I’ve added my love of photography to my work in ‘writing as therapy’ and created a journal for 2021. You’re welcome to try it too. It has a writing prompt, space for what you’re thankful for, how you plan to look after yourself and any goals you have for 50 weeks of the year.
You can be as focused or as vague as you like , just the weekly reflection should be useful. It’s my first journal so I’m excited to try it and to hear how you find it on Lulu here. Start the year with intentionality and positivity.
Black British Members of Parliament in the House of Commons
22 mini biographies of serving Black MP’s, including well-known names and many groundbreakers. Be inspired by their dedication and achievement, succeeding against the odds. They are all different and represent the Conservative and Labour parties. Some have been around for many years and others only entered parliament in 2019.
Meet your representatives and read what they are trying to do with the opportunities they now have. You will be inspired by some and may be annoyed by others. Find out more by ordering your copy today https://amzn.to/37YVSLt
A book to show the passion, success and achievement of Black Members of Parliament. Join this online book launch to be inspired and encouraged by their stories. Book here. Look forward to seeing you then.
As we are in the year 2020, I am reminded of the concept that 20/20 represents perfect vision. I feel that this is a time to connect to our inner knowing.
A time for appreciating and making use of our insight rather than waiting to have hindsight.
I come across so many women who know that if they continue as they are burnout lies ahead, yet it is difficult to change path.
We are often such good listeners and take everyone’s opinions into account whilst our own voice remains silent.
When it comes to what is best for us our emotions, thoughts and ideas are most important.
Many of us have been raised to value our thinking over any other aspects of ourselves so we tend to underestimate the messages we get from our emotions and physical sensations.
Pause for a moment and consider how well you know the other parts of yourself.
What does tired feel like to you?
Who or what depletes you?
Who or what nourishes you?
Is there a place that feeds your soul?
If you can answer questions like these then I’m guessing that you know yourself well. If you don’t know where to begin with these questions, then today is a good day to start your reflections.
Sometimes we’re scared to look at alternatives to the status quo. Or we feel more comfortable with the challenges we have than the new ones we might encounter if we made changes.
Whatever the case it’s good to recognise what we are choosing and feel empowered in this.
One of the ways we can explore our inner world is through writing; jotting down thoughts, feelings, memories, hopes and fears. This is writing from our conscious and unconscious. It could be shared in a small group with others on the same journey.
I often write like this and find it helps me to figure out my feelings about things, offers me a record of how things change and gives me space to explore possible choices.
Therapeutic writing, as it is known, can be even more expansive and include objects, images, poems, lyrics and other stories. As I continue to learn more and facilitate sessions, I find it a very powerful and fun way to connect to and listen to our internal world.
You can start with journaling and see how that feels to you. I will be running one session per month from April and you can book a session here to try this out for yourself. There’s nothing like experiencing something to know if it might work for you.
Do get in touch if you’d like me to design workshops for a particular group. It can apply to many settings and life challenges.
Here’s hoping your 2020 year is filled with more insight than hindsight.
How do these ideas resonate with you?
Shirley Anstis is a counsellor, author and former magazine editor. She uses counselling, therapeutic writing and mindfulness to support others to work through their past, connect to their present and step into their future. Outside of this her interests include parenting, photography, nature walks, diversity, food and films.
I’m surprised by the women (and men) I speak to who often see themselves as half empty and lacking something. They compare themselves to what they view as perfect lives online and decide that they are not good enough.
The problem is our peer group has greatly evolved over the last decade or so.
In the past, our peer group were people like us who lived in our communities or geographical area. They would have similar lifestyles to us.
But we now compare ourselves in a global space, with great disparities in wealth and power, to people who have vastly different lifestyles to us. They are the tiny percent who are wealthy, beautiful and celebrated. We damage our self-esteem if we constantly compare ourselves to these people and find ourselves lacking. They can help to motivate us in small ways, but our aim cannot be to become them. There is only one of you and one of me, with our very own strengths and weaknesses. Human beings are imperfect.
We do well to acknowledge all that we have learnt and experienced in our very unique life. Awareness of who we are helps us to make the best decisions. Denial of who we are encourages us to make bad decisions.
With so many examples of success in the world it can seem that it comes easily to some. I know from my training, my work and myself that we all have struggles, although these may not be visible or made public. (On the plus side, we get to see so many different ways of living a successful life and can step towards one that resonates with us).
Talk to the people in your life and ask them how they’re doing. You may find many are struggling with something. 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 8 young people will have a mental health problem.
As we acknowledge #Timetotalk let’s reconnect to people in our circle, speak our truth, listen to theirs, and be non-judgemental.
There’s a lot to be said for simple appreciation and encouragement. As we give so we receive. Everyone benefits from a kinder world. Judge less, listen more. Let me know what you think by commenting below. Thank You.