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Archives for March, 2011

Attachment Theory

Finding Home Within You: Attachment Theory and Your Inner Sanctuary (Part 1)


 “Home is in the circle of your arms.”
I have a feeling that this message, written along the side of a nearby house, is meant to be about someone else’s arms.
(As in, home is in the arms of somebody else).

Yet what struck me when I read it was how each of us are also our own homes – emotionally, intellectually, existentially. So, in a very real sense, home is in the...
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acceptance

Who Are You? Shining Light On Your Shadow Side

How well do you know yourself?

Not just the bits that are easy to see in the light… but the parts that lurk in the shadows, too. The more hidden, darker undersides. The parts that might be harder to catch a glimpse of. That you’re less comfortable with – or even unconscious of.

Or maybe you don’t believe you have any of those…

Carl Jung believed that you do.

A luminary of the psychological realm, and...
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Anxiety

Transplanting ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’: Overcoming Fear of Judgement

Have you heard of ‘tall poppy syndrome’?

It’s that social tendency which sees high achievers – ‘tall poppies’ – as standing ‘above the crowd’ somehow; and it cuts them down to size.

And if it’s taken root in your patch, it can make it tricky for you to strive. To grow. To dare to put yourself out there in the world and try your best at what you’re passionate about. For it can be a...
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acceptance

Are You Practicing Perfection? Or Are You A Work In Progress?

What’s your relationship with perfectionism like?

Does it sometimes storm in wielding a red pen?
Does it make it hard for you to even begin things sometimes, knowing that it’s waiting to judge you?
Or have you learned to negotiate with it?

There’s something that’s always struck me as a little strange about perfectionism. It assumes completion – that a thing can be finished. Whole. Over. Done. So in a world where it seems that
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Change

Existential Therapy and ‘One-Day-Thinking’

So much seems caught in this handful of words (on another strangely insightful billboard*):
“One day could change your life.”
For, existentially, all of our lives seem certain to change one day – changed forever from the life we know into something we can only understand as an ending; as death.
One day, life; one day, not.

Yet how easy it is to forget this. To, instead, get caught up in the other kind of...
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Decisions

Your Moral Compass: Finding Your Truth And Navigating By It

I wonder how many ethical choices you’ll face today.
How many dilemmas.
Decisions, big and small, about how to respond; what to do; who to be

And what will guide you in those choices?
Will you consult your moral compass?
(And what might that compass actually look like?)

In fact, is your moral compass even actually yours to begin with? Or have you just inherited the standard model that society or your family or your community might like...
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Boundaries

Boundaries, Safety and Deadwood in Relationships (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, we looked at the concept of safety in relationships, and drawing a boundary around the damaging behaviour in them (the axe in the forest).

So what about your relationship with your self? Are there parts of that relationship that are potentially damaging to you, too? Parts where you’re sharpening your own blade against yourself?

Are there thoughts you catch yourself thinking that seem to do more harm than...
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Boundaries

Boundaries, Safety and Deadwood in Relationships (Part 1)

I took this photo many years ago, in Germany, where the woodpiles are stacked high in preparation for long, cold winters.

This particular scene was in a forest, with the cut, dead wood being framed by the living. It reminded me of a powerful saying:
When the axe came into the forest,
the trees said,
‘The handle is one of us’.
It’s pretty chilling…

And it seems to outline the dangers of putting loyalty before safety;...
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acceptance

Internal Improvisation: Making Music Even When You’re Broken


There’s an old broken piano keyboard in someone’s pile of junk out in my street, waiting for the garbage truck. Most of the keys are bent and some have broken off. It’s looking pretty forlorn…

Have you ever felt a bit like that sometimes?

Like some of your keys have gone missing somehow.
Or some of your strings have been busted.
Or you’re just generally out-of-tune; neglected; broken.

Maybe at times like those it’s been tempting to just give up...
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Acceptance or Denial: Are You Wishing or Going With What Is?

This chalk drawing on the pavement made me smile as I wandered past it yesterday. And then I noticed the bits of chalk laying alongside it, like an invitation. A chance to add to the picture; to build on what’s already there; to join the dots

And it struck me how easy it can be sometimes to do exactly the opposite in life…

Instead, to sort of stand before the image you’re faced...
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