Have you ever gone to counselling?
I hope so.
What? Does that mean I hope you’ve had some really hard times or serious mental illness in your life?
Well, no. There’s this stigma around counselling that says it’s only for the seriously messed up, or for the weak. "Resilient people don’t need counselling. Strong people can manage things on their own."
Other people will say that if you have good friends and support around you then you don’t need to find professional support.
Some people feel strongly that this kind of support should be free and get upset at the idea that everyone thinks they need to “buy” solutions – that is, pay for professional services.
I can see how people could get these ideas. But I have to say I disagree.
Have you ever had an argument with your daughter?
One of the most common desires I hear from Mums is to improve their communication and connection with their daughter.
I hear from teenage girls as well that they want a better relationship with their Mum…
So how to do that…
There are definitely going to be times when you disagree, when your strongly held values are not what she’s decided to live by, when emotions arise, and when she fights against the boundaries and consequences she experiences – from you or others.
Firstly, boundaries and consequences are safe and necessary. And even though she’s a teenager and almost an adult, she needs them. (She does also need to know that if she breaks the rules, does something stupid and gets herself into trouble she can come to you for help and compassion.)
Have you ever dreamed of living at the beach? I loved the idea of living in Byron ever since I came here as a kid. The idea of never ending beach days, surf, and a relaxed lifestyle. Of course, a satisfying life also includes satisfying work, and I'm so grateful that I've found that here too.
I wrote this blog as a guest contribution for my local yoga studio... one of the extra bonuses of this place..
THE STORY OF ONE CREATURE YOGI
It seems to me that we talk about community a lot. We have this idea that when you rock up to a yoga studio you will be and feel part of a community, but how often does that really happen. You say hi, you do your thing silently, and then you say bye. Yoga hasn’t always felt like community to me.
In mythology and fairy tales, the hero's journey is the template that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, wins a victory, and then returns transformed.
This is the general Rite of Passage structure… separation… facing and overcoming a challenge… and returning to the community transformed and recognised as different…. for example the child is now recognised as an adult… the boy is now recognised as a man…
This is the framework I learnt when I trained in Rites of Passage facilitation, because I learnt from men about this male version of the story.
I’m currently reading “The Heroine’s Journey” by Maureen Murdoch, and guess what – it’s VERY different for women, and much more complex….
In our mythological stories and narratives the woman is often simply waiting for her man to come home from his quest. In The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo there is an example of this. Or she’s waiting for her man to come and save her, as in Sleeping Beauty.
I love meeting women who are passionate about what they do.
I love hearing people say that they are doing what they know they are on this Earth to do.
I'd like to introduce you to Tima.
She's one of these people.
Her life changed the day she discovered her passion.
And her purpose is to share her passion with young women.
We're so excited to have her join us this year at Radiant Woman.
My name is Tima.
I started practicing Martial Arts a few years ago in France. At the time, I was working a hectic job, and climbing the corporate ladder, it left me under a lot of stress and pressure and I was searching for some balance in my life, and some kind of release. Today, I would say I was searching for myself.
Your daughter loves you… for sure… but if you’re currently at a point with your daughter where you feel like she hates you… if you’re in conflict and banging heads… I want to share this story with you because sharing stories is how we connect and learn from each other… when we share stories we see ourselves in each other…
Last year I had a Year 10 science class for one term. I hated them. They hated me. We absolutely DID NOT GET ALONG. From the first lesson… they were rude… they spoke back… they refused to do any work at all… I got angry and frustrated at them… they blamed me and their other teacher when their exam results were atrocious… I tried… I really did… they hated me…. I hated them…
I get along with lots of classes … and this was the second top science class… that’s why I was so frustrated at them because I expected more… I knew they could do better….
Part of my stress and anger and frustration also came because I’m not actually a science teacher… I’m a maths teacher and I’m not confident with lots of the science content…. I felt a bit inadequate and like I wasn’t doing a great job… I didn’t present the material in an engaging way… and then I got angry at them for not being engaged…
Is your daughter unsure what she wants to do with her life?
“What are you going to do when you leave school?” can incite quite a stressful response for some young people.
But for the ones who have a definite answer – I’d actually be more worried.
Jumping into a whole career plan with no exposure to what that lifestyle actually involves is DANGEROUS.
I did a whole Commerce degree with the plan to be an investment banker before I even considered the reality of work only being available in big cities, corporate offices, and valuing shares all day.
The number one thing all teenagers need to do when they leave school is – GET LOST!!!
Spend some time not knowing – regardless of how uncomfortable that may make them feel.
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with so much to do that it seemed impossible?
On other days have you felt a sense of emptiness and boredom?
Do you prefer to feel boredom or hurriedness?
I usually prefer hurriedness. I like to feel creative and productive and in the flow of getting things done and achieving. Perhaps I have even linked my sense of worth to how productive I am. Sound familiar?
We have a whole world and society that values productivity. That pays those who produce, that thrives on economic growth. GDP simply being a measure of how much money is spent by the country as a whole on goods and services. It doesn’t measure care, love, nurturing, connection, peace, or happiness. No. Our measurement of success as a whole country is based on our consumption.
For those who find themselves unemployed because of economic downturn, injury, illness, or mental health reasons this can hit hard. “You are of no worth to us if you are not contributing to the economy”, the system says. I have two friends at the moment who are unable to work because of injuries. One has a partner with money and assets which are a buffer. But she’s still going to work on crutches. The other is a health professional who has gone from a professional wage to trying to survive on $250 a week from Centrelink. WTF???
Have you ever been to a counsellor?
I hope so. Because we all have challenges and we all need support. And as much as I hope you also have family and friends around you to be that support, sometimes talking with a professional who is objective and can take a bird’s eye view is really helpful.
When I was at uni I went to a few sessions with one of the counsellors. This service was available at no cost to students.
She was helpful. She taught me decision making strategies and she helped me realise that I was avoiding making some decisions because I was scared of failure. Helpful.
I think she was a qualified social worker. Or maybe a psychologist. I can’t remember.
I’ve also been to one session with a counsellor referred to by the education department. Teachers get a certain number of free sessions throughout the year.
Does your daughter feel confused about her future?
Would you love to see her living her life on purpose?
What do you feel the benefits would be? Do you imagine that she would be passionate about her work and contributing to her community? You probably realise that living her life on purpose will mean she values her health more, avoids excessive use of drugs or alcohol, and is generally mentally healthy.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the state of the world… by the statistics and stories of violence and abuse against women… by the slow slow slow move towards gender equality in leadership and economic participation… by the fast rates of environmental destruction… the ever increasing bizarre weather events…