For autistic persons, masking is a complicated and costly survival strategy. It usually entails learning neurotypical behaviours and then imitating them in social circumstances. Masking can sometimes be used to hide activities that people believe will not be approved. People may hide their autism symptoms or traits for a variety of reasons, including advancing their jobs, connecting with others, or avoiding being stigmatised by others. While masking can be helpful at times, doing so on a frequent basis can have negative consequences for one’s mental and physical health. Anxiety, depression, tiredness, a loss of identity, and negative thoughts are some … Continue reading Autistic Masking
One of the most influential individuals to me and millions around the world, Thich Nhat Hanh, an Vietnamese Buddhist monk, has died at the age of 95. I thought that it was appropriate that I share a little about who he was and what he achieved throughout his life as his work and studies had a massive influence on my own learning of Mindfulness and how to apply this to everyday life. His Zen teaching organisation, Plum Village, said the monk “passed away peacefully” at the Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam on Saturday. A prolific author and peace activist, … Continue reading Thich Nhat Hanh
Recently when talking with a client, she said that she suffered from severe endometriosis and that her life was unbearable at times because of this disease. Many of her issues stemmed from the fact that it was almost impossible to have the medical team in her area acknowledge that Endometriosis was as severe as she described it. Endometriosis does to qualify you for benefits as it is not recognised as a disability. She felt alone, in pain and lost, which increased her anxieties dealing with general day to day life. Her partner tried to help, but Endometriosis is an ‘invisible’ … Continue reading Endometriosis
I was in Dunbar, a town on the east coast of Scotland, near Edinburgh, where I took my family on a wee walk to see the Dun-bear – Dunbar + Bear! This particular brown bear is 5 metres high, made of steel and is a tribute to the great man John Muir. John Muir was born here, in Dunbar, Scotland, in 1838 and a museum is located in the town centre dedicated to this great man. The area around the Bear is well laid out with many concrete paths, and open spaces of fields. It is suitable for wheelchairs too, … Continue reading Dunbear – John Muir
Recently I held a Mindfulness session at one of the most beautiful and serene places in Edinburgh, and it has had such an impact on many people, that I wanted to share this with you. Thankfully we arrived on a day where the weather was almost perfect, with a little frost underfoot, yet we were fortunate that the usual cold biting wind from the adjacent loch, was not present by late morning. The Secret Garden is formally known as Dr. Neil’s Garden, which lies next to Duddingston Kirk, built in 1124, at the foot of Arthurs Seat, which is an … Continue reading Secret Garden – Mindfulness
A man had four sons. He wanted them to learn to judge things carefully, so he sent each of them on a quest to look at an apple tree far away. The first son left in the Winter. The second son left in the Spring. The third son left in the Summer. The fourth son left in the Autumn. After they all returned home , he asked his sons to describe what they had experienced. The first son said that the apple tree was ugly and twisted. The second son said the apple tree was covered with buds and full … Continue reading The Complete Picture
Do you make choices of your own free will, or are you being nudged along by an unseen force to comply? The Government, Retail and Medical professions, amongst many other industries employ strategies to shape your behaviour. Nudge theory is the science behind subtly leading people to the ‘right’ decision. It works on the principle that small actions can have a substantial impact on the way people behave. For organisations wanting to drive positive behaviour change, it’s a handy concept to know about. Nudge theory is also concerned with the design of choices, which influences the decisions we make. Nudge theory … Continue reading Are you being nudged?
I predominantly offer Psychotherapy sessions for parents/carers of children who are on the Autistic spectrum or who have Special Needs. We walk and talk in Nature, rather than sit inside a room, and this form of therapy is found to be more relaxing, while enjoying the natural environment. There are not many people who can afford to pay out in excess of £50 for an hour of Counselling or Psychotherapy, as these sessions are never just once a week; they go on for weeks, months and sometimes longer. This is an expensive outlay for most people. As a parent of … Continue reading Giving something back.
