Meditation on lack and abundance

September 18th, 2021

When you find yourself noticing the lack of something, remember this is also just your perception.
Tuning into the abundance instead shifts your perspective.
When we are in a place of lack we can become single-minded and focused on what we don’t have.
This can cause suffering and it can also affect our creativity.
This state is meant to protect us by making us hunt for what we seek, whether that be food, money, or even a sense of connection to other people.
But people often get stuck in this place of lack, focusing on what they don’t have, but also feeling too overwhelmed to do anything to find it.
Recognising your mind is now working from a place of lack can help to reset it.
A Meditation on Abundance and Lack:
Take some time to settle yourself in a mindful space, then begin to notice the abundance of things, maybe noticing the leaves on a tree, grains of sand, blades of grass, pores on your skin, stars in the sky.
Notice how this feels in your body as you experience this abundance.
Now settle yourself again and bring to mind what it is you feel you lack, for example money or food or people.
Notice the feeling of this in your body. Stay with any difficult sensations if you can, listening to what they tell you, and noticing that the sensation shifts and changes.
Once again bring to mind the thoughts of abundance and take some time noticing again the sensations in your body.
What are the differences?
What sensations shifted just by changing your focus?
What happened to your mood, your body, your creativity as you explored switching between abundance and lack?
By focusing on the abundance of people you are surrounded by, you can help to counter feelings of loneliness and shift into a more creative state to meet your need for connection.
By focusing on the value of the infrastructure around you, for example roads, hospitals, libraries, you can become aware of all that is available to you. This shift in perspective can not only move you out of unhelpful poor-me thinking, but can also helps you appreciate what you have instead of what you don’t have.
By recognising that we are surrounded by choices or options, we can move from feeling we are unlucky or that we won’t find what we need, into a move effective seeking state where we expect to find what we need and feel more energised to search for it.
Do you notice you search in a different way when you expect to find something, compared to when you don’t?
Which was more effective?
What is your experience of lack and abundance like?
Please share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you 🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱

Tune your mind to notice abundance instead of lack


Synchronicity arriving from the Depths

April 11th, 2021

The synchronicity at the moment is just blowing me out the water. It feels like I ask for something and it appears. No I don’t mean things or money, and sorry I don’t have the winning lottery numbers. But somehow, weirdly and wonderfully, new opportunities are arising and changes are happening which are just spot-on what I wanted, and not always even what I asked for.

Of course, there is a skeptical part of my mind that does its usual thing (huge thank you to that part of me, but right now let’s you and me stay with this feeling of flow and curiosity so we can see where it leads … ! 💃🏻 )

Sometimes you just have to be open to things. And, more often than not, the skilful question to ask is more about ‘why I am feeling closed or stuck?’ rather than ‘why can’t I be more open?’

Physically I am not feeling great. My body is still chooching through the vaccine and building up the antibodies and I can’t say that it’s been a pleasant process. And I’ve been feeling really down and small while all this has been happening. It’s been about staying with the difficulty. Letting myself run on minimal resources. Keeping my conscious brain occupied while letting the work happen underneath. And letting it hurt like hell.

And then … it felt like I woke up again. My parts are starting to work together. I am so very much more than just my conscious part (bless her she is always at least half a second behind, and sometimes that stretches out to decades) but lately my whole system seems to be functioning better, more in flow. Everything feels right while at the same time it also doesn’t. Curious!!!

Daily focusing, meditation and yoga are really helping me to listen to my wider, wiser self. And daily creative externalising, whether that be writing, drawing, painting, ceramics, dancing or making music, enables the inner world a way of expressing of what’s happening inside, without the conscious me getting in on the mix. She can just sit back and watch! 😎 🍿

So, even from within what is quite a difficult time, things are feeling curiously fresh and exciting.

Gratitude to my parts for working so well together and playing nicely 🙏

Let’s go … 💃🏻

My latest canvas – externalising the internal

Carl Rogers on People and Sunsets

April 4th, 2021

“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, ‘Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color.’ I don’t do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds.”

~ Carl Rogers

This quote is one that really inspires me. Because I love sunsets and because I am in awe of people. In Hakomi we learn about loving presence- being with a person and just allowing yourself to sit in awe. This being has made it through their life this far. They are brimming with life and experience. No matter how old they are they have a whole lifetime’s worth! This being has unique resources and skills. They may have developed those as a result of trauma or pain, but they are still superpowers. Looking at a being with kindly curiosity. Listening, not only to their words, but also the prosody of their voice and intonation. Noticing the emotions and the body language which shares more eloquently than their words ever could. Resonating limbic system to limbic system with this individual.

This unique being before you is as beautiful as a sunset. And just like sunsets the moment passes, and they move along with their life – but what a wonderfully rich memory remains!

Knowing that you were present with them for that moment is pure gold.

Knowing that you were fully present with yourself in their presence is beyond riches.

Knowing that you are forever changed by the encounter – just like pausing to watch a sunset.

My Old Boots – kickstarting a growth mindset!

April 1st, 2021

I need new walking boots. My old ones have served me so well. They did a lot of miles.

