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Coping with the Pandemic – CONCEPT OF TIME

We have now entered a new month, after spending the whole of April in ‘lockdown’ – What has this been like for you?

The concept of time is a funny thing at the moment. Time, for many is being experienced in a way that it has never before.

It may have slowed right down, giving you the time you once craved during your pre COVID 19 life. I have heard people say they appreciate this time and realise the stress that their minds and bodies were under before. When we are in ‘auto pilot’ we don’t notice this! Me included. I am appreciating this time.

For others, time may be ‘dragging’.

I have noticed waves of emotions over the past weeks that my clients and followers on social media have shared. At the beginning there seemed to be panic, which led to anxiety and fear with the most recent theme seeming to be around feelings of boredom, restlessness, agitation and almost despair.

All these emotions can can bring a struggle with time. Knowing what to do, how to fill your time, ‘when is this going to stop?’ – uncertainty and a general sense of feeling fed up now. This can be even more difficult depending on your home environment and personal situation.

Some are using this time to ‘cocoon’. Healing is taking place. Many of us are resting, reevaluating our lives, processing events in our lives that needed healing and therefore becoming more aligned and balanced.

This may bring a renewed sense of self, inner strength and transformation.

We come to our biggest realisations and awakenings in life by being in our darkest and most painful places. Of course this can feel extremely difficult (it is by no means easy) and it’s often hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel – but the light is always there. Even if it is only a slight occasional glimmer. Hold onto this.

Whatever you may be experiencing right now, remember to reach out for help. Talk to friends and family. There is a lot of online and telephone support at the moment from so many therapists and organisations. This is increasing day by day.  Do a quick google search to see what is out there.

Be kind to yourself. Allow your feelings. Release them. Let them go. They are better out than in.

Self care is even more important now. Simple things like doing a bit of exercise at home, drinking water, a simple breathing exercise, taking naps when needed and being creative in some way or another can help so much by uplifting your mood.

Think about (and write down) all that you are grateful for right now.

How is COVID 19 helping you? What positives are you learning about yourself or life in general from this unprecedented time? How may you change or improve your life post COVID 19?

We can always find something positive in any challenging and ‘negative’ situation. The key is to change our mindset.

Follow uplifting and inspirational people on social media. Reduce watching the news. Don’t engage much with people who don’t bring you an uplifting energy. Protect your energy.

Remember, this too shall pass.

Take things day by day.

 

Thank you for taking time out to read this.

Best wishes

Sukhi

 

 

 

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The Power of Words – Blog

Hey everyone, it seems like it has been a while since I wrote a blog, even though I had been meaning to, other things just got in the way and I never got round to it. I intended to write something around ‘Partnership’ during February; Valentines month, but I will have to revisit this another time now!

So what do I want to write about today? Hmm

I do like to ‘free associate’, just see what emerges from the pen (or key board in this case!)… have you tried that? Just to write, with no real intention of a ‘topic’ and see what transpires?

It is a great way to express yourself and also to experiment, be creative and tap into parts of your imagination that you usually may not access.

I have engaged in all sorts of writing over the years (ok, so it seems like this blog is heading in the direction of ‘writing’!). As a child, from an early age I remember writing as a form of expression. When I was upset about something, whether it was an issue at school or home, I used to write, scribble, draw and get all my feelings out. Thinking about this now, I wonder where I got the idea to write from? Did someone suggest it to me, or did I just stumble across this myself?  In those days there was not a great deal of understanding around emotional well-being in schools either, so as I write this I do wonder how and when did I decide to write?!

Writing is helpful in so many ways. I recommend that everyone gives it a try! You don’t need to worry about spelling, grammar or anything like that – remove all those barriers and just write for yourself, with the purpose to express yourself, learn about yourself, let go off ‘stuff’, reflect on changes, to make plans, set goals and review them!

