At the end of December 2015 I bought 2016 Create your shining year in life 2016 workbook by Leonie Dawson. I was very excited to reflect and plan in the lead up to Christmas, as I felt it detached me from all the Christmas craziness I used to feel. I also got started on my vision boards early and gave the layout of them a new look.
I connected with others that also bought Leonie Dawson’s book and even hosted a few online masterminds where learning about bullet journaling and the miracle morning changed my whole year for the better! As I used those tools, I gradually stopped using the diary and now have come to realise one point focus is a lot more beneficial and something I need to instil with my goals and daily tasks than the list of 100 things I made in the workbook.
The section I continued to follow throughout the year until recently as a one point focus is important, was the 100 things to do in 2016. A big list of silly, joyful, big, small, creative goals. I only wrote 72 and have completed 26.
Here is my list for inspiration to others and links to posts and videos:
Before I go into how I felt during and after the introduction to counselling course I attended, I’ll first give a bit of back story to my creative and professional decisions and development.
A year ago I started doing an Art Degree Drawing Skills and as the course progressed I found myself enjoying it but realistically not going to make it over the high bar that is drawing perfection. Especially without sacrificing the joy, love and fun I have actually making art.
So one day with clarity and relief I announced – I’m going to do my drawing course as personal development only. That left a huge gap of ‘What next?’ as my plan was to do a degree, do a masters and be a successful Art Therapist. Instead of going into an old pattern of study something then study something else I decided to wait and think about all my options.
I have finished my final piece of work and have made a goal to paint in my own style over the Summer and see what happens.
With that in play I thought there is no harm in seeing what is out there by doing short courses and exploring my options actively.
On my list of 100 things in 2016 I added – Explore Counselling as a study option! Counselling originally appealed to me as it’s about helping people in their lives, it’s a varied job that can be within an organisation or freelanced and diverse. It’s where Wayne Dyer started out at and people make their own unique practises such as Counselling and Creativity and Yogi Amadeep Singh.
I think others would agree with me when I say I left the course wondering if I really could/wanted to even be a counsellor! Here’s what I learnt and discovered:
There’s a big difference between sympathy and empathy, watch this Brene Brown video and you’ll see what I mean, don’t be hard on yourself though, we’ve all been there.
Counselling is not about ‘helping’ it’s about being along side the other person, listening and supporting subtly so that the other person can come up with the answers on their own. An example of this to think of a time you felt listened to and another time you didn’t, compare how you felt about the two situations. If anything it’ll make you entirely grateful to have someone listen to you at a deep level – it did me.
The term ‘peeling an onion’ was used to describe the process, I like the creativity of A little piece of me on this phrase.
In counselling every experience is different, so unlike when you advise a friend about something you would never use your own experience or opinion in a session – to me it’s an easy concept to read about but a lot harder in practice!
There is paraphrasing, restating and reflecting the thoughts and feelings of the other person to gain further clarification and listening.
Counselling explores people’s feelings, not the experience. It involves open questions to encourage conversation and openess.
Language functions like a lift, expressing more will gain further incite, focus, questions and answers.
One concern I had was that there was a lot of talking and no problem solved, no next action to take (at first I thought it may be all the personal development I listen to, to do lists and goal setting I do, but others shared the same curiosity). This however is normal as counselling in this way is very gradual, it’s more about listening and letting the other person come up with own answers that they may cover at another session. A type of counselling called CBT is homework and solution focused.If your thinking about having a counselling session either for yourself or someone you care about try it out. A counsellor is there to listen and be alongside you in your journey.
Or if your thinking about training to become a counsellor – go for it, counselling can be learnt at any age with any background! An introduction course like I did is the best place to start, following that are Level 2 certificate, Level 3 (1 year) and Level 4 (diploma 2 years), overall it’s 4/5 years part time and you can find more information on BACP.
As a newly passed driver, I take a look back at a very early limitation I set upon myself, it came up lately from another person were the words ‘I can’t imagine you….’ This can be depleting and destructive to a sensitive persons spirit and it’s as if subconsciously I heard ‘I guess I’ll never drive then’.
I first experienced the term before I got into personal development back when I was teenager, I remember thinking about driving and seeing, hearing of other 17 year olds driving and think ‘I can’t imagine myself driving’.
Little did I know back then that this was indeed the uncertain voice of fear creeping in. I wish I could go back to that 17 year old and say what I say now- ‘Just because you can’t imagine it, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.’
