Category Archives: grief

Safety pins and self-compassion

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What a week!

Apart from here, the floods in Ghana, attack in Turkey…

There have been high emotions in the aftermath of the vote. I’ve shed a lot of tears, hearing about the increase in racist attacks, wanting to connect and collaborate with the world at large, not be cast adrift.

Also, respecting the democratic process and knowing we’re all doing the best we can with what we know at any given time.

A lot of us are struggling with our sense of identity.

I’ve been clumsily attempting to be super friendly to people who look like they might be not from here.

Then, to increase the strange looks resulting from my beaming at strangers in London and Essex, trying to be extra friendly to everyone.

Being naturally more introverted (I think I’m an extraverted introvert), I’m sometimes exhausted by it all.

In attempting to be more smiley to people, I’m no longer hiding behind books and newspapers on public transport but making eye contact (the horror! Joke – it’s actually refreshing), I’m remembering that the heartbreaking stories are far from the big picture.

Still, what could I do to (without freaking anyone out by being too smiley), help others feel safer?

I was delighted to hear about the safety pins being worn to show solidarity with immigrant communities (again, as the daughter of an Irish and Indian, via Kenyan, immigrant, it feels a bit odd to show solidarity with myself so am aiming for some self-compassion rather than beating myself up for all the times I’ve cried or welled up since Friday).

The safety pin is such a great example of someone doing something simple to stand up (quietly and maybe not even needing to stand up at all) and say racism is unacceptable. And I can dial back my beaming at people so minimise the risk of freaking strangers out by being potentially over friendly in an effort to compensate for a tiny by vocal minority of racist individuals.

I’m also aware of the reports of Muslim women being targeted more than men (sexism as well as racism) and talk of older people being accused of voting badly and the need (my name is Eve – am still working on my overdeveloped sense of responsibility for the whole world), recent progress for gay and trans rights and desire for everybody to be safe, free to flourish, able to be their glorious wondrous selves without fear of attack.

Is there something you’ve been feeling hopeless and helpless about?

What is something small – safety pin tiny – that might help you begin to remember that no matter what’s going on around you, everyone is doing their best?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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Wishing y’all the coolest of Yules and a very Happy Christmas 2015

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This Monday night / Tuesday morning, Yule (also known as the Winter Solstice in this hemisphere) gives me an excuse to start eating the delicious looking chocolate Yule Log I’ve been saving.

But more importantly than cake, it’s a great time of year to reflect on our inner selves, private lives, renewal and rebirth.

It’s a time to remember that darkness isn’t scary but a time of enormous growth below the surface. I love* Keats’ idea of ‘negative capability’. Cultivating a willingness to stay with the unknown rather than pushing for answers can allow greater creativity and progress.

Ideas around possibility and potential are really important at this time of year. We can allow ourselves to dream big for ourselves, shining light on our hopes.

Any kind of renewal also involves letting go so it’s a great time of year to release whatever’s no longer serving us (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and in any other way you can think of).

Letting go allows us to invite in the new.

It’s also a time of paradoxes as all this inward looking quiet energy is countered by all the festivities of Christmas. Some people find themselves coming down with bugs because they’re burning the candle at both ends.

Quiet reflection may seem like a distant dream itself.

You know yourself best. Just take odd moments, when it suits you, to check in with yourself.

What are you most looking forward to about the coming week?

Have you got the balance right for yourself in terms of outward energy and time with others v quiet(er) time alone or with immediate family?

How can you honour loved ones you may especially grieve at this time of year?

What supports can you put in place so feel less overwhelmed with too many social commitments / isolated and lonely?

What are your favourite (Yule / Christmas / whatever holidays you celebrate around this time of year) traditions and rituals?

What are you going to do differently this year (maybe allowing yourself more time to think about what you want to do instead of being swept along in everyone else’s wishes?)?

What are your biggest dreams and goals at the moment?

Feel free to post in the comments below.

