Moving forward using all my breath: letting go of the past

Moving forward using all my breath. Sometimes that is what I feel like when I am trying to evolve and move forward in my life with people, my life and things in general. Many people are happy staying still. Some people are content staying still. You see, to me.. I think that staying still is very smelly and  stagnant. It’s not like I am unsettled, or feeling anxious.. I am just ever evolving and growing. And, I am in touch with that. I am embracing that. I like change. I welcome change. Change is inevitable. We as human beings change every single day. Some people are not even aware of this phenomenon. But we are growing both physically and emotionally. Yes, we get to a point in our life where we are fully grown, but then we change shape and decline in our stature.

I unfortunately, painfully, am aware of my change. Every day, every moment, every time I fall into the rabbit hole. You see sometimes I feel this is a weakness. However, I know it is a great strength. This awareness is a great strength. I do not call myself a healer. But, I am someone who has been there. I have experienced so many things and I can be supportive and exhibit empathy.  This is one reason I can help inspire people- I am aware of these changes in myself which gives me the strength to share them with other people.

Erik Erikson explains the psychosocial stages of human development. 

We change all of the time whether you like it or not. But, why are relationships so difficult? Well, I can tell you one reason why… we all don’t change at the same time. Sometimes we can change together. But, sometimes someone changes first. We are all on a journey.. but on different speeds. That is what makes life so challenging sometimes.

These past 12 years living in England has brought me on a what might be called a super dooper magic carpet ride. I have made friends. And, lost friends. I have thought friends were my family. But, only found out they were toxic. I believed in others to help me to get through whatever it was I was feeling or not in touch with and that was totally wrong of me. I am sure I have hurt people because I had to move forward. I didn’t like the vibe we were in or they were exhibiting unhealthy behaviors for me and I was ready to move on. Let’s face it. Sometimes being stagnant is boring. It wasn’t easy, but I know it was the best thing for my family and for myself. People were very unkind to me and I had to let that hurt go and walk away from people who were not my ‘tribe’ or even ‘my people’.   I was and am on my own journey and they were only holding me back so I had to let them go. Does this sound familiar? Have you ever experienced something like this?

These changes have been difficult for me as well. It is not easy moving forward with anchors at your feet only to drag you down when you are being pushed up, evolving and inflated up into the Universe. People can be quite jealous and also not happy for you when you are doing so well and working hard. It is such a shame that sometimes we as humans find it difficult to celebrate the small achievements in life eg. being a single parent and kicking ass, getting that raise, going back to school, getting through that tough time, making that move, being kind to someone who doesn’t deserve it, moving on etc.

It is not easy to push on through, break on through to the other side as Jim Morrison would say. You have family that may try to anchor you. You have friends that just do not ‘get’ you. But, it’s evolution that is only sustaining you. You are inevitably evolving and moving forward whether you like it or not; whether you are noticing it or not.

So, if you are evolving what and where will it take you?

I know for me I have always felt that I dance to a different beat to the drum. I have always felt unique and amazing for doing this. However, sometimes when life gets difficult and one gets lost or one is meandering… one may lose faith. It is totally okay to be yourself. It is totally okay to not follow the conformity of society. It is okay to follow your intuition and believe in yourself. Do it! Move forward. Move on. Let the past go. Let limited beliefs go. You are YOU now. You are not that small child anymore. You have moved on. Who is that person that you have grown into?

I guess it is difficult because shedding toxic people is a choice. Telling people how you feel is a choice. They more than likely will not like your response. They are not true friends. They are people who feed off of your energy and your charisma. It is fine to have friends like that, I am not judging. What I am saying is that we often have to make difficult choices to grow. It’s not just as easy as planting the seed and watching it grow. Sometimes we plant the seed and there is a massive hurricane and it doesn’t grow for years.

I have literally cleaned out three bags of clothes this week. I just think to myself, gosh, very gluttonous of me. This week I am ‘clearing’. I am clearing out every single part of my house, closet, loft, cupboard, and patio. It is time to ‘clear’ out and move forward.

That goes for the past. Letting go of EVERYTHING IN THE PAST! It is gone. Shed. I am not looking backwards anymore. Moving forward losing all my breath. The time has come to experience change. And, change wherever it may take me or you will be a positive thing.

I am making the difficult decisions to throw away family heirlooms that I thought once kept me grounded. Gone. I have held on to sentimental things thinking that those objects anchor me. Gone. No longer will I look back. Only forward. Only growth. Moving away from those that judge. Freedom.

What do you think about this? Would you ever do this? Go through all of your things and shed unwanted things in your home? In your life? In your filing cabinet? I challenge you to this! Can you do this? Do you have too much in your house? In your mind? In your heart? In your past?

Learn to breathe and let it all go. Now is the time.

