Woes of being New

5155783-3799102610-shutt It is normal to have ‘newbie’ anxieties when ever we start something new that we are not familiar with…like starting a new job or having a new baby.

The only way to get to grips with being new at something is to take it easy. I know it’s easier said than done, trust me, I know but it is the best way, take it easy and take it a step at a time. As you get a feel for the new role, get used to lots of new things, those anxieties will go as your confidence grows.

Remember what it was like learning to drive a car? You had to think of everything, every little thing; having to look at the gear stick to get into the right gear, not being able to multitask (I mean, come on, hill starts?!?), forgetting to look in the mirrors or to indicate. And now? Now you’re able to simply concentrate on the road, aware of others and figure out where you’re going. All those details you used to worry about are now second nature and you don’t even have to think about it, you do it all subconsciously.

The same will happen in your new role; all these things you are learning will become second nature. Be gentle with yourself and take it a moment at a time, day at a time and before you know it, you will not be a newbie 🙂

Antidote to Overwhelm

I often get quite exhausted by life and the pressures society puts on me, and I’m sure you’re the same.

Why do we get so tired? So exhausted?

I have a theory; you see, I think we spend too much time in the detail of life and all the things we have to do. We go from one thing to another, probably without any breaks, running at 100 miles an hour on what feels like a never ending list of to do lists.

We end up overwhelmed, anxious, exhausted, tired, fed up, low, depressed.

What can we do to stop this?

Look at the bigger picture. Imagine you had a photograph in front of you, now imagine going in so close that you can only see one item in the photo. THIS is what we do in life, we concentrate so hard on one area in our life, taking on each little detail and this one area takes over our whole lives.

Now imagine that same photograph and imagine looking at it all, whole, the bigger picture. You can see there are different elements to the photo, light and dark, maybe different colours. There is so much to take in when looking at the whole photo but this is important too.

In our modern lives we spend so much time focusing on the details, we need to regularly take a step back, breathe, see the bigger picture and review things. Then we can dive back into the detail and carry on with our lives.

We need to step back to make sure we are heading in the right direction, we are being who we want to be, need to be, we are raising our families with core values and ethics and deep connections.

We need to step back to make sure we breathe, rest, appreciate how far we have come, what we have achieved and think of the next steps to take.

 

What do I need?

When was the last time you asked yourself, ‘What do I need?’, ‘What do I want?’.

Many of us never ask ourselves that question and we carry on, regardless of what is going on around us and regardless of our needs.

When we’re full of anxiety or so low and depressed, we still carry on like nothing has changed. We are the ones with the problem and we try to ‘fix’ it with coping strategies – some good and some dangerous.

How about trying a different way of doing things? Maybe a better, deeper and more fulfilling way?

When something goes wrong and we end up living with something like anxiety or depression, we are trying to tell ourselves something. We are screaming at ourselves to change things but we don’t hear it because we are not listening.

Take anxiety for example. Why have you got it?

Are you doing too much and not resting, keeping your mind and body fully alert, even when it’s not needed?

Are you putting yourself in situations where you are out of your depth, with little or no support or guidance?

Is there too much going on and you feel like you are spread too thin and being pulled apart trying to keep everything going?

There is a reason you are feeling anxious, maybe many reasons.

A good way to deal with this is to hear what Anxiety is trying tell you. Maybe you need to write a list of all the demands on you and talk to someone in your support network to talk about the pressures you are under.

Write down what is immediate, in a few months and what is long term. Breaking it down like this will help you tackle things at the appropriate times. Anxiety loves to think and stress about everything (even something 20 years in the future!). By breaking it down, you will be able to see, clearly what needs to be actioned or thought about when, releasing some of that tension.

Keep asking yourself, ‘What do I need right now’ and hopefully you will start to listen to the answers and learn to trust your instincts. x

Permission to say NO

Boundaries are the most difficult thing to put in place with those around you. For so many years, you have been allowing things to go on as they have been, unquestioningly accepting the conditions, obligations and pressures that have been put on you.

But are you happy with this? How do you feel after you have been with someone who drains you? Takes your energy from you? Doesn’t listen to you and expects you to do as they say?

Ok, maybe these questions are a bit extreme but do think about those around you and how you feel after being with them. It doesn’t matter who they are, treating someone well is treating someone well. Only you know who you need to put boundaries up for; your mum? dad? siblings? particular friends?

And you know something huge?

IT’S OK TO SAY NO!!

It really is! The people who expect you to be a certain way will find it difficult to accept at first but if they are deep and unconditional connections, they will learn to accept it and learn to respect those boundaries you are putting in place.