Other reasons I didn’t drive were that I felt less of a need to as I walked everywhere and enjoyed it. I didn’t know how a car worked (of course I didn’t have to know everything then, that comes in time being taught), I was just totally unconfident in some areas of my life, I see that now.
Here are some hints for learning to drive:
Start from where you are – make enquiries, gather learning material, start small
Ask around – through talking about driving, I was told of great teacher!
Visualise it – it just so happens the very car I put on my 2015 vision board I now drive and own!
Meditate – after I started yoga driving became so much more stress free, having a calm mind makes the hard so much easier.
Affirm it – cycling to work I used to repeat to myself ‘I AM driving a car’ as I was peddling up a hill.
Be positive – half of what determines how you drive is your outlook and attitude so be positive, we learn from experience.
Practice, practice, practise – even when you don’t feel like doing it
Follow other steps – Finish your goal with any other programs you feel you need to sign up for and set mini goals. I did pass plus then set and met the intention of driving to yoga class, a further away art gallery, the beach and so on.
Some driving goals I set for myself and completed:
My bucket list is a long list of goals I want to do that are challenging, fun or to just to add a bit of magic to ordinary moments, it makes it a bit more exciting than an average to do list.
This October on day out in London, a series of unfortunate events – a usually quiet art gallery having a ginormous queue, walking what felt like miles for somewhere to eat and being undecided on whether to go to a comedy night or theatre show with the creeping feeling there was little money to spend (all on my birthday).
Led to a few perfect moments – eating delicious tapas at La Tasca and walking around Covent Garden, they had started putting Christmas decorations up – cranes carried misteltoe and I thought it was a sweet image. We stumbled on a bakery selling colourful macaroons!
Eating macaroons is on my bucket list because I see them in my experience all the time, on tv and in magazines. I’ve always thought “I really want to try them” but the price was hard for me to justify anywhere between £8-£12 a box. e
That’s the great thing about a bucket list, you put it on the list and tick it off, no excuses.
After a sleepy train ride we settled on the sofa and ate through a whole box of macaroons, they are so delightfully soft and slightly chewy!
The opportunity comes up to go to an open air cinema every Summer and this time I wanted to set the intention to go and actually go to one – which we did!
We prepared camping chairs, popcorn, drinks and extra layers (blankets are a MUST for when the breeze comes later) and set off in the car. We arrived in the open field at The Luna Cinema Ascot, to surprises of a free gin and tonic along with Double Tree a cookie and set up our chairs, behind us were stalls offering hot food/drink and fresh popcorn. It really was an exciting pre movie atmosphere.
The lovely thing about being out in the open watching a film was being in nature, the tall trees and fresh breeze, just being in an open and different environment made it a fun night out to do in the Summer.
We watched The Theory of Everything, a look into the relationship of the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife. The film covered his study breakthroughs, challenges, romantic life, his incredible spirit and the work he carried out. I think the last few scenes really bring the story together and are so powerful, you will have to watch it to see!
Last weekend we visited Brighton for the Mr’s birthday, it was hot (just before a heat wave hit UK).
I really wanted to get in the sea and wanted us to try Kayaking so I’d looked up Brighton Watersports to see that they offered 1 hour in the sea for just £10 each- wahoo! I bought the Mr’s birthday GoPro and we were good to go.
Here is a little video I made, it’s short and sweet. I had to listen to instructions from the Mr to steer over and around the waves so I didn’t film as much as I could have. There were so many waves the day we went but you can’t really see that on camera!
Before I went Kayaking I had no idea it was so much work (I have bruises on my legs and arms to show). It is a huge team effort to move and manoeuvre a two person kayak.
It was fun though, going over the waves didn’t scare or worry me as I liked to ride them and it made experience exciting. Plus the sun was out and we had the view of Brighton Pier on the left and the busy beach to look at too so it seemed almost perfect.
I think kayaking down a lake would be good too, more relaxing and less strenuous but overall – it was a fun day at the beach and we ticked something off our bucket list hooray!
I used to be really into bucket lists and goal lists like 100 things to do in 2016, I still am a bit list maker, just look at my bullet journal and you’ll see! However now I am not as obsessed but rather just go with the flow more, a plan is good but it’s not everything.
Also some things on my list changed as I was changing as a person, they seemed totally irrelevant and pointless. This list is ever changing and edited where felt needed.
I have posts and videos with my bucket list items completed and some links here, enjoy: