• Bad news… you’re not a mind reader
    You are an amazing, sparkly human being with a wide range of skills and abilities… but I’m sorry to tell you, mind-reading is not among them.  Yet, how many times have you held yourself back from doing something or trying something new because of what somebody in your life will think?  Even worse ­— a lot of the time, we’re not even worrying about what someone in particular will think, but what some vague, unspecified group of “people” might think. Who, exactly? Yet, we can feel so sure that there’s all these people ready and waiting to judge us. Here’s …

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  • The Tree of Life: a narrative practice
    Narrative therapy is built on the observation that we humans understand ourselves and the world around us through the stories that we tell. We tell these stories continually, to ourselves and to others, and other people tell stories about us.  Not all of these stories are true, or kind, or helpful.  Although we largely cannot control the stories that others tell, we can become more conscious of the stories that we tell, particularly about ourselves. Learning — and choosing — to retell the stories of our lives in kind and helpful ways is the foundation of Narrative Therapy.  As we …

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  • Who are you in the story of your life?
    I’m currently studying Narrative Therapy as another tool to help people during coaching sessions. Basically, Narrative Therapy helps us to become conscious of the stories we tell about our lives and to question how (or if!) those stories reflect our values and what we want for our lives. One thing that has really fascinated me in the course is the way that Narrative Therapy understands identity. Traditionally, we might think of identity as made up of fairly static collection of qualities or traits, strengths and weaknesses, motivations and needs. For example: ‘I’m a bit of a perfectionist’ is a statement …

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  • Some thoughts on Atlas of the Heart
    The first book I read in 2022 was Brené Brown’s new Atlas of the Heart. Essentially, this book is a catalogue of emotions, 87 in all. Its subtitle — ‘Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience’ — perhaps gives a clue as to the intention behind it. For each of the emotions described, Brown typically devotes a page or two discussing the experience of that emotion and how it might be distinguished from other emotions that are related to it or for which it might be confused. Brown spends considerably more time on emotions in which she has …

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