Body image is something that many people are concerned about and which has a negative effect on their Mental Health. Feelings of being low or depressed contribute to anxieties around their appearance, especially when out in the public domain. Finding clothes that change our outward appearance helps, yet it is inside that the greatest challenges are, which thousands of people have to face each day of their lives. Below are some suggestions which may help in coping with Body image: Practice Mindfulness – this involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help … Continue reading Body Image
Laurel and Hardy? Charlie Chaplin? Who are they Dad, asked my kids recently. This made me feel a 100 years old and so out of the loop! Here I was trying to make Saturday afternoon more interesting and spending some … Continue reading Never heard of Laurel and Hardy?
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low but the debts are high, And you want to smile but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest if you must, but don’t you quit. Life is strange with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many failures turn about When we might have won had we stuck it out. Don’t give up though the pace seems slow – You may succeed with another blow. Success … Continue reading Don’t Quit – poem
She rises to gather strength She rises to greet and groom others She rises to hunt She rises alongside other Lionesses She rises to move the young cubs to safety She rises to confront enemies that threaten the pride She rises to walk with her King It is amazing that no matter how weak or hopeless you may feel at certain times in your life, there is a part of us that brings forth the nature of the Lioness, especially when feeling threatened. If only we could learn to have the strength of a Lioness at all times, then … Continue reading Strength of a Lioness
Change Therapy – Ways to cope with anxiety during and after COVID-19 7 – Mindfulness Meditation Thinking back to what we have managed to do in such a short space of time, I would like to talk you through a short mindfulness meditation to help you sleep/rest, as your body adjusts to the changes in your new routine of waking at dawn. Going to bed at a time earlier than you are used to can be a challenge, however you will start to feel the benefits soon, and of top of this, your anxiety level will reduce too. If you … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Mindfulness Meditation
6 – Watching the food intake I know, it is so easy to eat half that packet of biscuits while consuming 4 coffees all before lunchtime! You didn’t do this while at work prior to the pandemic did you? What has changed? Too much time on our hands? From the previous article, on Shaking your Body Alive, I invited you to adjust your sleeping times, and start to waken at 6am. You body takes time to change to your new regime, and will still urge you to eat when it says so; it has been pre-programmed to require energy … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Watching the Food Intake
Your Beliefs Your attitude Your thoughts Your perspective How honest you are Who your friends are What books you read How often you exercise The type of food you eat How many risks you take How you interpret the situation How kind you are to others How kind you are to yourself How often you say “I love you.” How often you say “thank you.” How you express your feelings Whether or not you ask for help How often you practice gratitude How many times you smile today The amount of effort you put forth How you spend / invest … Continue reading Things You CAN Control
Change Therapy – Ways to cope with anxiety during and after COVID-19 5 – Shake your body alive Instead of sleeping in your bed until noon (or later) it is time to alter the body clock! Leave the phone on silent and stay away from the TV remote as long as possible from the time you waken. Set your alarm for 6am. Have a wash, taking extra care of your appearance – imagine you are going on a hot date! Take some time, whether in the shower or in front of the mirror, to tell yourself what you want … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Shake your Body Alive!!
Change Therapy – Ways to cope with anxiety during and after COVID-19 4 – Moving up a gear with Fitness Thank you for continuing to follow this short helping strategy for anyone who needs a little help in changing their way of life. Anxious or just a feeling of never ending sameness, can put you into a negative cycle and promote unhealthy habits. I hope these instructions can assist positive change to your routine. Stand in an area where you feel safe, for instance if you have balance issues, stand beside a wall. Now I want you to march … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Moving up a gear with Fitness
Change Therapy – Ways to cope with anxiety during and after COVID-19 3 – Improve fitness Being advised to stay inside your home during this pandemic has its challenges, which may also have increased the level of anxieties experienced. It is a worrying time regarding the health of the people in the world, but you have to try and concentrate on YOU for now. If you were to remain seated watching TV or sleeping most of the day away, adding in the extra comfort eating while being entertained, it is reasonable to presume that your weight will increase too. It … Continue reading Coping with Anxiety – Improve Fitness
A short story highlighting how we can take a partner for granted. I know that I do this, how about you? A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against … Continue reading Taking someone for granted?
