Helping Women Hold both Sorrow and Joy on Mother’s Day

“The Mother’s Day we have is not big enough to hold all of a woman’s heart on Mother’s Day. Women need a different celebration. Let’s create a different celebration that doesn’t ask a woman to hold only one side of her story about mothers and motherhood on Mother’s Day. Let’s create a different celebration that allows her to hold all of her experience so that she may weave them gratefully into a single cloth. Let’s make the celebrations and conversations as big as the hearts of the women we are celebrating.” – Gretchen Schmelzer

Another powerful post from Gretchen Schmelzera post for all mothers, daughters and sons to read.

Drinking the Tears of the World: Grief as Deep Activism

“No-one escapes suffering in this life. None of us is exempt from loss, pain, illness and death. Yet, how is it that we have so little understanding of these essential experiences? How is it we have attempted to keep grief separated from our lives and only begrudgingly acknowledge its presence in the most obvious of times. Without some measure of intimacy with grief, our capacity to be with any other emotion or experience in our life is greatly compromised. It is our unexpressed sorrows, the congested stories of loss, when left unattended, that block our access to the soul.” – Francis Weller

There is so much loss in the world at the moment – death of those too young to die, destruction of the environment, losses of homes due to fire, the slaughtering of rhino……the list goes on.

In this article on grief  Francis Weller speaks of the Four Gates of Grief:

  1. the losses connected to losing someone or something we love
  2. the grief that occurs in the places never touched by love – these are the places within us that have been wrapped in shame and that we do not show to the world
  3. the losses of the world around us
  4. the expectations coded into our physical and psychic lives – expectations of a connection with the sacred

“It is difficult to resist the temptation to retract and close down the heart to the world. What then? What becomes of our concern and our outrage for the way things are going? Too often we go numb…”

It is a long article but really worth the read.

Why We Should Start Developing Self-Compassion

I remain amazed at how much pressure parents put on their children to perform and excel – and it seems to be getting worse and worse. How do those children grow up feeling good about themselves if they do not meet their parents’ high expectations? How do they learn to have self-compassion if they are getting no compassion from their parents when they do not meet these expectations? How do they feel good about themselves without the need to compare themselves to others and the need to be better than others?

Self-compassion enables us to feel good about ourselves without having to compare ourselves to others and meet our own high expectations.

Self-compassion is a willingness to look at our own mistakes and shortcomings with kindness and understanding.  When we are self-compassionate in the face of difficulty, we neither judge ourselves harshly, nor feel the need to defensively focus on all our awesome qualities to protect our ego.  We can be self-compassionate while still accepting responsibility for our performance and we can be self-compassionate while striving for the most challenging goals.

Dr Kristen Neff  writes about how we can learn to feel good about ourselves not because we’re special and above average, but because we’re human beings intrinsically worthy of respect.

If we develop self-compassion we will also develop compassion for other people – helping to make our world a kinder place to live in.

Carl Jung And The Art of Aging Well

A new client of mine told me that one of the reasons that he had chosen to come to me for life coaching was because I was “older” and that he believes that life experience is very important. Given the fact that he is not super young himself and that the photo on my website is a few years old I did not really relish his comment. But I do completely agree with him and also why Carl Jung urges us to use the later part of our lives to become more whole by discovering who we are and wisely sharing it with others.

I have spent quite a lot of time at a retirement village recently and I do believe that western culture is not encouraging us to do this – instead our culture continues to spread the idea that aging is best either denied or concealed – often even between old people themselves.

In this article Kathy Gottberg writes that ultimately it will come down to us to answer certain questions for ourselves: Does our continued existence at our increasing older age have value? Do we have something to contribute over and beyond just existing in a fairly well preserved body and mind, with enough resources to keep us reasonably happy, until it’s over? Will we as elders have a purpose that can benefit the world and others, no matter how fit, able and active we are?

“A human being would certainly not grow to be 70 or 80 years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species to which he belongs. The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life’s morning. The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different….” – Carl Jung

 

Weekly TRE® (Trauma and Tension Releasing Exercises) ‘Drop In’ Group

The weekly TRE® (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) ‘drop in’ group is restarting on Tuesday 24th January. This group is open to all people who have some experience of TRE®.

WEEKLY TRE® ‘DROP IN’ GROUP EVERY TUESDAY EVENING IN CLAREMONT

We are all affected by stress – it is part of life.

Designed by David Berceli, TRE® is a simple technique that helps your body release stress or tension that has accumulated from day-to-day life experiences, immediate or ongoing stressful situations, and traumatic life events. A set of simple exercises invokes a mild tremor which helps bring the nervous system back to a state of calm and balance. Once learned TRE® is a gentle and effective self-healing tool.

Some of the reported benefits of TRE® include:

  • Greater sense of calm and inner peace
  • Less anxiety and worry
  • Reduced pain
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Increased emotional resilience
  • Relief from chronic medical conditions
  • Release of muscular tension from exercise and sport
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Thriving in times of safety
  • Increased spiritual connection

Date:  Every Tuesday

Cost:  R100 per session

Time:  7.00pm to 8.15pm

Venue: Claremont

Please phone or email to make your booking before you come as spaces are limited.

Resiliency, Endings, Laughter and Scariness

In numerological terms 2016 is a 9 year – a year of closure and letting go of the past so that you can make room for the present and the future. Apparently unhelpful friends should be avoided and bad habits should be dropped. Study, contemplation and travel are meant to be favourable during this time.

