These days the term ‘narcissist’ is used fairly loosely, especially given the impact that reality TV and social media has had on our culture. But if you find yourself in a relationship with a real narcissist, you’ll soon realise that narcissistic behaviour is a lot more damaging than just posting a lot of selfies on Instagram and wanting to be the centre of attention.
A diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder can only be determined in a proper clinical assessment, and it’s worth noting that people can have a lot of narcissistic traits without necessarily having a full blown personality disorder. At the end of the day, whether someone can be diagnosed clinically or not isn’t the most important thing. What’s usually more helpful is knowing the typical behaviour patterns that play out when you’re in a toxic relationship so that you can spot the signs early and save yourself a lot of emotional harm.
In my most recent YouTube video, I described five very typical behaviours you can expect to see if you’re dealing with a narcissist.
1. Love Bombing
In the early stages of a relationship, the narcissist will LOVE BOMB you. This is also known as the idealisation phase where they will put you on a pedestal, tell you you’re the most amazing, beautiful, special person they’ve ever met and that they want all the same things in life that you do. It’s much like the honeymoon phase of a normal relationship but it will be intense and accelerated. They might talk about engagement and marriage very early and will convince you that they’ve waited their whole life for someone like you. The whole point of the love bombing is to get you completely and utterly enamoured by the narcissist’s charm; in other words, to get you on the hook and reeled right in.
2. Future Faking
“Future faking” is a term used to describe the narcissist’s tendency to promise you something you want in the future in order to get what they want in the present. It could be the engagement and the wedding that they dangle in front of you or it could be that you want to buy a house or take a special holiday or something else that’s important to you. They’ll talk about it, go to the open homes, pick up the travel brochures… but then they do absolutely nothing to turn that dream into a reality. In other words, they will lie to you in order to string you along.
You might want to watch my full video below or share it with someone you think might be in a relationship with a narcissist.
(Blog continues below video)
After a narcissist has successfully got you on the hook, they’ll fairly quickly show their true colours. The devaluing tactics might be subtle or they might be glaring. It might come in the form of backhanded compliments, a condescending tone, dismissing your point of view or being passive aggressive. It might be cruel, insulting, and hurtful comments, or belittling you and the things or people you care about (yes, all those things they loved in the idealisation phase).
The narcissist might be inconsiderate, not bothering to consult with you about plans or they may give you the silent treatment. If you get upset, they’ll devalue your feelings by telling you that you’re being overly sensitive or too emotional. (Note: the narcissist has no real capacity for empathy so your hurt feelings are an inconvenience to them).
4. Narcissistic Rage
A narcissist can blow up over the tiniest thing. You’ll be left with your head spinning wondering how such a small thing created such a huge explosion. One of the most significant character traits of a narcissist is that they can’t cope with criticism at all, so if you should you do or say anything the narcissist perceives as undermining their position, challenging their false idealised sense of importance, or threatening their ego, you will likely cause a narcissistic injury and this can result in narcissistic rage.
5. They never apologise
Even with all their terrible behaviour, the narcissist will never apologise. In their opinion, every problem is really YOUR fault. Problems they bring upon themselves will be blamed on you. You can’t reason with them or bring your point of view to them in order to have a healthy adult discussion. There is no discussion with a narcissist; there is only the narcissist educating you on how things are.
So, are you dating a narcissist? Maybe, maybe not.
At the end of the day, the most important question to ask yourself is whether you feel truly valued and respected and SAFE in the relationship, or if you feeling like you’re constantly being pepper-sprayed with micro- and macro-aggressions. Are you walking on eggshells or slowly losing confidence in yourself? Are you doubting yourself and wondering if it might really be your fault things are bad? Do you feel exhausted from ‘managing’ this relationship?
These are all signs you need to find the courage to leave and free yourself to find a more healthy, balanced partnership with someone who truly values what you have to offer.READ MORE
We’ve all experienced times in our life when it feels like the responsibilities are piled so high on top of us, we barely have room to breathe. Or when the deadlines keep backing up so that just when you’ve got one important task ticked off the last, there’s another one right there to take its place. It can feel like being dumped by a wave over and over again. It might make you feel anxious and it can be difficult to concentrate on anything, which doesn’t help when you have a lot of things that need to be done!
