A Great Exercise for Reflecting oh the Past Year and Planning Potentials for the New Year

As some of you may know, I have been taking part in a free on line woman’s ‘retreat’ which consists of many workshops (each taking about 30-60 minutes to take part in). See www.womanunleashedretreat.com . As part of this I have been creating a journal (as is suggested) and writing and doodling and having fun with colours and shapes, as I listen, reflect and visualise during the workshop time. It’s an amazing experience and I look forward to finding an hour for myself each day and then picking a workshop that appeals to me. For me playing with art materials also gives me great joy and now I have an excuse to do it!I’ve made a nice space in my studio, with candles and have pulled out all my art supplies. Just using what I feel like, in each moment.

Each day I learn something new about myself or get a deeper understanding and some clarity around issues that have been affecting me. There are a lot of topics to choose from and I highly recommend checking it out and giving it a try. And did I mention- It’s free!! I am so amazed and grateful about the level of wisdom that is being shared and available for us women (provided by women), world wide, through this process.

The exercise I have done most recently (and am still reflecting on) and which I really wanted to share with you because it is so appropriate at this time of year; is the one about reflecting on the past year, letting go of what you no longer need and planting intentions (” seeds’) for the coming year. It was presented by Dr. Mary Pritchard (www.drmarypritchard.com) of Goddess Awakening fame.

The things that I found most useful was; making a list of the things I want to celebrate about last year (things I liked, was grateful for, was proud of, etc). Thinking about what was my biggest accomplishment and my greatest life lesson in 2015. I have made a list and that is now up on the fridge. I keep adding things too!

Next she asked us to reflect on what we would like to let go of. To think about: What habits, beliefs, and/or behaviour patterns do we not want to carry forward to 2016? I again wrote a list. She then encouraged us to hold a releasing ceremony. I tore my list into strips and burned the strips (I used a candle and put burning strips into a fire proof bowl-and had water on hand!). I then flushed the burned bits down the toilet. It felt great to watch the words shrivel up as they burned :-). It felt very powerful.

Finally we worked on Intentions for 2016. She asked us questions like: What is your heart’s desire in every part of your life? What are your goals for the year? What do you want to love more about yourself? What do you want to have accomplished, if you look back at the end of next year?What would the woman you would like to be look like? (I am still working on that one-and want to draw her). What would your theme be for next year? I personally find that an interesting question and am still reflecting. Think it might be something about being more centred and grounded (less knocked around, by life events). She also asked if you believe you deserve everything you want. I find that such a deep and important question, and an indication of more deep work needed if the answer is NO. I was happy to find my answer was mostly YES! Which is different from years ago when it would have been leaning a lot more to NO. Thanks goodness for all the work I have done for myself and the help I have had from counsellors and other support!

She spoke about seeing our intentions as seeds, so many women (including me) did some art work on seeds being planted and sprouting. See my picture below. She also asked how we would fertilise and water these seeds so they would blossom. Another good thing to reflect on, as we it doesn’t help (in my experience) to just set goals or intentions and then not look after and nurture them. She asked us to consider one thing we could do often, to nurture these ‘seeds’. For me that would be loving myself more, being more gentle on myself. So I drew hearts around my pot of planted seeds.

Altogether it was a very powerful experience for me and felt it was the right time to share it, as the year is very close to coming to an end.

So do any thought s come up for you, as you read this?? Let me know if you do give it a go. Even just a small part of it. Or if you look up her session (or any other session) on the Woman Unleashed website. If you do check it out, there is a FB page women can join and then you see, hear/read what others have got from the workshops. It’s been nice to be involved in that too. More connected in the work. Not so on my own! And so nice to see other women have similar challenges and things they struggle with and find ways to work with.

Inner Child Work – First Time Blog for This Counselling Grandma

Hi all,

At the risk of showing my age I must admit that, as the heading shows, this is my first time ever blogging. but I do feel proud I am up to doing something new and challenging myself (and keeping up with the times, as my adult children would say). So now what to share…… I might start with something that is close to my heart.

Recently I have seen several clients who have really been benefiting form doing Inner Child work during our session together. So what is this and how do we do this, I hear you ask. So let me tell you a bit about this.

When a client is very distressed by something and the distress seems out of proportion to what has actually happened (or seems to come from a deeper, more reactive place-and often is repeated frequently), I may ask that person to close their eyes, take a few breaths, and sit with the feelings for a little while. Then I will ask something like ” how old do you feel now. What age does the feeling connect to?”. Often an age will automatically come up for the client (and surprise them in the process)and they will start to feel this age. I will then ask if I can speak to the child (part of the client, but at a younger age). Then I will speak in a very soft, loving and nurturing way , asking the child part of the person, what they are feeling and why, or what is happening for them. One client spoke of feeling about 4 or 5 and seeing themselves in a dark place. The child part spoke of feeling so scared and all alone and spoke in a childlike manner. Another client felt like a gangly teenager who was feeling lonely and not good enough. I then ask if the child will allow the adult part of them (I name the client by name) , to support or nurture or comfort them. if the answer is yes (and sometimes it is not, and that usually is because the client has been very harsh on themselves and their child part does not trust them to be loving to her) I will ask what they would like. Sometimes it can be a mental cuddle or hand on the shoulder. I ask the client to imagine comforting that sad/scared/lonely part of themselves (using their imagination). Sometimes clients visualise their small inner child, crawling into their lap. One client said the child part wanted to ride on her back, another wanted her adult part just to hold her hand and stand next to her. Its interesting what comes up. The child who felt she was alone in the dark, asked to be taken to a bright place outdoors and to play at tea parties with her adult self. Most of the clients are open to trying to visualise comforting their smaller self part. And I recommend they practice doing this at other times, when they feel sad or scared or lonely. Many report it really helps and I personally use this process frequently.

Of course before this work I do often explain a bit about the Inner Child process.

I explain that our Inner Child part, is that part that often feels childlike and causes us to behave in childlike or childish ways. It is often more emotionally reactive because it responds from feelings, unlike our adult part which is more likely to think and respond more logically. Its our soft, more vulnerable part which if treated well and is feeling safe, is the part where joy and fun come from. But most of us have had to hide that part away, to some extend, in order to survive a world where adults (eg. parents, teachers, older kids, and society around us) often do not meet our needs sufficiently, may criticise us, put us down or even physically and/or emotionally abuse us. The world can be an unsafe place for the sensitive part of ourselves. and for some more than others.

For those who have suffered abuse or more damaging events in childhood, this may apply :

“When our Inner Child is blocked, we are robbed of our natural spontaneity and zest for life. Over time this can lead to low energy, depression or even chronic or serious illness” Lucia Capacchione, Recovery of Your Inner Child p17.

What we all need is for our vulnerable, soft parts to be treated with love, respect, nurturing and gentle care. Many look for this from others and then get up set when they do not receive it. We look at our partners, friends, children, bosses, work mates, etc, etc to give us what we need. But often they can not, as they have their own unmet needs and are only non perfect humans (as we all are). The only person who can always be available to us, is our adult self. Thats why this Inner Child stuff is so powerful. It gives us a tool to give ourselves what we need in our deepest parts!!

Let me know if you have any experiences with this or what your thought s are and I hope a good discussion can be forth coming