Befriending avoidance

I have to confess I have many areas of my inner and outer life I tend to avoid. A good example of this would be conflict - I just find it hard to enter any situation where there might be conflict or confrontation. I am not talking about war zones here - just two people disagreeing! Some part of me avoids it like the plague. And at the same time I also know that many of those situations have to be faced. I also observe here how easy it is to fall into self criticism here and thinking less of myself for acting on that avoidance. "You are giving in *again*" some part of me says. So how can I make some changes in this tricky spot? Read More...

The life we refuse

"The life we refuse is singing to us
From the other side"

These lines from a poem by Daverick Leggat speaks so clearly to this place we occupy when we pause and pay attention to our direct bodily experience. Here we stand at a door with courage and curiosity, and perhaps a little trepidation. Here we invite in what has been singing to us from the other side. Here, our exiled guests are waiting to be welcomed back. Read More...

Three embodied ways from Focusing that might help us face global crisis

Over the last few months and more so in the last few weeks - since the latest IPPC report on climate change was released, I have been reflecting and exploring the whole raft of responses and reactions, and feel ready to share a few learnings I hope might help. These are all rooted in the embodied practices of Focusing and Somatic Experiencing. Read More...

When we feel "inadequate"

I am sure we all know this kind of experience... we are talking or seeing someone who is more intelligent/knowledgable/outspoken about something... and we being to shrink and feel inadequate or not "enough" in some way. It may be in the realm of sports or politics, music or the arts. The subject doesn't matter. What feels bad is how it impacts us and the meanings that flow on from that. It used to happen to me all the time. Some leap happened from being ignorant (I mean that in a non judgemental way, just the simple fact of not knowing) to me feeling like a failure/idiot/stupid. It happened with politics, with current affairs, with sports. The feeling inside was so bad that I actively avoided those conversations, steering away from them or just changing subject or leaving entirely! Read More...

The "shitty first draft" and on being with uncertainty and complexity


I came across this phrase "shitty first draft" from Brené Brown a few weeks ago and it really appealed to me. It captures how our stories about things can be pretty rough and well... shitty, a sketch that bears little resemblance to the actual reality.

A great example of this is perhaps when you turn up to a new event or meeting, and within minutes or shorter we can find ourselves having opinions about others: what kind of person they are, what they think of you... and so on, and this happens without us even speaking to them! Or we see a friend or colleague who is in a dark mood and we think it is to do with us - that we are to blame even. The story jumps in to fill the void of information. Brené Brown reckons this is a trait of our brain and nervous system

"Our brain hates ambiguity and uncertainty, so it makes a simple story. It doesn’t reward accuracy it just wants certainty."