Once you start to write, you may surprise yourself! You may discover a hidden talent, or come across a creative flare – maybe there is a poet in you. Everyone has a story to tell. We are all full of experiences. Inside all of us, is joy, sorrow, happiness, grief. Amongst all of us we have dreams, regrets and desires. There is so much richness in everyone’s experiences right?

Somewhere along the line, my style of writing changed.  I have not continuously written throughout my life by the way; there have been gaps of months and years at times! This blog is making me remember that around 2012, when I found myself in an environment and situation where I was not able to express myself to the people around me at the time, I reverted to writing. At that time it was the only way to find an outlet. That kind of writing was full of sadness, entrapment, sorrow and pain!

There is a big shift in my writing, and for those who follow me on Instagram, will know that what I express through writing now is full of empowerment, freedom, courage and love! Never did I think I would be writing and sharing with others in such a way. Shifting from writing in secret to writing for the public – what happened? 

I looked back at my early twenties – how did I cope with the challenges of life then? What got me through the tough times? The answer is self help and self development books! Going back now 15 -20 years (before the internet became so widespread), somehow I came across Susan Jeffers – have you heard of her? She wrote ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’, ‘Embracing uncertainty’, ‘How to end the struggle and dance with life’ to name a few of her life changing books. In those days access to such self development books was limited and required a trip to your local library to loan and return in a period of time! Now, we are surrounded with self development books!!! 

So many of us, have been touched by the writing of others – which has assisted us in our journeys, helped us to grow, to grieve, to cry, to empower, to recover and to share and recommend to others! Maybe you shared a quote or lent someone a book….whatever the case words are powerful and the most beautiful thing is that you never know who you are helping unknowingly. 

I had no intention to write a blog on ‘writing’ today, this was literally free flow – I had no idea I was going to touch upon writing as a child. It is interesting that when we have no set agenda what emerges, although floating in the back of my mind when I decided to write a blog was a tiny idea to explore the connection between physical and emotional well being in terms of self love……but I ended up writing about writing instead  (so that idea will have to wait its turn now). 

…………………………………………………………………..

I just took a few minutes out  (as I became curious about some of my previous writing so decided to have a quick look), and subsequently will like to share this extract from one of my poems (seven years ago);

‘Although I have wings I can not fly, although I am, I can not be’ 

Such a powerful statement and so true to how I felt at that time. I know that by sharing this today, that sentence will resonate with many people who read this blog – either right now in this moment of their life, or at some other point in their life. 

We all at some point feel trapped, if not by others then from within. If not through situations that find us, then through situations we seek. If not through relationships with others, then the relationship with ourselves!

The truth is, we all have wings! We can all fly!

Why don’t you have a quick scan of your life, and wonder about what aspects of you or your life feel tied down, trapped, stagnated, heavy? Then have a wonder of why this is? Is this due to others? Or are you holding yourself back? What do you need to do to set yourself free?

Now this is leading me to a quote about taking that chance, taking that leap of faith….. that risk… it is; 

And you ask “what if I fall?” Oh but my darling, what if you fly?”

Have you heard this quote by Erin Hanson (Poet) before? 

I found a way (many ways), to slowly set my wings free and so can you. 

Reflecting on this quote, one can only fall if one’s wings are tied, surely! What do you think? Having wings that are tied can become pretty tiresome and is so dis-empowering! If you try to fly with trapped wings….. you won’t get far!

I am going to leave you with some stuff to think about and please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below! 

Imagine…….what would it feel like, if you let go of the barriers that stop you from flying? What would happen if you took that step to cut the things that tie your wings?

Someone in my Self Love and Empowerment Workshop yesterday said…. ‘Self Love is about just making that start’… she is right! You have to make that start……. take that first step and then……take another…….followed by another!

Self Love is not something to Squeeze in here and there, it is a life long commitment….. lots of baby steps. One foot in front of the other, so are you ready to take that step? I would like to think the answer is a big fat YES!!! If it isn’t then my next question is WHY?

As you develop your love for yourself, watch your wings naturally begin to open up!

