But luckily

For as long as I can remember, holding a smooth pebble in my hand has always helped to ground me in times of anxiety, particularly through my long term suffering from emetophobia. It helped me so much that some time ago, I started decorating pebbles with very simple flower designs and inspirational words to hide around the village where I live for people to find, hoping it would bring joy in some way to others too.

In March 2021, I attended a Speakman’s workshop in Bristol. On that day, not only did Nik and Eva cure me of my emetophobia, but they introduced me to the simple two-word phrase ‘But Luckily’. I could never have imagined how these simple words could have so much power!

Since that day, I have been using and promoting ‘But Luckily’ in my everyday life and what better way to do that than by adding the words to my pebble hobby? I work as a Teaching Assistant in a Senior school and decided that I would test this simple but very effective technique with the pupils, so my pebbles, (with their new words brightly painted) made their debut. One pupil was crying in a lesson. She explained that her music test had not gone as well as she hoped. I had a chat with her and explained how the technique works.

The idea is that whenever we say anything negative add, “but luckily” to the end of the sentence. For example, “It’s raining today, but luckily, I have an umbrella” or “I have a stinking cold and can’t go out, but luckily, there is a great film on that I want to watch”. You can even have a bit of fun with it and get everyone in the family to join in. If someone says something negative shout, “But luckily” and they have to finish the sentence with a positive twist. It becomes so much easier to stop and think, then realise that there is always a positive way to look at any situation. 

With this in mind, I reminded my pupil that her test may not have gone so well, ‘but luckily’ she will get another chance to do it again! I gave her a pebble which made her smile and now every time I see her, she shows me that she carries the pebble in her blazer pocket! 

Another pupil, was doing her mock GCSE’s. She was really anxious about the upcoming maths exam. I gave her a ‘but luckily’ pebble, explained how the technique works and said ‘I know you are worried about the exam today, but luckily, by lunchtime, it will all be over’. Later on in the day, this pupil’s tutor told me that she had said the pebble and my words had grounded her completely and from then on, she has visited me every morning before lessons start for a ‘but luckily’ chat to set her up for the day!

Who would have thought that using two simple words could make such a difference to so many? Today may be a bad day, but luckily, tomorrow will be better!

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