The Circle of Perspective

When you are in a difficult situation it can be hard to see a way out of it.

Often the way out of the situation is to change the perspective on that situation.

This is what I describe as moving around the circle of the problem.

Moving Around the Circle of the Problem

If you imagine the problem as an object in front of you.

Imagine there is a circle around the problem and you are standing on a spot on that circle.

The spot you are standing on is one of great difficulty with no seeming way out of the problem.

But what is you took a step to the left or right around the circle? What would the problem look like then?

Using the Circle of the Problem

This is something I have used for most of my adult life. It is something that is possible to learn and apply with determination and intention.

The next time you find yourself with a problem to solve try this.

Imagine yourself standing on a circle looking at the problem.

Then imagine you are taking a step to the left or right. As you take that imaginary step, do so with the intention of seeking the problem from a different angle.

It is amazing how solvable a problem looks when you just take a step to one side or another of a problem.

Take Time to Consider the Problem

Sometimes you need time to sit with a problem before you are able to see it from another perspective.

There are many ways to give yourself time.

Sometimes sleeping on the problem can be a good way to prepare to take that step. Things are always easier to attend to when you are well rested.

You can also put the problem aside and do something else. Maybe you decide to have a walk, go out with friends, meditate.

Find a Trusted Confidant to Share the Problem With

Another way of preparing to take that step is to discuss the problem with someone else who is prepared to listen and be your sounding board. The ideal person will listen and ask questions to allow you to explore your feelings around the problem and to test the various solutions you may consider or different perspectives you may have. You need someone who can be neutral and not push their solution on you.

This is where a counsellor can be very helpful. We are trained to listen and help you explore all options and your feelings around them.

Can I Help?

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your problem, please contact me on 0409396608 or nan@plentifullifecounselling.com.au

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz

Don’t Hide From Grief. Let Your Brain Do Its Work.

Grief is a very difficult feeling to explain. Although there are similarities in the way people grieve, there are also differences. Each person grieves in their own unique way.

How you grieve depends on your life experiences, your relationship to the person who has died, what else is happening in your life and what you have been taught about grief.

Grief Is Inescapable

The important thing to remember is that Grief is real. It is not something to be pushed away or run away from.

It is not something you can drink away, smoke away, drug away, shop away or any other activity you can devise to hide from it.

Grief is.

Grief Impacts Your Brain

Neuroscientists studying grief have found that grief activates the same areas of the brain activated by physical pain. In other words, emotional pain causes the same pain reaction in the brain as physical pain.

Grief also triggers the brain’s fight or flight defensive areas. This results in you being alert and restless. It also causes you to feel exhausted as your brain doesn’t allow you to rest.

I Can’t Get The Circumstances Out Of My Mind

People who grieve often talk about the constant churning of the events of their loved one’s death over and over in their mind.

This is something that is often reported as being unhealthy. Replaying events in the brain is something that people are often told is bad and must be stopped.

But replaying the events of a painful experience such as bereavement is essential for the brain to process what has happened.

I am not saying that you keep going over and over the events forever. But you do need to allow them to replay and be resolved.

Memories Usually Lessen Over Time

Those memories should start to lessen over time. You might not think them as often. You might find the memories are less painful. That means your brain is processing them and resolving them.

If those memories don’t lessen. If you still are troubled by the high frequency of the memories. If you feel things are not resolving then you may need help from a grief counsellor.

The Uncertainty Of The Grief World

It is important to remember that the fight or flight response in the brain is triggered by the disruption of grief. All that you knew, all that seemed certain, has been devastated. You are in the grip of uncertainty and that is scary. You will most likely feel unsafe.

In some instances you may be financially impacted by the grief. That in itself is scary.

It is really important to allow others who you feel safe with to financially support you.

Can I Help?

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your grief, please contact me on 0409396608 or nan@plentifullifecounselling.com.au

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz

Taking The Leap Into A More Satisfying Life

Something you realise throughout life, often as you grow older, is that you are never “finished”. There will never be an end point to your growth and development. Right up to the moment of death you will continue to grow.

The fact of your unfinished state is often very obvious when you do something new. Then the gulf between your level of competence and the new thing you are doing is very obvious.

To Live Is To Grow

Life is about growth. It is about stepping out into the unknown. About stepping out into your level of incompetence and doing something new and different.

If you don’t grow, you stagnate. This concept is often discussed in regard to relationships. A relationship can never stay the same, it either grows or stagnates. In other words, it doesn’t grow. Stagnation precedes the death of the relationship.

It is the same with life. If you don’t progress in your life and grow you will stagnate. Stagnation is where many people find themselves. Maybe you are there right now. You feel stuck in the sameness of your life, you feel empty, depleted and maybe restless or hopeless.

The Importance of Restlessness

Restless is good. From restlessness comes the desire to change, to grow, to get out of the rut you find yourself in.

Restless allows courage to arise. Courage to make changes and start new beginnings.

Beginnings are full of possibilities and unknowns. They are uncertain and scary. And that is okay. Within you there is the ability to survive the unknown and find your way. There is the possibility to try something new, learn how to do it and survive the experience.