Ideally, those times are infrequent and short-lived, but when you’re stuck in overwhelm it can help to have some strategies to manage your stress and get back in control more quickly. Try these tips for clearing your mind and relieving the pressure.
1. Write everything down
Sometimes the best way to clear your head is to dump all those swirling thoughts onto paper. Feeling overwhelmed sends your body into fight or flight mode and when that happens, it’s difficult to access rational thinking and problem solving. When you write things down, you take that all that feeling of angst and turn it into something quantifiable. Everything from personal appointments, bills to be paid, work deadlines or nagging worries kicking around in the back of your mind. Once they’re out on paper where you can see them, you have a much better chance of making sense of them, prioritising them, delegating or even deleting some of them.
2. Get started
Overwhelm can have the effect of keeping you stuck in a kind of paralysis, not knowing where to start (again, that’s the fight or flight response limiting your access to logical thinking!) The longer you stay in that stuck place, the more anxious you become. Once you’ve got everything out of your head and onto paper, choose some small things you can get done or delegate immediately, so you feel like you’re making progress. Then make a plan to tackle some of the bigger stuff. The best way to reduce the anxiety of a deadline is to take action.
3. Do one thing at a time
The temptation to multitask can be all too inviting when you have a lot going on but ultimately that is an unhelpful strategy. Switching your attention back and forth between tasks reduces your productivity by as much as 40% and only serves to keep your mind feeling stretched and scattered as you try to divide your attention. You might choose to allocate a period of time to work on one thing before making a start on something else if you have multiple projects going on at the same time but avoid the temptation to flick back and forth during the same block of time.
4. Take breaks
Again, it seems counterintuitive. When you’re overwhelmed, it feels like you need to keep pushing through and get things done. But the longer you try to stay focused on mentally engaging tasks, the more likely you are to become distracted, zone out, make mistakes and reduce your overall effectiveness. (Besides multi-tasking, pushing through without a break is the biggest time waster there is!) Change the mental channel every 90 minutes or so to ensure you continue being focused and productive. Those brief recharge breaks will also help you manage your stress levels so you don’t crash and burn.
It’s the oldest and most effective trick in the book when it comes to managing anxiety. Long, slow breaths all the way into your diaphragm will help to switch off the fight or flight response in your brain. As soon as you notice your stress levels rising and your brain feeling foggy and crowded with too many things, come back to your breathing and spend a few moments getting centred again. Remember your priorities and get started again.
Why is it that when life deals one of its inevitable blows, some people are able to bounce back to their old happy self in no time at all (or maybe even better than their old self, because they’ve amazingly managed to glean some pearl of wisdom from their adversity) while others are completely flattened by it? The difference lies in that ineffable quality we call resilience. It’s something we want to instil in our kids so they can deal with the rejections and disappointments of life, and even as adults we could all benefit from this kind of psychological fortitude. If you find it extra hard to recover from emotional struggles – whether they be relationship difficulties, grief and loss, financial or work stress – you might wonder if it’s possible to increase your own level of resilience. Is it like a muscle we can strengthen and grow by our own efforts? The good news is that there are many known factors that contribute to strong psychological resilience, and it is most certainly within your power to do something proactive if you feel you could use some help in this area.
- Having warm, supportive relationships creates an emotional safety net where we can land safely and take time to recover from our wounds. If you’re in emotional pain, having someone to confide in can make all the difference to how quickly you recover.
- Resilient people tend to have an optimistic way of explaining the bad things that happen in life. Specifically I’m talking about the 3 Ps of Personalisation, Pervasiveness and Permanence. An optimist tends to say things like “These things happen to all of us” (non-personal); “It’s only this one area of my life that is affected” (non-pervasive); and “This too shall pass.” (non-permanent). If you tend to have the more pessimistic explanatory style of “It’s all my fault. My whole life is ruined. I don’t know if I can ever recover from this”, you might benefit from considering the three P’s and re-working your self-talk.
