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?

 

Moving to another country is an experience to enjoy the present.

Moving to another country: an experience to enjoy the present.
By Citlalli Degollado*.

The first time I moved to another country was 8 years ago, I was 22 years old with a lot of emotions and expectations for the new adventure. Everything was new for me, I was decided to say goodbye to all my life back home: security, family, friends, comfort zone, everything that I knew was gone, and it was just me, my baggage, my flight ticket and all my dreams to live in France. I was there for 10 months, and although I can say today that it was one of the most exciting experiences that I have ever had, the path I had to walk was not always that easy. At the beginning I felt scared and nervous, I didn’t speak French and it was the first time I lived far from my family. The months passed and little by little I learned to speak French, the culture and the way of life. I still missed my country and all my life there, but at the same time I was enjoying the scenery, the weather and why not? All the uncertainty, not knowing anything about what was going to happen. Now, 8 years later, I am 30 years old and I left my country for the second time, in another situation but with the same dreams. After new experiences, there is a moment when you understand that change is inevitable and sometimes necessary, when the fear moves you instead of blocking you, like a spring that pushes you up and helps you to continue.

So, what happens when somebody moves to another country? First, it is important to know that it is a change, and as every change we live, there are many emotions present in this process: fear, nervousness, uncertainty, euphoria, happiness and hope, among others. Psychologically, this change is like a grief, because we say goodbye to life as we know it and we go through different stages, such as excitement, sadness, fear, one emotion after the other. When we move to another country, at the beginning it is the honeymoon, in this moment everything is perfect, we are excited about the new life, what moves us is the novelty and the desire to discover. After some weeks, the cultural shock shows up, the new way of life is not exciting, we have to learn some new rules and habits, and things like the food, the language and the weather start to have some influence in our physical and emotional body. But life continues and we keep going, after some months, we start to adjust ourselves to this new life and that includes trying to insert ourselves to activities and to meet new people. Maybe they won’t be as special as our friends back home, or maybe they will, but they will definitely help us feel accompanied, with someone to share time, feelings, thoughts, and to learn from the other. Finally, we arrive to the last stage, the adaptation is done, when we understand that even if we are not at our place, our identity is still with us, we can learn and change some things but the essential stays, it is an integration between who we are and all the things that we have lived.

Although the adaptation process is something everyone will live, each person will experience it differently and according to their situation, context and emotional and personal resources. For example, it will not be the same for someone who moves away with her family because of a job opportunity, with certain economic security, than to someone who is fleeing her country due to a social conflict. In any case, it is important to have in mind that adapting to a new socio-cultural context implies walking through different moments that require emotional work. Understanding that it is a process, a path and not the destiny, helps to enjoy it more and take advantage of the moment.

“Since we just have the present, let’s live it as best as we can.”

*Citlalli Degollado is Gestalt Psychotherapist.
She works with adults and couples.
Currently she lives in Brighton, and she is giving psychotherapy to Spanish people.

Marriage Counselling and Couples Counselling Online: Book Today!

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