It certainly has been a year of endings for me – some major life changes, challenges and endings did occur. If someone had told me 18 months ago what would happen in my life over the next 18 months I would have just laughed at them. I did study a bit – Quantum Energy Coaching (QEC), I had some wonderful bucket list holidays and have had plenty of time to contemplate as I seem to have lost the ability to sleep.

I have contemplated resiliency quite a bit. Rod Warner from the Building Reliance Group has done research on how people deal with adversity and in his article explains 7 Building Resiliency Principles.

  • Connect to your purpose and meaning in life
  • Use your unique strengths
  • Maintain perspective
  • Generate positive feelings
  • Be realistically optimistic
  • Persevere by being open minded and flexible
  • Reach out to others

I certainly have used these principles for myself and was doing pretty well – I have had a lot of fun restructuring my life, jumping out of my comfort zone, making decisions, and was feeling excited and positive about my future.

But then one change too many, in too short a time, happened and I ran out of emotional energy. In September my dad was diagnosed with cancer and has subsequently also had a very minor stroke due to the treatment he was having. I lost perspective, could generate no positive feelings, was not optimistic and had no idea who to reach out to. I hugely resisted it – in my mind my dad was meant to stay healthy to look after my mom who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year. I did not want to worry about two frail parents living in a different city. I did not want to have to go visit regularly and spend time in the retirement village with two people who are no longer who they used to be. I very selfishly just wanted to get on and live my newly restructured life.

But we do what we have to do, and in the process someone always comes along to support and impart very necessary information, we learn who to reach out to, we use our strengths, we persevere and we gain perspective.

I am still resisting the situation a bit but have explored what lessons I have learnt in the past few months. The first is that I have realised that I am not the reincarnation of Florence Nightingale. The second is that it is not a good idea to lose your temper (and have a rant about human decency and karma) with one of Gauteng’s large and corrupt traffic officers who is trying to intimidate you into paying a bribe. I had a couple of incidences with intruders on my property in the middle of the year and neither the traffic officer nor the intruders seemed to find me very scary. The third lesson is that it is absolutely vital to continue laughing, connect to your inner child, not to take yourself or life too seriously, and be grateful for all you have in your life.

I then looked for the positives in the situation – on my few trips up to Joburg I noticed wonderful and random acts of kindness and care between our different cultures. I was impressed by the care of the nurses, the concern of a young air steward who could see I was taking strain and every time he walked past me gave my shoulder a squeeze, I saw men helping women with suitcases, old people supporting each other, and I noticed a general sense of connectedness and warmth between strangers. It made me feel more positive about our wonderful country.

I wish you all a restful ending to 2016 – we have ten more days left to drop bad habits – and I need to find out how to increase my scariness factor.

Weekly TRE® (Trauma and Tension Releasing Exercises) ‘Drop In’ Group

I have been asked to run a weekly TRE® (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises) ‘drop in’ group on a Tuesday evening at 7pm. This group is open to all people who have some experience of TRE®.

“I have benefited a great deal from doing TRE® with Lynne. I first did a few private sessions and have since joined an ongoing TRE® group. The group sessions are wonderful in that they are more affordable and you are with other people with whom you can share briefly at the beginning and end of each session. It has helped me to maintain the practice of TRE® which I may otherwise not get around to. TRE® really helps take the edge off my stress, which is priceless! Having Lynne’s support is really wonderful, too – I so enjoy her gentle, listening and non-judgemental approach.”  Kyle

TRE® is a wonderful and very effective method to release tension from the psoas muscle – in this article Jacob Devaney writes about the psoas muscle and the negative impact of accumulated stress.

WEEKLY TRE® ‘DROP IN’ GROUP EVERY TUESDAY EVENING IN CLAREMONT

We are all affected by stress – it is part of life.

Designed by David Berceli, TRE® is a simple technique that helps your body release stress or tension that has accumulated from day-to-day life experiences, immediate or ongoing stressful situations, and traumatic life events. A set of simple exercises invokes a mild tremor which helps bring the nervous system back to a state of calm and balance. Once learned TRE® is a gentle and effective self-healing tool.

Some of the reported benefits of TRE® include:

  • Greater sense of calm and inner peace
  • Less anxiety and worry
  • Reduced pain
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Increased emotional resilience
  • Relief from chronic medical conditions
  • Release of muscular tension from exercise and sport
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Thriving in times of safety
  • Increased spiritual connection

Date:  Every Tuesday

Cost:  R100 per session

Time:  7.00pm to 8.15pm

Venue: Claremont

Please phone or email to make your booking before you come as spaces are limited.

Letting go of Attachment

“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.”  Dalai Lama

Since seeing how peaceful, gentle, friendly and kind the people of Bhutan are I have been trying to get a deeper understanding of Buddhism. In his book, What makes you not a Buddhist, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse says that you are only a Buddhist if you accept the following four truths or ‘seals’ (not to be confused with Buddhism’s four noble truths):

  • All compounded or fabricated things are impermanent
  • All emotions bring pain and suffering and that there is no emotion that is purely pleasurable
  • All phenomena are illusory and empty, things have no inherent existence
  • Enlightenment does not exist within the spheres of time, space and power, it is beyond concepts.

Once you have realised that the self and all its possessions are impermanent and have no truly existing nature, you have non attachment. This is a lot easier said than done, and I find it difficult, especially in our society that is so attached to possessions, status, looks, image and happiness.

Lori Deschene gives some ideas on how to let go of attachment which is a day-to-day, moment-to-moment commitment that involves changing the way you experience and interact with everything you instinctively want to grasp.