Change Happens On The Edge Of Uncertainty

Change only ever happens on the edge of uncertainty.

There has been much research into the importance of challenging yourself in order to change and move away from stagnation.

New relationships are scary, but you still work at them until they are less scary. And you keep working at them always. New things in life are like relationships. They are uncertain and scary but if you work at them they become less scary. They can even be exhilarating. You work at them until you reach the point of feeling less scared, maybe even comfortable.

Keep Going. Rest Yes, But Don’t Stop There

But don’t stop there. You can rest there for a while, but allow the restless within to lead you further forward. Remember. You never stay in the same place. You either grow and move forward and stop and stagnate..

Changes in life are scary, but you still make them – whether you want to our not – and you settle in to the changes. One day you find yourself comfortable with the changes that you formerly found terrifying.

Change Is Uncertain And That Is Okay

Change is uncertain. Uncertain is scary. For many people that level of uncertainty feels impossible to overcome. But it can be done.

Maybe you are dreaming of a new job, moving to a new area, a new career and the idea is overwhelming so you remain in the same place. You stay put and you are miserable but unable to see how to make the leap to a new change.

Sometimes Change Is Best Accomplished By Taking A Small Jump Instead Of A Massive Leap

Don’t make that leap, instead make a series of small adjustments.

Try doing one thing that breaks your usual routine. It may mean getting up earlier in the morning to have a walk on the beach. It may mean eating breakfast outside, instead of in the kitchen. It may mean catching the bus and train to work instead of driving.

These small breaks from your usual routine are something new. Just try doing something different. Even one different thing a week. If you eat the same menu night after night (because it is easier and you don’t have to think) switch around the meals so that you eat them on different nights. One night add a different meal.

These changes may seem insignificant. They may seem downright weird – especially the one about where you eat breakfast. But they change your routine. And changing your routine opens the way for bigger changes.

The First Step Is The Hardest In Every Journey Of Dreams

It is said that the first step is the hardest. This is from a quote by Moffat Machingura.

“The first step is the hardest in every journey of dreams. There is nothing else to fear unto whosoever has shown the tenacity to begin; because, once having started, the hardest part of the mission is the one lying behind.” ~ Moffat Machingura, Life Capsules

At The End of Your Life Your Greatest Regret Will Be The Risks You Didn’t Take.

Another wonderful quote that is worth noting is:

“Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn’t chase. you will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path” ~ Mark Batterson.

Remember your greatest asset in change is courage.

You Grow Your Wings Once You Leap Off The Cliff Not Before

There is a beautiful quote by Ray Bradbury about jumping off the cliff and growing your wings on the way down. It is true. You don’t grow those wings until you need them. You don’t need them until you have launched yourself into uncertainty.

You can’t wait until everything is in place before you do something new. You will never be ready. That is why you should just start and allow the growth that will lead you to succeed.

I made the comment to someone recently about leaping off the cliff and finding my wings so that I could soar. They looked worried and asked me what about if my wings didn’t come. The answer? They will always come.

Life Is About Beginnings

You are part of a continuum of human life that has gone on for millennia. All life is about beginnings and within each life are countless beginnings.

Beginnings feel like lonely journeys into the unknown, the jump off the cliff without wings.

But the wings are always there. The outcome may not be what you imagined it would be, but there will be an outcome.

Let Go So That You Can Grow

It is only when you let go that growth can come. Your wings only arrive when you embrace uncertainty.

Maybe you will not find the outcome that you wanted. It may feel like failure. But it will be learning and from that place of learning you can move on into a new unknown. Each leap off the cliff into uncertainty strengthens and empowers you to grow.

Beginnings, those leaps off the cliff, are invitations to embrace the gifts and growth that wait once you soar with your new wings.

Endings Are Necessary For Beginnings To Happen

Sometimes you will spend time in preparation, not realising you are ending an old pattern of behaviour. You will prepare and leap off the cliff. Other times you will experience an ending and discover a beginning within it. That is your leap off the cliff.

Leaping off the cliff is not necessarily comfortable but it is most definitely survivable.

On the journey of your life you will experience many beginnings and endings. That is what life is about. You choose what you will begin and you choose what you will end. If you don’t choose, life will choose for you.

The Leap Into The Unknown Is Your Ally

As you leap off that cliff recognise that the leap into the unknown is your beloved ally. It is waiting to share with you the exhilaration and possibilities of the unknown.

Don’t get stuck. Be open and vulnerable. Don’t be afraid of the new and the different. Embravce the opportunities to grow.

Take a deep breath and launch yourself over that cliff. That is where life is.

Can I Help?

