Friday, September 10, 2010

The Therapist Within...

Thank you for visiting this blog.

Please come over to The Therapist Within to read Gabrielle's latest posts.

And unlock your own inner therapist...

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Suspended silently as it was, over a bustling city street, I almost didn’t see this ‘dream’.

Yes, it was written in big yellow letters.
And it occupied the largest window in the building.
So, clearly, someone wanted it to be seen.

But there were still so many other windows and sounds and signs diverting attention all around it, that it was hardly visible… A dream that went almost unnoticed.

So what about your dreams?
Where do you store them? (Behind glass, like this one?)

Are they visible in some way, so others who may want to be a part of them (and maybe even help them to become a reality) can see them and be inspired?

Or perhaps they’re surrounded by the clutter of other more mundane demands – crowded out by your other to do lists

What could help your dreams to stand out more clearly? (Both to you and maybe even to others, too)

Or is it easier to hide them away, so there’s next to no risk of them coming to life?

Sometimes it can seem easier to keep these things secret; to hold them close to our chests or close to our hearts. To indulge in a little private escape when we ‘visit’ them. And to keep them alive in our imaginations for that purpose only.

But what might it mean to dare to bring your dreams a little closer to your life, so they can walk alongside you, instead of being suspended off the ground alone, like the one in the photo?

What might you and your dream achieve together if you were allowed to acknowledge each other more? To support each other more?

And how might it change the quality of your everyday if your dream was more than just an escape-hatch for you, but if it could open up into a whole new way of living (from which you might want less escape anyway).

It seems like something worth dreaming about…

Photo & text (c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Take a seat #2...

Ever since I wrote this earlier blog post inspired by an abandoned chair or two on the street, I keep seeing them around everywhere. And each one seems to have its own message to share, inviting me to ‘take a seat’ for a moment in the perspective it offers.

Take this one, for instance.
A giant, soft spongy recliner, just made for sitting into and never getting out of – perfectly set in front of the ‘IN USE 24 Hrs’ sign behind it.

It reminds me of those big, easy habits or mindsets it might be tempting to get into. Lean right back and kick the footrest bit out in front, if you have one, for maximum comfort (and minimum ability to get out of them in a hurry).

They can seem so permanent, that they almost need their own post-box (which the chair in the photo also conveniently has).

So what about in your life?

Are there any habits or mindsets or opinions that have seduced you into adopting them 24/7? Anything you’ve not re-evaluated for a while because it’s just a bit too comfy?

Sometimes, of course, comfort can be a very worthwhile goal.
But where is that tipping point, when comfort kips over into constraint?

When something’s ‘in use 24 hrs’ it can become difficult to really see.
It starts slipping under the radar, becoming part of the furniture of our everyday.

So I wonder how you know when it’s time to sit up and take notice of that stuff.
To reassess whether this particular place/habit/thought you’re occupying is still the right one for the person you are today.

And perhaps to find out ‘where you sit’ on the things that matter for you.

© Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010

PS. I’ve recently found another place to ‘sit’ as well – over at my new blog, The Therapist Within, at Psych Central.
You’re welcome to pull-up a chair and join me if you like:

(And, consequently, I’ll also be reducing the posts here to once a fortnight).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Guest post at Two Chairs Counselling

Where might your 'self' be located?
Feel free to checkout my guest post at Two Chairs Counselling, which explores some ideas about identity and place...
And, while you're there, you might like to read some of UK counsellor & psychotherapist Tamarisk Saunders-Davies' work, too.... she shares some wonderful insights.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Warning: Do not force doors...

This photo is blurry because it was taken on a moving train.

It was standing room only in the carriage, and I had a notebook out, scribbling some ideas down for a potential blog post. But the more I wrote, the less it seemed to make sense. I kept trying to fix things, forge things, join bits together, scrub parts out – trying to make it work.

