I AM ... SO-ME


 Marian @ Krysan


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



We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

– George Bernard Shaw



I   A M   ...   S O - M E

Marian Moore


  • Saturday 10 October 2015
  • World Mental Health Day 2015
  • Time to Change & So-me launch
  • Imperial War Museum, London


Neither do men put new wine into old bottles; else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved.  

— Matt. 9:17

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, 
  • Welcome to my world.

This, my friends, is a blog written on the theme of change when there is no other choice.  The blog has been inspired by my personal memories of a mental health event at the Imperial War Museum in London, yesterday - the day before World Mental Health Day 2015.  I say 'personal memories' as each and every one of the sixty invited guests from around the country would inevitably leave the building at close of play with their own view of the proceedings.  

That's how life works.  We are all different.

For the record, I enjoyed everything and everybody.   This was another memorable So-me experience for me.  Here, for your further edification, is just one of the many Tweets winged into the wired world on the morning after the event in question: @KeithWinestein:  Everyone stands together in a circle of love and trust. We glimpse a rainbow: we have dignity in mental health."  Marian @Krysan1 

 A rainbow signifies healing. 

Change when there is no other choice


As intended, the wired world buzzed with life during the entire event as our honoured guests entered fully into the spirit of the occasion and recorded their thoughts and feelings in bite-sized chunks (Tweets) as the programme unfurled.  

This was indeed the honest (and instant) feedback which the So-me concept encourages - from a multitude of different voices come a multitude of different perspectives.

It was audience participation at its very best.  And, it wasn't just the wired world that buzzed ... the whole room was alight with excitement as old friendships were cemented and new one's formed.  My observation is that this new creative alliance between Time to Change and So-me cannot fail but to take us far in promoting the anti-stigma message.

A burst of pure energy lit up the fourth floor of the Imperial War Museum and I have no doubt that hearts and minds were transformed by the intimate real-life stories that were freely shared around on this day. If I may make so bold as to remark, this old world of ours is in a very sorry state and So-me (like Time to Change) is undoubtedly humanitarian in its intent. The cavalry has arrived.  I salute you.

This is change when there is no other choice.  Ask me.

The adaptable mind

Creativity, imagination, initiative.

For too long formal education (in this and other places around the world) has produced convergent thinkers when what humankind needs to survive its difficulties is divergence - the encouragement of our young to think outside the box of the mundane.  As many have learned to their cost, conventional wisdom (going along with the crowd) is not always the best way ahead.  Business as usual is not an option.

In the dark days of the 1980s, Enterprise in People was a slogan used by chalk-face teachers who took the lead, risked all and shook the staid, unchanging world of schooling to its very roots. And things did change; we now take the enterprise culture for granted.  Since then Wellbeing in Education has become, at long last, accepted and acceptable.  As back-up, a Strengths-based Approach is taking hold within and without the education system.  In 2015, convergence is loosing its grip.

A new wave of innovative teachers are trying their best to 'broaden and build' a school curriculum to suit the needs of the 21st Century child - to move her from Average to A+.  But, there's more.  I invite you, my friends, to check out this short film on Vimeo.  Called The Adaptable Mind, the video explores the Character Strengths (the soft skills) we all need in order to flourish as 21st Century human beings, the first being the strength of 'curiosity', the second 'creativity', the third 'initiative' ... 


If you like this video, please share.  And do note that the implications of the So-me concept for promoting a new kind of learning and living are vast.  Life-changing and life-enhancing, this is the product of curiosity, creativity, and initiative.  

Even, genius.  

Playing to your strengths

Service to others.

As a seasoned Time to Change campaigner and champion - I have taken part in many interesting 'human to human' conversations throughout England, each being a brave attempt to help combat the stigma and discrimination that comes with ignorance of the 'facts of the matter'.  But this was (and is) different!  

So-me is a a brand new creative concept, giving an entirely new flavour to being 'up close and personal' in one-to-one conversations - with perfect strangers. Fully briefed, the See-me volunteers thrive in the certain knowledge that they are in safe hands.  As already mentioned, the guests too are chosen with care.  People on a mission.

Having a mission in life to serve others is commendable.  In the course of the event, I spoke briefly to senior NHS people from Liverpool, including to my entire delight some 'Scouse' Peer Support Workers. I shared a few words with an open-hearted art student from Romania, even discovering a soul-mate in a gentleman from the Bank of England. This is a British institution fondly known in the City of London as The Old Lady of Thread Needle Street.

