"Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That's how the light gets in"

Leonard Cohen

We all have cracks. Imperfection is part of life, but for those of us with high standards and expectations - the concept of not being perfect in certain areas can be a really hard one to swallow. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) offers an interesting approach to perfectionism. It focuses on making us aware of the invisible rules we create in our lives that we often obey automatically. We  are not specifically taught theses rules, but learn them in childhood or from influential people during our early experiences. Can you identify any of your unhelpful rules for living? Normally these are rules that are inflexi...

I read a beautiful article the other day by Homaira Kabir (www.homairakabir.com) and one line jumped out at me "Intentions set by a conscious brain are often derailed by the momentary urges of an emotional one."  As a CBT therapist clients come to me in times of struggle. Often there is chronic anxiety and worry, or low mood sliding into depression that they can't shift on their own.  I describe the differences between our two very different minds - the emotional and rational one. An enlightening discussion always seems to follow as clients realise that the emotions are momentary and fleeting, and that activating our more rational mindset can be a helpful antidote to the overpowering overwhelm of negative emotions. The emotional mind is quick to...

They may seem like two very similar looking words but in fact represent two opposing concepts. The first is about simplifying, about being present, here, right now. To be mindful is to be very aware of the present moment. It is often when we come to a realisation that we are full to the brim and that our minds are literally "Full" that we recognise the need to free up some space, to gain some clarity, to step back. A Mindful approach to living is about developing the ability to observe our minds and recognise what we can do for ourselves to return to, or better still - to maintain a state of ease. So often we end up in a state of ill health (dis-ease) or exhaustion  before we realise we've been doing too much. A Mindful existence is trying hard...

I've just returned from a great week away in Mallorca. Being a CBT therapist I am very aware that the conversations and language I choose to use in describing the trip, and the elements I focus on when discussing my holiday will make a huge difference in how I perceive it and how I feel about it. Yet let me be balanced first of all. Yes I did have a small list of things I hoped to do on my own if the time arose. Reading a book, filling in a goal planner for the upcoming months, doing some online yoga and going for a child free hike were top of the list.  However I have two small children, so was aware that I needed to keep my expectations low. I didn't do any of them. At the end of the holiday there was a little frustration that I didn't get any...

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“Life is not about merely being alive, but being well”  Martial, 66AD, Epigrams.

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