I bought them a long time ago in a shop where you could try them on and have a go at walking over some simulated rocks. Buying boots was a somewhat time consuming process of trying on a pair, tying up all the laces and then waking over this lumpy track feeling where the boots rubbed or whether you felt sure-footed in them. You tried on many pairs that felt wrong until eventually finding the boots that felt just right. The owners of the shop didn’t want you leaving with the wrong boots. Sadly, that shop is long gone.

The thought of shopping for walking boots online is a bit daunting. How can I manage without the expertise of those shop assistants? What if when I get them, the boots feel wrong? Can I keep on sending them back until I get the right ones? How long is that going to take?!

And I have had a year of mostly not wearing shoes at all. So nothing is going to feel right on my feet anyway.

And then after I find the right boots there is the breaking in period which is an uncomfortable process. And with my old boots I spent years customising them for my feet by wearing them and walking. They’ve walked in lots of different places and countries. New boots will feel strange and probably unpleasant for quite some time. It’s all going to feel a bit weird.

Then there is my fitness. How far will I get up the mountain before I feel exhausted and need to sit down? Probably not very far at all. And I’ll have to go on my own because who would want to walk with me if I’m just going to have to sit down after a few yards? It would feel awful to give up and then get back in the car and go home again.

It’s tempting at this point to decide that I won’t buy new walking boots.

It’s a natural thing to ponder if perhaps my days of climbing mountains are over.

An impatience arrives. Kat, just buy the bloody shoes!

Our brains hate ambiguity. We want all in or all out. We want the situation fixed!

But fixed is a word with two meanings. It can mean to fix or mend. Or it can mean fixed and rigid, or stuck. If you think about it they are really very similar. And it can be so easy to jump to fixing something and when we do that it’s usually to a fixed position of thinking. Either walk or give up!

If you have a fixed mindset you want rigid rules about how things are, what’s happening, what you can or can’t do, what others can or can’t do.

The alternative to that is a growth mindset. That allows for all sorts of possibilities. A healthy system is not one with a fixed position. A healthy system has flexibility.

Perhaps I will buy new boots. Perhaps I will find them uncomfortable and send them back. That’s OK. With a growth mindset, trying things on for size is just a part of the process.

Or perhaps I will wear them and walk 50 yards, sit down exhausted and then head back to my car. With a growth mindset, that’s OK. I just try again another day. And next time maybe I will get 100 yards. ‘Failure’ is an essential part of the process.

A fixed mindset – and jumping to fix something – often causes so much discomfort and stress. And we all do it. That ‘all or nothing’ kind of thinking is everywhere. Our society (and especially the media) are largely based around fixed thinking. Just scan some newspaper headlines and you’ll see it. We are told umpteen times a day that we should be thinking one way or another. But it’s in the middle where the flexibility can be found. And flexibility offers real hope for growth.

So what do you do when you catch yourself with a fixed mindset? Well that’s easy. Jump into a growth mindset straightaway by cutting yourself some slack! Life is a learning process.

The key is noticing those fixed thoughts and stepping back a little from them. What are the extremes in this situation? How could I find something in the middle?

Where am I jumping too fast to a fix? The above thought process from looking at my old boots to remembering the process of buying them, anticipating the difficulties of buying new ones, to deciding it was pointless and that I should probably give up hillwalking forever took about 8-10 seconds. It’s literally an open and shut case before you’ve had time to even notice what’s happening or even that you’re thinking. So we need to slow it down.

Slow it down so you can see how you might be skipping over some place in the middle that feels uncomfortable or brings impatience. How would it feel to hang out in that middle for a while? Actually feel the ambiguity and muddiness of it all? Jumping to anger or irritation is another quick fix. Giving up is a quick fix too.

Also mindfully ask your body how it feels about it. So often we want to skip over uncomfortable ideas because they bring uncomfortable sensations in the body. How would it be to hang out with those sensation for a moment or two? When we stay with a difficulty long enough to feel it, flexibility has the room to emerge. Oftentimes answers are right there waiting to be heard.

So I am not going to end this post by telling you if I bought the boots or not.

Nor will I tell whether I climbed the fifty yards or the whole mountain.

I am deliberately leaving it open. Notice the mind reacting to that! 😉

Live the ambiguity … love the flexibility … find the growth!

Happy trails … 💃🏻

Get this book NOW: Become Safely Embodied

March 14th, 2021

Ooh my friend Deirdre’s book is still available for FREE. Grab it while you can. I can put my hand on my heart and recommend it. Deirdre held a space for me and handed me the skills to do so much healing. She is a huge part of the village it took to raise me (Happy My Many Mothers Day Deirdre! 💐Thank you!)

And I’m proud to say that I’ve completed the certification for using the Becoming Safely Embodied skills in my work and they form an important part of both my wellbeing coaching work and mindfulness teaching. So if you have any questions do get in touch. I’m always up for a chat about this!! I am loving this journey 💃🏻

My Many Mothers Day

March 13th, 2021

I’m thinking about Mother’s Day (tomorrow in the UK) and this is my first without my lovely Mum. My heart is breaking a little bit but it’s also full. She and I found a space in those last years where we could really understand one another. All the difficulties were let go. We saw each other as people or as much as that is possible between parent and child.

