Stressed Out Neighbours

My neighbours attacked me as I walked up the street!

There's a couple living up the street from me, and most of the time, we all just go about our business, more or less like ships in the night.

This couple, however, are possibly the most dedicated parents I have ever come across, and are incredibly physically protective of their offspring... to the extent that they saw me as some kind of threat the other day, and literally attacked me.

Now, the couple in question are seagulls, and they are raising their child on top of a chimney, which is precarious to say the least (no judgement here - I used to give mine a load of cardboard boxes and sharpies to build stuff by way of a birthday event)

But here's the thing. Last year, their chick fell off the chimney. Seagulls, by the way, are monogamous, and often mate for life, using the same locations over and over to raise their young. I remember this young gull chick walking around, trilling piteously for his parents, as they took turns to dive bomb residents, and walk anxiously by his side.

I don't know if they managed to finish raising him, or if one of the plentiful urban foxes got him. But what I do know, is that they're taking no risks with this year's baby.

Why, you might be wondering, am I telling you about the seagulls of my neighbourhood?

Well, think about it.

These seagulls are pretty peaceable neighbours most of the year. (I grew up in the countryside, btw. My first friends were animals, and I've always thought of them as neighbours, rather than possessions or intruders)

So, my first thought, as I dived under the canopy of a shrub to avoid the very deliberate and sustained attack, was that they must be super stressed this year.

I then did my best Sean Connery / Dr. Jones impression and pulled an umbrella from my bag to ward them off.

Okay... it wasn't that dramatic. No seagulls were harmed in the making of my escape. 

But here's the thing. A lot of people are operating under constant, pervasive stress at some level. They respond accordingly.

Now, I can't hold a workshop or webinar for seagulls to help them explain how their brains are operating in response to the perceived threat of me walking round a corner. Not enough of them have zoom accounts.

However, it works a treat on people. Being able to understand what our brain is trying to do, and how we can take simple, practical actions to help manage our responses and resources for better options and outcomes is.... a no-brainer.

Typically, when I'm talking to people the topics we cover include
- communication
- effectiveness
- change
- wellbeing
- creative thinking and clarity

We look at how the brain impacts these aspects of our lives, and how we can influence how the brain is working in relation to them.

At the end of the day, it's not rocket science. But it is brain science. And you may never need to launch a rocket, but I can guarantee you, you'll need to use a brain.

Look, I know, I'm like a broken record. But honestly, you can't begin to make change unless you know how what you're changing works. This is nuts and bolts stuff - basics, that we should all know. And OMG, does it make a difference.

I'm always available to chat about my work as a 'brain explainer' - so, if you see people you know in the seagull story, give me a shout.

I'll show you the best shrubs to hide under ;)

PS - despite being unable to host workshops for the Gull family, I will be accommodating them by walking round the other side of the block for a few weeks. I think that will be better for everyone :)