Moving forward using all my breath. I am looking forward to the next few chapters that this #snowmoon has brought to all of us. I am slowly feeling more positive about this clearing out and all is slowly settling. That is the thing about change. Sometimes is creeps up on us when we aren’t looking and sometimes we will it and make the change. Either way let’s embrace it together. Because change is the Universe and the Universe will always provide. But, first believe in yourself. Because you are part of the Universe.

www.brightonwellnesscentre.co.uk
www.onlinetherapyhelps.com

 

Here is to finding ourselves and one another.

Download ebook today! Be on the look out for a new ebook 2019!

Seeing others succeed can fill us with happiness

Seeing others succeed can fill us with happiness

Depending on what type of person you are, seeing others succeed can bring with it just as much joy and happiness as if you were the person it happened to. I think this is a big part of why certain sports can take over the nation.

When thinking about sports when I was younger, I always dreamt of what it would be like for two things to happen – Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, and England winning the World Cup. One of them has happened, twice, and the country found themselves within touching distance of another. Both of these created huge television viewing figures, and united the country, even just for a short time. But why was that?

It could be that both have not happened in a very long time – we had to wait over 70 years for a British man to win another Wimbledon singles title, and we’re still waiting over 50 years for England to win another World Cup. But when people become invested in these things happening, when they do, or expectations are at least exceeded, it creates a huge sense of pride, delight, and a new found happiness.

With the England (men’s) football team, it was a case of, in my opinion, expectations being well and truly walked over. A semi-final in a World Cup was beyond probably everyone’s expectations, but it made the country, largely, happy. England also had a manager that people believed in again, with a hashtag on twitter and a day named in honour of his fondness for waistcoats. The scenes where goals were scored saw thousands of people scream in elation that the dream could possibly come true.

Seeing other people succeed in our own lives can also bring with that happiness; a family member or a friend, a work colleague, or even a friend of a friend you don’t know very well – hearing about and seeing people succeeding in their goals can only be a good thing, surely? And even if it isn’t, in the long run it can hopefully allow us to all believe in ourselves, and that hard work pays off in the long run.

Sarah Keeping MBPsS MSc PgDip GDip BA (Hons) Follow Sarah on twitter at @keepingapproach

How to Prepare for the Joys and Challenges of Raising a Child with Special Needs

How to Prepare for the Joys and Challenges of Raising a Child with Special Needs by Danny Knight

Preparing Your Home

One of the first things to do when you find out that you’re having a child with disabilities is to prepare your home to make it safe and accessible. If preparing for a physical disability, you’ll need to make some modifications, such as interior and exterior ramps, wider doorways, accessible cabinets, etc. If you have thick carpeting or rugs, consider replacing your floor with hardwoods to reduce the risk of falling and injury. It’s important to modify the bathroom so that your child can safely take baths and perform their daily hygiene routines. If you’re concerned about the costs of making such modifications, there are several grants available to help.

Common Insurance Questions

Health insurance is a common concern for parents when they find out their child will require additional needs. While providing top-quality care is a concern, access to resources will provide your child with a good quality of life. Children with special needs can qualify for disability benefits through Medicaid and Social Security, which can provide medical coverage, access to specialists, adaptive equipment, and therapy. If you will be utilizing your private insurance carrier, it’s important for you to familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and to not be afraid to challenge your insurance provider on their decisions to provide coverage. Additionally, you can reduce out-of-pocket expenses by utilizing in-network providers and spending time researching medical professions on your insurance provider’s online databases.

 

Planning for Additional Expenses

 

Children with special needs will enrich your life in many ways, but it’s a reality that will also come with additional expenses. Depending on the disability, such expenses can vary. It’s important to plan for things like out-of-pocket care, qualified caregivers, special diets, or adaptive toys. Parents should take the time to financially plan for their special needs child the same way they would plan for college tuition and retirement. It’s beneficial to meet with a financial planner and an estate planning attorney to work jointly in formulating a plan to invest, grow assets, and potentially set up a special needs trust (supplemental needs trust) in order to protect assets from counting against your child in their governmental assistance determination.

 

Taking Care of Yourself

 

Caring for a child with disabilities is physically and emotionally challenging for the caregiver. You can provide your child with better care if you ensure that you are also well taken care of, and one way to do that is to surround yourself with support. You’re not alone in caring for your child. Aside from your family and friends, there are counselors, support groups, and community service organizations that can provide a helping hand. You should also take some time to nurture yourself by finding time to work out, take breaks, find hobbies, and occasionally do something you love that rejuvenates you.

 

If you’ve recently discovered that you’re having a child with special needs, know that parenting brings great joy and benefits, even when it’s difficult. If you do your research and prepare for adjustments, you’ll put yourself in a position to give your child everything they need. Remember to make any necessary preparations and modifications to your home, get ready for insurance questions and negotiations, plan for additional expenses, and take care of yourself. 