- Being able to manage your emotions in a healthy way is an important skill. A great many people fear that if they allow themselves to experience the full force of their emotions they will be completely overwhelmed, so instead they actively avoid or suppress their feelings. Learning and practising mindfulness can help you to open up and experience your own suffering in a healthy, balanced way so that you can process your experience and move on.
- Self-compassion is about being kind to yourself in times of difficulty or perceived inadequacy (i.e., when you stuff something up). Launching into painful self-criticism when things go wrong is most people’s default reaction but this only adds insult to injury when things are already tough. Practising self-compassion is a proven buffer against depression.
We’re all different and what works for one person might not work for another so I’d suggest looking for opportunities to try out various strategies and finding your own formula for resilience building. And remember that just as you don’t build a bicep with one gym visit, cultivating resilience should be an ongoing process.READ MORE
Do you consider yourself to be a perfectionist?
Many people do, and in fact most consider it to be an admirable quality. Striving for excellence and holding yourself to high standards can be a good thing. Being orderly, organised and neat as well as paying attention to details – these are all positive qualities and are considered to be what we psychologists call ‘adaptive’. In other words, they serve a useful purpose!
For some people though, those high standards and fixation with details can be a symptom of an unhealthy kind of perfectionism. Maladaptive perfectionism is driven by a deep feeling that nothing you ever do will be good enough. It’s usually accompanied by relentless self-criticism and can result in not putting any work out into the world because of the crippling fear of judgement, rejection or failure.
Unhealthy perfectionism can lead to anxiety and depression due to the constant trying and failing to meet your own unrealistic expectations. Perfectionism can show up in any area of your life – at work, in your creative efforts, your body shape, home or your relationships.
The antidote to perfectionism is to wholeheartedly embrace the concept of ‘good enough’. And in order to be comfortable putting out good enough work, you first have to start with the sure knowledge that YOU are good enough; with all your flaws and imperfections. You have to know with certainty that even if you screw something up, it doesn’t mean YOU are a screw-up.
Until you are able to know this for sure, you’re at risk of being stuck in the painful grip of ‘never good enough’ and that’s a horribly confined space in which to live. What’s more, the world may never know the beauty and value you have to offer if your unrelenting standards prevent you from sharing it with others. If this sounds like you, I offer the following tips to help you overcome perfectionism:
Focus on what you do well
Perfectionists are always on the lookout for flaws or mistakes. Because of this negative bias, they minimise, dismiss or completely fail to notice all the things they are doing really well while they instead focus on every tiny thing that is not perfect. Take time each day to deliberately notice your positive achievements and successes. Begin to pay attention also to the examples of imperfection that are all around you that you still love and appreciate.
Remember that done is better than perfect.
As the saying goes, ‘Aim for progress, not perfection’. Press publish on that blog post. Submit the assignment. Go to bed even if the dishes aren’t done. The only people who will judge you for not being ‘perfect’ are other perfectionists projecting their own fears onto you, and while your ‘good enough’ work is making a difference in the world, their ‘not quite ready yet’ is helping no-one.
Share your struggles
Being afraid to talk about mistakes or expose your vulnerability is common if you have a false belief that perfection is the only option. Talking about your personal struggles, whether privately or publicly, allows people to connect with the real you (not the fake, ‘polished’ you), and gives you valuable real-time feedback that you are appreciated and accepted just as you are.READ MORE
Let’s talk for a minute about values. You might have heard the term bandied around by coaches, in self-help books, or even at work. But still a lot of people either aren’t fully clear on what ‘values’ really are, or can’t clearly articulate their own highest values. Knowing your values and living in alignment with them is critical to a life that is happy, meaningful and fulfilling so it’s worth you spending some time on this.
So… what are values?
Simply put, your values are what you consider to be most important – in life, at work, or in relationships. Some examples of one’s core values might be wealth, freedom, faith, adventure, self-discipline, health, equality or family.
Values aren’t goals as they don’t have an end point. Rather, values guide the direction of your life, inform the decisions you make, and ideally will influence your vision and goals because setting a goal that isn’t aligned with your values isn’t going to get much traction.