Thank you so much for taking time out to read this blog and for your ongoing love and support!

Bye for now! 

Sukhi

 

 

 

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Children without parents in Marrakech, Morocco

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October 2017, I decided to do something I have always wanted to  do and never got round to; travel alone to do some voluntary work supporting children abroad. Due to my work in the UK I could unfortunately only commit for one week in half term, so time was limited but nevertheless I had the most amazing and eye opening experience in this short period; a ‘taster’ of something I’d like to do more of!

Child abandonment is a huge issue in Morocco, according to UNICEF 6000 to 7000 children are abandoned each year. Children are often abandoned at birth and UNICEF suggests this is mostly by single mothers; pregnancy outside of wedlock is socially and culturally unacceptable, with perhaps some legal implications too. Sexual health is not promoted therefore a lack of knowledge around contraception and little access to it.

Abortions are permitted only in some circumstances; if mother or baby’s life is in danger or in incidents of rape, however I suspect a high proportion of women remain silent about rape out of fear, shame, judgment and so forth.

Children may also be abandoned for many other reasons;  if they have a disability and sadly families living in poverty cannot afford to raise their children.

Being in Marrakech raised my awareness of how much of a problem child abandonment is. The orphanage where we painted the walls (in the gallery) accommodates children from the age of 5 until they are young adults, usually in their 20’s. This means a very high percentage of these children never get adopted. They live in the orphanages for a big part of their lives and some often end up working there too.

The children I had some contact with, were beautiful, loving children buzzing with gratitude. Although there was a language barrier as they mainly spoke Arabic and French (I speak neither), it was amazing how we could still communicate with each other through actions, gestures and most importantly intuition. I experienced a great sense of unconditional love for these children. In a way they had ‘nothing’, but they had ‘everything’,  if that makes any sense.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might have already seen some of the photos I am sharing in this blog, I hope they capture the real essence of my short and brief experience with the children – you can see happiness and delight in their eyes to have time and basic creative activities and games dedicated just for them.

You’ll notice the little child who was thrilled to have created a superhero outfit just out of tissue paper and he didn’t even care it was pink! It was lovely to see the absence of gender stereotypes that children in the UK are imposed to from such a young age.  The photos are just off my android phone, so not the best quality.

Thanks for taking your time to read this blog, feel free to post any thoughts in the comment section below. I will be writing more blogs about my trip soon!

Thanks

Sukhi

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Behind the Broken Pieces

I text my friend Tony to tell him, that I just wrote a poem and shared it with a shaky voice to a group of counsellors at a networking event (as one of our exercises to connect with our soul).  I was touched that others were touched by my poem and asked me to  send them a copy.  He text back by saying  The other side of your comfort zone is where the magic is! 

I arrived late for this event, as I thought it started at 10 (but was actually 9:30!), so already I felt like ‘that late person!’ Anyway we engaged with exercises to help us explore and connect with our soul. Maureen, the course organiser had bought in some beautiful stones, shells, materials, flowers, leaves,  fragrances and had created a beautiful sea and a nature set up.

We were asked to select a few items and sit with them for 10-15 minutes, trying to connect to our soul – we were offered to write, draw – do whatever felt right to us.

So, I was instantly drawn to an orange/peach colour rose; I’d recently seen a bunch of this colour roses pop up in meditation and a week later (last week!)  at the Hay House ‘I CAN DO IT’ event, author Robert Holden,  in his tribute (sadly) to the late,  beautiful and inspiring Louise Hay told us that Louise  had a rose named after her.  It was  this colour rose! So I was instantly drawn to it.

Anyway, it did not take very long for the petals of this beautiful rose to start falling off and before I knew it the whole thing had fallen apart and lay on the floor whilst I was left holding the stem! I was late, and now I had broken the rose!!