Cool Yule!

love,

Eve x

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*hypothetically – in reality, I often forget and have to remind myself that whatever is unfolding is unfolding and I just need to be patient a little longer (as with everything, it’s a practice)

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Dealing with life’s ‘Grr!’s by looking at some sticky shadow stuff

Rainbow investigating HER shadow side*

Rainbow MagnifiCat investigating HER shadow side

 

I’m seeing a lot of posts on Facebook about people defriending others due to political beliefs. I’m aware that my rate of deleting posts I’ve typed before publishing them has increased massively since last night, too (and am conscious that a friend joked about a secret tool they have to read deleted posts!).

So I thought I’d spend some time with my shadow today. Jung popularised the idea of our shadow selves, where we project what we’ve disowned in ourselves onto others (be they loved ones, colleagues, strangers, politicians or people from other parts of the world and religions).

The bad news is that this leads to much acting out unconsciously.

The good news is that by reclaiming those unloved aspects of ourselves, WE CAN HEAL. We literally become more whole.

Thinking about this in the pool today, I realised that one of my personal triggers is people blocking the lane in the swimming (it’s a verb) pool. They could be standing to chat in a million other places, my incensed thought processes rant, and there are so few places to swim…

And on a good day, I can smile to myself recognising that this little Grr may have more to do with me than with the thoughtless people chattering away (ditto people blocking doorways, cycle paths, putting feet on train seats etc – I could go on but will restrain myself).

I can ask myself if there may be (even a teeny tiny) part of myself that may be jealous of their casual oblivious approach to life? That maybe I can acknowledge that swanning through life with less consideration for others could potentially be more fun. And as soon as I can acknowledge that, yes, of course, there’s a thoughtless, oblivious aspect of my own personality, I suddenly feel far less bothered by the previously seemingly Evil Lane Blockers.

Sometimes, like today, as soon as I have that epiphany, they move away!

I have a tendency to be overly empathic sometimes, focusing more on others’ needs than my own. This can be a useful thing (in my work, for example) but I’ve also worked hard to dial it back in my personal life as it’s not helpful (or fun!).

By being aware of this shadow aspect to caring and empathy (RAGE towards thoughtless people who don’t give a ****), I’m better able (progress not perfection) to own my own stuff and have a much nicer swim / bike ride / train journey / life etc.

If I remained oblivious to my own shadow, I might act out (swimming violently to SPLASH said Evil Lane Blockers (I’m joking, they’re totally normal people, just like you and me) or even saying, ‘Excuse me!’ in a slightly passive aggressive way.

You get the picture…

What springs to mind when you think about the people and situations that irritate / infuriate you the most?

Think about who makes you go ‘Grr!’ (if you want to – this is not for the fainthearted. Our shadow aspects are parts of ourselves that we, at some stage, unconsciously deemed So Awful, we cut them off, burying them in the dark).

Does a particular person (known personally or maybe on social media or on TV – anyone at all) really trigger you?

If you were Really Honest with yourself, what might your irritation or anger be trying to tell you about an unclaimed shadow aspect of yourself?

I’d love to hear your thoughts (if you’re happy to share) so do feel free to use the Comments section below and let me know what makes you go Grr and what that means to you?

And, of course, if you’d like to explore this in more depth, do get in touch.

love,

Eve x

 

 

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Silent Minute for peace – 9pm every evening (from the comfort of wherever you want to be)

 

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If you’d like to join the movement, all you have to do is pause for a minute at 9pm (when possible) and envision a world of peace and returning light. You can click here to read more about it if you’d like.

I’ve been stopping whatever I’ve been doing when my phone alarm reminds me of this these past few days – had become a bit lax about it but it’s a great antidote to those times the world feels that bit too scary.

I have absolutely no idea how many people around the globe are doing the same (or if it’s just me!) but it’s something that helps me focus on ways to bring more peace into my own world. So that’s helpful anyway. But when I imagine countless other people, in their own homes / time zones etc, it definitely boosts that feeling of connection and peace on earth.

Have you tried it?

What helps you?

Feel free to comment below.

love (and peace),

Eve

 

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Inside Out – fab film and potential reminder around mindfulness of our emotions

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I saw it last night and loved it.

And it’s another tool to help us notice when we’re being run by our emotions. The ever fantabulous Amy Poehler was especially terrifying as Joy when she was trying to hijack the other emotions, especially poor old Sadness (Phyllis Smith embodied her voice beautifully).