Tomorrow I will miss her and honour her. But I will also be honouring all those other mothers who taught me so much and nurtured me so much.

It took a village to get me to where I am and I am grateful to all who have raised me and re-mothered me, made safe space for me to soothe my trauma. Those other mothers in my memory include my friend’s mothers, mothers in law, wise friends, my sister in law, so many mentors, teachers and therapists. My heart feels full to burst as I reflect on those who guided me 💜

Happy My Many Mother’s Day! Thank you 🙇‍♀️💕

Feeling Safe and the Experience of Trust

February 13th, 2021

I’m thinking about trust at the moment and what informs that feeling of being safe with an individual or in a group or situation.

How do I know when I am experiencing trust? What is my mind like when I feel safe? What does my body feel like? What am I noticing in the other person or the group or the space?

How do I know when I am not feeling safe? What is that really like? What is happening inside, outside and around me?

What do I notice when I look back at those times where I felt trusting but that feeling of safety was misplaced? What can I learn from this so I can be more discerning and take better care of myself?

As ever it’s about slowing it right down. And it’s listening to myself deeply and really checking it out.

A strong felt sense is developing around trust and the experience of safety. My body relaxes. I feel more open. I feel warm and soft in my belly. My shoulders drop. My eyes soften. My mind slows down. It’s easy to relax further still. I am gentle with myself. My younger parts feel safe and connected. I breathe deeper and easier.

And lack of trust? My younger parts will be jumpy. My shoulders will be more tense. I feel pain or tension in my chest and my throat. My eyes are more jumpy. My thoughts are faster. I have less feelings of well-being in the moment, and settling myself is more of a doing than a being. My thoughts are more of judgement and non-judgement. There’s a whole lot more shoulds showing up in my thinking!!

So that’s a little of what I have learned about my felt experience so far of trust and non-trust.

And then there are the thoughts around trust. What do I need to see and hear and experience from others in order to trust?

Brené Brown has some great research on this with her B-R-A-V-I-N-G seven elements of trust:
Vault – keeping confidence

I’d love to hear your of trust and safety experiences too. 😊 🙏

Deciding not to hate

February 11th, 2021

Some days ‘go wrong’ real early. Sometimes I step into a trap. Sometimes I trust when my instinct tells me it’s not safe. Sometimes I am asked to share an opinion only so the asker can jump on it. Sometimes people just want someone to blame. Sometimes people pick a fight because they can’t have a hug. Sometimes people are too avoidant to reply to you. Sometimes they dump all their baggage on you. Sometimes people seem really scary. Sometimes I have to love them anyway just as they are. Sometimes I have to remind myself there is no point expecting anything different to what is. Some days I have to be my own best friend. Some days there is a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit. Most of the time I choose not to hide my vulnerability. Sometimes that makes me a fool. Sometimes that gives people power. Some days, like this day, I have to work all this through from first principles, through all the pain and all the confusion and all the shit, and then decide not to hate anyway.

Good morning.

Wishing you a peaceful and safe day 🙏

Ruminating about Rumination

February 10th, 2021

What’s the difference between reflecting on past events and ruminating? I don’t know how many mindfulness teachers and supervisors I have asked about this and not yet had a useful answer. Today this feels a little frustrating.

I understand rumination is unhealthy but I am often asked to reflect. Sometimes I am told rumination is normal and the goal is to accept my mind does it. Sometimes people confuse the two terms so their answers make zero sense.

Perhaps it is something each individual brain must discover? In which case how do we know it is unhealthy?

In my practice I got to the point where I thought all reflection was rumination, so I avoided doing any. Trust me that was not a solution to anything!

There is more to mindfulness than simply coming back to the breath. There is more to life than simply coming back to the breath!!

I might be the ‘teacher’ but I am also still the student, learning and asking questions and still trying to figure this out as I go.

Any and all answers gratefully accepted 🙏

Failing that pictures of pets 😉

Letting the growing come … even in the darkest times

February 3rd, 2021

It may be hard right now. But trust that even in the very darkest times, change and growth is happening inside you. Just like a seed in the darkness under the earth, you are nourishing and nurturing and getting ready for something new to emerge and to flourish. Trust this.

Throughout our lives, we change and grow, and little-by-little we release the rules that kept us stuck.

Sometimes we grow out of other people along our journey, or they grow out of us. Sometimes we grow out of bits of ourselves, like a lizard shedding its skin.

Each layer is a loss that necessitates a process to mourn its passing. Of course, we don’t always notice what has gone, until one day we realise that whatever it was, good or bad, it has now past. And in that moment, don’t push it away or hide, be in that experience of loss, for this is the journey of your life, and you are living it.

As ever, don’t hold too tight to anything, just notice your hand closing to grasp something new, and then, as it releases its clasp, let go of what has gone.

Flow into your future unafraid, as the changes constantly hone the very best version of yourself. ♥️


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