Glass Jewellery Box With Jewels - How To Invest In Yourself & Why Your Not Doing It - Sandra Harewood Counselling-2

How To Invest In Yourself & Why You’re Not Doing It

Glass Jewellery Box With Jewels - How To Invest In Yourself & Why Your Not Doing It - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you. Robin Sharma

If you’ve been thinking about having counselling but haven’t booked a session yet, what’s getting in your way?

Making the decision to start is a hard one.  People usually think about beginning counselling when they’re hurt or struggling with painful feelings. The thought of sharing those feelings with a stranger can feel scary.  Before you know it, the days and weeks have passed, you’re feeling a little better and besides you’re too busy now anyway.  Read more

Woman holding a sparkler on a cold winter day - 3 Quotes For The New Year To Achieve The 2018 You Want - Sandra Harewood Counselling

3 Quotes For The New Year To Achieve The 2018 You Want

 

Woman holding a sparkler on a cold winter day - 3 Quotes For The New Year To Achieve The 2018 You Want - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

Welcome to the New Year and a new chapter in your life!

What are you hoping for in 2018 that would be your opening line?

I know for some that ‘hope’ is a tricky word as it challenges you to permit yourself to have desires, wild dreams and wishes.  And much more than that, to know that the possibilities you would love to experience in life can manifest.  You know you want something to happen, but you don’t claim the possibility that it will.

So if hope is challenging for you, and even if it isn’t, here are three great inspirational quotes for the New Year to connect you with what is within your gift to make possible. They’ll get you thinking about what you can take control of in your life, to create an experience which fully harnesses’ all of you in 2018.  Read more

Two joyful friends having fun in the snow during on a cold winter's day. Christmas can be stressful so it's important to spend some time to relax and take care. This post shows you one great way how to Stay Relaxed At Christmas Sandra Harewood Counselling

One Great Way To Stay Relaxed At Christmas

Two joyful friends having fun in the snow during on a cold winter's day. Christmas can be stressful so it's important to spend some time to relax and take care. This post shows you one great way how to stay relaxed at Christmas Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

This time of year can feel full on and hectic. There seems to be a never-ending list of demands to try and meet the needs of other people. It can feel too much.

And that’s not to mention the shopping, planning, cooking, entertaining, wrapping, cards, family and potential worries about money.  Read more

Woman with her arm outstretched with the word written on her hand. The Surprising Ways You Hide Your Anger. Anger is a natural human emotion, which many people push down and hide, but it seeps out anyway. This post will let you know how and why anger feels so difficult.

The Surprising Ways You Hide Your Anger

Woman with her arm outstretched with the word written on her hand. The Surprising Ways You Hide Your Anger. Anger is a natural human emotion, which many people push down and hide, but it seeps out anyway. This post will let you know how and why anger feels so difficult.

 

I don’t think anyone likes to be angry.

I’d hazard a guess and say that most people are scared of anger, whether it’s being angry or facing someone else’s angry emotions and actions.  They just don’t like it.  One reason is that anger makes you feel vulnerable.  At other times it evokes feelings of guilt and shame impacting your sense of self and self-esteem.

And anger can feel like a dangerous thing.  That’s because it can be.   Read more

A Holiday Teddy Bear on A Stool - How To Survive Christmas And Reduce Your Christmas Anxiety - Christmas isn't a happy time for everyone. You might feel stamped if you feel a little low without quite understanding why. This post will give you some tips on how to feel less anxious and take care of yourself.

How To Survive Christmas And Reduce Your Christmas Anxiety

A Holiday Teddy Bear On A Stool And A Christmas Tree - How To Survive Christmas - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

Christmas isn’t fun for everyone.

There are many reasons why you might not be looking forward to it. Read more

Stacked Stones - Mindfulness Meditation - Easy Ways To Be Mindful - Sandra Harewood Counselling

7 Easy Ways To Be Mindful Daily Without Meditating

Stacked Stones - Mindfulness Meditation - Ways To Be Mindful - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

Last time I wrote about 7 Ways Why Mindfulness Can Make You A Better Lover.  If you missed part one of the series of click here to read that now.