While they were the main characters (Joy suddenly finds herself not the main emotion in little Riley’s life after an unexpected move away from all her friends and hobbies), Disgust (Mindy Kaling – can’t wait for her new book to arrive), Fear and Anger were also essential.

Claudia Hammond wrote a gorgeous book some years back called Emotional Rollercoaster: A journey through the science of feelings. Inside Out made me want to dig it out and reread it.

This film felt (to me) like an emotional rollercoaster – I nearly made it through without crying although they’d been some near misses but, well, no. In my defense, I wasn’t the only one. And the tears felt good!

When you think of the Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust in your own head, which are you most aware of?

Which do you try to repress? (Remember poor old Sadness being instructed to stay in her teeny tiny circle?)

Has repressing your emotions ever worked?

It may seem silly now, considering the work I do, but when I first saw a counsellor in my early 20s, she asked me how I was feeling and although I was clearly being run by my emotions, I simply couldn’t tell her, or myself. Her simple ‘How does that feel?’ may as well have been in Russian (which I sadly cannot speak or understand).

Just checking in with yourself, a few times a day and wondering, which are you most conscious of, can help you better understand the language of your own feelings. There’s no need to try to change anything, simply give yourself permission to feel it.

This won’t, as Fear might have you believe, leave you completely hijacked by your Anger or Sadness. Instead, those feelings will pass more freely and easily leaving you less likely to act out on them.

You might also want to think about ways in which you can express your Joy more freely? What naturally sparks Joy for you?

What helps you deal with Sadness? How might you allow yourself to feel some of that pain, loss and grief and let it go more naturally? (A good cry at a fab film can help! I recommend this one).

What about Anger? We (especially women, in whom, even in 2015 it’s still less socially acceptable than in men) definitely don’t want to suppress this.

Look at how Anger at injustice has changed the world for the better when expressed lovingly by people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Scilla Elworthy, Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler – the list is endless.

What makes you angry? How can you channel that perfectly legitimate emotion into action you feel good about?

And, awww, Disgust. I failed to hold back a judgmental and disgusted, ‘Oh dear God’ as a small child spat (maybe he thought he was a professional footballer, whatever – eeeww) on the floor very near me yesterday. I’ve been known to turn this Disgust against myself for feeling it but, hopefully, with Mindy Kaling’s help (she embraced it fully), I’ll come to accept my own squeamishness more.

Are you easily disgusted? How might you express it in as healthy a way as possible?

Just noticing our usual default emotions in different situations can help us being to gain more freedom as we’re guided rather than hijacked by our feelings.

Good luck!

What might you choose to do differently to better express all of your emotions from today?

Feel free to answer below in the comments!

love,

Eve x

 

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Health and beauty fayre in Witham on Saturday – pop over to say ‘Hi!’

If you’re in Witham on Saturday 18th (between 10am and 4pm), do say ‘Hi!’

There’s a health and beauty fayre in the Newlands Centre so you’ll meet all sorts of  practitioners you may not have known worked locally.

I’ll be at the Feel Better Every Day gazebo, doing demos and chatting to people around some of the ways we can all use our minds, bodies, hearts and souls to Feel Better Every Day.

I’ll be answering any questions you might have about:

* counselling,

*coach-therapy,

* life coaching,

* NLP,

* yoga,

* yoga therapy for mental health,

*EFT,

* crystals,

* my work in organisations

and other services I offer from my base on Witham’s high street.

I’ll also be doing a yoga demonstration for DS Fitness (I teach a yoga class there every Wednesday at 5.30pm).

Hope to see you there.

love,

Eve x

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Would you like a free yoga therapy session or yoga class? Happy Yoga Day!

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Like so many, I’m really excited about the UN’s first ever International Yoga Day this Sunday, 21st June.

To celebrate, I’m offering subscribers* the chance to win a free yoga and mindfulness class or private yoga therapy session with me.

You can find out more about individual sessions here and classes here.

