• Personal Growth

    How To Run a Sharing Circle (the ultimate guide)

    Three years ago I started my first sharing circle with a handful of strangers in a church hall. I was incredibly nervous; I remember doing a lot of googling beforehand – “how to start a women’s circle,” “what is a sharing circle,” “does a talking stick need to actually be a stick.” I found some answers, made some of it up myself, and collaborated on plenty of it with the folks who eventually joined me. Since then, sharing circles have been a constant in my life and I’ve made some really wonderful friends as a result. It’s a form of ritualised socialising: it gives meaning and intention to the time…

  • Personal Growth

    How To Break Out of the Cycle of Drama

    Are you the kind of person who always seems to be stuck in some kind of drama? Perhaps you notice that drama seems to follow you around; you’re always attracting misfortune and challenging circumstances. Or maybe you attract the kind of people who bring drama into your life? You feel drawn to people who you’re certain you can help, but you end up feeling drained and exhausted while nothing seems to change for them? If these are patterns you recognise in your life and relationships, then you might be caught in the drama triangle. What is the drama triangle? The drama triangle is a model that we can use to…

  • Personal Growth

    How To Work With Difficult Parts of Yourself

    Do you battle against parts of yourself that you don’t like very much? Maybe you have some people-pleasing tendencies that you’ve identified as a ‘problem,’ or you hate how emotional you get when you need to assert a boundary. Do you feel frustrated at how easily you cry when you get upset, or wish those anxious voices asking all the ‘what ifs’ would just go away for good? It makes a lot of sense that we’d want parts of ourselves that we don’t like to just go away. It can feel as though they’re sabotaging our efforts to have healthy relationships, causing all kinds of behaviour that feels unhelpful. Where…

  • Personal Growth,  Relationships

    How To Stop Being a People-Pleaser (for good)

    Ok, so you’ve identified that you’re a people-pleaser. You’ve noticed a pattern of feeling frustrated in your relationships (whether romantic or platonic – it can show up everywhere) because you fail to communicate your wants and needs early on. You go along with it, telling yourself it’s not so bad, until you reach breaking point… which usually ends in an emotional blowout or simply giving up and cutting the other person out entirely. Either way, there’s a lot of resentment that slowly builds and it’s really, really draining. It feels impossible to put yourself first – what if your requests are too much? What if you hear a “no?” It…

  • Personal Growth

    What Is Psychosexual Somatics Therapy (PST)?

    So many of us are in our heads most of the time. Our minds are useful for thinking about the future or the past, whether remembering, fantasising, planning, or ruminating. Whether anxiously going over the last conversation to figure out whether you said the ‘right’ thing, or imagining all the possible outcomes that could happen just in case. What our minds are not so great at is being present. Being present in the here and now requires us to bring our awareness more into our whole body: the experience of being alive, right now, with all its associated sensations and feelings. The thing is that this can often feel scary,…

  • 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.…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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.