Say NO when you feel pushed into a corner to make a decision
Say NO when you are being asked to do something you are not comfortable with
Say NO when it feels like it is too much emotional, energetic or financially expensive.

You are allowed to have YOUR voice and it is important.
YOU are important and valuable and you have the permission you need to say NO to whatever makes you feel less than you are, makes you feel uncomfortable or obligated.

 

Perfect vision

They do say hindsight is 20/20 and almost everyone I know does this; We look back at the past and we beat ourselves up with the most commonly used words, ‘I should have known better’.

So many of my clients say this to me, ‘I should have known better’, or ‘It was my fault’ and there is great difficulty in forgiving themselves.

How do we start to turn this around though? How do we start to feel better about our regrets from the past?

Of course it’s easy to look back, knowing the full impact of decisions and events but at the time, you only know what you know. (you know!)

In any moment in time, we can only do the best we can, at that time. Perhaps we are tired, exhausted even. Perhaps we were rushed, or we reacted and it was all just too overwhelming.

The only way to let go, is to acknowledge you tried your best at the time, you know now what would have been better BUT at the time you didn’t. Perhaps you will do things differently but the main thing is to realise that because of what has happened, you are wiser and you know more. Some call this life experience and we do learn the most from mistakes and bad situations.

You couldn’t have known better because you maybe didn’t have that particular knowledge at the time.

Remember, you are always doing the best you can (taking into consideration all the drains on you) and you can’t know everything. Trust yourself and your instincts, learn to be your own best friend and talk to yourself to meet those needs no one else can meet and learn from bad situations.

Turn your ‘I should have known better’ to ‘Next time, I will know better’.

Breathe, be in the moment and forgive yourself.

It’s ok to let go and move on.

It’s ok x

It’s nightlife, but not as you know it

When I did the night shifts at Samaritans, it used to take me days to get back into to a good routine.

When I get disturbed at night now, I’m useless the next day!

It got me wondering how on earth did I manage with a baby and a toddler?!?! Those nights when one was sick and the other would wake. Or just get used to having a baby in the first place needing a feed every 5 mins (felt like it anyway!)

This is something we don’t seem to appreciate as new mums, as partners, as families or as a society to some extent.

We’re still expected to carry on as normal and do ALL that we did before, forgetting that simply having a baby is much more, perhaps more than everything we’d done before.

Working 24/7, non stop, very few breaks, hardly having time to even have a hot shower, hot meal or even a hot drink. And going to the loo in peace becomes a distant memory.

So you lovely mums, please don’t forget that even though it feels you’re not doing much, not managing all those tasks that were part of your unthinking routine, you ARE doing LOADS!

You’re learning a new job, a new routine, juggling new dynamics with conflicting advice, judgements and self doubt.

And looking back now with my babies 18 and 16 I find myself remembering those silent nights feeding them, when it was just us, when those heart melting smiles when they were happy to see me, when I felt pure love and gratitude.

So whatever you’re going through now, it will not last. And, luckily all those nights when we were both crying, when I felt lost and alone, like a failure, frustrated and angry…and those negative feelings seem to be dissolving, leaving snippets of beautiful memories.

You’re doing great and are just where you need to be, in THIS MOMENT in time. <3

Thank you for all the work you are doing xx

To you, Mum

To the mom hiding in her bathroom, needing peace for just one minute, as the tears roll down her cheeks..

To the mom who is so tired she feel likes she can’t function anymore and would do anything to lay down and get the rest she needs…

To the mom sitting in her car, alone, stuffing food in her face because she doesn’t want anyone else to see or know she eats that stuff…

To the mom crying on the couch after she yelled at her kids for something little and is now feeling guilty and like she is unworthy…

To the mom that is trying desperately to put those old jeans on because all she really wants is to look in the mirror and feel good about herself…

To the mom that doesn’t want to leave the house because life is just too much to handle right now…

To the mom that is calling out for pizza again because dinner just didn’t happen the way she wanted it to…

To the mom that feels alone, whether in a room by herself or standing in a crowd…

You are enough.

You are important.

You are worthy.

This is a phase of life for us. This is a really really hard, challenging, crazy phase of life.

In the end it will all be worth it. But for now it’s hard. And it’s hard for so many of us in many different ways. We don’t always talk about it, but it’s hard and it’s not just you.

You are enough.

You are doing your best.

Those little eyes that look up at you – they think you are perfect. They think you are more than enough.

