mental wellbeing

Be Yourself

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The human being who does not wish to belong to the mass must merely cease being comfortable with himself; let him follow his conscience which shouts at him: 'Be yourself! What you are at present doing, opining, and desiring, that is not really you. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Eek! Being oneself is hard work. It’s so vulnerable to open and expose the depth of our being...which is not always aligned with the ‘status quo’. It makes sense in evolutionary terms - we would not survive out on our own, we needed the tribe for protection. So, to have been ‘outcast’ was death - and hence the emotion of shame is SO UNCOMFORTABLE (it evolved to make sure we did not step out of line from the tribe). The trouble is, sometimes (depending on our tribe) there is a disconnect with our own truth in favour of this ‘keeping up appearances’ - it certainly does not feed one’s soul.

SOME OPTIONS

  • Develop a new tribe that feels in more alignment with you, or where you feel safer to express yourself.

  • Find unique ways to honour your history and nurture all parts of yourself.

  • Practice making peace with those shame feelings, with being vulnerable - be it through reflective practices like meditation and journaling, or with the support of a safe friend or therapist.

  • Remember: all these emotions, the big feels that often hold one back, they are HUMAN - everyone feels them, even if the triggers are sometimes unique.

So, the challenge is, figure out what you need to grow. What requirements do you have at this moment? Go as slow as you need, remember, there is no finish line we are racing to - the magic is in the movement.

Beautiful art by @howamifeelingg

Text by Kaitlin

International Day of Peace

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This week we celebrated ‘The International Day of Peace’. Ahhh Peace…a concept many parents feel they will never have again. Whether it’s because of screaming babies, nagging toddlers, and the company we now have every time we use the bathroom, or because our teenagers are online, out all night or learning to drive, peace, seems much like an out of reach concept.

Regardless of what we do or how old our children are, once we are parents our minds are always split - work (+children), rest (+children), play (+children). It can be tough to focus and let go of anxiety, often fearing the worst when we aren’t with them.

Whilst I can’t imagine the worry ever ends, I do find that talking about it helps. Just knowing it’s normal and that I am not alone always seems to take away the intensity.

My Top Three Suggestions for finding peace:

  1. Find even 10 minutes a day, when you know the kids are safe or with someone you trust, to sit alone, without your phone or computer and just have a cup of tea. Preferably in nature or looking outside into nature. On the back step, at the window…wherever.

  2. Trust, that where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be, for now. Trust in something greater than yourself. Have faith, deep breathe.

  3. Unload. Share your fears with someone you trust. Or, write them down. Get them out of your head.

This week, I encourage you to share your experiences of losing peace and finding peace. Mentors, what are the ways you manage to find peace in your day? New parents, where do you need it most?

Have a wonderfully peaceful week.
Tiffany

The Shadow Side

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In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. — Sir Francis Bacon

The shadow side. It can bring a lot of shame. But as we recognise that this part of oneself is a shared experience - it human - we can, perhaps, connect in it.

I totally get that sharing a side of oneself that feels dark, hideous, and soooo far from ‘Instagramable’ is not a walk in the park. But, it may also be the case that you find when you open up about this part of you, the light comes flooding in. In fact, I think that this is why therapy is so important- it creates the conditions to share... and to find that someone can hold space for all of you - the full range of your emotions and experience.

Perhaps the best first step in making peace with this part though, if not speaking to someone, is journaling. As the ink flows you can introduced the shadow side and see if what unfolds on the paper could use a little nurturing itself. A little love. A little self-love for all the pointy bits.

Inner Listening

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I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stoped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my soul. – Rumi

Can you relate? I certainly can. Seeking brought me to a B.A. in Philosophy and Comparative Religion, then on into post-graduate studies in Psychology. I truly do believe knowledge is power. But, I have learnt that some knowledge - wisdom, in fact, is best found in the silent moments of observation, in honing the 'sixth sense', which, I also believe, is 'muscle-like' in nature (i.e., we have to practice trusting our gut). I have not always got this right, but when something has gotten difficult I often find in reflection, that there were warning signs I repressed.

This week, could you create some space to let your souls shine while you listen?

Captured by the lovely @afterduskphotography

Wearing beautiful bamboo clothing by @ethica.activewear