If I showed you a list of values you’d identify many of them as being important to you because we all consider many things to be important in our lives. The key is being able to drill down and determine the one or two HIGHEST values in your life. It can be challenging to narrow them down like this but there’s a powerful clarity that comes from doing so. This is what you stand for and what you’ll be remembered for. Values are that important. Before I get you to dive into your own values, I want to make a couple of important points:
- There are no right or wrong answers here. Try not to get caught up in what you think your values ‘should’ be.
- Be honest with yourself. If you say that physical health is an important value but your daily behaviour patterns do not include healthful choices, is it because you’re acting out of alignment with your values (trust me, you’ll know that in your gut) or because actually physical health is really not the most important thing to you? Remember – there’s no right or wrong!
So if you’re ready to take some time to explore your own highest values, feel free to download this Values List to give you some inspiration. Take some time with it. Get your top 10. Then narrow down to five. And if possible, get it down even further to two (or three). And when you’ve taken some time to reflect and decide on what’s most important to you, ask yourself….
- Are the choices I’m making today consistent with my core values?
- When I reflect on how I spend my time, money and energy, am I investing in the things I consider to be most important?
- What might I do differently to ensure that my espoused values (what I say) are aligned with my enacted values (what I do)?
Have fun with it and if you find this exercise challenging, give yourself plenty of time to think and reflect.READ MORE
For more than a decade, every time I asked my husband about his workday, his response has been “We are SO busy!”
To his credit, when I pointed out that his busyness made for BORING conversation, he at least tried to apply some creativity by mixing it up with “We are really under the pump right now”, or “We’ve got a LOT going on”.
Pretty much all variations of ‘busy’.
Similarly, friends will lament that there is never enough time, and even on social media, there seems to always be someone wanting to share just how crazy busy life is these days. If you’ve ever tried catching up with friends and had to book a date four months away, you’ll know how out-of-control our schedules seem to be!
Are we really that busy? And more to the point, should we be slowing down?!
There’s no doubt the digital era has dissolved many of the boundaries that once were created by time and geography. Rather than clocking off at 5pm and going home to our sanctuary, we are now available 24/7 via a device we carry around in our pockets. Work can and will encroach on your personal life if you let it. (If you’re self-employed or working from home, that’s a whole other boundary issue.)
If you’re a working parent, the challenge of juggling parenting, kids’ activities, work projects and maintaining a household is a constant source of tension. I say ‘parent’ but I think for working mothers particularly, the notion of ‘having it all’ generally means ‘doing it all’!
We assume then, that busyness is a fact of modern life… but the question is, does it have to be?
No doubt we all experience times in our life when everything seems to happen at once. The big work deadline, the family visit and the school play are all scheduled in the same week. The only thing you can do is knuckle down, get it done and look forward to some down time when it’s all over. But I’m talking about the chronic busyness that never gives you a break. I’ve come to think there are a few reasons we might unconsciously be choosing unrelenting busyness over the option of a more leisurely-paced lifestyle.
- Many people feel pressure to excel in every area of life. This kind of perfectionism is unachievable and, contrary to popular belief, is not so much driven by a desire to be your best self, but by a fear of never being good enough.
- For some, being busy is a badge of honour worn with great pride as if it reflects productivity or importance. “I’m so CRAZY busy”, they say – hoping to transmit the message, “I’m worthwhile” or “I matter.”
- Avoidance. Staying endlessly busy means we don’t have time to engage in any kind of deep reflection or self-examination. If you’re a bit addicted to busyness (a blank page in your diary causes you to break out in hives), ask yourself what you might encounter if you slow down enough to pay attention to what is really going on in your life, your relationships, your level of personal fulfilment.
- Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a pervasive apprehension that other people are having a better time than you are. FOMO causes people to want to say yes to every invitation or opportunity, even when they might be a whole lot happier having a quiet night in or a weekend of doing absolutely nothing.
