Marian @ Krysan


Planting Golden Seeds in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and Durham



"I believe the greatest gift I can conceive of having from anyone is to be seen by them, heard by them, to be understood and touched by them. The greatest gift I can give is to see, hear, understand and to touch another person. When this is done I feel contact has been made,"  

 - Virginia Satir (1916 - 1988)







Surprised by Tenderness



 Tenderness ...

According to my family's old and tattered 1933 copy of 'Nuttall's Popular Dictionary of the English Language (based on the labours of the most eminent lexicographers)' the word tenderness has several meanings:

  • sensibility
  • kind attention
  • scrupulousness
  • care not to injure

A feather on the breath of God.

Tenderness is an adjective describing an ancient strength* that I haven't used in a long while, that is until I was moved nearly to tears this week by an overwhelming tenderness towards the challenges of others (and myself). One such occasion is hidden in plain sight within this short 300-word blog, a story intended to call attention to how and why three NTW NHS governors spoke their truth on matters related to the oft-hidden story of disability - a feather on the breath of God.

  • 9 December 2014

Research (and anecdotal evidence) informs us that public speaking sits near the top of life's most feared challenges. Yet, once again, I found myself looking fear squarely in the eye to speak out publicly on serious issues in mental health. I started my talk with a short story, a story designed to make people think about their inner world.  These are truly words full of wisdom and worth sharing.  

A grandfather was talking to his grandson, telling him, "I have two wolves barking inside of me. The first wolf is filled with anger, hatred, bitterness and mostly revenge. The second wolf inside of me is filled with love, kindness, compassion and mostly forgiveness." "Which wolf do you think will win?" the young boy inquired. The grandfather responded, "Whichever one I feed."

We are all stakeholders in the circle of life.

That aside, my observations as a participant observer are that the entire event was underpinned by (1) a respect for all present, (2) for the dignity of the occasion, and (3) due regard to research into the value of conversational meetings. For me, we hit the target in that the event was:

  • Inclusive, 
  • Participatory, and 
  • Conversational.

At the outset, the scene was beautifully set as if for a theatrical performance and three governors (including me) 'followed the music' and rose to the occasion to speak our truth. Our talks were around current mental health challenges and their implications for the wellbeing of individuals, families, communities, and the nation. Even the World. We spoke, with one pure voice, about stigmatising attitudes towards disability, touching upon labelling, language, medication, and stereotyping.  

As intended, the programme provided a sound base for one-to-one conversations around an over-arching theme of Equality and Diversity. This is a sensitive subject for any organisation to tackle. It takes courage, insight, collaboration and safe hands. This was a brave attempt at something brand new which gave everyone a say and which might well set a pattern for the future.

Make Ripples.

  • I can make Ripples on my pond of life,
  • Not the waves and foam of personal strife.
  • I can be reflective and stop to think,
  • See the calmed mirrored surface, then sip a drink.
  • Know that my Ripples reach someone's shore,
  • That Ripples of love return to me once more,
  • Causing reflections that I can see,
  • In the Infinite Ocean of Eternity ...

Make a difference; be the change.

  • Marian Moore
  • Governor for Older People's Service

And so, for your kind (and tender) attention, the above is one (unofficial) account of an event where three governors 'summoned up the blood and stiffened the sinews' to tell the oft-hidden story of disability - their way! I should add that we, the speakers, were sustained throughout by trusted colleagues, all elected governors of the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW).  See link below.


Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt the power of a small group of people to change the world. Nothing else ever has.” Mahatma Gandhi was even more insistent: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”


  • A Common Humanity.
  • Surprised by Tenderness.


 Principles of living ...

I turn now to an editorial taken from the final issue of Reality, a home-spun mind, body, spirit magazine created solely for the website at its inception more than six years ago. The editorial was written some years into the start-up, but like much else on this website has stood the test of time.  It too tells a story, a story worth re-telling. (See PUBLISHING for more).

Rehabilitating the human spirit.

Dear Friends

"What will you do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Now, that’s a good question. To my way of thinking a satisfying and potentially happy life requires sound principles of living, including the courage and determination to maintain ethical, loving relationships with the people around us.

I know that every successful approach to rehabilitating the human spirit after emotional helplessness and emotional suffering requires giving up hateful and destructive attitudes towards oneself and others and ultimately replacing them with positive, creative, empowering, and especially loving attitudes and values.

Moreover, all the happy, satisfied and successful people that I know almost invariably believe that there is something going on in the universe that is beyond their individual selves. And, of course, there are infinite ways to interpret what it means to become responsible and loving, and to live by sound ideals.

Here are some principles of life – just a few - that might help.

  • Love is joyful awareness. Love life – people, animals, nature, gardening, art and music, sports and exercise, literature, God – anything and anyone that brings you a joyful awareness of the wonder of being a living creature in a world far greater than ourselves. 
  • Gratitude satisfies the spirit. Be grateful for all that you love and if you cannot think of anyone or anything to love, then be grateful you still have a chance to love. Be especially grateful for the opportunity to help and to serve other people.
  • Gratitude is the antidote to self-pity. Feeling sorry for oneself is ruinous. Especially don’t fall into believing that we live in the worst of times. It takes little imagination to know how much worse it has been for other people in previous ages and even now in other places. Be grateful for this life.
  • Ethics guide the good life. Put ethics and principles above pleasure, convenience, safety, income, career, your presumed place in the world, and the way others view you. Living a principled life is the key to a satisfying life.

To sum up, there are few who would disagree that everything good requires courage. Find the courage to love, to be grateful, and to live by sound ethics. Especially be brave enough to speak honestly and to stand straight when you are afraid.

Now, what will you do with your one wild and precious life?

  • Season's Greetings
  • Marian


  • A Common Humanity.
  • Surprised by Tenderness.


 Links to Resources .. 

Three useful websites:








"We all have ancient strengths inside of us that we may not know about until we are truly challenged."  ~ Martin Seligman


Candle for cancer 


“I am cradling the hope meanwhile, as in the light of a flame.” 

~ Lorraine Nicholson 




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