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Be still ...

A Man in France

'walking a quiet street

in Paris

I forget the cost of toothpaste

whether I remembered the bills

told the right people the right things

but the act of living is alright


a piano spills its art

from a window

and I think

ah well'

Poem by Liam Ryan.

World challenges, personal challenges, daily challenges

I could spend thousands of words writing about the difficulties in our society, the atrocities and genocides occurring, the mindless violence, racism and discrimination - and it would be completely justifiable to write and share on such things. Our mental health and our wellbeing directly correlate with what surrounds us, we are not simply individuals going about our lives, but whether we like it or not: we are a member of something, a community.

Whilst my practice includes working 1:1 with my wonderful clients exclusively, it has been a crucial part of my work to acknowledge and invite into the room the impact of world events or personal and practical issues (such as the cost of living crisis, which impacts each person differently).

We do not live in a vacuum. We are a part of something bigger and greater, and we make it our task to see how we fit into that - what we believe, what we stand for, what brings us hope ... it may be perceived as a privilege to rest by some, but it is a crucial part of our survival and health nonetheless and that should not be belittled. Being in a constant state of high alert is enough to cause anyone to become at the very least drained and with a low mood. You might feel guilty to take some time for yourself, but remind yourself that it helps you to remain strong for yourself and for the communities and the community action that you are possibly a part of. Think of a computer, with all the tabs on, draining the battery in the background - the multitude of other tabs may not be what you are currently scrolling on or looking at on your laptop, but they are still there, depleting the laptop's resources. That is like our human experience when we are in a state of such tensions coming from all corners.

I am here to remind you that it is okay to rest, that it is okay for you to be still and to take stock. Sometimes the anxiety might feel insurmountable because we can't possibly conceive of all the worries in our mind in one go (which can lead to feeling overstimulated), so perhaps something that might be useful is to draw a mind-map. Pop yourself in the centre (by name or a cool drawing) and then put at the end of each branch an area of your life that is on your mind, it might look something like the following:

Then, once you've jotted down the main areas, perhaps add to each section with the worries associated with them. Then once you've done that, put a green marker by each one that you can feasibly handle today e.g. is there anything that can be done about that outstanding email, or can it wait? Then once you've made a schedule to complete those tasks, try and take some time to be still, whether that be in a park, with a friend in their home, in your garden or in bed with a good book. Take yourself away from the media (social or otherwise), and spend quality time on tending to calming your nervous system and switching off for an afternoon.

I won't labour for too long as I think I might get out and sit in the warm evening for a bit - as I would of course recommend for you to do if you like! Perhaps read my last blog post on the importance of being in nature .... 🌸🌻🌊🌳.

The poem at the top of this post is an absolute favourite of mine and it reminds me to do what I can with what I have, but also to try to remember that I don't always have to be doing, sometimes I can experience just being human for a while. It's a difficult challenge, but it is also important for our own and our collective wellbeing.

For now I'll leave you with my favourite poem (as mentioned), and one of my favourite empowering and calming tunes by She and Him to have a chilled evening with this Sunday.

I wish you all a wonderful evening and week ahead!

Cat :). xx


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