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Finding Silence

Come to the Bleddfa Centre on Saturday 12th October for Finding Silence, a day retreat based on the book of that name by Bleddfa’s founder, James Roose-Evans.

From now until the retreat day, I will be featuring excerpts from James’s book. I hope you will find in it, as I have done, a medicine for the soul in busy and stressful times. Let it take you on a different journey…

Details about the retreat can be found here

A Way In

Inviting all counsellors and psychotherapists
to explore with me how a Focusing-oriented approach can transform client work.

My next workshop is in Hereford on 21st September 2019.

Focusing: A Way In

Would you like to:

  • enable clientsto engage more compassionately with themselves?
  • gently holdand enable those moments in therapy when clients connect to their own inner process?
  • facilitate inner reconciliationwhen clients’ emotional states are in tension with one another?
  • be yourselfmore fully Present to all aspects of your clients’ being in the moment?
  • trust and engagewith the client’s own embodied, implied movement towards healing?
  • recognizeand work with different parts of the client’s embodied self to help them  be acknowledged, feel safe, and to change?

This is exciting and beautiful work!

I hope you can join me.

Click the image for further information and to book your place now –

or contact me by phone

07795 324575

0r email:

elizabethjhalls @ gmail.com

Cost: £50 including lunch and refreshments (£45 early bird before 12th August).

0930 coffee/registration for 10.00-4.00 workshop

 

 

When you are the music…

 

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I have been exploring with a client what it means to feel wholly present in an action and in the moment of it. This might be a good description of Maslow’s ‘Self-actualisation’, which the great Carl Rogers saw as ‘the curative force in psychotherapy – man’s tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities…the urge to express and activate all the capacities…of the self’.

Ponder this for a moment. Are there times when you feel this for yourself, or sense it in others?

It might be when someone:

*cooks food with a sort of alchemic magic

*responds to children with real connection, or finds a creative way to explain to them something they couldn’t understand before

*solves a dispute by some calm way of standing with and between both sides

*finds the funny thing to say that’s not sarcastic or hurtful

*trains and bonds as one with dogs or horses, as in agility or dressage

*takes an engine apart and puts it together again with an almost-intuitive understanding of what was wrong

*paints or sculpts or writes a poem that captures an essence of something

*feels completely at one with the spirit of a particular place

*listens to a piece of music or plays a musical instrument with soul, heart, mind engaged (“You are the music while the music lasts”[1]),

*runs, cycles, swims, hang-glides, skates with innate ease

*or just feels totally relaxed in the moment

and all of these being felt with a sense of freedom, connection, joy, laughter.  And what might be a chore for one could be joy for another: uniquely an expression and experiencing of them as a whole person, apart from anyone else. This is different from just being good at something, and is not competitive. It is not about being the best. Nor does it define a person – it is just an outward living flow of them at that moment. It is a moment of integration between the essence of a person and them living it in life.

In the film, Chariots of Fire, Eric Lidl says, ‘God made me, and he made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.’ Whether or not you believe in God is immaterial in sensing the unity between Lidl’s running and the essence of him engaged in that.

So what stops you from allowing your Self to be present in your outer life? I guess fear, and that can have many tentacles, one of which is the fear of self-indulgence. But to be more yourself means that you have more of yourself to give to others.

[1] T.S.Eliot, in The Dry Salvagesfrom The Four Quartets

How good are you?

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I have a list of words, I’ve recently discovered, that I like to think fit my personality. It’s quite long. Here is the start of it:

Good, kind, powerful, strong, intelligent, spiritual, generous, funny, interesting, brave, selfless, refined, right, calm….

You get the picture?

If I’m honest, it’s quite hard to maintain this all the time!

Unfortunately, I’ve also discovered that I have a second list. It’s not what I like to think fits me, but it is what I have the potential to be and am at times. It’s also long. It starts like this:

Bad, unkind, vulnerable, weak, stupid, materialistic, mean, dull, boring, timid, selfish, crass, wrong, angry…

You get that picture too?

