Season’s Greetings: A Letter to You

You’ll notice things are a little different on the blog this month. The usual features are being replaced with a series of festive-themed posts to help you through the holiday season.

And before the festivities really begin to ramp up, why not stop and take a breather?

Think about how the past 12 months have been for you and consider what you want next year.

You could carve out some time to sit down and write a letter to yourself to open on New Year’s Day (ideally on the nicest writing paper you can find).

In the letter, you might want to:

  • Acknowledge your struggles, fears and anxieties.
  • Recognise your positive qualities and strengths.
  • Express your hopes for yourself for the year to come.
  • Identify what you want less and more of in your life.
  • Offer yourself words of support and encouragement.

When you write, make sure you speak to yourself in the way you would someone you truly care about. If you feel resistance or discomfort, you’re doing something right – keep going.

Just taking the time to write your letter is an act of self-care.

Enjoy it.

Enjoy taking a break from everything to focus on yourself.

Enjoy connecting to your thoughts and feelings and committing them to paper.

Enjoy showing yourself you care.

When you’ve finished, put your letter in an envelope and write your name on it. Underneath, write the words “to be opened on January 1st 2020”.

Consider it a lovely gift to give yourself on New Year’s Day.

(Don’t worry about forgetting to open it – I’ll be sure to remind you when the time comes 😊).

***

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.

The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is
New Year’s Day.”

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

 

Gentle Reminder: It’s Not Your Fault

It’s so easy to beat yourself up when you binge. Especially if you begin to suffer health complications as a result of increased weight.

“It’s my fault”, you say. “I’ve brought this on myself”.

Except you haven’t.

Rather than a sign of weakness or a lack of willpower, binge eating is an attempted solution to a problem.

No, that’s not “making excuses” or any of the other bullshit spouted by those who lack empathy and understanding.

It’s the truth. Continue reading “Gentle Reminder: It’s Not Your Fault”

Expert Insight: Seeing the Funny Side of Our Mistakes

“One way to encourage clients to accept themselves is to remind them that it is human to err and make mistakes. This will enable them to see themselves as human and learn to replace self-judgement with humility and laughter, rather than being crippled by shame. When clients are able to laugh rather than become embarrassed by awkward situations, they are able to redefine their experience and maintain social bonds. In this way, good-natured humour and laughter has a positive effect in disrupting the cycle of shame (Scheff 1990). Moreover, shared laughter is quintessentially human and a powerful tool for connecting to others.”

– Christiane Sanderson, “Counselling Skills for Working with Shame”

I once heard of a woman who was at a wedding when she spotted that another guest had her skirt hitched into her knickers.

Continue reading “Expert Insight: Seeing the Funny Side of Our Mistakes”

Can You Forgive Yourself?

I saw a quote the other day that stopped me in my tracks:

“When you keep criticizing your kids, they don’t stop loving you, they stop loving themselves”.

Its stark simplicity hit me hard.

It’s absolutely true. If children are criticised relentlessly, they don’t start hating their parents, they start hating themselves.

Continue reading “Can You Forgive Yourself?”

Food for Thought: The Rush to Forgiveness

“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” – Alice Miller

“I forgive them”. This is what victims of crime sometimes say when they’re interviewed on the news days, or even hours, after some terrible violation has been committed against them. Perhaps they were brutally attacked. Perhaps someone they love was murdered.

“I forgive the people who did this to me”, they say.

I always feel a sense of concern when I hear this.

Their forgiveness seems so immediate.  It makes me wonder what happened to their feelings.

Continue reading “Food for Thought: The Rush to Forgiveness”

Gentle Reminder: Trust Yourself

Self-trust. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?

Actually, if you’ve experienced a lifetime of self-doubt, it’s more like difficult difficult lemon difficult.

It can be hard to connect to that quiet, assured, trustworthy voice within you.

But it’s there.

You may struggle to hear it, but it’s there.

Continue reading “Gentle Reminder: Trust Yourself”

Who Do You Trust?

I was horse mad as a child.

I was born and raised in Australia until the age of nine and, along with a modest collection of pony books and stickers, I had an imaginary horse I kept tethered in our backyard. Truth be told I had about fifteen imaginary horses – all with their own names – but that’s another story.

More than anything, I wanted to ride a real horse.

When I was about eight, I came across a brochure for a kids’ activity camp. I can’t remember how but it immediately caught my eye because there on the front cover was a photo of children smiling as they rode horses through the countryside.

Continue reading “Who Do You Trust?”