Those little hands that reach out to hold you – they think you are the strongest. They think you can conquer the world.

Those little mouths eating the food you gave them – they think that you are the best because their bellies are full.

Those little hearts that reach out to touch yours – they don’t want anything more. They just want you.

Because you are enough. You are more than enough, mama.

You. Are. Amazing. 💙💚

– Anonymous –

One as part of a greater Whole

I feel exhausted.
You see I’ve just had a session with my counsellor. Yes, even counsellors have counsellors.

You see, we are all human and we all have things happening in our lives. The biggest thing I have learned is that accepting help and support from others is part of self care. Where do we get this idea from that we have to do it all on our own anyway?

It is exhausting talking about your inner most feelings and fears but after the exhaustion comes a sense of relief and a feeling of lightness from sharing the load.

As a counsellor myself, I can hear what I’m saying and I can logically see what I need to do. As a person though, I have accepted there is an emotional side of me that needs to be heard.

And seeing someone who is trained gives me the safety and confidence to know nothing hurtful will be said, especially about my depression like ‘you’re being too sensitive’ or ‘your just wanting attention’. Or my favourite, ‘how can you be a counsellor if you have depression’.

Receiving help and support is a tough step to take but trust me, having the help and support there is helping me be the person I’m meant to be, unapologetically and is giving me the strength and ability to support others.

Quite beautiful when you see it that way, supporting each other to be our true selves. Being human and being part of humanity as we were meant to be <3

Managing anxiety

Anxiety is a really tough one to get through, especially when it’s a situation out of your control. Here are a few tips I found myself telling one of you lovely ladies when you emailed me; I actually hadn’t realised that I had these coping strategies until I was asked to help!

There are a few things you can do, that I do that you might find useful:

  • Being grateful is a great way of keeping things in perspective – especially when the days seem all bad. Look for the tiny things to be grateful for, the ground to walk on, shoes on my feet, the air to breathe, being healthy etc…it sounds really simple but it really does work.
  • Self care – get in lots of self care and self love, over used words, I know, but that helps too. Imagine your best friend was going through this, what would you do for her? Do it for yourself! You can give yourself hugs and be self compassionate, talk to yourself in a loving way, do fun things to counteract the stress/anxiety.
  • See your worth – easier said than done but I know from first hand experience stress and anxiety can affect your self esteem. So whenever you do something, no matter how small, congratulate yourself, make a list, tell others. Keep remembering that you are good at things, you are worthy and you are loved.
  • Breathe – if you get full on anxiety attacks, try to breathe through them in a meditative mindful way. Ground yourself, concentrate on your breathing and it can help calm you down and get you back to you. One great thing I say to myself is, ‘I am held in place securely by gravity, air and breathing is the one constant in my life, I belong, I am worthy, It’s going to be ok, I am ok’…it really helps!
  • Music helps too, almost ignore everything else happening and just lose yourself in a song – sing along if you want, or use up that extra energy to dance it out. Listen to every single note, it helps
  • Of course I would also take photos because that helps to calm and concentrate the mind but it isn’t always possible. If I haven’t got a camera and I’m feeling anxious, I do look around and pretend like I’m taking photos. So seeing things, framing them with my mind’s eye, seeing it from different angles etc…that helps me focus and be in the moment, really seeing what is around me.

You are not alone in this and I hope that has helped. Let me know how you get on, don’t worry, you’ve got this <3

PS I love you…but do you love yourself?

Have you seen the movie, PS I love you? You will need a whole box of tissues if you do watch it. For me, the movie is amazing and very relevant to all our lives.

In the movie, the husband, who dies from cancer, has written letters to his widow and organised for her to get them after he has died. The letters are so moving but they are his way of making sure she starts living again after he has gone.

With days like Valentine’s Day, the shop full of red roses, adverts on what to buy for your loved one, the pressures is being put on.

Pressure on those in relationships; ‘Oh I must remember to do something romantic’ and pressure on those who are single; ‘I’m unworthy because I have no one to share Valentines with’…what pressures are you feeling about Valentines?

Can I share something with you? I’ve been with Iain since I was 17, that’s 23 years of my life with the same guy. He has loved me when I was skinny, when I had body image issues, when I hated myself, when I had my numerous breakdowns, when I got fat, when I had my kids, when I’m happy, when I’m ill…yes, I’m really luck to have him in my life and feel deep gratitude.

Want to know a big secret? It didn’t matter that I had someone who loved me unconditionally. It didn’t matter because I didn’t love myself and not matter what he said, I couldn’t believe it because I knew my own personal truth.

