Marian @ Krysan


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



"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed."

Herman Melville (1819 - 1891)


Earth Day Art

Time to Change 



G  E  N  T  L  E     W  A  Y  S



  • Wednesday, 25 February 2015
  • Dear Friends

If you believe, as I do, that (1) organisations can be a source of community and meaning, (2) a vehicle for creating a better world, and (3) a place where human beings can thrive and grow, then this blog is for you.  

  • It's about gentle ways ...
  • And gentle people ...

   Time to Change

Read on ...

"Oh! that gentleness! how far more potent is it than force!"  Charlotte Bronte

Words are said to create worlds and so - after a few preliminaries - I will tell you how I (and one hundred other people) experienced the gentle ways of each other's energy.  This was alongside the considerable know-how of a mental health anti-stigma organisation - a national organisation (unique in the world) aptly named -

Time to Change.  

The event was grandly billed as a Time to Change Champions' Celebration; the appointed place was Birmingham's Midlands Arts Centre (MAC); the chosen day was Monday, 23 February 2015.  And so it was that we descended on Birmingham one wintry Monday morning from strategic points all around the United Kingdom -

North, South, East, and West.

We represented many communities and hence many different cultures and belief systems. Yet, we had two overarching beliefs in common. The first was a firmly-held belief in our common humanity; the second was a burning desire to change out-dated attitudes towards mental ill-health. 

A force to be reckoned with.

But now 'the preliminaries', insights gleaned as the result of my unofficial quest to engage more fully and more scientifically with another (for me) highly creative Time to Change event which again had skilfully contrived to have participants at the right place, at the right time, and in the right frame of mind.  Nothing had been left to chance.  Logistics: incredible.  (TIME TO CHANGE)

Well done all.

   Six Freedoms

Bear with me, my friends ...

It is believed in many enlightened quarters (including mine) that personal and organisational power is liberated or unleashed when certain essential conditions are present for people in organisations.  These conditions are known as the Six Freedoms and any one of the six can significantly impact on how an individual perceives his or her power in an organisation.  The freedoms are:

1.  The Freedom to Be Known in Relationship

2.  The Freedom to Be Heard

3.  The Freedom to Dream in Community

4.  The Freedom to Choose to Contribute

5.  The Freedom to Act with Support

6.  The Freedom to be Positive

Furthermore, because individuals learn differently, it is believed that initiatives that provide the opportunity for people to experience multiple freedoms have the greatest potential to impact the largest number of people - and, ultimately, the organisation as a whole. (APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY)

The TTC Champions' Celebration in Birmingham is hereby identified in hindsight as one such successful initiative meeting all of the six 'freedoms'. 

Again, well done all.

   Golden moments

Now, for the nitty gritty ...

I am a North East storyteller/writer who is constantly on the look-out for life's golden moments - no more and no less. That's my hidden agenda!  But, I certainly wasn't there in the City of Birmingham to take shorthand notes - far from it.  I was there to experience a great day out: a day to be fully enjoyed and fully reflected upon.

Golden moments to be remembered.

The Freedom to be Known in a Relationship took priority for me.  So, my thanks go to the lovely Angela Slater, a Time to Change co-ordinator for inviting me and for sharing hugs. My thanks also go to another lovely Durham friend whose lively, young company I appreciated immensely and this through the whole of the day.

Golden moments to be savoured.

Time to Change put on 'a good show', starting with an entertaining, even 'eventful' journey through time and space with television's Dr. Who and his pretty young assistant.  We learned that Time to Change had first emerged (via the Tardis) onto the mental health scene as a national charity way back in 2007. Significant years, events and people in its history were highlighted, the journey flew by and a good time was had by one and all.

Golden moments to be shared.

Lunch followed and then an hour of workshops from which my companion and I selected 'The Elephant in the Room' as sounding 'interesting'.  And, it was.  It gave us both yet another chance to interact with other Time to Change Champions from around the country. Frank and sometimes upsetting conversations ensued on issues around equality and diversity, these from the people most affected - and most damaged - by stigma and discrimination. And also by the overwhelming pain of traumatic events in their lives. 


This Big Conversation was an opportunity for people to be heard and to contribute.  Freedom to dream and freedom to be positive came in the last hour of the event when all one hundred of us gathered in several small groups for the Big Conversation. In the group I was in, 'the workplace and the family' were identified as presenting great opportunities for rich discussions on mental health; in addition the recent 'Time to Talk Day' was identified as presenting opportunities for tackling stigma and harmful stereotypes, this at grass roots level and nationwide. 

Golden moments powerful beyond measure.

   Appreciative Living

What follows is an enhancement ...

Long ago - before Time to Change - I was tasked with searching out the Golden Moments as experienced by patients and staff on a hospital ward for older people with mental health difficulties.  And, as it turned out, I happened on a method of research called Appreciative Inquiry - a stroke of good fortune. What I learned back then changed my life.

And, how?

For me, Appreciative Inquiry morphed into a positive way of looking at life based on Appreciative Living. Appreciative Living is described as 'an easy to understand, practical approach to help you focus on what’s good and get clear about what you want. And best of all, it takes just a few minutes a day'. 

The result is -

  • Feeling more joy and happiness
  • Having more energy and motivation
  • Making better and smarter decisions
  • Recognizing more opportunities that will move you closer to your dreams.  (APPRECIATIVE LIVING)

A good place to close. Thank you for joining me.


  • Sincerely yours
  • Marian @ Krysan
  • Working for the World



   Links to websites (five star) 


(1)   ... time to change ...


(2)   ... appreciative inquiry ...


(3)   ...  appreciative living ...







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"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed."

Herman Melville (1819 - 1891)




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