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Monday
Mar052012

Icebergs, writing and the value of non-sense.

Each time I sit down to write a contribution to share here I am amazed by the similarities between icebergs, therapy and the process of writing.

I am usually compelled to write by a sudden impulse or thought  - one that passes quickly if I am too slow to act upon it. I begin where the idea starts - but I frequently end up in another place. The process of writing allows me to shine light, space and words on an idea, thereby bringing it into focus and gaining clarity along the way. The writing ends up being more about the part of the iceberg I cannot initially see rather than what is showing above the waterline.

This is frequently the case in therapy. The people I work with are often bent on making sense ... to the extent that they apologise profusely when they don't think they are managing that task very well. But making sense in a therapy session is not a helpful objective to have. 

It is the effort of 'making sense' that clouds the issues so much so that we are unable to gain clarity for ourselves. The lack of sense provides the greatest insight into what we are trying to tell ourselves.

Therapy is more about where the journey meanders and very little about having a set itinerary and a desired destination. It works even better when the Therapist is able to sew together all the bits of non-sense into helpful reflections ... always listening actively for the wide range of possible messages, the iceberg below the waterline.


sarah xx 

 

Thursday
Mar012012

Where does your value lie?

The person who sees themselves as the victim of any situation usually feels (among other things) a lot of anger and resentment - so much that it burns them up inside, stunts their growth, paralyses their living, disconnects them from life.  They don't have lofty goals; they are not sure where their value sits.

If you see yourself as a victim I wonder if there is another way to view your situation? A way that is more helpful and contributes more effectively to you feeling the way you want to feel about your whole life. 

Perhaps you currently feel like you are getting the dirty end of the deal, being left behind, stuck, imprisoned by the system/boss/finances/choices of others.  Perhaps you are a full-time Mother or Father with a partner who works, gets a lunch break, talks to adults all day, gets an income, has performance reviews, receives a vacation allowance each year, has set hours, status, and gets to leave the house each day at a specific time!

At present you have little to claim as your own - everything is shared with someone else in some way. When you have something that is all yours - like your work, your creativity, your writing, your consulting skills, your labour, your contribution, your own money - you may then see that as evidence of your value and your worth. 

By extension, I wonder if it's possible to see the contribution you make to the world right now as a Mother or Father of (a) beautiful child(ren) as enough - enough to claim your place in the world as valuable. 

I wonder when you will able to see your place in the world as worthwhile and valuable by simply sitting in a chair and being? 

Lofty goals? Why not!?

sarah xx

 

Thursday
Feb232012

The story you tell.

... and the way you live that story - as if it's true - is either creating a life you want, or providing you with a living hell. The cool thing about the story is that you are making it up as you go along. So what happens next is up to you.

Take a look at the role you are writing for yourself:

  • are you the victim?
  • is your crap upbringing your justification for writing more crap into your future?
  • have you been convinced of an undesirable destiny just because your parents didn't enjoy the choices they made?
  • have you accepted someone's judgement on your worthiness to the world instead of deciding upon your own?
  • are you swamped by zillions of reasons for a less-than bright future - made-up reasons to avoid having to make something of yourself and your life?

THIS IS IT! Seriously ... THIS is it!

You get to choose. Make them good ones ... and start today.

sarah xx

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Feb152012

How are you creating the isolation you feel?

Some of you are in unimaginable emotional pain right now. Life is HARD.

If you are feeling alone it might be time to reflect on how, in your pain, you are pushing away the very support you need right now.

Growing up, evolving, learning, experiencing, connecting with others, disconnecting from others, losing jobs/homes/relationships/loved ones/futures/dreams/health/physicality/love - all these things are really, really tough experiences to live through and with.

There is no doubt, that when we are in the midst of our pain, we can feel that we are surrounded by people who don't understand or who say/do the wrong thing in attempting to 'help' us.

At the time, it feels like there is no-one more lonely anywhere on the planet!

We have to be careful at this point to ensure we are not believing this idea of our isolation so much that we are pushing away the people in our lives who love and care about us ... in the process disconnecting ourselves from our support network.

(Sure, they may be the ones saying things that sound empty, cliche, inappropriate or downright stupid - but that does not mean they don't care about us).

What we need most at times like this are our friends, our family, our partners, colleagues, group members - because in most cases, they are the key to our survival.

We can get support from these people in our lives by telling them what we want or do not want from them.

They are not mind readers - I can promise you that. They don't know exactly what we need so they are fumbling around the darkness trying to work it out (often annoying us in the process). Their intentions are good.

But only we know what we really need right now.

We don't have to do this alone. Alone is a choice too! Reach out for help - especially where it's being offered. Do it today.


Sarah xx

 

 

 

 

Sunday
Jan292012

Listen.

I spent the day today with a motivated group of women, who are also mothers, who volunteer in a specialist parenting organisation in my city. The training topic was the skill of real listening.Along with it came the awareness of how little we listen to others, and how little we are listened to.

Five minutes into the training, the faces of the trainees are always the same: a mixture of embarrassment, shame, vulnerability, confusion and mystification. They have just been introduced to a new definition of REAL listening - one that challenges almost everything they believe about what it means to be a good listener.

Few of us have been taught to listen properly. Some are naturally better at it than others. The beauty of attending a training course in the skill is that for the very first time, there is a moment to sit and work out what it feels like to be truly listened to, and how hard it is to provide that gift, hold that space for others.

Listening is often best described by what it is NOT rather than what it is. Resources on good, active listening abound on the internet. Check them out.

To become a better listener yourself, start practising on those around you. See how it feels different for you. See how they respond differently towards you when you listen well.

Then work out who in your life truly listens to you. Those are the people to turn to when you want someone to comfortably, but actively hold the space while you talk yourself through anything and everything troubling you.

Listening is a GIFT ... it is a loving action you can take for your partner, your family, your children (most importantly - then they will learn to listen well too) ... and anyone you share your life with.

There are plenty of people to talk to ... but few who will listen.

sarah xx