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New Year, New Beginnings

January 2021

Whilst writing this, our starting point for 2021 is having a profound and challenging, effecting not only our physical and mental health but family relations, livelihoods and finances. This in turn is leading to feelings of frustration, suicide, loneliness and anxiety to name but a few. Some are managing the new situation of a third lockdown with relative ease whereas some are reaching the end of their tether.

Whilst we are all different, the need to be kind is now more important than ever. For my part, the way I coped with the unexpected events of last March was to go within as much as possible rather than listen to too much of the scaremongering that was happening in the media and one thing I believe the COVID pandemic is teaching us above all is precisely this skill of ‘going within’….. quite literally with lockdowns.

We seem to want to focus on cultivating the things that matter to our survival now: Being reflective rather than impulsive, meditating on what is important to our sanity, letting go of consumerism with a new awareness that what we only truly need for survival are the ones we love as well and the basic necessities (which unfortunately for most does include loo roll!).

I love this anonymous quote: ‘I stopped explaining myself when I realised people only understand from the level of their perception.’ Humanity’s lesson now seems to be to assess how much of what we are doing is true to ourselves and good for the planet and society. In so doing, cultivating a society which accepts one another’s uniqueness and differences without fear or competition.

I’ve been feeling all along that there is no point following rules of this pandemic if we forget our humanity and rather than finger pointing, tolerance, kindness and respect are key to being human.

Essentially, there is always someone out there who will feel better because you exist and encouraging people to be true themselves, in order to fulfil their unique role is an element part of counselling.

I love this quote by Carl Rogers, the psychologist who developed person-centred approach to counselling: ‘People are just as wonderful as sunsets ….I don’t try to control a sunset, I watch with awe as it unfolds.’

Counselling encourages clients to be ‘authentic’ to speak their truth and find their voice because the opposite can lead to ‘cognitive dissonance’ (mental and physical distress). When we judge people we cause them to become subversive, to ‘hide’ themselves and feel bad which is not what the world needs right now.

I feel the pandemic is teaching us that each and every person on this planet has a ‘duty’ instead to help one another shine, to move humanity forward.

Serendipity occurs when live our lives guided intuitively, events seem to fall into place with an invisible grace. The creative force is inherent within all but traumatic events can cause us to seek gratification in other ways – over indulgence, consumerism, substance or alcohol abuse etc.

I believe wholeheartedly therefore that listening to the voice within always guides us to our inner truth as it always knows what’s best for us and only has our highest interests at heart because it speaks with the grace of love. And if we all follow our hearts and what inspires us the world would be full of creative people more content in their own lives and therefore more likely to live peacefully.

The Legacy
And so the day passed when a virus came

And caused the people to pause for breath.

They stopped to fill

Their lungs and hearts

And some breathed their precious last

And the trees sang as the pollution decreased and recognised a delicious peace

And thus there was a change of pace when folks, for a while, forgot the race

And the endless need and endless greed for this and that

And God said, ‘See!’

‘You have all you need with the earth, the trees, the animals, the bees’
And the people cried ‘let’s start again!’ as tears of joy ran down their cheeks, for this new age of ‘God with Man’…..

….And this time they vowed to stick with the plan, of love before greed
And brotherhood of man.

‘God gave us time to reflect and pause, let’s put him back at the hearts of our cause.’

And the earth and her animals breathed a sigh of relief as the humans remembered their faith and belief

And slowly all lives recovered anew on the day the earth breathed and a gentle breeze blew

We once forgot why we came to live under the sun but now we remember:

“We Are All One.”

I pray that anyone suffering at this time through pain, hardship, grief, trauma, loss and abuse finds peace, hope and strength to move forward and shine their light. If you feel it might help to talk please reach out and connect with family, friends, a counsellor or any of these national charities:

For Adults:
          www.togetherall.com providing online help with anxiety, depression and other common mental health issues

          Samaritans www.samaritans.org Tel: 116 123

          Beaumont Society: www.beaumontsociety.org.uk - National 24-hour helpline and
          other support for transvestites, transgender people, their partners and families.

          Victim Support www.victimsupport.org.uk, If you've witnessed or been a victim of a crime, you can talk to
          Victim Support on their free and confidential helpline. Support line: 0808 1689 111

          Oxfordshire Domestic abuse support number on 0800 7310055 or call Thames Valley victim support on 0300 1234148

          Step Change – a charity offering debt advice and help with a 24 hour phoneline and a
          website to get in touch for any financial concerns: 0800 138 1111

For Children:
          Young Minds Crisis Messenger - Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. 
          If you need urgent help, text YM to 85258 • All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical            supervisors . Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

          Childline - www.childline.org.uk. If you're under 19, you can confidentially call, email or chat online about any problem, 
          big or small.

          Freephone 24-hour helpline: 0800 1111. If you sign up for a childline account on the website you will be able to
          message a counsellor anytime without using your email address

          Youth Access www.youthaccess.org.uk, A place for you to get advice and information about counselling in the UK, 
          if you're aged 12-25

          The Mix www.themix.org.uk, If you're under 25, you can talk to The Mix for free on the phone, by email or on their webchat.
          You can also use their phone counselling service, or get more information on support services you might need.
          • Freephone: 0808 808 4994 (13:00-23:00 daily)

          Papyrus Prevention of Young suicide, https://papyrus-uk.org/

Warm thanks to thank Éva Nádasdy of Active Connexions for building this beautiful website and providing a platform to share my creativity.

Elm Counselling
© 2021 Elm Counselling
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