Ah, June has been such a joy with all its summer-like wonder and warmth – what a treat! This month here at HLC we have been thinking about the concept of space; the creation of space, the process of holding space for another, the use of space. What a wonderful tool it is in so many aspects of life. Ready to dig in deeper with me?
‘a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied.’
Space; to nurture your creativity, to truly take note and explore those thoughts which have been whirring around your head all day, to move your body, to stop, to BE.
Space; to sit comfortably in your own silence, to stop and listen, to tune in to the small signals and messages your mind/body are communicating to you.
So often we create space for others – friends, family, colleagues – and expend a multitude of energies daily on others. We part with this precious energy of ours to give that little extra at work, to turn up and be present for those we care for but let me ask you…how often do you turn up for yourself? How often do you create and hold that space purely for your own benefit? There seems to be a common misconception buzzing around which leaves individuals feeling selfish for claiming this space and time as their required nourishment. Selfishness, in this form, is necessary for a multitude of reasons; self-improvement, self-understanding, self-love, and moreover equally essential in allowing us to be present for those we care about in their endeavours.
In our society, it can be all too easy to get caught up in the buzz of everyday life. We are being constantly bombarded with an overload of information, with advertising, technology and screens encroaching on every inch of our lives. This is all the more reason we need to commit to creating this space for ourselves. A space of self-love, of creation, of movement and awareness.
The multitude of information we are able to easily access today is wonderful for so many reasons, but sometimes due to the ever-growing number of podcasts, documentaries, audiobooks and websites, it can be difficult to step away from all the forms of input and just be with our thoughts. All too often walks in nature are accompanied by a podcast or music, cooking accompanied by a TV show. Don’t get me wrong, multitasking is a fantastic way to maximise use of time but it doesn’t always serve us well when it comes to holding that space for ourselves. By this I mean maximising the amount of nourishment we receive from each singular activity – tuning in to our senses and using that time to process any lingering emotions or thoughts.
As the saying goes, we must first fill our own cup before looking to others. How do we go about doing this living in the modern day? Through a little tool called non-negotiables.
‘not open to discussion or modification.’
I heard this concept a while ago and LOVED it. Establish a few non-negotiables in your daily life. What nourishes you? What makes you feel good inside and out? What enables you to be more creative/energised/motivated?
Choose just one or a few and commit to them daily. For example...
These non-negotiables can be very simple and minimally time consuming but the point is that they remain constants in your daily life. No matter how much work you have to do or how tired you may be, these remain your constants which you can come back to time and time again. In doing so, you are shifting that outgoing energy back into nourishing yourself, so that you gradually fill up your own cup and in turn have more to give to others.
The above are only suggestions, it can be things as simple as sitting down to eat breakfast or taking a long daily shower – the latter saved my sister’s sanity after she had her little girl.
Non-negotiables may start as daily tools of self-nourishment and develop into monthly or yearly goals. Perhaps a few of the following:
Have a think – what leaves you feeling energised? What stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system leaving you calm? What simultaneously nourishes your soul and quietens your mind?
Can you find that expanse which is free, available and unoccupied? Maybe, for now, it is just a corner of your mind, a small portion of the cup, a tiny square in the wide expanse which is your mind. Nurture it, spread it and fill it up.
[Written by Ashley Roy - Friendly face at HLC and Naturopathic Nutrition student]
To find out more about the therapies, classes and workshops we offer feel free to give The Healthy Life Centre a call on 0131 229 0724 or pop in and have a chat with us.
I had a chat with Gin, our lovely Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, to dig a bit deeper into the roots of what she does, how she approaches her work, and the wonderful benefits which stem from embarking on this journey with her.
Tell us a bit about yourself Gin. What is your background and what made you follow this path?
I qualified as an optometrist many years ago, but during my career I found it difficult to witness people damaging their eyes as a result of their unhealthy lifestyles. I knew I needed to branch into something different. I started with a diploma in nutrition and health which made me realise that I didn’t want to go back to optometry at all. I have always been fascinated by some people’s ability to cope with difficult circumstances, while others find it more challenging. I became passionate about learning how to help people use their minds to create change, and that’s when I decided to do a diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.
How would you describe Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy works by bringing about a feeling of calm and relaxation. Being in this state of mind allows you to utilise the full potential of your own subconscious to improve your life. This can be referred to as a state of trance, which is a very natural thing we do all the time…think about the last time you were lost in a good book or film!
A few important things to note are:
Solution focused means exactly that – we look at solutions going forward, rather than analysing the past or searching for the root cause.
You also mention Psychotherapy - Can you explain what is meant by that?
Before we begin with the trance we do some talking therapy. My sessions consist of a combination of the most effective elements of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), used specifically with a Solution Focused outlook.
For example, I would ask you questions such as….
Wow, I can see how that could be beneficial.
It is incredibly positive and rewarding, even for me. My sessions are like having a good positive chat and my clients often mention they feel so much better afterwards, no matter how they felt when they came in.
What is most rewarding is hearing about the more impactful changes my clients have carried out in between our sessions. I love catching up and seeing what progress has been made.
You mention a clients journey is also a positive experience for you. In what ways is it rewarding as a practitioner?
I have seen first-hand the dramatic changes that solution focused hypnotherapy can bring. I am always excited to see the benefit to my clients, empowering them to be back in the driving seat rather than letting the issue run their life. I get to wake up every day and know that I am helping people to make a positive change in their life. I am a total advocate for solution focused work and am also committed to my own personal development so that I can make a bigger impact.
Do you recommend a course of sessions in order to encourage these positive changes you mention?
Yes, to get optimum benefit I do recommend one of my packages, which are specialised for particular areas of work I do. A more in-depth description of these can be found on my website. However, we will notice that changes begin quite quickly, within the first few sessions in fact. Once you’ve made up your mind to change, there will be no stopping you!
You indicate there are multiple issues you can help people with. Can you give examples of these?
My expertise lies in anxiety, stress and depression, and the multitude of conditions that can arise from there. I’ve helped people with trauma, phobias, chronic pain, purpose, motivation and weight management.
It sounds like you have a wide range of experience! Where can people go to find out more about what you do Gin?
From my website at www.gltherapy.org you can schedule a free call with me and we can talk more specifically.
I also have a free 30 minute talk coming up on Tuesday 26th of June here at The Healthy Life Centre, why not come along to that?
Fantastic - your talk sounds like a great opportunity for people to meet you in person before committing to anything! To finish up, could you give me one tip on how to embrace positivity?
I’ll answer that with a question! Tell me, what’s been good about your week?
See you’re thinking positively already aren’t you? ;)
I hope you enjoyed our interview with the lovely Gin! To find out more about Gin's packages or to have a chat to see how she can help you, check out her website at www.gltherapy.org or her facebook at www.facebook.com/gltherapy.org