This is a short apprecition post for my favourite kind of feedback when it comes to poetry, my favourite kind to give and my favourite kind to recieve.
I adore when the feedback I recieeve about my poetry is about how a soecific line resonated with a person. What certain parts of the poem meant to them, and what it felt like listening to it.
This tends to be the same feedback I’ll givw. I like listeneing to sooken word, more so because of the emotional resonance can be felt (depending on a poets delivery and style). I like to pay attention to the words and the feelings, what it feels like to take in the poem, what I feel from the powt as they’re speaking their poem.
It’s a bit redundant to say I really like poetry, but I do. I really like it, I love how creative people can be with words, the play that can be found there. I like metaphorical poetry, and poetry that is seemingly metaphor-less. I enjoy the cadence and rhythm. There’s so much joy in poetry for me.
Thanks for your time. What are your thoughts on poetry?
So for part of my dissertation, I had to interview people. One of the things I asked about was people’s experience of being counsellors. And from that something that came up again and again. Something I actually really resonate with as a counsellor myself, it was the privelege of being with people as they courageously face their experiences. How phenomenal that is experientially, and how important and precious that can feel.
When I worked in time limited sessions with clients, sometimes the goal would be just coming to a place of awareness. And by awareness I mean coming to know and be cognizant of things that were not very obvious to yourself before. Awareness of what was at play, or about things that had gone unackowledged. I guess this post is me just reflecting on how two probged awareness can be (or maybe multi probged, but I’ll focus on two in this post).
I think with awareness can come a relieved understanding on one prong, and a (sometimes(?) pained) acceptance on the other.
Thinking about some of my own experiences, awareness can come as a huge relief. Maybe because my brain has always run this programme of “trying to understand myself . Awareness feels like a key or a chart, or something that adds more to the puzzle and helps me makes better sense of what’s happening for me. It’s like a light, that makes patterns more easy to identify. It can be an explanation for slcertain behaviours, and a contextualisation.
There’s the other side, the acceptance yet pain part. Sometimes I feel like certain levels of ignorance can be bliss. Take for instance the personal awareness of how important it is for me to feel my feelings, (as opposed to surpressing them/ dissociating from them). This can be uncomfortable because it aaks something of you, in the way you show up for yoyrself. Understanding and being aware of something is different from doing it. But awareness can be a challenging, though pivotal first step towards change.
Okay thus concludes a mini thought unravelling. Thanks for reading. What are your thoughts on awareness? What have been your experiences? ) I’m always curious, so share below if you like.
How cosy can that bed really be? This is the question my internal monologue poses, as I’m bent over 50 minutes past midnight, changing the ties on a swinging hammock chair to lift the chair a couple inches further off the ground. Why am I straining the muscles of my lower back, neck, and shoulders at this time you may well wonder. It’s so that I can recline in it with my feet that little bit higher off the gound. Even now I’m wondering why I left my warm and cozy bed to stoop over adjusting knots and ties.
When I’m finally seated, the creak of the swing a constant companion, slightly lopsided because the ties have been redone in the haphazardness of just waking, by the light of my phone, the faint light of fairy lights that’s batteries need replacing and not much else, my head occasionally bumping into the bar at the top of the a-frame that supports the hammock chair, it strikes me that this could be a metaphor for life.
Something about how, at some point it’s less about how cosy the bed is and more about how loud the internal dialogue is that’s roused you from slumber. More about the burst of hyperactive energy coursing through your body, time becoming a non-factor, that propells you from your bed, with the persistent feeling that downstairs is where you need to be.
This metaphor as I look at it speaks to the comfort zone, and that initial spark that preludes the process of working free from it, much in the same way you might struggle free from a duvet and weighted blanket. The burst of hyperactive energy that sends oxygen to your limbs could be the paradigm shift that convinces you that you want to stretch your comfort zone. Or even, step into the discomfort of something new, like the nip in the air of the temperature dipping at night.
There’s nowhere else to really take this midnight musing as I’ve now lost my train of thought, glad I started capturing it here whilst it was fresh. I might come back to this in the morning, read it over, and think ‘what on earth?? 🤔’. However the part of me that recognises how much closer I am to intuitive connection making when I’m in particular states between wakefulness and slumber, suspects I’ll likely enjoy this impromptu metaphor.
What do you make of it? Does it read as the ramblings of a sleep talker? Is there something to it? I’m curious about your thoughts, you can share them below.
Signing off now, as I consider whether to make my way back to bed or to spend the next couple hours following the white rabbit of my curiosity down the black hole of the internet.