Anway, Maureen walked past and said something like – ‘why don’t you just scatter it over there or something’.  Great idea! So off I go and as I do this I begin to resonate with my  recent life transitions and losses,  which ultimately lead me to a journey within; to a  ‘soul’ level. Having let go of (and still letting go of) external and internal aspects of my life and ‘self’, in order to be authentic; my true self – here I was symbolically scattering parts of my self and my life over the pretend sea and garden.

That is where the pearls came in!  I saw on the table an oyster, with beautiful green and pink colours immersed throughout it, and in there lay some pearls and gems. ‘The world is your Oyster’ and all that, however taking this quote  to another level Annie Kagan in her book ‘The After Life of Billy Fingers’,  writes, ‘The world is your oyster, you are the pearl and you are the oyster’. Meaning: The pearl only happens when the sand gets inside an oyster and irritates it’. 

So while I am in my ‘exercise’, I pick up the oyster, look at it, feel it, touch the pearls, reflect on the above from Billy Fingers, thinking about if there is no irritation, there is no growth, there is no beauty. If there is no darkness there is no light. If there is no mud there is no lotus and so on!  Then I am  inspired to write (even though I told myself, today I won’t write – as I do that a lot, I will do something different!).

So, I end up writing as I felt I needed to process the experience I had just been through, from the rose to the oyster and put it into words! I then plucked up the courage to read it out to the group (this was a big step, as it felt quite exposing). Writing it and saying it in your head, is very different to reading to people who are hearing you and feeling the emotions behind the words. This was really powerful. 

So I shared this with others and was so pleased that I did – It was heartwarming to find out that others resonated with the message behind the writing. 

I called this Broken Pieces

Thank you

Sukhi

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Broken Pieces

I held you in my hand,
I saw you fall out and break all around me,
I thought it was my fault,
Then I heard a voice guiding me to scatter you,
With this thought I was delighted,
I picked up every fallen part of you,
I carefully scattered you…in the sea, amongst the sea shells…and in the beautiful garden,
Had I not done this, I would never have stumbled across the beautiful pearls and gems, twinkling catching my eye,
They lay in what felt like a divine oyster,
This reminded me it is through our suffering we fall apart,
And once we truly let go of what we no longer need,
We make room for our true light to shine through.

(Written by me this morning, during BACP Spirituality and Counselling Event on ‘Soul Care’ )

My process behind the poem

 

 

 

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Why Do We Need Death To Remind Us To Live?

How many times have you heard, or even said yourself:

‘life is too short’

‘you don’t know what it around the corner’

‘we should make the most of our time here’

You can relate to that right? How many times have you heard that after someone passes away! I imagine quite a lot! Understandably, it is natural to think in such a way at a time like that.

My question is: Why does it take death to remind you to live? Why not remember to ‘live’ anyway – each and every day. You never get the same opportunity to be in the moment you are in right now again. It is to be experienced ‘now’ – why wait?

When you lose someone you will mourn for a period of time. You might reflect on the person’s life,  especially if they were young and went way before their time. This might remind you of your own mortality; sudden realisation that you might not wake up one morning sooner than expected either, so therefore you have this urge to  live your life to the fullest.

Hold onto this desire to ‘live life’ ! Sadly for many people this desire to ‘live life’ slowly diminishes and before you know it you’ve slipped back into your old familiar ways,  getting caught up in society again, becoming busy with work, wrapped up in daily responsibilities, worrying about money, going at 100 miles per hour, not stopping to rest and so on! What changed? Where did the passion to live life to the fullest go? It’s only natural to go back into ‘default’, we are creatures of habit and of course need to be realistic as we all have jobs and responsibilities.

Perhaps life starts to feel heavy and you’re feeling weighed down by all that you do again. Time passes for a while, until you hear some more news that reminds you again that life is too short. You have the urge to change your life again but then slip back into life as you know it.  The cycle continues.

Give yourself permission to break cycles in your life that prevent you from feeling alive. You deserve to be happy and enjoy life.

 

Everyone feels stressed and anxious at times,  but there are simple ways you can start to live a happier life on a day to day basis as well as long term, find out how here.