Since doing all my counselling studies, I have learnt to show myself unconditional love, to be self aware and self compassionate. I have learnt that even though I don’t belong or fit in, it’s ok because I am me and I’m ok.

I AM.

By the end of the movie, PS, I love you, by the end of all the letters, the husband had given his wife, Holly the best gift ever; he gave her the chance to find herself again, to remember who she was, to remember her dreams and to remember what made her happy and feel alive.

So on Valentine’s day, or on any day, show appreciation for those who have loved you, but first and foremost, sit down with yourself and say, ‘I love you’.

I love you, just as you are, perfect in your imperfections <3

What would you say to your younger self?

When I look at old photos, I think to myself if I met me then, what advice would I give me?

The primary school me? The teenage me? The new mum me?

Talking from the heart, these things are what I know now and would say:
• Play more with your friends and dogs
• Play more outside; climb just one more mango tree (and eat just one more mango)
• Just because someone says something, it doesn’t make it true
• Keep smiling and spreading the light
• Friends come and go
• Have patience
• It is difficult leaving places your heart calls home but you are gifted with having a memory and having photos
• Stay kind and giving
• Trust your instincts more, you know what you want and what you need
• Be creative, try new creative things
• It’s ok to make mistakes
• Don’t put people on pedestals, we’re all just human
• When things get dark, just hold on, it will pass
• Time flies so treasure every moment
• Everything happens for a reason and a lesson
• Keep the hope
• You are unique, you belong to the world, you are loved and you have a purpose in life

What would you say to your younger self?

You can be the person you needed at the time you felt no one was there.

Take some time out now, remember a moment you needed support, and talk to the younger version of yourself, comfort them, love them, love yourself x

Boobs, boobs and more boobs!

I love boobs! The best thing about having kids were my breast going from a 32B to 36DD! Yes, they did and I loved it…and still continue to love my boobs.

OMG, how can you say that and talk so openly about them like that!! Have you no shame?

NO! I have no shame. I love them, I love them when I’m with Iain and I loved them when I was feeding the kids. Yes, I said it; I love them in a sexual way and in a motherly way.

Working with a client the other day the Mum asked me, “Is it OK if I breastfeed ‘baby’ here or should I go into another room?”

It honestly broke my heart that this question had to be asked in the first place. What sort of society are we in that something as natural and normal and magical as feeding your own child becomes something we are ashamed of??????

I proudly told her that I breastfed Anisha until she was almost 20 months old and Dan until he was 12 months old (he chose to stop which was heartbreaking for me!). I told her that it is the most natural thing in the world to do and I could see her completely relax and start to feed.

I don’t think it should be breastfeeding mums that should feel shamed and feed their children in secret. I remember feeding my kids was the most magical experience I was blessed to have, knowing that my body alone was keeping this baby alive, was keeping them healthy and helping them to grow big and strong.

I think society needs to change its ideas on what is acceptable and what is not. We need to remember we are organismic beings and what our primary purpose in life is. We need to stop being so precious about our bodies and stop fighting against what we are made to do and how we are meant to be. Let’s trust our instincts a bit more and be proud of what our bodies can do.

So the next time you see boobs, be amazed, be very amazed because you know what?

They are wonderful!!!!!!!!

(Please note, this is about me and NOT a judgement on those who chose not to breastfeed <3)

How to free your space and free your mind

Have you heard the saying that a tidy space reflects a tidy mind?

Have a look around you and see what is there. Are you deeply happy in the space you are in?

Our environments have a huge impact on our mental well being and for many people, if the space is cluttered and disorganised, it could be reflecting or affecting the mind.

How can we fix this? Declutter of course!! Go through your things and get rid of anything that gives you a bad memory or makes you feel bad about yourself.

Let go of the ‘when I loose weight, I’ll fit into this and that’, let go of the ‘one day I’ll make this or do this’ and the ‘I’ll fix this’.

Don’t get me wrong, if you are going to, then do it, take control and set some time aside to do it but look deep within yourself, if you are not, then let go and give yourself that extra headspace.

If something has got sentimental value but is broken beyond repair, then take a photo of it. If you love a dress because you have great memories of when you wore it but doesn’t fit any more, take a photo of it.

Can you think of examples of things you need to let go of but haven’t because of how it makes you feel? Or the memories you have because of it?

You will also be amazed that through letting go of physical things, you will find your mind will be freer and have more space for new things – physically and mentally. Perhaps new opportunities? New hobbies? New friends? A new look showing the new confident you

Photographing these objects can help you keep those feelings and memories without taking up physical space.

