Emotional Growth Mindset: What seeds will you be planting during this Harvest?

As Autumn approaches, the big dark hairy spiders come out to play, and the rain always surprises us with an unannounced call (more than once)… I am reflecting on what I did and did not accomplish this past year. After all, this is the Harvest. This is the time of year where we plant seeds and daffodil bulbs to when harvested will remind us that Spring and a fresh start is nearer.

Reflecting on this past year, I did a lot of ‘holding on’ and ‘hanging in there.’ It wasn’t the most eventful of years. However, I moved into a new house which is lovely, shed more people who didn’t have my best interest at heart, waited one long year for a hernia re-constructive repair surgery, and lost one more year of not seeing my family in America. I would say that there were some good things that happened and some mundane things as well. Kind of like how it’s raining profusely at an angle outside my window right now and simultaneously the sun is shining. Sometimes life does not make any sense. I do, however, choose to notice the sun in these certain circumstances.

It’s a funny phrase, ‘hang in there’ isn’t it? It’s like saying… I don’t know when all this shit is going to end, but it eventually will or it may not. If it doesn’t you potentially might just drop off the tree branch you are hanging onto. You will fall, break your legs, potentially your neck… and then it will be a complete disaster. But, but keep holding on… it will be fine. It’s kind of like when people respond to you with the phrase ‘fair enough.’ What in the hell does that actually mean? Does that mean, you don’t care? you don’t have an opinion? you are daft? Does it mean the same things as ‘whatever’? I personally think that even that particular phrase is the most emotionally detached comment anyone can say to a human being.

There is nothing more than I can’t stand than having this attitude of ‘hanging in there.’ It’s malarkey. I want solutions. I want to know what to do when I am knee-deep in it. I want support when I am hanging from that tree branch,  I want people to say, ‘hey, Jess… we got this or YOU got this… or I hear you, this happened to me, or I know what to do when this happens.’ I need someone to show me or tell me that there is hope. That things will get better, things will change and challenge and provoke me to ask myself- what am I going to do to make things change if it’s within my power to make it change. Not just say… hang in there, fair enough or just look at me and nod. Lack of connections is very frustrating for me and can be quite lonely at times. Some people just don’t get it.

I met this guy on the train recently. We spoke. We connected. We exchanged details. He was a psychology student. A few months later he asked if I could assess him. Our texted went back and forth like a ping pong on a flat green table. He finally disclosed he was using drugs to self medicate. I told him I would go to a 12 step meeting with him if he wanted me to. He was shocked. He said why would you do that we only have met once. I jokingly replied ‘I am a legand.’ He said ‘that you are.’ However, jokingly aside… I said this is what humans are supposed to be doing. Being kind, helping one another. Being humane. Hence why we are technically classified this way. Plus, this person has great potential to change the future. And, this is how I see it. Sometimes when we have minds that are ahead of the normative it can feel quite overwhelming. This overwhelming feeling is often felt by people who are neurodiverse, artists, empaths, and healers. It is a feeling that is in intense because we often absorb other people’s energy and emotions. It can be difficult to shield and protect ourselves. This again is something this psychology student and I discussed. How if you look closely you can see people’s energy. I again would rather have these conversations then that of a so-called friend randomly texting me if I am doing alright and then ghosting me after they have read my response- IF they have even read my response.

Life is too short not to have deep connections. That is one thing I learned this year. I also learned that like the rain outside my large bay window that continues to dance upon the slick pavement sideways and while the sun intermittingly pops by to say hello, you can have plenty of crappy times simultaneously with the good times, too. It’s not something that I was made aware of when I was younger. I never struggled as an adult when I was living on the East Coast in America. It has only been difficult since moving here within the UK have I really saw negativity and unkindness and racism towards me. It hasn’t been easy at all I must say. Plus, I was having far too good of a time in the states to notice anything bad happening in my life. But, as you get older and sober… have children, do things on your own, no family support, single parenting, in a foreign country where I am the foreigner and on top of the desperate, dark, wet weather… there is Harvest. Harvest time or pumpkin time is a time where we can begin a new.

Now is the time to plan for next year. What am I going to do? What are YOU going to do? What bulbs will you be planting this Autumn? What thoughts will you be congregating? What kind of vibrations will you be standing next to? How will you grow if you want to grow? What will you change in your life to make you happier? Now I will reflect upon these questions as well. Time to bed down and make preparations. Do you grow? Do you study something new? Do you change your job or make the most of your job? Will you help others more? Will you howl at the moon more? Laugh more? Go on more adventures? Look after the homeless? Fall in love? Fall out of love? What seeds will you be planting during this Harvest?

 

Changing for the better

I’ve recently been thinking about how much you have to put up with before you say enough is enough. There are so many areas of life this can be applied to; work, friendships, relationships to name a few, but how long can you put up with things you don’t like just to not ‘rock the boat’?

Friendships, for example, can change massively over a life span. Not many people are the same person at the age of 18 as they are at 50. And what if your friends go through life at a different pace? If they’re buying houses, getting married and having children and you are not, how difficult is it to maintain a sense of compatibility when it was once all of you going through driving tests, exams and university together?

Of course, it depends on how a person reacts to this. If someone doesn’t mind seeing their peers go through all these life changes then great, but what about if they start to treat you differently, or think about you in a different way because you can’t understand what it’s like for them? How far down the road does this have to go before there has to be an inevitable crossroads where you look at a relationship and wonder if it is worth the anguish? Do you just find different people that understand you? Probably not…but perhaps.

*Sarah Keeping is currently undertaking a Counselling Skills course in London and is looking to change her professional subject area to Counselling Psychology. Previous qualifications are in Investigative Psychology, Psychology, Applied Criminology, and Criminology and Sociology. Follow Sarah on twitter at @SKeeping_Psych

Jealousy: Can it be a good thing?

When people think about jealousy, it’s natural to assume that it’s only ever a bad thing. After all, we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others and should instead be happy with ourselves. If only this could happen so easily.

Thanks to social media, it has become increasingly difficult not to compare ourselves to others. But it’s easy to forget that people only put on social media what they choose to. It’s therefore not a realistic representation of their lives.

I have been thinking recently about how jealousy has the potential to be used as a positive; as a way of highlighting what you really want in life and in turn enabling someone to make the changes in their life in order to achieve it.

It can be so easy to just carry on with the way life is because it’s easier than trying something different and possibly failing. But what if you see someone else achieve their goals? Can it not make you feel as though you can also achieve yours?

Not all type of jealousy is so easily rectified though. If you’re jealous of the way someone looks or how much money they earn in comparison to you, this can’t always be changed. Therefore the way of combatting this jealousy is learning how to be happy with what you have in life, and unfortunately that’s not always as easy.

But turning jealousy into a positive can help create life goals and positive ways of changing. Jealously can perhaps be the mirror you hold up to your own life and realise what you want to change in order to be truly happy.

*Sarah Keeping is currently undertaking a Counselling Skills course in London and is looking to change her professional subject area to Counselling Psychology. Previous qualifications are in Investigative Psychology, Psychology, Applied Criminology, and Criminology and Sociology. Follow Sarah on twitter at @SKeeping_Psych