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Does it all just stop?

Since being a child,  the concept of ‘Life After Death’ has intrigued me (Sounds a bit morbid right?) – I guess I just felt there was something bigger out there. When I was an infant close family lost significant people in their lives and although I don’t consciously remember this, I would have on a subconscious level been ‘soaking’ this up.  I now recognise that I was highly intuitive as a child and picked up on others energy,  beginning to question ‘existence’ quite early on.

I had an instinctive sense of people having ‘souls’,  being  curious about what underpinned others behaviour – often reading between the lines, which I remember from a primary school age! I strongly believed it does not all ‘just stop’ when one dies.

Such sensitivities and beliefs start to take bit of a back seat as children generally get older and society ‘kicks in!’, swaying them more towards ‘normal’ stuff, rather than exploring spirituality! I think we still have a long way to go in feeling comfortable in having such conversations with children.

Children might receive the message that they are too sensitive, over imaginative and should stay away from ‘things like that’. They might either stop believing, or carry on believing but keep it to themselves! Nevertheless this can create self doubt and fear.

Reflecting back on the last twenty years, I have experienced many synchronistic events putting such concepts back on my radar! Once it was 3 different people randomly on the same day who bizzarley mentioned the ‘after life’, ‘soul contracts’ and ‘spirit’, with no invitation from me! I’d be lit with curiosity when this happened, but my deeply embedded fears about it not being OK to talk about such things would hold me back from expressing my views despite my beliefs being solid – especially in my counselling profession! It felt like a taboo subject. My counselling training only included a small section on ‘Spirituality and Counselling’, it wasn’t widely spoken about.

In the last 4 years, through supervising trainee and qualified counsellors I was ‘reminded’ of this concept again which then gave me the courage to start testing the waters and I began to ‘come out’ about my views. One of my supervisees being very spiritual herself and working in bereavement, was relieved she could share her personal experiences and views with her supervisor without being judged – this was a significant basis of developing trust in our work – where she did not feel she had to ‘hide’.

Having recently read the the book, ‘Both Worlds’ by Susan Bond about her connection with spirit – my supervisee introduced me to the book ‘Proof of Heaven’ by Eban Alexander;  neuroscientist who did not believe in life after death until he experienced a Near Death Experience (NDE) – he shares his experiences during his time in a coma. Another supervisee introduced me to Anita Moorjani’s book ‘Dying to be me’ – I was instantly drawn to the title, and thought it might relate to a woman’s journey of finding her true self. The book was in fact about Anita’s journey about becoming her ‘magnificent’ self but also following her very own experience of a NDE – she writes about the glimpses of the afterlife she was exposed to – extraordinary!

 

Both experiences strongly indicate that there IS an afterlife; another dimension, a higher power, an angelic realm…  if you’re a bit sceptical, it might be worth having a read about how both their experiences baffled science and the medical profession.

 

A few weeks ago a dear friend of mine, he who also experienced a NDE, that transformed his life gave me the book ‘The Afterlife of Billy Fingers’ written by Annie Kagan which I am currently reading -again reinforcing there is life beyond this one. It is filled with many beautiful and inspirational messages. It is truly wonderful to see that more and more stories are being shared by people influencing a great shift in our consciousness.

My Learning!

I am starting to embrace that it is  OK to be open about such topics. It is nothing to be ashamed off neither worth worrying about others judgments. I realise now that due to others fears and strong views against such concepts, what I truly believe in again took a  back seat! However having made some recent major life changes, staying true to myself is an integral part of my journey.  If I allow others to stop me from sharing what I truly believe in, then how am I being my authentic self and how can I possibly empower others to be true to themselves!

Since this shift, it is amazing how new doors are opening for me. I am attracting more and more people on the same wavelength who actually want to work with me because of my openness about spiritual concepts.

On that note, my message to you:  Be true to yourself and the right people will arrive!

Are you in the counselling profession with similar views – would love to hear from you.

Thank you for taking your time to read my blog.

