Sending love to the world (again)

Image by the fantabulous Caroline Chappell
Image by the fantabulous Caroline Chappell

Trite and hippyish as it may sound, sending love / loving kindness / metta etc isn’t easy.

Sometimes, it can be hard enough to wish ourselves well let alone people we see as ‘other’ or worse. It can be really challenging to see people we disagree with and attempting to send compassion and loving kindness rather than judgment.

I mean, who does that (be it ploughing into innocent people crossing a bridge and stabbing a policeman or boiling a prisoner alive… I could go on with horrors from just this week but won’t)?

And then, of course, there’s the judgment about how we ‘should’ all react. As if we could legislate our feelings even if we wanted to.

Over the years, I’ve learned that allowing myself to feel whatever I’m feeling is the best way through it. Judging myself for crying more over London than Mosul (I was born there, lived there for years, am in every week and passed through on Wednesday) wouldn’t have helped anyone.

Far more lives were lost in Mosul this week and I consciously feel guiltier as ‘our side’ is responsible yet, I can’t control what I cry over. Similarly, my tears for London  were different to my (more intense) sobbing over the murder (and lack of his murderers being charged) of Darren Rainey in Florida  and Timothy Caughman in New York.

I feel compelled to state, aloud, that (I hope!) most people who look white DON’T think like the awful white supremacist who killed him. I also feel rage at the injustice that as a white looking woman, I’m not expected to have to speak out against that in the way that, for example, peace loving Muslims are expected to denounce attacks that extremists undertake.

I feel hopeless when I think about terrorists but I don’t feel as afraid of them (nothing – that I know of –  I can do to control or even influence their actions) as I do about a certain English woman who is passing off her hate speech on US telly as the norm for (diverse! Inclusive!) London.

However we feel, whatever our reactions – to global or more personal tragedies – we have a right to our feelings.

The more we give ourselves a bit of time and space to process and grieve and heal, the less likely we are to mess things up even more badly by lashing out at people we disagree with.

This is something simple, though not easy, that we can all do (should we want to) to contribute a teeny bit towards creating a safer, more peaceful world for all of us.

What might you do to be extra kind to yourself today?

Feel free to share below.




Happy Mental Health Awareness Week! Use your mind, body and feelings to create happiness forming habits


Thanks to high profile campaigns such as Time to Change, mental health is becoming easier to talk about. Awareness raising weeks like this one also help.

Boosting your mental health doesn’t have to be complicated. In psychosynthesis (the model of counselling I trained in – click here to find out more), we look at the whole person (mind, body, feelings) as well as seeing the soul behind the personality. We look at what is trying to emerge from even the most challenging seeming situations.

Ideally, we make the most of each of these elements for holistic health and wellbeing. But, whatever your preference, you can start working with your natural favourite today:


If you relate to the world mostly through your thoughts (mind), ponder your mental health this week. There’s a new Cambridge University developed app making headlines this week which may benefit you. Called the Emotion Sense app (free on Android phones), it asks you to note how you’re feeling several times a day then shows results so you can see, ‘Ahh, yes, x makes me happy’ or ‘Y makes me want to crawl under my duvet and never emerge’.

If you don’t have or want such an app, pen and paper is just as good – Set an alarm or use mealtimes or similar regular daily events to take time to pause and ask yourself how you’re feeling. Note your responses and later identify your own patterns. With this greater awareness, you can do things to increase the happiness inducing activities while minimising the misery makers as much as possible.


How embodied are you? One of the things I loved most about my Minded Yoga therapy training was learning that, when we can’t think ourselves better, we can change the way we breathe and move our bodies and this will send signals to the brain which then change the way we feel. Magic.

The benefits of exercise are increasingly well known. Keep it simple and think about the kind of movement that makes you feel best. For me, much as I love my (at least some) daily yoga* and cycling and walking, it’s swimming that I’m most addicted to. If I don’t go at least twice a week, it has a noticeable impact on my

Maybe you love a particular kind of class at your gym? Perhaps you love to dance? Do what you love. Enjoy using the body you were born with. Treat yourself to a massage. Appreciate it for all it can do. Stretch, lift, jump and have fun with it.

*For more on research about yoga and mental health, check out the lovely Veena’s blog by clicking here.


Do you censor your tears? Fighting them while telling yourself to get over whatever’s upsetting you? As Dr Phil might ask, ‘How’s that working for you?’

Allowing ourselves to feel even the most uncomfortable feelings can shift them much faster. USE your feelings. Cry. Sob. Wail. Let it all out. Research has shown that tears cried through emotion contain different chemicals than those shed while chopping onions. After a good cry, you’ll probably feel emotionally spent but there’ll also be that shift that allows small children (before they are socialised into repressing their emotions) cry one minute and run off to laugh and play the next.

Maybe you have no difficulty feeling the sadness but don’t allow yourself to experience joy and peace? You’ll know the feelings you’re most comfortable with and those you avoid. Experiment with feeling more of the spectrum and notice how it impacts your energy levels. I imagine they’ll begin to soar.


Even if you have no spiritual beliefs, you can probably answer the question, ‘What makes your heart sing?’ Give yourself a few minutes to tune into your heart and make notes of all the answers that spring to mind. It may include spending time with your children / painting / sewing / cooking / spending time in nature / building things / playing music / singing at the top of your lungs / gazing at your favourite artwork / climbing mountains / losing yourself in research…

Your answers will be as unique as you are but making time for your soul in daily life will have a beneficial impact on all areas of your mental health and wellbeing.

And when things feel challenging, as well as doing more of the spirit boosting things you’ve identified, ask yourself what lessons can you learn from even the most difficult situations? This simple reframe can help you navigate life’s challenges with more grace and ease.

And if you’d like some support, get in touch to find out how I can help you work at your wellbeing and feel better every day.

Metta xx