To enter, all you have to do is email me (eve@feelbettereveryday.co.uk) with FREE YOGA in the subject heading, saying which yoga class you’d like to win (get more information about them here) a place in or how a private yoga therapy session might help you (I specialise in stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, resilience, sleep issues and PTSD and traumatic stress).

* If you’re not yet a subscriber to my Holistic Hi weekly tips, you can still become eligible to win by subscribing using the sign up box (for 25% off and free tips) on each page of my site.

21/6/15 is the closing date and I’ll let the winners know they’ve won before 30/6/15.

All sessions, classes and emails are completely confidential (I’ll be the only one reading them).

Find out more about the UN’s International Yoga Day here.

And if you’re in London on Sunday, you might want to go to Alexandra Palace to explore all sorts of free yoga sessions and events. Click here to find out more.

Whether or not you’re interested in yoga, what helps YOU feel more harmonious and peaceful?

Feel free to comment below.

Metta,

Eve
x

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How easy do YOU find it to ‘Shake it off’ when something upsetting happens?

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Taylor Swift shakes it off

Resilience is something I’ve been working with for a long time and so I decided to create a separate page for it. You can click here to read more.

When have you felt most resilient?

When have you felt LEAST resilient?

What helped you most?

Feel free to comment below.

Metta, Eve x

 

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Would you like some (free) EFT with me? Mini competition!

I’ve done the Advanced Practitioner Training and am doing some case studies to complete the training.

I’ve been a Practitioner since 2006, sharing this gorgeous way of working with individuals and groups but I don’t feel comfortable blurring boundaries with existing (paying) clients so am offering some free sessions to interested souls.

Hence this mini competition:

I’m looking for three different clients and the sessions (one per client) can be done face to face (in Witham, Essex) or via telephone or Skype wherever you’re based.

Also known as tapping and emotional acupressure, EFT (emotional freedom technique) is an energy psychology which works both by giving voice to our issues and by tapping meridian points around the upper body (fully clothed – nothing intrusive) in a sequence designed to release blocked energy.

It can help us with self-sabotage, anxiety, self-harming, stress, trauma, sleep issues and it can also help us set ourselves free from limiting beliefs, get out of our own way and flourish in different areas of our lives.

Although known for emotional issues, EFT also can help with the management of chronic pain conditions and other physical issues.

If you’d like to find out more about my EFT work, please click here.

The case studies will, of course, be anonymous.

And if you’d like to enter my mini competition here to win some free sessions for yourself (do feel free to pass this blog post on to potentially interested people), please email me – eve@feelbettereveryday.co.uk BEFORE 7th JUNE saying:

WHAT YOU’D LIKE EFT SUPPORT WITH

WHAT YOU’VE TRIED (IF ANYTHING) FOR THIS ISSUE BEFORE

WHERE YOU’RE BASED

AND YOUR IDEAL SCENARIO FOR HOW YOU’D LIKE TO FEEL WHEN IT’S WORKED

I look forward to hearing from you and to working with some of you soon!

I’ll be in touch with the winners between the 8th and 10th of June.

Metta, Eve x

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Is insomnia affecting your weight and health? (My cover story in My Weekly, 28/4/15)

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Oh, the irony, posting this when Rainbow MagnifiCat woke me up at2015-04-26 10.52.05 3.45am wanting to be fed today (she has dry food out the whole time). I normally feed her at 5am and go back to bed but this morning, between 3.45 and 5, she turned the light on a dozen times and I got the opportunity to play with several self-help tools for getting back to sleep (of course, I COULD have locked her out…) myself.

On the plus side, my nights of not great sleep are now (after early childhood to late 20s chronic insomnia – I nearly missed my Drama GCSE exam due to being up all night with anxiety and finally falling into a deep sleep) almost entirely behind me.

There are lots of things we can do to support ourselves. And getting to know our own insomnia triggers and quick fixes is essential as we’re all different.

Anyway, hope you find these tips helpful and if you’d like me to send you the Sleep Log I mention, just email me (eve@feelbettereveryday.co.uk) with My Weekly / Sleep Log in the subject header.

What helps you get a good night’s sleep?

Feel free to share your top tip as a comment below.

Metta,

Eve

x

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