The good news is, I don’t actually have to choose between List A and List B. They’re both part of what I am as a human being – surprise, surprise! How hard is it for us to accept that!

What a relief to be able to look at the second list and say, ‘Yes, I’m all of this, too’ – just not all the time.   And to say, ‘Yes, I can be the stuff in the first list – just not all the time.’ It’s enough to accept that I’m a work in progress.

Accepting the ‘shadow’ side of myself gives me a more honest and authentic place on which to stand and relate to myself and others.  I can relax from the fear of ‘getting it wrong’. Of course I’ll get it wrong. But this isn’t a fixed state to be judged by – just part of the flow. So when I look in the inner mirror, I don’t have to ‘breathe in’, metaphorically. I can say hello to my own self, just as I am, and start from there.

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So I just invite you to let yourself off the hook from being perfect, and whatever it means to be ‘right’, and just be content to be human. It’s a very good, honest starting point for being more at ease with yourself and others. Good things follow!

10 Things about Focusing – TEN – Make the choices you really want

CHOICE! How easy is it for you?

Does it feel open, as if one of many colours would be OK? 

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Or does it feel heavy with consequences, win or lose?

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Do you find it difficult to make some decisions, especially big ones?

Do you get worried you will upset someone or get their disapproval by choosing to do (or not do) a particular thing? 

Do you find it difficult to know what you really want?

Do you worry about making the ‘wrong’ choice?

If so, you will know how it feels to keep revolving the choices round and round in your head without finding an answer. 

Believe me, there is a way to find out and actively choose what is really best for you. It comes from inside of you, and if it is right for you, it will be right for everyone else around you. 

It took me a long time in my life to realise this. I would reach a inner sense of peace that a decision felt ‘right’ for me, but then it would be assailed by another part of me that simply feared ‘I will get this wrong’, looking outside, to other people who cared about me, society – or even God himself – to have the ultimate judgement on whether I was doing the right thing or not. And I often felt frozen and trapped in this pincer.

If you recognise any of this, I would like to tell you this:

Focusing helps you leave behind these choppy seas, where your boat is being tossed by every wind and wave that comes its way. It helps you drop anchor deep within yourself and enables you to explore clearly what are the real choices and what they mean to you. Focusing helps you connect with ALL the parts of you involved in the decision – those that want something, and those that are frightened of wanting or taking it, as well as those that are practical about it. You will be able to listen to all of them and honour all parts of the equation, whatever you eventually decide. And the part of you that fears ‘the wrong choice’ will feel a bit – maybe even a lot – safer.

Focusing really can help you find a way through this place of being stuck. Find a new freedom! Call me on 07795 324575 to find out more.

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10 Things about Focusing – NINE – finding your good energy

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

‘When one’s good energy is missing, one can go inwardly looking for it and come to sense a kind of ‘where’ – a subjectively touchable “place” where it is tied up.’

(Eugene Gendlin (1996) Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy)

Focusing is not just about being with the more difficult emotions we feel, but allowing the full sense of our positive emotions to be present to us. Take time, when something good happens in the day, to let it arrive in you.

10 Things about Focusing – EIGHT: SLEEP

Have trouble getting to sleep? Wake up in the night with things going round and round in your head?

Are you doing the proper sleep hygiene – turning off mobile devices, not drinking alcohol, before bed, and STILL lying awake?

Focusing can help with that.

cat sleeping
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Focusing can help with the over-active part of your brain that wants to keep on thinking the worry-thoughts (or planning-thoughts or To-Do-Thoughts) over and over again. It does this by connecting with the Worried, Planning or To-Doing part of yourself that is driving your brain to keep going through the night trying to resolve the unresolvable. From a place of Self-in-Presence (our calm centre) we can help your hyped-up brain to let go, go to sleep to do the real work it needs to do while we recharge our batteries.

With my clients I use and teach a helpful sleep technique which was developed by my supervisor, but Ann Weiser Cornell also does an excellent sleep audio recording, which I thoroughly recommend to help you slip off into slumber. It’s comfortingly called Soothing Restful Sleep and you can try it HERE