In this long list of all the ways we can numb ourselves, there’s always staying busy: living so hard and fast that the truths of our lives can’t catch up with us. – Brené Brown
If you think you might tick any of those boxes or you just feel like your schedule is spiralling out of control, here are a few suggestions for how you might scale back, slow down and escape the cult of busy:
- Pay attention to the urge to fill every moment with activity. Bring a gentle curiosity (non-judgemental and non-defensive) to what might be driving you to keep moving and doing. Does being still make you a bit anxious? What’s going on there?
- Track your output. Multi-tasking (that thing you think you’re doing when you’re busy) is actually highly inefficient. If you assume busyness equates to productivity, try using an app such as ‘RescueTime’ to monitor how you’re spending your online time or ‘‘IDoneThis’ to measure actual outcomes.
- Change your language. Instead of offering “I’m too busy” as an explanation for not doing something, Laura Vanderkam (author of “168 Hours”) suggests you say instead “It’s not a priority”. You might find this a painless enough substitute when you’re skipping a boring work meeting but feel the difference when you apply it to your child’s sporting event or an overdue medical checkup. Then it becomes a question of values, and your behaviour might not be aligned with what you SAY is most important to you.
- Learn to say no. A simple no, that is, without a long-winded explanation or apology. Get clear about what truly matters to you and make time for those things above everything else. I highly recommend the book “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown on this topic. In fact I enjoyed that book so much I wrote a whole blog post about it HERE.
- Remember that Perfect is the enemy of GOOD. Practise lowering those all-too-high standards and accept that ‘good enough’ makes for a full, balanced, healthy life minus the stress of perfectionism (which I also wrote about HERE).
Most importantly, when someone asks how you are, try to catch yourself before you trot out the default response of “I’m SO busy!” Pause, take a breath, and engage in a conversation.
Better still, make plans to catch up for a coffee so you can both take a break from your busy lives.READ MORE
In just over a week I’ve had 400 people sign up to my Crappy to Happy 7-day email course. It seems there are plenty of people who are keen to get the low down on how to be happier! (update: now almost 2000 people have signed up!)
There’s one thing I deliberately left out of the email series and the reason is that I honestly thought it was so obvious as to be unnecessary. But then I realised that sometimes, even for me, it’s the most simple truths – the things we know only too well – that we need to be reminded of, and that can make the biggest difference in our lives.
I had this realisation last week when I was having my own crappy day. I’m not a person who necessarily battles with chronic depression but I’ve been depressed, and I still have what I call ‘dark days’. You might have them too. To me these are the days when it feels like a black cloud has descended over my head and is following me wherever I go. It doesn’t matter how bright and sunny the real day is, my world feels heavy, uninspired and a bit pointless.
I’m fortunate to have enough perspective to know those days will pass. Bad days don’t last forever. (That perspective, by the way, is one of the things I’ve gained from learning mindfulness but that’s not the tip I wanted to share.)
When I had my dark day last week, I commenced my usual trek down the path of unhelpful self-criticism, unfounded fears, certain knowledge that everything really is crappy, not wanting to do what’s expected of me, not wanting to answer my phone or return calls; in fact wanting to do nothing except go back to bed until I could magic up an island holiday, a gazillion dollars and a life of no responsibility. Perhaps you’ve felt that way too at times? And then I remembered…
Gratitude is the golden key to the door of happiness.
On even my worst days, I can think of many, many things to be grateful for – things I could easily take for granted but they should never be taken for granted. At the most basic level, I have running water, electricity, plenty of food and a roof over my head. I hit the jackpot being born into a free, democratic, developed country. And if that doesn’t all put me in the top tier of the world’s luckiest people, I also have my health, family, friends, and a job I love (even when I don’t feel like doing the boring bits). The list goes on and on to the point of being almost embarrassing.
So I walked outside into the sunshine, looked around at my abundant life, felt the warm breeze on my skin and allowed every cell in my body to be infused with feelings of gratitude. Even on the darkest days, it’s gratitude that has the power to let in just enough light to start moving your mind and mood in a more hopeful, positive direction. And don’t just take my word for it. Research indicates clear associations between gratitude and wellbeing, better relationships and better health. If you’re having a crappy day or just want to find new ways to boost your happiness, here are some great ways to grow your gratitude:
- Take a moment (like I did) to review all the good things in your own life and connect with a deep sense of appreciation for what you have. I don’t mean tick off the boxes like a shopping list but really breathe in those feelings of gratefulness until they fill you up and make you feel truly, utterly, astoundingly blessed.
