Butterfly on a woman's finger - Scared of Being Vulnerable? Here's the Truth-Sandra-Harewood-Counselling

Scared of Being Vulnerable? Here’s the Truth

Butterfly on a woman's finger - Scared of Being Vulnerable? Here's the Truth-Sandra-Harewood-Counselling

 

Right now, as I struggle to find what I want to be the ‘right’ words for this blog post, I’m feeling pretty vulnerable.  That’s because, there’s a part of me that knows if I don’t find the right words, and write the perfect post, I will hear familiar voices in my head.

“Is that correct grammar?  I’m not sure. Yeah, it is, it’s fine. Uhm, maybe I should find a copywriter.  But, what will they think?”

“Okay Sandra, don’t publish it.  Don’t let anyone see it.  Don’t let anyone see you!”

This is my encounter with vulnerability; feeling shy, hesitant and exposed. Read more

A sad man sitting against a wall - The Critical Voice of Toxic Shame And How To Silence It- Sandra Harewood Counselling

The Critical Voice of Toxic Shame And How To Silence It

The Critical Voice of Toxic Shame And How To Silence It

 

I really admire the work of Brené Brown.  If you’re not familiar with Brené, as well as being one of the world’s leading researchers on the subjects of shame and vulnerability, she is a wonderfully compelling storyteller. Brené Brown talks about difficult topics in a very soulful, humorous and graceful way. Read more

Doormat With Oh Shit Not You Again In Words - Why It's Hard To Stop Being A People Pleaser And Say No - Sandra Harewood Counselling

Why It’s Hard To Stop Being A People Pleaser And Say No

 

Doormat With Oh Shit Not You Again In Words - Why It's Hard To Stop Being A People Pleaser And Say No - Sandra Harewood Counselling

 

It’s painful when you find yourself in a relationship continually giving more than you receive. And yet at the same time, it’s hard to stop being a people pleaser.  In fact, it’s a role that you’ve become all too used to.

And really, why would you want to do that, even to the point of being unhappy, stressed, resentful, and physically and emotionally ill?

The answer: Read more

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.