Let me have the courage to believe in myself Not only on the days when I’m going great and nothing seems impossible, But on the days when the world looks lousy and I’m losing. And the road ahead seems too hard; When I wonder if I’m brave enough, smart enough, Strong enough, and I must be crazy if I try Don’t let me quit – Let me have courage in myself. No matter how many people discourage me, doubt, Laugh at me, warn me, think me a fool… Don’t let me listen. Let me hear another voice saying, “You can … Continue reading Let me have the courage to believe in myself
Throughout the Ages Age 6: I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night.” Age 7: I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either. Age 9: I’ve learned that when I wave to people out in the country, they stop what they’re doing and wave back. Age 12: I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mum makes me clean it up again. Age 14: I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up. Age … Continue reading Ages
From a young age I was aware that being out in the open countryside was good for you, both physically and mentally. As a wee boy, I would always feel better for having played outside. I was lucky enough to grow up near enough to woods and parks, so being able to run freely outside my home was second nature to me. Now, many decades later, I have come to appreciate that being out in the elements really is therapeutically good for you. And that is why I offer my clients the opportunity of doing what I call “Walking and Talking Therapy” – which … Continue reading Walk and Talk Therapy
Off the usual track of Inspirational stories, I thought I would share this for fun… Murphy’s horse laws If you do a thorough check of your trailer before hauling, your truck will break down There is no such thing as a sterile barn cat No one ever notices how you ride until you fall off The least useful horse in your barn will eat the most, require shoes every four weeks and need the vet at least once a month A horse’s misbehavior will be in direct proportion to the number of people who are watching If you’re wondering if … Continue reading Horse Laws
Character My mother says she doesn’t care, About the colour of my hair. Or if my eyes are blue or brown. Or if my nose turns up or down. My mother says she doesn’t care, If I’m dark or if I’m fair, Or if I’m thin or if I’m fat. She doesn’t fret over things like that. It really doesn’t matter. But, if I cheat, or tell a lie, Or do mean things that make folks cry. Or if I’m rude or impolite, And do not try to do what’s right, Then that does really matter. It isn’t looks that … Continue reading Character
Give Thanks For the spouse who hogs the bed covers at night, because that means they aren’t somewhere else. For the teenager who is not doing dishes, but is watching TV, because that means they are at home and not on the streets. For the taxes that I pay, because that means I am employed. For the mess to clean after a party, because it means I have been surrounded by friends. For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because they tell me I have enough to eat. For my shadow that watches me work, because it means … Continue reading Give Thanks
In Madhanpur lived a very hard-working farmer named Gopal. He has three sons Ram, Laxman and Hanuman. All three were strong and healthy. But they were all lazy. Gopal was sad thinking about his sons and the future of his farmland. One day, Gopal got a flash of an idea. He called all his sons and said, “Ram! Laxman! and Hanuman – I have hidden a treasure in our farmland. You search and share the treasure among you.” The three sons were overjoyed. They went to the fields and started searching. Ram started from one end, Laxman searched from the … Continue reading The Farmer and his lazy sons
Are you a controlling parent? Are you devoting too much attention to your child? If the answer is yes, then turn some of that attention towards your parents. If you are good to your own parents, then your child will learn how to treat you in the future. Continue reading Are you a controlling parent?
It is easy to say that ‘I can’t do’. When faced with a challenge, what are you more likely to say in this instance? An upcoming interview or a meeting? Perhaps, you have been asked to speak to an audience or give a presentation? Asked by someone to do something you feel is too much? The above picture says a lot more than the words it conveys. Are you the person holding the card or the one with the scissors? I can help you to overcome fear, or dread with challenges in life, and believe me, nothing is insurmountable if … Continue reading Can do or Can’t do?
“Breathing in, I know that Anger is in me” “Breathing out, I know that I am my anger” By Mindfully observing our anger, we are more aware of its roots. We are not to control or judge the anger. only we are to look after the anger, as a sister would to a younger sibling. When we show anger, we are showing our self. To suppress the anger is to suppress the self. “Breathing in, I know that I am angry” “Breathing out,I know that I must put all my energy into caring for my anger” In time the anger … Continue reading Anger and Mindfulness