Guides

On Making Space For Yourself

Feeling a lack of space in life is often felt through body sensations. When we feel there isn’t room for anything else or anymore we feel compressed internally, jammed up, jammed in; full. A kind of rigidity or a sense of being braced. Physically we may be tight, tense, holding our breath or not breathing fully. We may feel squashed or restricted across the chest and our throat scratchy or constricted and our jaws might feel tight. All types of holding patterns. Feeling a lack of space in life may be reflected by a lack of spaciousness internally. Without spaciousness…
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On Being Too Busy

I am not busy. This sometimes feels like a dirty secret or a guilty confession within today’s social norm. I have only just released myself from the ‘shoulding’ of busyness. A part of me has been telling myself that I should be doing more with my time, with my life. Busy means to be active and engaged, to not be ‘at leisure’.  I believe that being is also a way to be actively engaged with life. I’m one of those people who looks for the spaces between commitments in their calendar, rather than a person who likes to see they…
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On Struggling

It’s often said we don’t know what someone is struggling with, or battling with and that everyone has their own personal struggle of some kind. Clients often bring something, an issue or problem they are ‘struggling’ with. What do we mean when we say we are struggling with something? That something is hard, challenging or difficult to resolve? That we are coping with a sense of inability to do something ‘well’? That we are trying to make something happen and it’s not? That we are tangled in something and can’t find a way through because we don’t know what to…
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On How We Learn To Not Be Ourself

Much of what we think of as our personality is in fact a collection of strategies we developed as a child for managing everyday life. Many of these become traits we identify with and aren’t really who we are, but a role we took on. Our inner child is a strategist (a strategy being a method to achieve an outcome). As children we learn to behave in certain ways to get our needs met by the caregiver. We learn to comply with their messages about right and wrong, along with cultural and social messages about how we need to be,…
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On Finding Movement in Stuckness

Feeling stuck is a common experience and yet there are different energies within stuckness, so it’s important to explore in depth what someone means when they describe themselves as stuck. We generally have three choices when it comes to a situation. Move away from it, towards it or to stay where we are (standing still). Moving away can be either backing away – withdrawing or contracting  – or heading away and leaving proactively. Towards can be in gentle, welcome invitation and curiosity, or pushing into/against. Staying where we are can bring different emotions depending on our attitude to the position.…
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On Boundaries (Protection and Connection)

Boundaries are a fascinating area to explore in terms of how we show up in the world, how we make our presence felt and how we relate to others whilst relating to ourselves. Boundaries mark the interplay between us and the other, the meeting of the internal and the external. Most of us need to make some adjustment in terms of how we conceive of our boundaries and in implementing them. It astounded me when I first learnt to fly to learn that the sky is divided up into different zones or areas on a flight map, much as the…
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On Not Thinking Negatively

Many people are feeling various low and negative moods at the moment. We can’t do much about how we feel in response to difficult circumstances but we can be aware of how our thinking may be affecting us. The brain has a negativity bias. As Rick Hanson describes it, teflon for good news, velcro for bad news. This is because our system is wired to look for and hook into any perceived risk and threat. Our brains tend to scan for bad news, overly focus on it, overly react to it, over remember it, and become sensitised to it over…
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On Relationship Dynamics

We are relational beings. Our nervous system has a biological imperative to co-regulate itself in the presence of another which provides the feeling of safety. So relationships of course, in theory should feel like safe harbours or solid ground. And yet many experience less harbour and more the sensation of being in a sinking rowing boat, frantically paddling, bailing out water, and bobbing without a rudder in the backwash of a vast honking cruise liner. Frightening, unfathomable and difficult to stay afloat in, So why do relationships so often feel unsafe or unstable? Why do we seem so poorly quipped…
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On Living in a Troubling Time

We all feel the uncertainty; we are living within something that is unpredictable and indefinite in terms of the impact on our lives. It’s important that we take care of ourselves by acknowledging how we are affected by the culture that surrounds us. As we approach the season of drawing into the home, we are already challenged with our world perhaps feeling smaller or limited. Of life feeling flat. We are living through a period of constriction and lack of connection and isolation which has altered the felt experience of everyday life.  Not just in restricted freedom of movement and…
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On Being Kind to Yourself

Our innate human quality is compassion and kindness. In our natural, relaxed state we are warm and caring. Our self is inclusive and allowing. Such qualities expand us towards consideration, generosity and understanding, trust and forgiveness. We have sympathy for suffering.  We like. We are kind. We are love. When we are unhappy or upset we can become tight and sometimes ‘mean’ spirited. Our capacity towards generosity and openness diminishes. We shrink in as our heart suffers; we may close off, down and up. We contract our care as we take on negative or challenging thoughts and feelings. We may…
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