I’m introducing another simple reflection tool today, one I met many moons ago when I trained as a life coach. It’s called a Life Wheel, and it’s a good way of taking stock of how life is feeling for you at the moment and why. First, you need to list out the areas of your life that are important to you. The list won’t be the same for everyone, but often includes dimensions like family, friendships, work, learning, physical health, mental health, leisure, finances and home.
Today I want to talk about the third stage of Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development model, which is one way of explaining the phases we move through psychologically as we grow. It’s relevant not only to parents, but to us all, as it can help us understand some of the places we may have got stuck in the past, meaning the same themes play out for us again and again through adult life. Stages 1 & 2 were about developing a sense of trust in the world, and finding autonomy and
I discovered recently that the root of the word alone is all-one. Clarissa Pinkola Estes expresses this beautifully, saying “To be all one meant to be wholly one, to be in one-ness, either essentially or temporarily. That is precisely the goal of solitude, to be all one.” I sense most of us know this experience, to be wholly in the one place, to feel complete, to come home to who and what we truly are. We may find it looking at a beautiful landscape or a tiny flower, or fin
In my twenties, I recall going on a Dale Carnegie training course, and being told ‘seek first to understand, and then to be understood.’ As an incessant talker at the time, I found it a weird concept, but it was one that resonated with me and I took to heart. Funny perhaps that decades later I find myself working as a psychotherapist, deeply invested in hearing and seeing the other, and leaving my own personal story at the door! “Every person in our life is a unique, unfold
I’ve been looking out of my therapy room window, noticing the increasingly long grass of my newly laid lawn. I’ve read so many suggestions this year to let lawns become more diverse, longer, wilder, more friendly to insects, birds and wildlife. I thought I would give it a go, despite my conditioned discomfort that lawns are meant to be uniform, short and all green. It’s been delightful to see increasing numbers of birds exploring the grass, particularly where it is longer. I
I just love my garden at this time of year. My therapy room looks out onto it, and it is delighting me to notice that sometimes hour to hour I can see how the plants have grown and changed. The garden puts me in mind of the way we are all in a process of continual growth. Even as adults, our bodies are not static and unchanging. On average our cells are replaced every 7-10 years. While the cells in the middle of your eye lenses do last a lifetime, white blood cells may only l
I was speaking to a wise colleague recently, and she shared an anecdote which made me smile. She came home one night, with a big bunch of flowers in her arms, along with a bottle of champagne and some chocolates. Her daughter asked ‘Ooo, what is the occasion?’ My colleague replied ‘I had a REALLY bad day!’ I just loved it. How often do we join in when our day doesn’t got to plan? How often do you find yourself getting flat and feeling defeated, and allowing that to impact
I was reminded this week of the important function of self-criticism. You know, that irritating, debilitating voice inside that nit picks and notices everything you don’t do well. Mostly, we think of it as a pain, and we just want it to go away. Trouble is, the more you try and push it away and silence it, the louder it gets. It’s useful to reflect on where the mental habit of self-criticism comes from. When it formed, it was there to help and look after you. When we are