Sunday, March 28, 2010

Full system scan...

Like millions of others around the globe, my computer just launched its regular system scan. Riffling through all its files and folders, it’s searching for things that don’t belong there. Things that have snuck in quietly through some vulnerability, and which could be doing damage.

I imagine you know where I’m going with this.

For computers aren’t the only entities exposed to viruses and malware. Some of our own internal programs can be pretty malicious, too. And we can pick them up from all sorts of places – some may have been travelling with us for years, and have perhaps even afflicted generations of our family.

The inner critic is one such ‘program’. It’s a tyrant that usually barks orders and reprimands us until we’re overcome with shame and reluctant to take a step in any direction in case we’re WRONG somehow (again).

Like computer viruses, these programs slow us down. They can interfere with what we want to do and who we might want to become. They can fill our system with other people’s stuff. They can hijack our dreams.

So it might be important, once in a while, to take a moment and do a system scan of your own. To just find a quiet space and go within, and see what’s there:

What habits do you have about the way that you see yourself?
Are there automatic ways you behave or react – and do you want to keep them that way?
Where might some of your internal programs have come from – when did you inherit them?
What other desires or emotions or relationships might they be impacting?

Though some of these things can be challenging to ‘quarantine’ or ‘delete’ from your system, even just knowing that they’re there is a meaningful step. For by becoming mindful of destructive programs or habits, already you have changed your relationship to them.

Just by noticing them, you've already started to free yourself.

(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Interior garden...

Recently, I wandered into a nursery, hoping to find a pot plant for my therapy room – something fairly hardy that can handle low lighting, changeable weather and occasional heartache.

Having found a likely looking candidate, I wanted to know a bit more about it.

‘Excuse me, will this plant grow very tall or will it stay fairly compact?’ I asked the gardener.

She turned and paused for a moment.

‘It’s limited by the size of the pot.’

I’m not sure if it was the way she said it, but somehow this statement seemed to mean a whole lot more than just plant sizes.

It started me wondering…

So what about your own ‘pot’?
How large a pot will you need for the kind of life you'd like?
What sized pot are you in now?
How might you like to grow?
Are there any areas you might like to prune?

Have you become stuck somehow, ‘root bound’ perhaps, in a situation where you feel you can’t live healthily anymore?
What might it take to un-bind you?
What could transplanting look like?

And what sized container do you tend to plant your dreams or expectations in? How much nourishment do you give them?
(... and yourself?)

In a way, therapy is all about looking into these kinds of questions about your life.

And it can be a way of becoming your own gardener...

(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Big to do list?

It was in a crowded train station that I first saw this ad. Peak hour. People jostling for position on the platform after a day’s work, eager to head home. The to do lists were fairly humming in the air.

The very nature of these lists means they don’t really end. They rarely get done. They’re just a rolling constant in our lives.

So how do you live with yours?

How do things get on to your list in the first place? (And whose things are they?)
Do you write your list, or do others actually have more of a say about what goes on it? What routinely gets prioritised at the top?

Do you cram as much as you can onto your list? Do you have a hope of achieving all of these things in the time available, or have you set up the system so it’s near impossible and you always feel ‘behind’ somehow? If so, what might that be costing you?

What are you not doing, when you’re answering to your to do list? Are there things that never seem important enough to actually make it onto the list? Maybe lazing in the sun. Wandering with no destination in mind. Just taking a moment to breathe.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moments of the everyday, and to lose ourselves somewhere in our lists. To forget that these everyday moments are all that we have. They add up to create our very lives. So, in a way, as we’re writing our to do lists, they can actually be writing part of us, too.

And what might be on your to be list…?

(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010
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