What a difference a year makes .
Rosa physically fully grown at a year old, familiar with her surroundings ,intuitive , playful and curious; yet still dependent on us for her survival.
Her strategies for life still being formulated and considered as she monitors her surroundings and decides on her best survival strategy.
Play is a big part of her day , learning how to relate to others , to know when to submit when to re-treat and when to stand up to others . Responding to commands that she has realised mean a treat is forthcoming or that incites her to stop what she is doing as to continue may have a consequence that is less than pleasing .
I am reminded of TA ( Transactional Analysis) PAC model and the child ego state :
Our Child ego state can be compliant and well-mannered or
rebellious and badly behaved. In TA terms both of these would be
classed as “Adapted Child” (AC) as in both situations we are adapting
to the environment around us, either positively or negatively. The
other way the Child ego state functions in is called “Free
Child”(FC). The Free Child likes to run barefoot on a sun drenched
beach, play and laugh with those nearby, cry when sad, shout when
angry. The free Child is not restricted by what others think.
There are entire books written about ego states, various models and
theories about how they work or even if they exist at all so if it is a
subject you are interested in . TA today by Stuart and Joines would be a good place to start.
NEW YEAR seems to challenge people to reflect on what is and consider what they want for their future and what changes they want to make to promote happiness and well-being.
What resources do you need ? What resources do you have available to you?
We tend to focus only on our weaknesses, but we all have enormous reserves of resources,
often only used at certain times, for example in one situation such
as work, or at times of family crises. But if you have those
strengths and resources at those times, then you have them
available to you at any time – you just need to remind yourself
that those resources are there in order to access them.
It has been said that happiness equals reality divided by
expectations. If our reality is lower than how we expect life to
be, then we’re likely to feel unhappy or discontent.
This formula therefore suggests that our reality needs to be
equally balanced with our expectations. The more we can
get them in balance, then the happier, more content,
accepting or peaceful, we are likely to be.
Therefore, in order to make positive change, we can choose
to improve our reality, and/or lower our expectations.
Winter is here
W arm to cold
I ce and frost hanging on trees were once there were leaves
N umbingly cold footsteps in the snow
T ime to hibernate before new growth
E xciting changes a new year to come
R eady for new beginnings
Just like a firework we too are colourful and have our own beauty and wonderment but also we can be unpredictable , self destructive even scary in our nature .
Over the years, we tend to get into unhelpful thinking habits such as those described below. We might favour some over others, and there might be some that seem far too familiar. Once you can identify your unhelpful thinking styles, you can start to notice them – they very often occur just before and during distressing situations. Once you can notice them, then that can help you to challenge or distance yourself from those thoughts, and see the situation in a different and more helpful way.
Mental Filter - When we notice only
what the filter allows or wants us to
notice, and we dismiss anything that
doesn’t ‘fit’. Like looking through dark
blinkers or ‘gloomy specs’, or only
catching the negative stuff in our
‘kitchen strainers’ whilst anything more positive or
realistic is dismissed. Am I only noticing the bad
stuff? Am I filtering out the positives? Am I wearing
those ‘gloomy specs’? What would be more realistic?
Judgements - Making
evaluations or judgements about
events, ourselves, others, or the
world, rather than describing
what we actually see and have
evidence for. I’m making an
evaluation about the situation or
person. It’s how I make sense
of the world, but that doesn’t
mean my judgements are always right or helpful. Is
there another perspective?
Prediction - Believing we know
what’s going to happen in the future.
Am I thinking that I can predict the
future? How likely is it that that might
Emotional Reasoning - I feel bad
so it must be bad! I feel anxious, so I
must be in danger. Just because it
feels bad, doesn’t necessary mean it
is bad. My feelings are just a reaction
to my thoughts – and thoughts are
just automatic brain reflexes
Mind-Reading - Assuming we
know what others are thinking
(usually about us).
Am I assuming I know what
others are thinking? What’s the
evidence? Those are my own
thoughts, not theirs. Is there
another, more balanced way of looking at it?
Mountains and Molehills
Exaggerating the risk of
danger, or the negatives.
Minimising the odds of how
things are most likely to turn
out, or minimising positives
Am I exaggerating the bad stuff? How would
someone else see it? What’s the bigger picture?
Compare and despair
Seeing only the good and
positive aspects in others, and
getting upset when comparing
ourselves negatively against
them. Am I doing that ‘compare
and despair’ thing? What would be a more balanced
and helpful way of looking at it?
Catastrophising - Imagining and
believing that the worst possible thing
OK, thinking that the worst possible
thing will definitely happen isn’t really
helpful right now. What’s most likely
Putting ourselves down, self-
criticism, blaming ourselves for
events or situations that are not
(totally) our responsibility
There I go, that internal bully’s at it again. Would
most people who really know me say that about me?
Is this something that I am totally responsible for?
Black and white thinking - Believing that
something or someone can be only
good or bad, right or wrong, rather
than anything in-between or ‘shades
of grey’. Things aren’t either totally
white or totally black – there are
shades of grey. Where is this on the
Shoulds and musts -
Thinking or saying ‘I should’ (or
shouldn’t) and ‘I must’ puts
pressure on ourselves, and sets
up unrealistic expectations.
Am I putting more pressure on
myself, setting up expectations
of myself that are almost
impossible? What would be more realistic?
Memories - Current
situations and events can
trigger upsetting memories,
leading us to believe that the
danger is here and now, rather
than in the past, causing us
distress right now. This is just
a reminder of the past. That was then, and this is
now. Even though this memory makes me feel upset,
it’s not actually happening again right now.
Magic Mommy Kisses
Each night I tuck you into bed
I brush my hand across your head
and in each tiny little fist
I place a magic mommy kiss.
Full of love and hope so bright
To keep you safely through the night,
Mommy kisses in your hand
To guide you off to slumberland.
If you should dream of monsters mean
Or witches with faces masked in green,
Of snakes that squeeze you oh-so-tight
Or darkness with no sign of light..
When nightmares hold you stiff with fear
A part of mommy still is near.
Just open up your hand and blow
One mommy kiss and nightmares go.
Self help :
Positive Self talk / Coping Thoughts Worksheet
Positive statements encourage us and help us cope through distressing
times. We can say these encouraging words to ourselves, and be our own
personal coach. We have all survived some very distressing times, and we
can use those experiences to encourage us through current difficulties.
Examples of coping thoughts might be:
Stop, and breathe, I can do this
This will pass
I can be anxious/angry/sad and still deal with this
I have done this before, and I can do it again
This feels bad, it’s a normal body reaction – it will pass
This feels bad, and feelings are very often wrong
These are just feelings, they will go away
This won’t last forever
Short term pain for long term gain
I can feel bad and still choose to take a new and healthy direction
I don’t need to rush, I can take things slowly
I have survived before, I will survive now
I feel this way because of my past experiences, but I am safe right now
It’s okay to feel this way, it’s a normal reaction
Right now, I am not in danger. Right now, I’m safe
My mind is not always my friend
Thoughts are just thoughts – they’re not necessarily true or factual
This is difficult and uncomfortable, but it’s only temporary
I can use my coping skills and get through this
I can learn from this and it will be easier next time
Keep calm and carry on
Write down a coping thought or positive statement for each difficult or distressing
situation – something you can tell yourself that will help you get through. Write them
down on a piece of card and carry it in your pocket or handbag to help remind you.
Difficult or distressing situation Coping thought / Positive statement