- Keep a gratitude journal. You don’t have to write in it daily but regular, thoughtfully considered entries are good (by which I mean try not to robotically list the same three things every day).
- Send thank you notes to people who have helped you out. The combination of gratitude and kindness is a powerful antidote to misery.
- Change ‘have’ to ‘get’. For example, instead of saying “I have to go to work”, say “I get to go to work” or “I get to go to school/university”. Instead of “I have to pay bills”, “I get to pay bills”. Instead of “I have to clean the house”, “I get to clean my house”. Seriously. You get to earn a living, further your education, have somewhere to live and have instant daily access to all the creature comforts of modern life. It’s insane.
Why not try it? What do you get to do today that you can be grateful for?READ MORE
This year, I attended the annual Happiness and Its Causes conference for the second time.
2015 marked the 10yr anniversary of this hugely popular annual event and so it was set to be quite a party at Luna Park! The conference usually attracts some of the biggest names – researchers, authors, and storytellers – in the fields of happiness and positive psychology, and is usually a great source of information and inspiration.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama normally attends every second year to coincide with the Dalai Lama in Australia tour, so his presence this year (his 80th birthday year!) drew a huge crowd. I’ve been fortunate to see His Holiness twice now, and both times have been so inspired by his wisdom, compassion and his incredibly infectious laugh.
I decided I’d do a quick wrap up of the highlights from the conference and then later I’ll do separate posts to expand more on some of the presentations I liked best. So if you weren’t there, it doesn’t matter because I took notes for you!
So here goes, and I’ll try to keep it brief:
Because of my interest in Buddhist psychology and mindfulness, I was particularly interested to see Barbara Fredrickson, Ruby Wax, and several others who referred to the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace.
Barbara is a Professor of Psychology whose interests are in emotions and positive psychology. What I did not know, and what I was fascinated to learn, is that her research has found that people who practice Loving Kindness meditation (anyone who has done my courses will know what this is) demonstrate changes at the cellular level which reflect reduced likelihood of inflammation in the body and therefore reduced likelihood of disease. That’s my quick layperson non-scientific summary – and I’ll expand more later. But seriously.. WOW! Scientific data which demonstrates that kindness = not just feeling good, but actually being physically healthier.
Ruby Wax is best known as a comedienne and actress (and did you know she was a writer for Absolutely Fabulous? I did not know that!). With a long history of mental illness, Ruby decided 7yrs ago to actively seek out a treatment to prevent relapse and came across Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. She went on to complete a Masters degree in MBCT from Oxford University and this year was awarded an OBE for her services to mental health. Ruby’s presentation was of course funny, honest, and insightful and I, for one, as a practitioner of mindfulness and teacher of MBCT, was thrilled to see the word being spread!
I was excited to see Gretchen Rubin in the line-up this year, since I’ve started reading both her New York Times bestselling The Happiness Project and her new book about habits called Better than Before. Yes, I’ve started reading both books at once because, unlike Gretchen, who describes herself as highly organised and self-disciplined, I am neither of those things. I do not seem to have the capacity to finish reading one book before picking up another, but it’s something I’m working on.
I introduced myself to Gretchen and asked her to sign my copy of her book. I told her I’m working on my own Happiness book and suggested that she and I have coffee next time I’m in her hometown of NYC. At that point, she surprisingly did not back away slowly and motion for security, but she wished me well with my book and even recommended to me a book for writers (which I have swiftly ordered from Amazon because Gretchen Rubin personally recommended it to me!) AND THEN she said she’ll see me in NYC!
Yes you will, Gretchen. Yes you will!
Other highlights included the amazing Lior (I didn’t even get a photo as I was too busy being in awe) and the story of his collaboration with composer Nigel Westlake and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Lior sang Avinu Malkeinu live with no accompaniment (spine-tingling) and then we heard the story of Lior and Nigel’s journey together to create ‘Compassion’, a seven song orchestra.