And then, exasperated, I happened to look up and see this sticker:
Warning: Do not force doors
A serendipitous reminder that sometimes things just happen in their own time. (Or not).

So, what about you?
How do you often respond when things aren’t ‘working’?
Do you ever find yourself forcing the issue? (Maybe forcing a conversation or a relationship, pushing an agenda, insisting on a certain result… perhaps even trying to control the uncontrollable).

What’s your theory on why that might happen?
What might it protect you from? (Anxiety? Loss? Change?)
And what do you imagine could happen if you just left those ‘doors’ to their own timing?

How might it be to just let them open for you? (Or not). To see if and when that might occur. Maybe to save your energy for walking through them and into whatever awaits.

Or perhaps to cast your eyes around and see if any other doors – any other opportunities – are already opening for you instead…

Perhaps 'forcing' is not the only way.

(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rattling the cage...

There’s a metaphor in here somewhere, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Something about seeing this elderly woman, back turned to the windows, alone in a room full of cages, chilled me as I walked past. I had to stop and capture the moment.

(I’m sure the actual woman, herself, is probably enjoying the winter sun through the panes and possibly even sipping a cup of tea in this little cafĂ©. But from the outside, this moment first seemed to speak of something darker).

For one day, we will all be old like this – and that’s if we’re lucky…

There will come a time when we must all turn our back on the day. On all our days.
A time when there will be no more such days for us.

And when that happens, we can only hope that we’ve released all the parts of us that needed to fly free – that we haven’t kept too much under lock and key, preferring to stay caged because flight seemed a scary thing at the time.

So what about you, where you’re currently at in your life?
Is there any part of you that longs to escape any cages of convention?
To be let out into the light.
To be given the chance to stretch its wings.

What unfinished business – or perhaps even unstarted business – is calling for your attention?
Any secret talents, dreams, overdue conversations, or experiments in living?
What would you really like to do?
What matters to you?

What might it take to open the door for these things and give them a way out of the cage?
What’s the smallest way you could set this stuff in motion?
How might it feel to embark on that (to ‘rattle the cage’ a bit)?

(And, perhaps more importantly, how might it feel if you never took the chance and tried?)

(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010

PS. The photo is part of Point & Shoot

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good morning beautifl...

This spray painted greeting is sprawled across a driveway out the front of a local block of apartments.

Walking past, I couldn’t help but wonder what it might be like to be the recipient.
(Yes, technically, the paint is also vandalism - but bear with me for a moment).

Imagine waking up and then driving or walking out of your home, into the wider world, and being ‘spoken to’ like this before your day out there begins.
Imagine being wished well every morning.
Being supported.
Imagine seeing – knowing – that you’re not alone in this world. That someone was thinking of you. That you matter. Perhaps even that you belong.

Amazing that such a small message can impart so much. Only two words, yet they’re potentially whispering many more.

So what about the beginnings of your own days?
What might you be whispering to yourself in the mornings, consciously or not, before you head out into the world?
When you first awake.
When you catch yourself in the mirror, cleaning your teeth.
When you pass the threshold of your front gate.
I wonder what just noticing these moments might reveal…

For instance, what tone do these words, these self-spoken messages, speak to you in?
Are they supportive, demanding, depressed?
How might that be impacting other parts of your day?

If you woke up tomorrow morning and found your ‘notes to self’ were sprayed across the street outside your home, would you find them uplifting (‘Good morning beautifl’) or offensive?
Would you be tempted to leave them there or scrub them out?
(And if they’re not fit for public consumption, how have they managed to make it onto your inner canvas?)

There’s an unwritten code amongst graffiti artists, apparently. If you can create something better than the existing stuff, you have the right (and possibly even an obligation) to paint over it and claim that bit of wall or whatever for something new.

So what about your inner spaces?

Is the stuff written inside a little dated? Are you sick of seeing it?
Do you want to add something / change something / paint over something / reclaim something?

And if you could paint your own morning greeting anew, what might it be?

(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010
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