Category Archives: Gratitude

Befriend your feelings

Feelings can make or break a situation. Things happen, events unfold, we go through processes, schedules, routines but it is the emotions we attach to ‘things’ that show their importance in our minds.

We have a birthday; we can feel happy or sad
We win a race; we feel happy
We have a baby; we feel every emotion under the sun, sometimes all at once.

Do you get what I mean?

I have been thinking about emotions for a long time and trying to figure out a way to learn to relate to them and the simplest way I thought of was to think of emotions like people and our connection with them would be like any relationship.

The kids’ movie, Inside Out does show this beautifully as each emotion is it’s on ‘person’, has it’s own traits, colour and affects us differently. Depending on which emotion, or ‘person’ is in charge, we react to situations accordingly.

Related image

In the movie, we have Sadness, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Joy. Arguably, these are our basic emotions.

In my life and indeed when I work with clients, I try to park the emotions when trying to look at a situation logically. This is the best way to figure out how to process it and how to move forward. Then it’s a case of asking what emotions are coming up when thinking or talking about the situation.

Each emotion comes to the foreground for a reason and to find out, what the reason is, we can simply ask ourselves – or ask the emotion.

“Anger, why did you show up when I saw everyone sitting watching TV when I was struggling with the shopping?”
“Disgust, are you trying to protect me from something that will infect me and make me ill?”
“Sadness, hello again, so you’re back. What do you need me to work on this time?”
“Fear, I see you are trying to keep me from hurting myself, thank you but I’ve got this”
“Joy, the emotion I want all the time but you do need to make way for others, so I can learn about myself but so nice to see you. Yes, we are so happy when we look at all the things we are grateful for”

I see these Emotions as different parts of us, different Selves making us who we are, making us Whole.

What emotion would you add as your basic?
I might add stress, but does that come under fear, I wonder?
Disappointment? Frustration? Despair? Vulnerability? Gratitude? (is that an emotion?)
Well, I guess the movie was trying to keep it simple and it’s not easy trying to simplify something so complicated.

What emotion do you struggle with the most? What is it trying to tell you?

Don’t forget, you’re not alone. If you need support, I’m here to help you <3

Radio interview from 4 years ago

Sorting out my folders from way back, I have come across this interview. It is amazing how I am talking about using photography to help others heal. Very much in the first stages of photo therapy!

I talk about how the question of ‘If you had 6 weeks to live, what would you do?’ My motivation to start on this path and actually start living my life.

Talking about body image and how so many women used to ask me to photo shop them to look ‘better’ but in principal, I never did. I talk about how the first steps to body confidence is to learn to like ourselves and turn all the negative talk from others to positive talk within ourselves.

I talk about gratitude practice and how it can change our perception of our lives and help with our mental health. I used to offer listening sessions but now as a qualified counsellor I feel confident in offering these sessions, knowing I have had the proper training to hold a safe space for others.

I had been offering online courses where others were being helped so much with one participant coming off her antidepressant medication from doing the photo exercises and a woman facing a midlife crisis accepting herself.

And I define what success for me is; seeing clients feel happier in themselves and knowing I have done my part and given back to the wider community at large.

This journey is not an easy one, with lots of ups and downs, learning so much about myself, changing, building my self awareness and being the truest self I can be. The first step, stopping myself standing in my own way.

And my one bit of wisdom I would tell my younger self? Trust your instincts, believe in yourself, ask yourself what your needs are and what you need to do to meet them.

Have a listen and let me know what resonates:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepathtofabulouslysuccessful/2013/09/02/jessy-paston

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

Gratitude

Moving on nicely from mindfulness comes gratitude. Again, another super simple practice but ever so powerful.

I personally find when I am fully present, my heart becomes more expansive and I feel full of appreciation of how lucky I am. I feel grateful and this brings such a peaceful happiness.

Sometimes when we are in a dark or very negative place, simply looking around and saying, “Thank you for…..” helps. In the western, modern world, we are conditioned to want more and want the next thing. This practice helps bring our awareness to a new level where we realise what and who we actually have in our lives. This can bring about such a fullness and satisfaction that one day you might just feel like you have and you are enough.