Mindfulness is a wonderful meditation practice which helps integrate your mind, body and soul. What you cultivate with mindfulness is  ‘presence’.  You become aware of what is happening as it is happening.  And what’s amazing about that, is your brain and body become more connected with other peoples.

We live in a relational world, so being mindful is an indispensable tool when looking to develop deeper, loving connections with your partner, friends and loved ones. Read more

A Woman Meditating Outdoors -7 Ways Mindfulness Can Make You A Better Lover Sandra Harewood Counselling

7 Ways Mindfulness Can Make You A Better Lover

A Woman Meditating Outdoors -7 Ways Mindfulness Can Make You A Better Lover Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

Hard to imagine that sitting quietly and focusing on the breath for as little as 20 minutes a day can improve your love life.

But hear me out, practising mindfulness can help make you a better lover and life partner.

First a little story.

A Mind Full Is Not Mindful

Recently, I was sitting on a bus my mind busy with conversations I’d had, conversations I was going to have, the friends I was going to meet and a whole lot more.  My mind was full.  When I got off, to my horror, I realised I’d left a bag behind.  A big, bright, heavy, orange bag.

It would have been easy to listen to an inner critical voice reprimanding me for what I had done. But at that moment, together with the usual feelings that come with a loss, I realised that I hadn’t been present.  Entirely on auto-pilot, and in full flight, my mind and body had parted company.  I did not feel, see or hear the bag drop.

Mindfulness does not clear the mind of thoughts but allows you to focus your awareness on the here and now, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.  

Mindfulness develops patience.  In many ways, we have lost our connection with the divine wisdom of nature.  We are so often in a rush and impatient, not giving space for things to reveal themselves in their own time.  Mindfulness allows you to be open to whatever is unfolding in you to do so in its own time.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Relationships demand patience.  Relationships demand it because sometimes you have to sit with the discomfort of the unknown; does your partner want to leave, can they meet your needs or just who is this person in your life.  Relationships ask you to allow your partner the space to recover after the hurt of an argument. And they require you to let your lover have ‘me time’ to nourish their souls.

Patience allows you to honour the mysteries of love and relationship which Thomas Moore describes.  Siting with the unknown can feel tense but ultimately will enrich your partnership.

2.  Understanding Myself; Understanding My Lover

A mindfulness meditation practice paves the way for you to become more intuitive about yourself.  As self-awareness grows, gradually you notice you’re more comfortable with who you are.  You discover that you’re happy in your skin and feel the acceptance, compassion, contentment and peace that comes from a love of the self.

It sounds cliche, but it’s true, loving yourself opens the door to loving and accepting others unconditionally.

Difficulties in relationships often occur because we’re not clear about our internal landscape or patterns in relationships.   Then we project what we don’t like about ourselves or get caught replaying past hurts with our partners. Ouch, that hurts!

When you start to pay attention, with compassion, to your imperfections, unawareness and unconsciousness something different happens.  As you begin to see love as a way of being present, not merely a feeling, you focus on being a more loving realistic person, partner and lover.

3.  You Grant The 5 A’s

In his book How To Be An Adult in Relationships, David Richo explores the five hallmarks of mindful loving.  For him, adult love is based on a mutual dedication to granting attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection and ‘allowing’.  These are the doorways to the joys and wealth of relationship.

What often gets in the way of granting the 5 A’s are fear, judgement and the need to control.  You cannot stop the mind from engaging in these thoughts, but a mindfulness practice reduces their impact.   You can take a step back, notice them and let them walk on by without fighting with them.  Then you can enjoy the closeness that comes with your partner from offering the 5 A’s.

4.  Help Affair-Proof Your Relationship

What a joy it is to watch a baby exploring and noticing everything for the first time.  Bringing a beginners’ mind to your daily life can help to free you from the tendency to see things through a veil of preconceptions and judgement.  Mindfulness fosters a beginners mind.

Be curious about your partner.  When you lose the mystery and curiosity, it signals to your partner that you are not attentive, profoundly engaged or concerned about them.  This loss of interest is often an accelerant to infidelity.

