• Personal Growth

    Short Term vs Long Term

    Short term thinking is a trap. The long term approach to healing and growth identifies that change happens slowly over a period of months, years, decades… A sensible mindset that doesn’t dwell on failure and instead acknowledges that the process often isn’t linear.  In these terms, short term thinking is unhelpful because it focuses on the everyday fluctuations that are inevitable, even when over a longer period you might be making huge progress. Zooming out, in this context, provides motivation in the form of comparing yourself to, say, two years ago: perhaps you’ve had a difficult week, but unless you’re only thinking short-term then this isn’t a reason to worry.…

  • Embodiment

    Trusting The Process

    Lifting weights at the gym makes you strong. Focussed effort a few times a week, over time, is rewarded with stronger muscles and increased mobility. But while these benefits are initiated in the gym, you won’t see them until you rest: it’s on the days off, when your body can relax, that your muscles can repair, rebuild, and grow. Realising that we want to feel more pleasure might begin a journey which involves attending workshops, reading books, sitting in meditation, maintaining daily practices… these are all ways that we might focus our attention and put work into what it is that we want. But the actual benefits of this effort…

  • Trauma

    How To Stop the Fight or Flight Response

    Different parts of our brains are responsible for the four responses we often default to when in a situation we perceive as threatening: people-pleasing (hyper-socialisation), fight, flight, and freeze. Because these responses don’t distinguish between real and perceived threat, it doesn’t matter whether we are actually in danger or not: most often we’ll go into one of these responses in everyday situations when in fact we’re perfectly safe, such as when we’re socialising in a large group or in a disagreement with someone we love. What Is The Fight or Flight Response? We’re actually talking about four different survival responses. In brief: hyper-socialisation appears as trying to keep everyone happy.…

  • Personal Growth

    Working With Intention

    Setting an intention is a simple practice, for me mainly associated with a meditation or yoga session. It’s a conscious decision to gently direct my energy towards something specific, without holding too tightly onto reaching a particular goal: making an intention conscious and then letting go of it allows it to still be present, ideally without introducing attachment to an outcome. It changes the flavour of whatever it is I’m about to do, into an activity that I am doing with a clear idea of why I want to do it, and what its benefits could be. Something I am learning to do more often is to use intention in…

  • Sex

    Connecting First

    Intimacy is often closely associated with sex – to the extent that the words are sometimes interchangeable. But sex and intimacy don’t quite mean the same thing, and one is not a requirement in enjoying the other. Sex is an easy default when trying to create connection and intimacy. Enjoying sex with a new person is no bad thing, but it can be unhelpful if we’re using it as a way to cover up a need for intimacy which we are unwilling to address. Why do we rely so easily on sex when we want to feel close to someone new? Do we find it so difficult to connect in…

  • Relationships

    Dating Pattern Interrupt

    If we take it as a given that we will tend to be attracted to people who allow us to act out childhood experiences of love and affection, meaning that we play out similar patterns in our relationships, for better or worse… And if we accept that in order to find these people requires us to experience their body language, actions, words, and tone of voice… Does this mean that meeting someone on Tinder and getting to know them a little over text could function as something of a pattern interrupt? That through the screen, we miss so many vital clues about another’s behaviour that we could end up becoming…

  • Personal Growth

    Moving Feelings

    If I were to step into a bath of water that was far too hot, I’d immediately know from the uncomfortable feeling against my skin. After stepping out and deciding to add some cold water to make it a better temperature, I might notice that I begin to rationalise or explain what had happened: I had gotten distracted and forgotten to check the temperature, or maybe I’d tell myself that I can never get the temperature right. Perhaps this leads to frustration. But the feeling, when I first stepped in the bath and noticed that it hurt my feet, has passed. The feeling was unavoidable and unpleasant, but short-lived; the…

  • Embodiment

    Where Could Pleasure Lead?

    It’s curious how normal it is to hear people talk of discomfort, aches, and pains: headaches and sore backs, stiff necks and tired feet, but so much more rare for us to share pleasurable sensations. We talk about feeling relaxed or comfortable, but these descriptions are not as visceral as the way we often describe the less pleasant – shooting, stabbing, dull, burning. On a very basic level perhaps focusing on pain was important to our survival, but the emphasis we place on much of the discomfort we feel is disproportionate to its lasting effect. It could be that noticing unpleasant sensations more keenly has been vital to our survival…

  • Sex

    Creating Your Own Sexuality

    Sex is often such a shame-filled place, whether we realise it or not, that the easiest expression can be the least authentic one. When we feel a need to compete with others, try to imitate media or porn, or simply hide what we really want, our sexuality is not yet our own.

  • Personal Growth

    Finding Confidence With Words

    It can be so easy to minimise what we want, think, or need. "I just feel that..." or "I think I'd like to..." instead of "I think" or "I want." Not wanting to admit or commit means our words come out fuzzy, and we have a get-out clause; we were never that bothered anyway, we weren't completely sure. This lack of confidence shows up in other forms too.