Another year has rushed past, even for me, as a mindful practitioner! Do we lament the passing of another year, or celebrate with gratitude? I guess that can depend on our perspectives of our experiences. And of course, holiday times bring into sharper focus, perspectives that may feel painful; full of judgement about ‘loved one’s’ past behaviours and perhaps regrets about our own decisions.
But what do we do with those we invite (or who invite themselves!) and for whom have less than kind behaviours? The Narcissist, is an excellent example of an individual who can rob those affected of that sense ‘self’, of goodwill, and compassion for all men (and women).
If we are to grow, despite the protestations of those who are themselves troubled, we must individuate from their teachings over the years; not an easy task, but it’s a fundamental necessity.
In January, LeanOnUs, Anglia Counselling, and Swan Waters will be offering lots of advice, hints and tips for progressing to a life without the narcissist and his/her insistent need for attention, at your expense.
Christmas and the New Year is also, almost inevitably, a time for reflection for those no longer with us, and for those who have separated from their children through marital breakdown, for those children affected through no fault of their own, and for those living far away.
This brings various forms of grief to our consciousness, and grief, just as with any emotion must be acknowledged, honoured, accepted, and released if we are to healthily process what is essentially a sign of the depth of our love for those no longer with us, or who cannot be present.
I came across SOAR, a useful acronym (and I do love an acronym!) to help us remember what we can choose to do when faced with difficult emotions.
Surrender to that which feels uncomfortable. (Unless there is a positive action to take.)
Observe the emotion and any sensations arising within the body.
Accept whatever arises (without judgement) and try not to get involved with a lengthy negative self-dialogue.
Release! Just let go. You know what you need to know about the emotion, thoughts and sensations, and the events or experience. Now let it go. (Even if just for now!)
Now, this kind of self-compassion takes practice, but it is no less than each and every one of us deserves. You may find a ‘mindful’ approach helps.
2017 was the year that Sonya and I created a very special 8-week online mindfulness program, the purpose of which is to introduce those yet to practice mindfulness to the 8 core fundamentals - in their own space and time. This course, when practiced, gives rise to better emotional regulation and helps us to become more appropriately responsive, rather than unhealthily reactive that can lead us to make regrettable decisions!
There are plenty more resources available via LeanOnUs so do drop by and if there are questions to which you could use some help with, be sure to let Sonya know.
Wishing you all every peace and happiness through Christmas, the holidays, and the New Year.
Bob Brotchie is a British counsellor providing private services to clients in the privacy, and comfort, of a truly welcoming environment at his company office. He can be found at Anglia Counselling Ltd, located near Newmarket in Suffolk (GB). Bob also provides counselling, online, for international clients all around the world.
Therapeutic models are often centred around mindfulness, with clients finding 'peace' via the integration of Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) principles.