5.  You’re A Better Listener

How often do you hear the sounds coming out of your partner’s mouth but you haven’t listened to what they’re saying?  It’s easy to get distracted, either by thoughts about your reply or trying to work out the logic of what is being said.

Are you listening to understand or do you listen to respond?

A mindfulness practice cultivates deep listening.  How?  You already know that mindfulness allows you to be more patient, accepting and less distracted.  These are all excellent listening skills.

But what mindfulness also allows you to do, is expand listening beyond the ears.  You notice your feelings and the physical reactions which are clues to what will stop you from listening. And you might also tune into an empathic response connecting you emotionally to what partner is letting you know.

When your partner feels listened to, they feel more connected to you.

6.  You Spice Up Your Sex Life

There is a lot of scientific evidence to show that mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety.  You feel more relaxed and energised.  Fatigue and lethargy are not good backdrops for great sex and stress takes its toll on your libido.

A mindfulness meditation practice is so good for your sex life in many ways.  Self-awareness includes sensual and bodily awareness.  You become more connected to not only your own but your lovers’ body; the softness and texture of the skin, the curvature of the body, heat, moisture and so much more.  As you explore and connect with each other differently, this deepens sexual intimacy.

And as you are more present, you can fully immerse yourself and enjoy sensations as you detach from your thoughts and mental chatter.

7.  You Reduce Arguments

Being mindful you become less attached to holding on to the past and grasping an imagined future. Letting go brings you into the present moment and just notice what is.  And as you become more present you are more likely to see the colours, sounds, smells and richness of everyday life, be more positive and appreciative.

We often think that being mindful requires engaging in a particular activity like meditation or yoga. If you practice these activities in your day, that’s great, but there are also lots of other simple things you can do to be mindful all day long.  In the next post of the series, I’ll let you know how.

Over To You

If you want to explore how mindfulness can make you a better lover and life partner get in touch and book your first counselling appointment.

Or call me today on 07535 864836.

Leave a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. PASS IT ON

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© Sandra Harewood

 About Sandra

Soul Centred couples counsellor Sandra Harewood specialises in working with couples and single women with childhood wounding that impacts their adult relationships. Sandra provides a soulful space for her clients to explore and discover creative solutions to their difficulties and create great relationships.

 

 

 

Woman wearing peace and quiet t-shirt - National Quiet Day - What Silence Can Teach You About Intimacy - Sandra Harewood Counselling

National Quiet Day – What Silence Can Teach You About Intimacy

Woman wearing peace and quiet t-shirt - National Quiet Day - Why silence Speaks Volumes - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

Shh.  It’s National Quiet Day.

It’s getting more and more difficult to create a space for solitude and silence.  The noise it seems is an inevitable part of our day.

And I’m not even sure if, collectively as a society, we know how to experience peace and quiet anymore.

London has the highest levels of noise in the UK.  Living in London, I guess I’ve got used to the noise.  Traffic, emergency vehicles, people chatting loudly on mobile phones, barking dogs and car alarms are familiar and all rate highly as annoying to adults in the UK.

But the noise doesn’t have to be loud.  There’s a constant stream of background disturbance, subtly wrestling for the attention of your mind.  Mobile phones give instant access to messaging, emails, music, news, social media, television and movies.  A lot of noise and distraction from that little piece of plastic in your pocket! Read more

Let's Talk Note in Blue Speech Bubble on Wooden Surface - Your First Counselling Session - Sandra Harewood Counselling

Worried About Your First Counselling Session? Here’s How to Prepare

 

Let's Talk Note in Blue Speech Bubble on Wooden Surface - Your First Counselling Session - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

As I sit here trying to figure out what to say, coming to mind are the complicated feelings connected with doing something new for the first time; beginnings.

For many, it’s half way through the school summer holidays which leads me to think about the new beginnings that will follow.  Children embarking into adolescence at secondary school, adolescents exploring newfound independence at university or in the workplace.  And similarly, but differently, parents releasing their five-year-olds into the world for the first time to begin primary school.

