Tag Archives: emotions

What cleaning my deck taught me

We had 2 days of sunshine this week. I mean, finally we had TWO full days where it was dry and the **SUN** was out!!
At first I questioned whether it was real or not after weeks and weeks, months and months of rain, cold and grey. Oh the Grey. It is so draining, so dull, so unhappy.

I found myself pulled to go outside, to just sit in the sun and soak in some sunshine. Every part of me felt relief, joy and realised a deep need to have some sunshine. To be outside. To feel. To be.
Then I started to see all the jobs that needed doing. Oh dear, what a mess the garden was in. So unloved, untouched for so many months. Battered and bashed from the weather. Worn out, needing attention, maintenance, needing care.

So, slowly I started, cleaning one pot that used to have plants, after another. Moving things, cleaning, resorting. And resting. Lots of resting in between.
I had no plan but just did one thing, then another. Just one more thing.
You see, sometimes, it’s nice not to have a plan. Nice to just be and do what you want to in the moment. Nice just to do the amount you want to, then rest. OMG, it was SO nice to rest – in SUN!! Did I mention the sun was out?
I even ended up jet washing our deck, although by this time the grey was back but it was still dry (as in no rain, I was soaked after the jet washing lol)

It struck me though, in cleaning the deck, there was so much disruption to everything else; the table and chairs had to be moved, pots that gifted us with beautiful foliage and bloom last year needed to be moved. This was not easy as some of the pots were big and heavy – or am I just unfit and weak?
Broken things such as my home made wigwams, lights, pots had to be taken down and binned. Remains of plants had to be pulled out of the soil in surrounding beds and put in the compost. Then, and only then, when the deck was clear, was I able to get to it to clean it. And I’m embarrassed to say, it was filthy, maybe two years worth of dirt, ingrained and now part of the deck, cleaned away.
And I couldn’t do it quick either – it wasn’t a half an hour job. I had to clean it in the right way, the jet wash hose just the right distance away, cleaning each little area until all the dirt was gone before moving onto another area.
I had to have the right gear – flip flops and flimsy trousers were not right might I add, I was soaked and covered in dirt, got cold (but a warm bath soon sorted that)
Nothing has been put back yet, and today it’s raining (boo hoo!) but the sense of achievement was great and there is a feeling of progress, knowing each little thing I do will bring me to the end result of having a nice relaxing space to sit and enjoy the garden, sun, nature and connect with loved ones.

I feel this is could be a process in the counselling room. That initial feeling of ‘I need to get out there’. ‘I need’.
Then the feeling of overwhelm of how much needed doing. There was so much, where to start? Some start by just tackling one thing at a time. One thing they are able to face, challenge and process for now, to the depth they can cope with. And each thing brought up it’s own issues; what needed to be ‘weeded out’ and discarded? What was broken and could it be fixed? How? Then there are the emotions that come up with each step of awareness and realisation; anger, fear, pain, sadness.
And this can’t be rushed either, it needs to be done at the pace it needs to be done at. With support, motivation, encouragement but at the pace that is achievable.
Then bigger things come into the room when the ‘little’ things have been looked at; things that are equivalent to the deck; something from childhood? A relationship? Loss of self and who you used to be. Big things.
This can’t be rushed. There could be years and years of ‘dirt’ on this deck. Are the right tools available? Is everything working ok? Have you been practising enough to put into place? Do you know the right distance? Is there a strategy?
And then you start cleaning the deck, slowly, bit by bit. The emotions come, some wanting to protect you, some showing you what you need to face, some helping. Anger, Pain, Embarrassment, Shame, Fear
This takes time. As much time as it needs.
But even when the deck is clean, what are you going to put back? What is the final result you are going for? What is the life you want for You? What are the feelings you want in your life? What connections do you want in your life?

Like I’ve said before, I take a lot of inspiration from gardening and nature and the biggest lessons I always receive?

It takes time
Everything needs to go at it’s own pace
Rest and relax
Keep in mind what you are aiming for
Just do one thing

Not bad lessons for life, eh? Have a good Saturday <3

Emotionally stuck

When something happens and we feel something, very rarely are we in an objective frame of mind. We react to things with our feelings and somehow, every time we have felt a similar experience, that feeling seems to come back to us; negative and positive but we seem to struggle when it’s negative.

We can get stuck in emotional memories; eg if we experience something that brings ups feelings of vulnerability and shame, we go back to the last time we felt something like that and we use those actions as a default reaction and action. At times it doesn’t matter if the experience is completely different, if those feelings come up, we seem to react the same way.

We default back to the last memory and we react. It is almost like we can understand something logically but emotionally, we are stuck.

Counselling is a great place to learn how to get unstuck and to respond in a new, better way. It takes time and patience but through simple talking, in a safe, non judgemental environment, we can look at our reactions, note the last time we felt like this and slowly change our default reactions and feelings to ones which are more in line with our true selves.

We learn what our emotions are, gain awareness of signs of each feeling and how to stop escalation and things getting out of control.
We can stop ourselves getting angry if caught early.
We can stop ourselves going into a deep downward spiral if we know what the early signs are and implement self care at this early stage, saving us a lot of heartache.

Can you think of when you feel emotionally stuck? Are patterns or habits repeating themselves that you want to stop?

Do get in touch, you don’t have to struggle on your own anymore xx


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