I want to tell you about something that has helped me. I first heard about Clean Language in early 2013 when my tutor Lea went to a course about it in Austin, Texas. When she returned she invited me to try it. Clean Language aka Symbolic Modelling was first developed to help people with mental health issues but has been found valuable in many applications to encourage clear thinking and self-confidence. What I like about Clean Language: the therapist or facilitator really listens and asks only questions that use the client person's words in phrasing questions. This encourages the person to dig down in their unconscious mind and come up with positive ideas and solutions that they can control. I find this very refreshing and empowering.
I am in touch with world leaders in Clean Language, James Lawley and Penny Tompkins, who are based in London, England. We have conversations using Zoom programs. It feels that they are here in my livingroom, not thousands of miles away. They start by asking me "And what would you like to happen as a result of this session?" I say what's on my mind, and they ask me questions using only my words. Thus they do not put words or ideas in my mind. Nor do they put me down by rephrasing what I say in their words or ideas. I am really engaged in the conversation and I come to see and work out solutions to what might have been bothering me. So I feel in control!
We have had five conversations and recorded both audio and video. My computer program also records my words as text. Afterwards, we may join up all my sentences in a format like a poem. They are all about the struggle between grey and green modes in my body and mind. I am including just a small part of each poem here, as they are quite long. But if you ask me, I could send the full text of one or all the poems. We also have video files which are quite large: I could send you part of a file to get an idea. We also have each poem as an audio file. With my supporters here, I am working on a short film to illustrate Clean Language which I will share with you if you like. Perhaps we’ll be able to organize some training in Ontario for Clean Language facilitators. It’s good to have different people as Clean Language questioners from the people like Judi and Jesse who support my typing.
I know we Bridges friends feel for one another. I wish with all my heart that each of you finds something that works for you like Clean Language does for me.
My green comes from my heart
AB 20 Jul 2018 (a green day)
I want to be able to get out of my grey mode:
I do not like to be grey; it feels like hell.
I am happy now and want to stay this way.
It feels good to be happy and green.
My green comes from my heart.
My heart is clean and free from all
of my worry and free from my loss.
When I reach into my heart,
it is like going into a long tunnel
to get the happy feelings out.
The hopeful feelings
just before I am green again
are always in my heart.
I just need to grab them.
I have to think I am blessed.
My family and my home and good life
are my blessings;
I need to remind myself.
Then I can work at getting myself
to the green place I need to be.
I tell myself I am a good man
and Andrew John Bloomfield the third,
the runner and green man.
That’s who I am.
I feel like I can take on the world
when I voice those words
but I need to live it out.
I am trying to live it out every day.
From a pit of hell
AB, 25 Aug 2018 (a very grey day)
I am in a pit of hell now
that I would like to climb out of.
This is a grey time that needs to be flushed away.
It is like I am stuck here
and I cannot make myself move.
The sky is above me and the stars
but I cannot see them when I am in the pit.
I want to see the sunshine again and blue skies.
I want to go to sleep and wake up with a clear mind.
Then I am in my green space and
feel like I can breathe again.
My only strength right now
is love in my heart that
I feel needs to be released.
I want to share my feelings and ideas with others
and be someone who can help not take.
It is important to me to give.
The strength in my heart becomes bigger and stronger
and I have more to share with my friends and family.
I am so blessed to have each of them in my life:
all the people in my life are different and unique.
I find the strength I need to grab on and climb up.
I am going to keep climbing and try to get green.
My future endeavours
AB 25 Sep 2018 (faintly green)
My home helps me to feel safe and secure.
I am happy when I have
my family and friends by my side,
my green oasis in my backyard,
when I am surrounded by my paintings,
and have music in my life,
my canine companions,
and my community as well as
my communication devices.
I feel all those things in my heart.
It is a heart that can give love to everyone
and there is plenty to go around.
It gives people joy and fills my heart with joy.
I have a heart that is full;
I feel refreshed and I am happy.
I want to talk about my future endeavours,
So I can still live here in my home
where I have all the things
that help me feel safe and secure.
I need to figure out a plan
for me to be supported ongoing……
The great escape
AB 24 Oct 2018 (a good green day)
I like being green.
Green is a great place to be,
here with all of you.
When I am green
I want to forget about being grey.
It is hell.
It is a place I do not want to return to.
When I am in the deep dark hole,
I am trapped and stuck and cannot get out.
A type of force is keeping me there.
It tries to control me.
It wants to be in charge of my body.
But then that force weakens
and I take that opportunity to get out.
I see a little bit of light high up in the sky
that shines down in the deep dark hole.
The light is close to my true self
that is in my heart and my head.
I run towards it.
The light weakens the force
and helps me to find my path
back up to the green mode again.
When I see the light is weakening that force,
I can feel it in me getting strength back.
The light throws down vines into the hole.
I break free and I run to the vine
and grab a hold of it.
I try to take advantage of that
to make the great escape.
Words and images by Andrew Bloomfield
in response to Clean Language questions
by James Lawley and Penny Tompkins