• WELLBEING

    Raw


    I am still a little bit raw – almost a year ago, finding out about the global pandemic meant that I needed to reevaluate my 2020 plans – but I am finding a way for resting. I have learned to practice a new level of self-care: connection with trusted friends, rest, nutrition & exercise.

    Prepared meals for the family for the first half of the week – works magic! So I ate well and snacked less. Did not move much though… Spent a week reading and researching reliable literature. Slowly getting into the mood of things with a bit of cbt and mindfulness. Enjoying the dark mornings and rain, actually. It’s still time to sit at home, read and write.

    Preparing for another long year ahead…

  • WELLBEING

    Slow Holidays

    I was struggling to get into the holiday mood, constantly thinking about those poor truck drivers on the border. Yesterday’s news about food deliveries cheered me up a bit. In the evening, I was representing OTR Bristol at an Open Mic event organised by students on two sides of the pond – people’s kindness, creativity and care always move me deeply. The music cheered me up, but their kindness even more. Dog found it soothing 😉 I found it hopeful. It’s the little groups of carrying people who make all the difference. 2020 was shocking for many, unveiling for all of us but I sense more and more of my friends are getting used to the idea of open, raw, conflicting but transformative conversations. It’s not about fitting in, it’s about being unique and different. Feeling uncomfortable is a good sign. But we need to listen. It’s not about avoiding conflict hiding behind politeness about the courage to speak your mind knowing that we have to hold what comes back at us and negotiate coming back to the middle. And it’s not about being right – it’s about speaking your truth but staying kind and varying for the other. We’re in this together. We will figure it out.

  • WELLBEING

    New books

    I am putting away my humanist books to make space for diversity: race, age, gender, silence, safety and neurodiversity. I might read more about social class too, although if there is anything a foreigner can pick up first, it’s the class system in the U.K.

    I am so pleased that I have plenty of free time over winter holidays to touch all those emotive, raw topics and get better at working with power and difference.

  • WELLBEING

    Moving into a new topic

    My college assignment on bereavement is now done. It wasn’t easy it write in 2020, but it is done. I am now moving on to diversity. I have studied the theory of racism for about a year now, while I lived it for at least five so this one is going to be interesting in terms of new, deeper assumptions I hope to discover. It helps to start from a place that’s familiar: for me, it’s business leadership and cultures. I don’t think racism should be a term, we need to think about it on a different scale: a scale of safety and feelings, because racism is a feeling, attitude, culture and a place, place created by unsafe leaders. I so look forward to this book and this winter. Would love to know how you think about racism & xenophobia? Let me know.

  • WELLBEING

    Boring pandemic?


    “Bored” of pandemic…when did we lose our hearts and compassion for the sake of our own comfort? Not bored but ok with death around you? How much do we need to feel we are enough? It’s a simple contradiction: if we choose individual over collective, we give up on collective support and feel even less, so what’s the point?

  • WELLBEING

    The darkest day of 2020

    Yesterday was my darkest day of 2020. I am so blessed to know that I am not alone to deal with it. However, having people around is not enough, we also have to reach out and ask for help (sometimes really badly, but I try). Especially if you are like me: resilient enough to fool people that you can do it all. So what I never allow myself to do is to abandon myself and give up on people around me. Humans are designed to be social creatures.

  • WELLBEING

    Shocked


    It’s quite shocking how some people, many people, are uninformed about the pandemic (I hear 30% of UK residents don’t know what a virus is – surely that’s not a correct stat?). It’s also terrifying how detached and averse people are to the truth of the dying. I hardly see any mentions of death in hospitals, any reports from the frontline, conversations focus on us complaining about having to stay at home. When did we become so selfish and so individualistic? As a person who grew up on gothic and sci-fi apocalyptic stories, I find the fact that we need to stay home rather comfortable comparing to how this could have gone. And how much harder the next one is going to be. We knew the virus within two weeks. We have the first seriously considered vaccine in less than a year.

    And yet… not willing to stop and wait to save lives. Not willing to accept that some things take time. Not willing to accept that our way of life is not sustainable. That we need to learn before we speak. Put others lives ahead of our comfort. Smarten up. Wise up. Sit and wait patiently. But…let’s face it… it’s also down to the story we are told and the story we tell ourselves. If our public dialogue was focussed on grief and death, if we faced the reality of this, our stories would be different, not easy but more connected to our humanity.

    Because it all boils down to a simple choice: you at home – if you can (not for a lockdown! pandemic-time-wise that’s rubbish!) for a year, maybe even two or blood on your hands. But who wants to hear that? Time to smarten up and take this seriously. (I fully agree that some people live in abusive homes, but most of us are just fine and really need to look around and redefine their view of reality).

    / my reaction to yesterday’s marches

  • WELLBEING

    On journaling

    What would I do without my morning writing? I am currently undergoing seismic shifts at the core of my being – partly due to my course (advanced counselling studies make one raw as you peel layers of your biases), partly due to the events around the world.

    I am so grateful for the pages where I can ramble out all those atoms and then go on with work and with life. People are most important in life, but so is our connection with our inner world. We need to nurture all those layers to make sure nothing gets left unaddressed as it might impact our clients. It’s hard, painful work but when we heal it is also so rewarding. 

    Lewis Wedlock said last night that 2020 feels like a decade and a day. To me, it was so much so, and more: layers, currents, circles, departures and arrivals, a lot of unveiling and a lot of grounding. I’ve seen the world in its rawest form, and I’ve seen myself so too. It’s nuanced, scary, exciting, deepening, grounding. I hope and I trust our new future. I am hopeful that the tide is shifting and new me and new us are emerging.

    But for now, I am writing it all out for my own wellbeing.

  • WELLBEING

    New nest

    There is a birds nest in our back garden. Built this autumn. Every morning when I wake up at 6 am I see the birds improving the design and adjusting small branches to make it even better. So honoured to see their new home so close to ours. Nature had a such a lovely spring this year that I still notice its benefits. I know some will hate me for saying this but is there any chance we could all slow down for a month each year or even season to give nature some time to breathe? Surely, we would benefit too?

  • WELLBEING

    A good book on bereavement

    Preparing for my first college assignment – book review – and I chose this one. This book means so much to me. I picked it up based on its cover the day I finished by bereavement counselling course and felt fully equipped to face death – my own, of course, because that’s what you need to help people carry their grief. I had no idea what this book is about. Read it on the train and bus and sobbed all the way back to Bristol, not carrying much about people watching me. It moved me deeply (in a good way) back then and today as I read it again and cried too. There is no way one can read it without crying and without leaning something critical about life. No better day to do this than today. The fact that her war hammer is named after a great Polish-American baseball player from Pennsylvania just added to the mix of serendipity today. If you can, read it. Everyone should read it to understand loss.