatment a battery of tests followed: MRI scans, CT scans, blood tests and more “sharp scratches” than I can count. And so it was that I found myself on June 17th (Fathers day) with my wife and our two kids preparing for major heart surgery the next morning, a procedure that would take over 9 ½ hours followed by several more hours in intensive care and 6 more days in hospital – it happened so fast, (for me, although my wife and kids told me those hours were long and slow), that my second cartoon emerged, reflecting me trying to process the trauma, with the apt tag line “What the hell just happened”.

“I’d advise you not to wait” was the phrase that my Cardiothorasic surgeon used, and that’s the kind of advice you listen to. It all seemed a whirlwind, what was going on, who would look after the family, the business, what about our plans – when I woke up, I’d joined the “Zipper Club” and had been given a quadruple bypass – I’d been told to expect a triple.  What the hell!!??

 

IP Dave Fardoe Fardoe.Dave@gmail.com

Tune in next month for the next instalment of Dave’s story…
All comments/feedback most welcome. 

Guest Post: Out of The Blue

Guest Post: Out of The Blue

This week I’m excited to announce the first in a series of articles written by Dave Fardoe. Accompanying each article is a drawing created by Dave depicting each chapter of his incredible journey. It starts here… 

My journey with Emer started just over 18 months ago in Bristol. I arrived for her simple graphics course, as many of us do, armed with a passing awareness that these techniques were catching on in business, and I was seeing more and more of these creations at Ted Talks and in organisations I was working with. Of course, like many of us I couldn’t draw! Yet, with a fair degree of enthusiasm and eagerness, my wife, Mary, and I signed up and left the experience feeling inspired and motivated. Emer is a great tutor and facilitator.  

I sang praises of the course to my colleagues, and used the techniques everywhere I could, developing my own characters and reading far and wide on the subject; I even wrote a short piece for Emer at the beginning of the year on how it had helped drive sales and my work with executives. I was on a roll. The universe gave me a hint that I should maybe slow down, but I ignored it and pushed on.  May arrived with the start of the long hot summer of 2018 and a spot of gardening was in order. That was the point the universe decided to help me press “pause”; (if you haven’t yet read Pause by Danielle Marchant I’d recommend it). My “pause” came in the form of a heart attack, followed quickly by quadruple bypass surgery and a long road to recovery.

 

To say this came as a major shock, is an understatement – totally unpredicted, and as a non-smoker, non-drinker (mostly), not especially overweight and with a very busy life, I never expected that at all – I needed to make sense of it all.

 

I turned to drawing and used the techniques I’d learnt from Emer plus the development work I’d done over the previous months, to begin to sketch out cartoons on how I felt and what it was like. Deliberately I left the cartoons as just images – I gave them a title and that’s all, a narrative would evolve.

Coming as such a shock, so unexpected, the first cartoon was obvious – “out of the blue” and reflects the suddenness of the events of that May bank holiday weekend, the extent and impact, the sense of shock and awe, and the potential loss of everything I’d held close. 

IP Dave Fardoe Fardoe.Dave@gmail.com

Tune in next month for the next instalment of Dave’s story…
All comments/feedback most welcome. 

Guest post: Living on the Edge

Guest post: Living on the Edge

Today’s article from Helene Jewell, a professional facilitator from Bristol,
illustrates beautifully the energy and movement of facilitation.
  

‘For some the idea of standing up in front of an eager (or maybe not so eager) group of people may be utterly horrifying. For others, it’s not such a big deal, it’s just one of those things you might have to do as a part of your job. And for people like me, there’s an element of living slightly on the edge that means we absolutely love it! We come in all shapes and sizes, and are not necessarily extroverts or performers, of attention seekers. I think it’s more simple than that, we like problem solving in the moment, in the here and now, throwing ourselves in a bit at the deep end.

I don’t love doing talks, and I don’t love being put on the spot to “perform” in front of a group. I don’t even love taking part sometimes. But what I do love is creating a process that gets a group of people all in the same room working together to create, discuss, review, reflect or plan something. I get excited creating the plan, digging deep into my creative brain to see what tools and techniques I can use to make the process the best it can be.

But what gives me a real buzz is thinking on my feet on the day. Facilitation is like that, more so than training in that you are inviting people to be a part of the process you have designed. The substance of the information circulating in the room comes from the participants, not you. But by involving the group, by making it theirs you are inviting the possibility for things to go not quite as you planned. You can allow time for a discussion to come to fruition, but you never really know how long it will take. You can never be certain what issues may arise or what conflicts need to be addressed before you can move on. You can never know what kinds of ideas may emerge and how much conversation they will elicit. People may take a very long time to reach agreements or make decisions and you might need to pull something out of your back pocket to move this along. You also have to deal with the ever- present monster of time.

 

Flexibility and ability to think on your feet is crucial for a facilitator, for me it keeps me focused and makes me dig deep. I always learn new things and I am never, ever bored.

 

Do you enjoy thinking on your feet, with the possibility of sudden twists and turns, or do you like it when things go exactly according to plan?

She approaches facilitation with creativity, enthusiasm and energy combined with a healthy dose of process, structure and robust communication. She facilitates workshops, team away days and events. To find out more visit www.jewellfacilitation.com