Sukhi

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It’s been a while!

So, it’s almost been one year since I last wrote a blog! Makes me think about the concept of time. On one hand, it seems to pass quickly, but then on the other hand when reflecting back time can seem to have passed at a much slower pace. The way we remember some of our experiences can also vary; feeling so real in the moment and then so surreal when you reflect afterwards.

I met a 9 year old boy on the train this weekend, and got chatting to him about moving up a year at school in September – he said ‘time flies when you get older’, and he really meant it! I was like ‘but you’re only 9!’. I was surprised that at from such a young age the notion of time going quickly is being believed to be true by children…so young!  Of course there will be many factors contributing to this such as societal and cultural pressures and expectations.

Living in the world we do, it can be extremely challenging to escape such expectations. We all get lost in this from time to time (no pun intended!), or for some of us most of our lives. Getting caught up in being ‘who’ and ‘what’ we think we are ‘suppose’ to be, or ‘should’ be we lose touch of who we actually ‘are’.  All these layers get added from external places that sometimes we can become so far removed from our true selves…our authentic selves!

When this happens we may experience depression, anxiety, a sense of being ‘lost’, anger, frustration, generally feeling dissatisfied with life, our relationships, work, activities we undertake… it might feel like something is missing. A sense of there is more to life than this!?!

Imagine how it might feel to connect to your true self? Getting to know yourself again, or for the first time. The most important relationship that we need to experience in order to feel true inner peace and happiness is the relationship with ourselves. This then provides a foundation for meaningful and satisfying relationships with others. Relationships can then be based on ‘wanting’ to be with someone, not ‘needing’ to be with them – they can come from a place of unconditional love and detachment (meant in the terms of not ‘clinging’, or trying to find your happiness through the other person).

My own journey and those of others around me, both personal and professional relationships have inspired me to share more and write more! It might just be one sentence that speaks to you and that sentence might be just what you need in that moment, to help you along your journey. It might sew a seed, or it might help to confirm something for you. The kind of topics I Imagine I will be writing about are around,  self love, connecting to your true selves, obstacles holding you back, mindfulness, removing fear of judgment, making decisions, reducing stress, coping with change…… and so much more, so keep an eye out for future blogs.

I also welcome your thoughts on this blog as well as  ideas and recommendations for future topics, please leave a comment below or alternatively – email me.

Until then, take care.

Sukhi

 

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Gratitude

This concept is so widely used these days. It has become a popular area of research with studies proving a link between gratitude and better emotional well being. It has become a psychological intervention – you may have come across the term in self-help and modern philosophy literature. Interestingly, this makes it all seem really complicated, but really it is so simple and underpins many religious and spiritual teachings.

When did we stop being grateful? Why do we need to be told to practice gratitude?  We can get so consumed with the demands of  society that we become tunnel visioned and perhaps a bit target orientated – looking for more and not actually feeling satisfied with what we already have. This way of thinking can be a hard habit to break, but an important one to break if you really want to appreciate life and feel joy. Practicing a bit of gratitude everyday can be a good way to start ‘training’ yourself to notice the positives and usually these can be the littlest and most simplistic things in life, yet the most life changing.

I explore with clients creative ways to feel and show thankfulness, appreciation and gratitude. One of my favourite suggestions (and one I use myself) is to make or buy yourself a Gratitude ‘Container’ – mine is a jar which I have decorated with gems and beads. You might choose a box or a tin. Make it feel special. Every night write down what you have been grateful for that day and place it in your container. Don’t worry if you don’t remember ‘feeling’ grateful at that time but replay your day in your mind and wonder about where you ‘could’ have felt grateful. Keep adding to your  container regularly and watch it build over time. Initially this might feel like an effort but eventually it will become second nature.

The more situations you recognise a reason to be grateful for, the more genuine gratitude will begin to feel. You will become happier about what you have in your life and less worried about what you don’t. Not only will you accept yourself better you will become more accepting of others and generally more positive about life.