This reminds me, old age comes to us all!  It is as well, my friends, to take steps to play to your strengths.  That means first of all identifying them. To this end, I recently took the VIA Strengths Test at the behest of two positive psychologists, Miriam Akhtar and Chris Johnstone.  I can report back that the result was spot on, with 'zest for life' being my top 'signature strength' - good news! This VIA tool (like So-me) is a work of pure genius.  Useful to all.  

As a well-meaning prompt, here is a bit of advice followed by a link you would be well-advised to home in on - whatever your age and circumstance.  It comes to you with good heart and in good faith.  I have no other motive than to help in the building of a better world one person at a time.  The challenge.  Take the test.

"We believe individuals that know their unique character strengths contribute more to a healthy, thriving society.  It is our mission to fill the world with greater virtue - more wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence.  We offer the free VIA Survey so that every individual can learn what makes them unique and special and ultimately lead more honest, authentic lives.  Join us in our quest to strengthen the world by strengthening each individual."  VIA Mission Statement.


Safe hands.  Fresh eyes.

Love, truth, justice.

For thirty years, I was a police officer's wife and I am only too well-aware of the many and complex demands on our so-called 'thin blue line'.  As a former 'police family', we are - forever and a day - totally committed to the spread of love, truth and justice.  

These are not simply empty words, but are our lived experience.  

The entire audience rose to the occasion magnificently when I and several other participants took the floor early on to speak our truth clearly and with convictiion.  Everyone has a story to tell - even the Imperial War Museum, itself!  Check it out and be amazed at the history of yet another British institution and its long association with mental health.

But, to get back to the task in hand, this is my take on 'sweet conversation':

"Looking back, the two people who most influenced me as a young person were my husband's mother and someone I worked for.  She was a home-maker; he was a head-teacher. Despite the differences in educational attainment, job descriptions and life-styles, they were bound by a common humanity: a love of the preciousness of everyone. In addition, they were quite (quite!) clear on matters of love, truth and justice. Spontaneous, natural and joyful conversations ensued.  Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. TZ

"These sweet conversations are long-remembered not just for the wisdom imparted, but also for the humour shared, this conveyed by the twinkling eyes (of the one) and the quizzical lift of an eyebrow (of the other).  On them, I tried everything out for size as I delicately explored and happily practised the art (and science) of classroom teaching. I had found my calling and my niche - so why wouldn't I be happy?

"For the entire 25-year span of my teaching career, I was encouraged, supported and counselled by gifted mentors. They also listened attentively ... with eyes, ears, heart (and mind).  Moves mountains. Ask me.  When minds meet, they don't just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, and engage in new trains of thought. TZ

"Research (and anecdotal evidence) informs us that public speaking sits near the top of life's most feared challenges.  This brings me yet again to today's innovative young people, friends who stand tall and straight to speak out on issues often in variance with the 'conventional wisdom' in matters related to the mind. Their immediate task is to hone to perfection a powerful method of communication, the art (and science) of public speaking.

"As they go about learning their craft, they are also practising listening and conversational skills. Inevitably, they are the creators and collaborators of a changing world - each and every one making a difference. Conversation doesn't just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards."  - MARIAN MOORE & THEODORE ZELDIN

And, that's what our conversations were all about today at the Imperial War Museum in London - creating alternative (divergent) So-me ways of looking at the sometimes messy, but always fascinating world of mental health. Human rights activist Martin Luther King raised the game for all of us when he said, ‘I think it’s important to keep an eye on the prize, and the prize is the experience of the one-ness of life'.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

  • We shall not cease from exploration
  • And the end of all our exploring
  • Will be to arrive where we started
  • And know the place for the first time.


And this is where I take my leave with enough said (for now!).  Thank you for joining me.  See you next time.  Oh! and many thanks to Oz Osborne of the Outsider's CIC for the unexpected invitation - honoured and grateful to be So-me ... so uniquely me ... So-me. 

  • Marian @ Krysan
  • Happiness & Wellbeing Consultant
  • e. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • t. @Krysan1



Jesus said to his followers:

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight.  But even the hairs of your head are all counted.  Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows."  

Luke 12:6-7




For more about SO-me, this time at the Sage, Gateshead, please go to:






As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives."  

– Henry David Thoreau

"We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.  The world henceforth will be run by synthesisers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely."  

- E O Wilson, Evolutionary Biologist

"Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away". 

- Dinah Maria Mulock Craik



Reflection 277


Incomparable Safety

This is not acting from a position of weakness. To be space for the other is a position of enormous strength. The Incomparable Safety! (Douglas Harding. On Having No Head. DVD.)


Warm wishes

Richard Lang





(1)  We all have a song in our hearts - JOSEF Locke.  



(2)  The Outsiders CIC - Open for Business  


 (3)  1,435 hits at 2016-07-18







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