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you to leap off that cliff, please contact me on 0409396608 or nan@plentifullifecounselling.com.au

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz

22 Things You May Not Know About Grief

  1. Grief is how we as human beings express loss for what we love
  2. Being open to grief deepens and widens your loving. Grief is how you love when someone is not there any more. It is the natural expression of your heart for what you miss.
    Set an intention to allow yourself to feel even what seems unbearable. If it needs to be felt then feel it. Don’t try to overcome what your body, heart and mind want to travel through, experience and feel. Remember grief is ongoing, not a temporary thing. It is natural and you will learn to live with.
  3. Grief is a reality.
    There is a story of father racing across the US to see his daughter before she died. As he sat with her body after she had died he commented to palliative counsellor that the grief was familiar. He had encountered this before.
    The reality is life is a series of small losses and deaths. We experience grief when we lose a beloved toy as a child, when our childhood friend moves away and the friendship ends, when we break up with romantic partners, when we suffer financial losses, when we can’t have the baby we long for, when our dreams die, when things we had are lost, when we lose time.
  4. Grief is more than the emotions we feel.
    It is also a lot of losses and fears. Maybe you are suddenly alone. Maybe you have to face limitations you never had before, maybe you are lonely, maybe you are scared.
  5. Ultimately grief is about living. You miss someone you loved but you are still alive and that is why grief is ultimately about living.
  6. Grief is something we as humans do.
    It is how we know we exist. You don’t reach a point of being able to accept the uncertainty of life and the certainty of loss by suppressing the pain of grief or trying to spiritually bypass by telling yourself they are in heaven, or have been reincarnated. Or telling yourself you don’t have to feel the emotions and trying to meditate or pray them away. The more you try to push away the feelings of grief, the more tenaciously they cling to you and the harder it is to let them go.
  7. Unless you let the world in and let your pain in and let your emotions in you cannot let go of the grief.
  8. You can’t transcend feelings of loss. To do so is to deny your humanity.
  9. Grief is a wide variety of experiences. Sadness, loneliness, change, anger, numbness.
  10. If you accept and allow your grief you can walk through it and live life with grief there as well. To grieve and accept its presence is to come to the fullness of your humanity and aliveness.
  11. People think to allow themselves to miss their loved one their world will fall apart. But connecting to your pain and allowing it is how you come back to yourself, to your soul. To the essence of who you are.
  12. Grief contains love and wisdom that is way beyond the ways of this world. You are an apprentice to sorrow. Grief is also a wilderness. Open to nature and allow yourself to wander in grief. Don’t try to control it as we humans try to control nature and fail miserably.
  13. Uncertainty is so frightening that we try to hold on to it. Grief is a stark reminder of the uncertainty of life. The grieving person is in freefall and there is no control. Forgive yourself for trying to control what is uncontrollable.
  14. You can only progress through the wilderness of grief if you are willing to be there, to be awake and free. Ask yourself, what are you unwilling to feel?
    Undo your resistance to grief. If there are any stages in grief it is here that you will find them. Allowing the sorrow and grief is how you work your way through the darkness of grief. You meet your edge and soften. Be intentional about that. Soften into grief and the apprehension of loss. Allow tenderness to accompany grief.
    “We manage our lives so powerfully externally as to forget the incredible mystery we are involved in.” John O’Donohue.
    Certainly you want to scream “no” but “yes” is the only way you can answer the world as it is. All the “no”s in the world will not change anything.
  15. Love can grow after death. Allow yourself to be open to that. Open to what is.
  16. Change is always happening. Learn to relate to the groundlessness of life without resisting and wanting to control. Instead be expectant and curious.
  17. What would happen if you stopped clinging to the person who has died? Many people blame themselves for the death of their loved one. This is how people try to hold on to the person who has died. But that is not the solution.
    Instead let go. Forgive yourself for the things you feel you omitted or did wrong. Let go.
    This is when you will merge with the one you lost and will have them there. In a healthy and beautiful way.
    “When the work of grief is done the wound of loss will heal and you will have learned to wean your eyes from the gap in the air and be able to enter the hearth in your soul where your loved one has awaited your return all the time.” John O’Donohue.
  18. Grief takes as long as it takes. There is no magic number for how long it will last.
    You cannot force your way through grief. You can only be willing to experience it, patient for the pain to shift, curious at what you are experiencing, gentle with yourself and knowing there is wisdom that yearns to surrender you to the waves of grief.
  19. Honour the power of goodness, beauty, and necessity in grief. Allow yourself to be open to the groundlessness of grief.
  20. You are not a victim. Be open to the moment of grief. Open to the resources your compassionate self has. Share your grief with others. Take the power in naming your grief and learn it will give you an ability to be in the ever changing difficult world you live in.
  21. Give permission to allow sadness. To allow crying. To feel it in your body. In time you may find turning to the suffering of others helps you lessen the grief of your suffering.
    Depression comes because grief is not processed.
    Listen to your heart and follow it. It knows what you need.
    Ask the pain what it wants from you. Draw comfort from the knowledge that pain gets less because it comes in waves and all waves come and go. Give the pain the acceptance it wants.
    Be with your grief and emotions. Ask what they mean. Remember the pain of grief does not always appear as grief. It can express itself as anger, depression, numbness, shame.
    Go into your body again and again. Sense the longing to feel and feel that. Ask the numbness to let you know what you need to feel.
  22. Grief is not bad. It is not wrong. It is. It is life. It is being.

Can I Help?

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your grief, please contact me on 0409396608 or nan@plentifullifecounselling.com.au

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz