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  • julienaylorcounsel

In these troubled times.........................

It feels as though our world and life as we know/knew it has been turned on its head, particularly over the last few years. A global pandemic (and all that entails) to the invasion of Ukraine over recent weeks, it comes as no surprise that many people feel so affected. Grief, loss, abandonment, isolation, anger, frustration, trauma, joy, sadness, relief, despair (to name but a few). A wide spectrum of emotions has emerged and been present for so many people.

Persistent media coverage with an abundance of alarming and concerning news continues to flood our screens daily. It’s rough out there. And when it’s rough out there, it’s rough in here; in our very beings. Collective energy is intense, immersive, and impactful. You are not alone if you are feeling all kinds of ways right now.

When we are living through difficulties (whether directly involved, or observing from a distance), our internal worlds can feel heightened, on ‘red alert’, even if we are not conscious of this. We can feel triggered, impacted, flooded with ‘stuff’ that we may not know what to do with.

You are not alone. You are not the only one feeling this.

Media (social media in particular) can offer lots of ‘advice’, lots of ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ regarding how we are supposed to be, which people have the right to feel certain things and those who don’t. Absorption of such content can drive additional feelings of guilt, shame and remorse about how we may be handling things and a questioning of our own responses to that which we are living through. Suppression and deep-pressing what we are feeling can be a common response here. British culture is particularly fond of ‘cracking on with things’ and ‘pressing forwards.’


You don’t have to do what someone else tells you to (either directly or inferred).

You don’t have to be what someone else expects you to be.

You don’t have to conform to the ideals created outside of yourself.

You are a living, breathing human being, walking through the world, navigating it as best you can. These times that we are living in are harsh and distressing and intense. It’s okay if you feel that. It’s okay if you are struggling or finding things challenging. It’s all okay; all of it.

Rather than telling you what you need to do, I wanted to ask a question that is simplistic in its nature, yet something that is often overlooked, dismissed, or not considered:

What do you need?

What do you need right now to support yourself?

What might bring you some comfort?

What might give you some release?

Do you need comfort and release, or do you need to sit in the challenge that you are experiencing right now?

How are you being kind to yourself? Are you being kind to yourself? Reprimanding, criticising and shaming can emerge in full force during such times. Do you notice that? Is this what your body/mind need or are they crying out for love, compassion and kindness?

Yesterday, I attended a forest bathing session, where music and the sounds of the elements were the focal point of the afternoon. I lay in the grass with the sun on my face, amongst the trees in the woods. I needed it. It felt good and soothing; a balm for my soul. I gave myself permission to follow my own lead and take what I needed.

The wind blew intermittently, unsettling, powerful in the air, bringing periods of cold. I felt a clenching and tightening within me, against its force. The sun appeared when the wind took a rest and I breathed, my body sighing and loosening under its warmth. I observed this play, as it was occurring. Like life, I thought. Nature demonstrating the reality of existence.

There is dark and light in all that we do, in all that we are. We sit. We lean in, honouring it all. Condemnation and judgement of ourselves within the light and the dark periods that we live through have no place here. You matter…………… even those parts of you that sting and smart and bleed. Especially those parts. Let the self-criticism down a while; it was never yours to carry.

Go well, stay true.

Sending love to all.


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