The Fear Dance

As March rolls straight into May (I know April was in there somewhere, but I’m damned if I can recall WHERE in the blur), I’ve been thinking about fear.

(I suspect it’s the water we’re all living in.)

As luck would have it I recently found an old handout from Gary Smalley, an author and relationship counsellor, which describes something he’d see in relationships called ‘the Fear Dance’.

Each party would have unspoken expectations. When these were unmet, their fears would be triggered – which in turn triggered the other person. A chain reaction would ensue, and a dance of dissatisfaction and anger would launch unhindered.

Gary lists a host of different fears, and a host of behaviours and responses.

But they come down to 2 core relationship anxieties; fearing a loss of power/feeling controlled, and the fear of disconnection; Continue reading “The Fear Dance”

Finding a balance

Wow. The Western world looks pretty different to when we last met on these pages.

I know that everyone and their mother is posting advice on how to keep calm and live radically differently. I don’t want to add to the overwhelm.

So I’ll keep this brief and highlight some brand-new research on HOW to engage with all that good advice; to wit, you can combine just two strategies to deal with everyday stress;

  1. Make plans
  2. Stay in the present moment

Continue reading “Finding a balance”

Does it help?

When it comes to therapeutic modalities, I’ll admit: I’m a bit of a magpie.

I spent October attending a collective trauma online summit and another on the clinical application of compassion; I have various books on mindfulness, self-compassion and connection, and am becoming increasingly drawn to Compassion-Focused Therapy.

(Basically, if it helps folks to be kinder to themselves, I’ll wander over and give it a sniff.)

So I was pretty excited to attend Rich Bennett and Joe Oliver’s introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy recently, complete with a copy of their book, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques. Continue reading “Does it help?”

If you want to go far, go together: Lightbulb to Launch with The Happy Startup School

My inbox is out of control. I mean, WAAY out of control.

(Like everyone else’s, I know.)

I have emails about things I have no interest in, from things I signed up for but have long forgotten, from people who assume that I recognised them by their first name alone.

I occasionally have a cull, chop the number down, have an unsubscribe session. But it often resembles the grass verge on a motorway: full of debris from past travels, unidentified random plants, and weird stuff that wants to take over the general ecosphere.

But sometimes – just sometimes – my benign form of neglect pays dividends and I get an email about an opportunity that I just wouldn’t hear about otherwise.

Continue reading “If you want to go far, go together: Lightbulb to Launch with The Happy Startup School”

HALT! Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?

I came across something by accident recently, and its succinctness has absolutely blown my mind.

It’s the acronym HALT – which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.

Hungry: Do I need something physically or emotionally?

Angry: What’s causing me to feel this way?

Lonely: Am I having difficulty connecting with others?

Tired: When was the last time I took a break? Continue reading “HALT! Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?”

What’s your logic based on?

We humans tend to be strange, paradoxical, conflicted creatures.

We say that we want something in our life – be it more money, greater freedom, a wider pool of romantic prospects, a deeper connection, etc. Nothing wrong with any of those, of course; all entirely human and understandable desires.

And yet it’s rare to find someone whose life doesn’t contradict what they say they want. Money evaporates at a certain set-point, limitations are accrued unconsciously, opportunities to meet potential partners spurned, chances for vulnerability body-swerved. Continue reading “What’s your logic based on?”

LoveWeek #5 – For those who’ve lost hope

So it’s been a week of love – a #LoveWeek, if you will. And I hate to be a Debbie Downer on the last day, but I need to acknowledge the elephant which may or not be residing in the room.

To wit: love isn’t for everyone.

Now don’t get me wrong, it clearly is. Come on. Love makes the world go round.

(OK, at the moment it’s money, which probably explains the shit creek we’re in.)

But when I say love isn’t for everyone, I mean: some of us have given up on love. We’ve lost hope. Continue reading “LoveWeek #5 – For those who’ve lost hope”

LoveWeek #4 – When the going gets tough…

In an ideal world, of course, relationships would be easy. You’d find someone, fall in love with each other, and POW! – the “happily ever after” of fairytales comes true.

(The clue why they don’t is in the word “fairytales”, FYI…) Continue reading “LoveWeek #4 – When the going gets tough…”

LoveWeek #3 – You’ve found someone. Now what?

So you see love as a “collaborative work of art”. You’ve been discerning about who to spend your time with and found someone generous and giving, someone with whom you can be your truest self.

You’ve won! Here’s your medal! You can relax now!

Of course, life’s not really like that: nor is love. Continue reading “LoveWeek #3 – You’ve found someone. Now what?”