There is excitement, anticipation, hope and pleasure.  But what lies not too far away, on the opposite side of the coin is fear, anxiety, disappointment, sadness, confusion and muddle. Read more

ndigenous American Dream Catchers Blowing in the Wind – 5 Ways Imaginative Ways to Remember Your Dreams – Sandra Harewood Counselling

5 Imaginative Ways to Remember Your Dreams

ndigenous American Dream Catchers Blowing in the Wind – 5 Ways Imaginative Ways to Remember Your Dreams – Sandra Harewood Counselling

What did you dream about last night? Can you remember? Somehow the incredibly vivid images that we remember when we first wake seem to disappear by the time we have eaten breakfast.

Ever since I was a small child, I have always been fascinated with my dreams. I can remember sharing the stories with classmates in the playground who weren’t that interested as they just wanted to play. And, like play, dreams are just another way that we engage with the imagination. Elisa Romeo says that our imagination is our greatest spiritual tool.

Dreams and Play

As children, we seem fluent with the language of the imagination pretending to be superheroes, roleplaying being an astronaut or turning a towel into a cloak of invisibility. As adults, we often lose touch with this energy. But as we sleep our Soul speaks to us through the imaginal language of metaphor. It’s as if messages from the Soul are translated into images that we can relate to in our waking lives. So, we dream of flying or houses or falling or monsters or sex or faeces or losing teeth.

Driven by curiosity, I distinctly remember consulting my mother’s well-worn Dream’s Dictionary to find some clues as to what the images meant. Today, I like to look at dreams less rigidly and work with them in a creative and soulful way. Many ancient cultures believed, and still do, that if you are not in touch with your dreams, you are not in touch with your Soul.

When we attend to our dreams, they give invaluable information about what we repress or deny, our health, our potential or what need to work through to experience something different in our lives. Your dreams may also be predictive. When you learn to trust your dreams, you will notice there is an enormous amount truth in them.

But first, you need to remember them!

Dream Catcher’s: Ways to Remember Your Dreams

Here are 5 imaginative ways to remember your dreams.

  1. Get interested! Just the simple act of bringing attention to your dreams will go a long way to help you remember them. Reading a book about dreams or talking about your dreams with friends or your counsellor is a wonderful way to do this.
  1. Before going to sleep say to yourself, ‘I am going to dream tonight. Tonight I am going to remember my dreams.’ Say this three times. When you wake rest in this liminal sleepy space. Just allow the images of the dream to emerge. If you can only remember one image, that’s a good start; the rest will follow floating through your consciousness over the next hour. In any event, write down in your journal what you do remember. It doesn’t have to be the whole dream. Perhaps there is meaning in the image that has caught your attention.While saying to yourself, ‘Tonight I am going to remember my dreams’ you can ask a specific question that you want an answer to. Or you could write the question on a piece of paper and put it under your pillow. Remember dreams speak in metaphor so you might not get a literal answer. Once the dream is unpacked, you will notice the answer.
  1. Develop a dream journal. Keep a pen or pencil by your bedside. Write down your dream when you wake whether it’s the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. Some people like to adorn the cover of the journal. Others use fabric, drawings, sketches, pictures, or collage to bring life to the image of the dream. Anything that brings a living relationship between the journal and the dream helps with remembering.
  1. If your dreams seem few and far between, in his book Dream Tending Stephen Aizentat suggests going back to the last dream you had and working with it as if it were happening right now. This might even be a childhood dream. Live through the dream from start to finish, remembering whatever you can of it, and don’t forget to record it in your journal.
  1. Be thankful. Say thank you to the unconscious for the gift of the dream.

These steps work progressively so be patient and don’t give up if you don’t notice immediate results. Over the days you will find yourself remembering more and more dreams and feeling more and more in contact with the world of dreams.

Over to You.

What’s your relationship with dreams? Are your dreams pleasant or do you just want to forget them?

Do you have recurring dreams or see familiar images?

If you want to explore your dream images and what they might be letting you know, get in touch and book your first counselling appointment.

 

© Sandra Harewood 2017