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Archives for February, 2011


Friendship, Therapy and Rising from the Gutter to the Stars

I was wandering around some neighbourhood streets recently, when I came across these two cat-friends in the gutter, just hanging out together.

They reminded me of all those sayings about friends being the ones who’ll walk into a place with you when everyone else walks out… That friends are the people who’ll meet you where you are… maybe even share part of the journey ahead with you (even if that happens to be...
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Who’s Behind the Wheel? Emotions, Actions and Decisions in Life

Stuck in traffic on my way home the other day, I could feel the frustration building, when I happened to spot a taxi with “Your Driver” painted boldly on the door right under the driver’s window.

It made me wonder about who my driver was at that moment… me or the frustration.

So I wonder, on the road you’re travelling, who is your driver when things get tricky or tough?
Who gets behind the wheel at difficult times?
Does it...
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Clearing Internal Clutter: Creating New Peace Within (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, we waded through some clutter and wondered if there might be such a thing as internal clutter – the things that accumulate in the mind or in memories, that get in the way and end up in unstable piles of stuff that rob you of space to think. Space to be

Organising guru and clutter expert, Peter Walsh, has some interesting thoughts on clutter (the physical kind). And...
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Clearing Internal Clutter: Creating New Peace Within (Part 1)

This photo was taken in a local second-hand bookstore, a huge place crammed with an infinity of books. It seems to have a lot more order to it now, but some years back, the chaos was almost breathtaking.

This particular aisle gives a sense of how most of the shop used to be: perilous piles listing and leaning all over the place, with narrow paths cut through the clutter for the brave at...
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Evolving Your Inner-Critic: Making Self-Criticism Constructive (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, we started looking into the ways of the inner-critic, and the kinds of criticism it often likes to give (hardly unbiased…).
We wondered if it might be possible to help this inner-critic evolve. And whether it’s possible to draw on the typical guidelines about giving constructive criticism to others, and apply them to yourself.
It’s amazing just how many of those...
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Evolving Your Inner-Critic: Making Self-Criticism Constructive (Part 1)

How much do you think you’ve learned over your lifetime about how to treat others well?

As a child. As an adult. In the professional world of work.

Minding your manners.
Holding your tongue.
Counting to ten before answering.
Drafting a difficult email and then simmering down or even sleeping on it before hitting ‘send’.
Being mindful, respectful, professional, polite.

Yet how much of this translates into how you treat yourself?

Maybe that question gets especially interesting when you think about...
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Reclaiming Valentine’s Day and Finding Beauty in the Broken Places

I picked this leaf up off the ground the other day. Uncannily heart-shaped. Fallen. And though it’s clearly seen some damage in its time, and has even worn through in some places, it has a beauty and a fragility all of its own. Something that no verdant (‘perfect’) green leaf could

It’s an interesting thing to reflect on in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day; a time when so many big glossy red hearts...
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Expose Yourself: Anxiety, Fear and the Art of Graded Exposure Therapy

This sign is actually supposed to be about real estate (‘position, position, position’). But another form of exposure crossed my mind when I saw it (and not the lewd sort either).

For there’s yet another kind of exposure that’s worth exploring – graded exposure therapy. And interestingly enough, that also involves position in a way; the art of positioning yourself in a different place in relation to your fears.

So how does it...
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Seeking Psychological Shade

There’s a lot of extreme weather around at the moment. In Sydney, it’s hot – today reached over 40 degrees Celsius (104° Fahrenheit). Hot enough to feel yourself wilting. Hot enough to steal your sleep in the night.

So everyone’s gravitating to the shady side of the street… if they’re outside at all. For the sun is brutal.

Walking along the footpath, following the patches of whatever shade I could find, it struck me...
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Consulting Your Resilience And Weathering Life’s Storms

Queensland, Australia, is awash with extreme weather events right now: first floods, now a cyclone. It’s an incredibly tough time.

And what’s interesting is how the therapeutic community is responding. Once upon a time, the ‘experts’ – counselors, therapists, psychologists – might automatically have been trucked-in to sort of ‘rescue’ people from the trauma.

Now, though, people’s own expert status is also being recognized. Their own resilience. The strength and support...
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