Feel Like A Lost Soul? Taking Steps To Find Yourself Again

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

Photo of a lost sole, by Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar, counsellor and psychotherapist

I was winding my way through the early morning rush hour at the station, past crowds of people blurring by, when this strange little moment of stillness opened up.

And then I saw it: a lost sole.
(In the picture, above).

A visual metaphor, reminding me of the times I’ve felt a bit like a lost soul myself. Or the times I’ve spoken with clients in counselling who felt they’d lost touch with their sense of soul and the things that really mattered to them.

Have you ever felt that way?

Where maybe some part of you was lost?
Disconnected?
Maybe covered over by sadness or grief?
Or buried alive under a pile of convention or expectation that you felt you “should” live up to?
Or maybe you just became so busy you gradually lost sight of it?

There are so many ways to lose touch with what really matters in your life – to let the everyday grind take over instead. Or to let habits or old thought patterns get in the way.

Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and reconnect with yourself. To remind yourself of what you want this life of yours to be all about. To find yourself again.

But how might you do that?

Continue reading… »



Lost And Found Love On Valentine’s Day

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

I happened to spy this leaf on the path the other day.  I was on my way to somewhere else and had my mind on other things, and could easily have walked right past it. Yet there it was.

Torn.
Battered.
Lost.

And now found.

(And in the shape of a heart because of all those things, not despite them).

Continue reading… »



Mindfulness And Multitasking: Can You Do Both At Once?

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

Well, how did that happen? It’s February already…

So maybe you’re already right back into the swing of things, drawn back to the thousand appointments and meetings and obligations calling your name – just like all these little Post-it notes stuck to the window in the photo, above, practically obscuring the person who put them there.

All that stuff that wants to be done. Now. (Or maybe even wanted to be done by January…)

How do you approach it all? Whether it’s your salaried work or your parenting or managing your health or keeping up with friends and family (and somewhere in there, also living the rest of your life). How do you do it?

Do you multitask? Throw a few things in together and return to a juggling routine you maybe know all too well?

Maybe it feels like you do. But do you really?

What if some of the research thinks that’s impossible?

Continue reading… »



If “Eternity Is Now” Then What Will You Do With It?

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

I came across a little piece of eternity the other day (there it is in the photo, above). Or, more precisely, it came across me. Tumbling towards me on the footpath. Blowin’ in the wind*.

Ok, so it was also just a loose page of a newspaper, blowing around the street, with an advertisement on it featuring a stone angel pointing towards a single word: “Eternity.”

Just a banal moment of dodging some floating flotsam on my way home. And a bit of a wake-up call.

What do you do when eternity comes barreling right down the street at you?

I picked it up. And could suddenly feel my heart beating. I took it with me.

What will you do with yours?
(Your eternity).
(Your heart).

Continue reading… »



Is Perfection An Imperfect Idea? Lessons From The Natural World

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

I was walking in the park this morning. Past the hundreds of thousands of millions of leaves, all applauding each other in the wind.

Which one of them isn’t perfect?

Which leaf hasn’t “lived up to its potential”?

Which has “fallen short”?

They seem like slightly ridiculous questions. (And yet, are there times that you ask them of yourself?)

In light of all of these leaves, the idea of “perfection” seems suddenly a bit lifeless and arbitrary next to the endless, vibrant variations dripping from the boughs. 

Continue reading… »



Living In The Small Moments – Mindfulness And Everyday Miracles

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

This little duck (in the photo, above) was swimming in the clouds in my local park this morning, rippling the upside-down sky in the pond.

It’s moments like these I want to remember to see. To live. To pause and breathe into in the midst of the day.

That’s about as close to a New Year’s Resolution as I got this year. Just to stop. To look. And to remember to see the small stuff.

And this morning there seemed plenty around to see: little crystalline moments of inexplicability that you can climb into and rest in if you just get down to their level.

Do you want that sometimes?

Continue reading… »



Lessons From The Book Of 2011. And Learnings For Life

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

For many people I know (and for myself at times), 2011 has been quite a hard year. It’s held times of real challenge, times of worry, times of loss. Yet there were still beautiful bits that sparkled through it in the light.

Has it been that way for you?

As we all get ready to farewell 2011 and open a new calendar for 2012, perhaps it’s worth reviewing, for a moment, what we’re actually leaving behind. And what, if anything, you might like to carry forward with you into your future.

For there are clues written into this past year that can help you uncover what’s important and fulfilling to you, how to invite more of that in, and how you want to live your life.

Let’s take a look…

Continue reading… »



Feed Your Mind – Mindfulness And Your Thoughts

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

It was on this same trip to work the other day, walking a different way, seeing different things, that I spotted this sign:

“FEED YOUR MIND.”

And it led me to wondering… What are you feeding your mind?
Are you nourishing it?
Or mindlessly stuffing some junk in for a quick bit of rush?

What are you putting in there?

(And what are you hoping to get back out of it?)

In his book, “Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life,” world renown Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh writes about mindful consumption. Not just of food. But of everything you ingest: television, conversations, images, thoughts.

So, if you were to look at the typical “diet” you feed your mind, what might you find?

Continue reading… »



Making Time For The Things That Matter In Life

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

I took a different route to work yesterday. And I saw different things.

Suddenly, in a gap between buildings, I spied this view in the photo, above: stairs and a distant clock face above them.

A thought struck immediately:

“Take the steps to make the time…”

 

And then, a heartbeat later:

“… time for the things that matter.”

 

I had to stop for a second, to drink it in and let all the bustling commuters around me blur on by.

So what are those things for you? The things that matter?

Life can change at a moment’s notice – we all know this. Profound, unexpected change where the things we previously took for granted become the things we miss, for we can no longer experience them in quite the same way again. At least for now…

At the moment, I’m getting lots of reminders of this. Lots of losses, big and small, in my own life, and in the lives of those close to me.

I guess it comes back to our fragility. Our mortality. Our passage through the (limited) time we have. And our ability to recognise what really matters to us, so we can live it, love it, while it’s here in our hands. 

Continue reading… »



Where Do You Keep Your Un-Cried Tears? Learning To Live With Grief

By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar

 

Grief. It comes to fill our hollows of loss. To accompany our loneliness. To be with our pain.

So when you’ve lost someone important in your life, by death or distance; or if you’ve lost a certain hope for the future; you may find a sense of grief. Or maybe it finds you

It’s all a bit of an enigma sometimes. For grief is a something in the middle of a new nothing. A heaviness in the emptiness.

And, often, with grief can come tears. Even if you don’t always let yourself cry them…

At this time of year, with all the special occasions and anniversaries and expectations, all those un-cried tears – both old and new – can make themselves felt all the more.

So where do you keep yours?

Where do you actually carry them, your un-cried tears*?

Continue reading… »



 
 

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