Where do addictions come from and how do they manifest?

What is it about addictions? Where do they come from and how to they manifest?

Many psychologists think that it all stems down to attachment and The Attachment Theory. This is somewhat true I believe. However, there must be some greater reason why people have unhealthy addictions. There are many types of addictions: sex, drugs, exercise, food, gambling, unhealthy relationships and the list goes on. What if addictions are the result of not being able to express how we feel? What if addictions are the result of not being able to express how we feel growing up as children?

To grow up in an era where emotions and feelings were never discussed were quite troublesome for me. As a young person I always wanted to discuss how I felt, what was going on in my head and/or what I was confused about in life in general. That platform was never open for me. It was always like ‘oh, Jessica wants to talk about her feelings…’ and I was ridiculed and made fun of.

I could remember sitting at the dinner table as a child trying to teach my family that ‘why do we have to sit down at the kitchen table if we aren’t going to talk about how we feel?’ My eldest brother would make fun of me and then everyone would laugh. I learned how to suppress my feelings and not ever talk about my needs or my feelings.

As a grown up this has somewhat disabled me. It has disabled me in a way where, now, when I want to tell someone how I feel it can make me nervous, uneasy and somewhat anxious; almost ashamed of me feeling the way that I do.

As a therapist and all through out my training I have learned how to help people with these same issues. However, what about me? How can I help someone if I can’t help myself first? This is a common thing that many psychology students will face when they are starting school and deciding to major in psychology.

Psychologists are not to go into the field of psychology to learn about themselves I have been told. And, being the literal person that I am have taken that on board as it is not a selfless way of supporting and/or helping others.

But, how can we/I find the balance? And, how does this relate to addictions and to unwanted habitual behavior … whatever it is?

What if the theory is this…. people who have difficulty with addictions in their life have never been taught to deal with their emotions properly. People with addictions have never been able to cope with their emotions and therefore use drugs, alcohol. sex, gambling to escape these difficult feelings that must be digested.

No one wants to feel sad or feel sad. Although it is enlightening to be the rabbit hole for a short while I am not sure anyone wants to get stuck in the rabbit hole. But, how can we get out? How can we stop self-sabotaging ourselves? When we feel great and feel confident and alive someone may say something that brings us right back down into that hole. How can we shield ourselves from this or is it the impossible?

What are you thoughts? Why do you think people have addictions? Why do people get stuck in certain ways that can be harmful to others and harmful to oneself?

After all, if we are not growing as individuals… what are we actually doing in life? We are not meant to meander… or are we? I am not happy meandering….

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.

On Self Confidence: Being your true, authentic self.

What is self confidence? Confidence is something that can only be developed over time and often comes about after one has either taken a hard knock or experienced something wonderful, such as a success. Both wonderful and negative experiences can break us apart so that we are left with our true selves. And from finding our true identity, we can then grow and grow in confidence. Often the difficulties in our lives can cause much pain and a lack of self confidence. We cling to the vestiges of our lives, unsure of who we are, where we are going and what will happen to us.

I very much believe in the idea of creating the life you love, the life you want and to be the person you want to be. Often limiting beliefs can hold us back  such as ‘I am not good enough’  , ‘I can’t do this’ , ‘This is going to go wrong’ . These beliefs, if we let them, can take over our entire lives. They can often be formed by traumatic events, other people in our lives or even a negative comment from someone you love or someone you barely know. It is important to unpack and question these limiting beliefs because it is only when we learn and grow and move forward, that we will find self confidence.

I know that for me, self confidence has been a battle. However, I am learning how to develop positive thinking and positive affirmations. Affirmations are statements eg ‘ All is well’ or ‘I can conquer the world’ , which set out our positive intentions to the world. Experts recommend we write and read these affirmations daily so that they become part of our subconscious mind. This is something I am aiming to do.

It is incredibly important to be true to who you are, your real authentic self. It is only by showing up and showing our light to the world, who we are, that everything can flow. We feel better when we create and write from a place of who we really are.  Whatever you love, pursue it. Follow your passions. Whatever that passion is. Don’t be afraid to be the person you are and the person you want to be. Act ‘as if’ and it can happen, but make sure too that you look after yourself.

I recommend the following books that have helped me on my self development journey:

Light is the New Black’- Rebecca Campbell

”You are a Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and live your most authentic life’– Jen Sincero

 ‘The Universe has your back’- Gabrielle Bernstein

These books all talk about shining your light and being the wonderful, bright, creative individual you are.  If you are struggling with a crisis in confidence, it can help sometimes to speak to a therapist or supportive family member, who can guide you on your journey to your true self.

How to overcome negativity and manifest positivity in your life

Disney Disorder