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!

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Endurance

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“ENDURANCE

…it is the spirit which can bear things, not simply with resignation but with blazing hope. It is the quality which keeps a man on his feet with his face to the wind. It is the virtue which can transmute the hardest trial into glory because beyond the pain it sees the goal”

by William Barclay

Some years back a client sent me a card in which she quoted these words. I came across them again today.

It is not only the mountain-climbers of this world, the Olympic athletes –  people like Edmund Hillary or Mo Farah – who can exercise endurance. Most of us can only watch these heroes from the sidelines. But all of us have our own mountains, and the quality of endurance – just putting the next foot in front of the other – can hold us to the tasks of our own life to get us through.

Don’t give up. Keep doing the next thing in front of you. And if you’re still struggling, ask for help. Counselling means that, for a time at least, you are not tackling this particular bit of mountain on your own.

This client of mine made this discovery. She said it changed her life.

Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash

Noticing

Noticing issnowdrops a great help in life.
We often miss what is around us because we are preoccupied by what is going through our mind.

And on the other hand we can go through life with our inward eyes shut, even when our outward ones are open.

Awareness of the different processes that make up our moments and movement through life is surprisingly difficult to cultivate. A lot of counselling work is about giving attention to things inside: thoughts, feelings and resources that we have previously ignored, or put aside, or of which we have had no awareness. Re-integrating them into our consciousness can make our life feel more whole and healthy.

Giving compassionate attention to neglected parts of ourselves can be helpful and freeing. Sometimes we might fear this process, but there are ways in which counselling can help it become a healing one.

Counselling is based on the principle that, given the right conditions, living things will begin to flourish, and grow towards the light. Acknowledging what is within with new awareness and acceptance begins with the small step of noticing.

 

Counselling room in Kington

New Premises in Kington

I am delighted to have opened my new counselling premises in Kington this month (October 2016). My new rooms are fully accessible for people with mobility difficulties (unless you have a very large motorised wheelchair, in which case please contact me beforehand to check with me). The rooms are quiet and discreet, warm and comfortable. My thanks to The Garth Care Services, who own the premises, for their help and encouragement in getting this facility set up.

If there other counsellors or therapists in the area who might be interested in using these premises, please contact me using the form on this website.