Give yourself a break and free yourself up from unwanted things in your life. Remember, taking photos of things can help you let go

Let me know if this has been helpful; What have you let go of physically but kept a photo for emotional reasons?

Gifts from the Universe

I was stopped short the other night when I looked out my window.

The light was simply magical and I found myself mesmerized. The only camera I had on me was my phone, it was better than nothing.

I clicked away and tried to capture what I was seeing. I always find when things seem to be difficult, when my to do list is far too long, when I can’t seem to find peace, nature comes to the rescue.

I feel like I’m being given a message from the universe,

‘It’s ok, look around you, there is so much beauty, so much to be grateful for.
‘Here, this moment, this scene is just for you. Thank you for being you and trying your best’

So, in my act of capturing the beautiful sunset, this photo is just for you.

Thank you for being you, thank you for trying your best and being
such a wonderful human being.

All my love

Jessy

 Image may contain: cloud, sky and outdoor

Tips on how to love your body

Quick 5 top tips on what to do when you feel really unhappy about yourself and your body.

1) Distract yourself; stop obsessing and thinking about it by distracting yourself. Go out and do something, meet up with friends, take a nice walk in nature, get your camera and take some photos.

2) Find out why you feel this way; really think about it. Were things said to you while you were growing up? Who said them? Has something else happened that has upset you?

3) Build your self worth and self confidence; do something nice for someone else, do something out of your comfort zone – what is it you’ve always wanted to do?

4) Remember all positive things that have been said to you; Start writing a list to yourself about your positives, start telling yourself daily, in the mirror, I am worthy of living, I am special

5) Don’t compare your insides with everyone else’s outsides; Everyone puts on mask to the world and hide what is going on inside them. Everyone else feels the same way so stop comparing yourself to others.

Have you got anything to add?

Photos never taken

Isn’t it funny how we are always smiling in our photos? When someone brings out a camera and points it at you, the most natural reaction is to Smile!

It is interesting that we have this need to record only happy moments. We want to look back and see our photo albums full of joy, closeness and love.

It’s not always the case though, is it? We have moments when we have huge emotions covered by a smile. Do we even acknowledge half the emotions we have? Or do we brush them under the carpet and sit on them because we are not ready to face them?

There are so many things thrown at us in life and I wonder how many of these things we actually deal with? Our feelings are not just in our minds, they are all of us, physical and mental. Positive emotions have great effects on our bodies just as the negative ones have negative effects.

So how about, as you go through your day observe what emotions you are feeling. Give it a week. Just observe without comment or judgement.

Then as you observe more, move into recording. If you feel sad, take a self portrait. If you feel angry, take a self portrait. If you feel happy, tired, grumpy…you get the picture. (excuse the pun)

You don’t have to look at these straight away but in time, set aside some alone time and put the photos together. You can create a collage, write the emotions you are feeling over the photos, display them as you want.

Have a think as you look at the photos:
What caused you to feel that particular emotion?
Was it because what was happening at the time, or did it remind you of a similar situation it the past?
How does it feel looking at yourself having different emotions?
What do you want to offer the YOU in the image during the emotion? (Words, hugs? etc)

Learning what we are and who we are is an important step to learning how to love ourselves. These photos of learning our emotions can help you learn the triggers and causes of emotions and in turn help you cope through the hard times and enjoy the good times.

Good luck and let me know how you get on x

The need to change old beliefs

Talking about changing old beliefs and thinking for your own.

Just watched the good karma hospital where there was an Indian couple who had just given birth to a girl which was devastating for them. The cost of having a daughter is huge especially when there is a dowry involved.

I remember when I was quite young being told by my parents they were disappointed I wasn’t a boy, being the 3rd daughter. Mum went on to tell me that in her village in India having 3 girls us seen as a curse and hardship and when she or her mum told people of us, it was commiserations not celebrations.

I could kind of understand them wanting a boy after 2 girls but the way this belief was related to me made me feel so u worthy for being a girl and I used to be a tomboy, perhaps to feel more validated.

After my daughter was born my mum started with the ‘oh dear it’s a girl’ and it took me ages to pick up the courage and stand up for my beliefs and for my daughter. I didn’t want her growing up hearing she was less than a man or that she was a disappointment in any way.
When my son was born, there is a huge Indian tradition of giving out sweets and holding 3 day prayers to celebrate. Again I said no to this tradition. And no to putting sons on a pedestal with the girls serving them.