I’ve included this link to the final, full orchestral version of Avinu Malkeinu for your viewing and listening pleasure.
Then there were the ‘ordinary’ but incredibly inspiring people who had overcome diversity and trekked across the Himalayas, sailed across oceans, rewired their brains following a stroke and tumour respectively. There were teachers doing amazing things in schools to help children learn the value of positive psychology, first-hand experiences and taking risks (no cotton wool!), and connecting with other kids globally using internet technology.
Truly an amazing line up of speakers.
And finally, a personal highlight for me was being interviewed for an upcoming documentary on Happiness! It was a great experience even if I do end up on the cutting room floor, which is very likely. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on and consolidate my own ideas about the causes of happiness, and I was heartened to hear my own thoughts reflected in the presentations of leading thinkers and researchers from around the world.
I think that’s enough for now! I’ve included lots of links so you can check out anything that might interest you, and later I’ll post some more info about the really interesting stuff.READ MORE
It’s been almost three months since we relocated from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast hinterland and what a busy time it’s been as we all adjust to our new surroundings and routines. Inwardly, I’ve been reminded of what William Bridges calls ‘the neutral zone’, which is how he describes the ‘no man’s land’ we find ourselves in after we have experienced an ending of some sort, but before the new beginning has fully taken shape. In the neutral zone, he says we find ourselves withdrawing from the outside world, spending time in quiet contemplation, and reflecting on our values. This is very much what the last couple of months has been like for me. (Bridges’ theory of transition is one that my clients frequently find relevant when they are going through a time of change, so I’ll write more about that separately.)
Only in the past few weeks have I found myself emerging back into the real world and re-engaging with social connections and work projects (and this website and this Facebook page) so I thought it timely to post an update.
Starting with the fun stuff…
One of my long held dreams has been to live on acreage and rescue farmed animals and this was one of our main motivations for moving to the country. We are still working on getting some paddock fences to contain larger animals but meanwhile we have added to our menagerie with six more ex-battery hens (Eggy Azalea, Chicky Minaj, Victoria Peckham, Jennifer Heniston, Kylie Mineggue and Bjork) and a lovely rescue dog named Jake who is great company for Scout, our 3yr old border collie.
Now that we’ve settled in to our home, my next major project is going to be renovating the existing 2-bedroom cabin on the property so that it can potentially be rented out as a writer’s/artist’s retreat. There is also a shed nearby the cabin, which I plan to convert to a meditation space so that I can offer mindfulness classes here on the property. I look forward to sharing progress photos as the work gets underway!
And the work stuff…
I am now available for psychology appointments on Fridays at Circle Wellness Clinic in Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast.
I am no longer taking on new clients in Brisbane but I am still available in Ashgrove on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for existing clients and returning clients. So as long as you’ve been to see me before, you’re welcome to come and see me in Ashgrove!
Upcoming courses and workshops:
Introduction to Mindfulness: This afternoon beginner’s workshop is a great way to learn about the theory and practice of mindfulness meditation. Come along and bring a friend to take advantage of the couple’s discounted price.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Stress and Self-Care : It’s hard to imagine anyone could be stressed here on the Sunshine Coast but I’m sure there must be a few people around who would be interested to learn how to use mindfulness for stress reduction and self-care. Dates and venues aren’t yet finalised but if you’re interested, contact me to register your interest and I’ll keep you updated as I firm up details!
Remember that the best way to stay updated with dates for courses and events is to subscribe to my newsletter. I only send it out when there is new information so I promise not to overload your inbox.
Until next time, remember….READ MORE
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A holistic program designed to help you cultivate genuine, deep and lasting self-confidence, together with lifetime access to a tight-knit supportive community who will cheer you on every step of the way.
This program is for anyone who has been plagued by Imposter Syndrome, who struggles with self-doubt and knows their anxiety, overwhelm and overwork are all symptoms of a core belief that they're unworthy or undeserving of success.
Much more than just a 'mindset' program, the Confidence Solution offers you the most current, cutting edge approaches to healing to deliver a complete transformation.