I do forget my roots and old beliefs now because 18 years on we’ve created our own. It isn’t always wise to carry on beliefs and habits from where you came from. Starting your family is a great place to start your own beliefs and traditions.

In a small way, we’ve tried our best to instill gender equality and worthiness in our home.

What new belief or tradition would you like to start??

Zoning out

Image may contain: 1 person, textHas this ever happened to you?
Doing something without thinking consciously about it?
You’d be surprised at how many things you can do without thinking of every single action.
But at the moment perhaps with your mental health, change in family dynamics, or learning how to be with a new baby, you’re having to think of things. Every little thing maybe.
That’s tiring right!
As a mum with grown up kids, I find a lot of things I had to think about come as second nature but it has taken 16/18 years to get to this point.
Learning to sit with uncertainty and change as the kids grow and each age brings it’s own challenges.
Learning to manage the household chores without thinking.
Learning to create pockets of rest in the chaos that is family life.
Learning to be my true self so I am proud of the reflection of me I see in my kids and proud of them
There is no rush, it’s not a race. We will get to where we want to be, sometimes we think of every step sometimes we get there zoned out <3

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

So one day you wake up and you don’t recognise the person in the mirror. Every morning and night, you see yourself in the mirror when brushing your teeth, when applying make up, maybe you even have a mirror by the front door for you to double check yourself before you go out.

But one day you really LOOK at the person looking back at you and that image doesn’t match the image in your mind of what you look like. Years of (maybe) smoking, drinking, sunshine, bad eating, [insert your own activity] has finally had an effect on you. You suddenly look OLD.

Are there extra grey hairs that you are certain were not there yesterday? Perhaps there are a lot more wrinkles than you remembered….You look at yourself and your heart drops. It’s finally happened. You ARE old.

One of the participants on our last eCourse had this very same problem. She spent years looking after others as a carer and mother, then one day she looked at herself in the mirror and really saw herself. She didn’t like what she saw.

Her self esteem was based on her looks and with getting older, she suddenly found her self esteem slipping. With low self esteem she found she was loosing her confidence and her happiness.

BUT there is good news! On the course the most powerful exercise for her was when she took her self portrait. It took great courage for her to take photos of herself but once she did the image and answered the questions I had set, she found herself changing. She found she could forgive herself for the feelings she had of not looking after herself and started drinking more water and eating healthier. She found herself changing her hairstyle, realising that people did not ‘throw up’ when they could see her face. (Her words!)

AND best of all, she found herself accepting herself just as she was. She was more confident with this new found acceptance and in turn, people reacted to her better. She now wants to start a business helping older women feel better about themselves.

What an inspiration!!!!

So the next time you see yourself in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, know that there is a way to change your mindset through the power of self compassion <3

Love your body – Step 7; Self portrait

This last exercise is a very simple one; I want you to take a photo of yourself. Simples 🙂

You can direct someone else to take the photo for you but make sure they are only pressing the shutter and not influencing your choices in the process. If you do not like the way you look, please still do this exercise. There comes a time when you put your trust in others and the time has come now. You are in a safe place where your efforts in capturing yourself will be appreciated and treated with respect.

You decide where and when, what you wear, your expression, what you’re looking at and if you are with anyone. This is your chance to spend time thinking and looking at yourself.

You have full control on how you want this self portrait to look but you have to park any emotions for now and you only get one go at taking the photo.

So if you take it and you think; oh I don’t like my hair in it, I look fat etc just sit with it. Accept it as it is. If any emotions come bubbling up or negative thoughts, stop them for the moment. Just see the image you have created as an image.

Let it just BE. Just look at it. Accept it.

You don’t have to love it, or hate it, be proud of it or want to hide it. It is simply a photo of yourself that you have created. Nothing more, nothing less.

Looking at your image, for one moment forget that it is you in the picture. See the person as someone else. Ask these questions out loud and write down the answers. If you find it easier, you can record them and watch your responses which will give you more of an insight to your emotions. Get into the moment and go with the first answers that pop into your head. That’s your subconscious talking to you.

Now think of the answers to these questions:

Who is the person in the image?

What are they doing?

What do they need to say if they could talk?

What is obvious about the picture?

What 3 things do you like about the image?

What 3 things do you NOT like?

Who would say these things? Where did you first hear that voice? Whom did it come from?

What or who is missing from the picture?

If you were to going to give this picture to anyone, who would it be and why?

Who would you NOT give it to and why?

When making this image, did you have someone in mind?

Did your answers surprise you? Is there anything new you have learnt about yourself?