I have a distinct memory, of all the thing I was ever interested in (when I was much younger than I am now), being made into daily practices. Somehow, I would find a way to return to them again and again, day after day. Nowadays though, it seems like I can’t find the focus or the memory, or perhaps the executive functioning to keep up that kind of regularity apropos of no external structures.
Perhaps I tied my interests to activities I would undertake regularly. Like with writing, I regularly woke up in the middle of the nigh during my GCSE years. Looking back I think it was likely that the stress was impacting my sleep. My sleep is often quite sensitive to being influenced by stressors in my life. That said, if I woke up in the middle of the night, I would bake some cookies, them load either Julia Nunes or Taylor Swift up on YouTube, and get to writing. I woke up in the middle of the night often enough in my teens, that I had quite a regular writing practice. Or with rollerblading, it would always be on a weekend, and always along the thames pathway from Battersea to Chelsea.
I suppose there’s also something about the relatively fewer amount of responsibilities I had as a teenager than I do now. As a single mother/full time student/ trainee counsellor, there’s so many more things “to-do” that it seems like the energy for pursing things I enjoy with the regularity (probably) needed to improve, happens very sporadically- (when the kids are away, I find myself returning to journaling, and meditation, and maybe with e ought time to practice scales and chords, yet when they’re back, there’s barely enough executive functioning to go around, what with keeping track of all the things that need keeping track of when you have young children in the house.)
I have this little voice in the back of my head, that’s quite persistent in reminding me not to forget *whatever hobby/ fun interest of mine catches my attention presently. And the high I get from engaging in things I find fun, means that once I’m sat down, I tend to zone in completely, losing sense of time and place, and then I’ve spent four hours knitting something, and quite possibly have to run out of the door to pick the kids up, suddenly aware of the need to pee, and thirst wracking my throat.
My ideal would be to be able to dedicate myself a bit at a time to all of my interests every day. there would be time for painting, time for writing poetry. I would spend time writing any of the novels that I’ve left mid stories, characters on the cusp of their respective character development journeys. I’d find time to bake, and find new nutritional recipes to try out. I’d finally get round to re-learning how to sew using a sewing machine, and I’d spend time speaking to guests on my podcasts. There would also be time to play around editing videos, and polish off my website, playing with and further developing my web building skills. I’d also create time to keep going with teaching myself to code.
It is a blessing, being filled with so many things that spark my interests, being so deeply interested in many things, yet the challenges of time-blindness, and difficulties with focus, alongside the organisational requirements of ‘running a household’ as well, as the time and focus I put into parenting, talkies of learning and CPDs- I find myself mourning how quickly time passes by.
So here I am, returning to one of my early interests, blogging. I’m curious to see how long I can keep up some level of consistency with it, and I’m happy, I’ve found a few moments to return to it.
I suppose that’s why so many of my previous blog posts, are typo filled, peppered with run-on sentences, and side thoughts cosseted in parentheses. I’d aways try to get my fingers to catch up with my thoughts (always an impossible task- better informed about this now, having learned about the hyperactivity of the minds that can come alongside ADHD), and then rush to hit publish, before I forgot. Sometimes I’d schedule it to be published on a certain day, sure I’d come back and make the necessary edits in the time between when I’d written the first draft and the date I’d scheduled it to go live, and inevitably I’d forget about the post’s existence, until I got a notification from WordPress.
Something I’ve been embracing the years since I last wrote here is the idea of perfect imperfection, allowing rooms for mistakes, and the mantra “done is better than perfect” and “good enough, move on”.
Holding myself to extremely high standards, is one thing, not allowing myself to progress due to minor imperfections is quite another.
So that’s it.
I’ll end here.
If you enjoyed this, thanks you for your time, I’d love to know what stood out for you, and your thoughts and insights in the comments.
Today’s blog post comes in the style of a letter. I hope you are well, what have you been up to lately. I miss sharing my updates with you.
I imagine that when you subscribed to tnis little corner of the internet you probably saw something interesting, that you wanted to stay connected with. To be honest I’ve made so many attempts at “writing consistently” over the years, and each attempt has sort of fizzled out. 😂
Now though I actually understand why that is. (More on that in another post). Anyhow I just wanted to let you know that I’m figuring out a way to keep my updates all together, in one place, instead of spread across several mediums some of which I forget about, whilst updating others. All that to say, if you still want to stay connected, and get to hear about all the things, then sign up to my mailing list.
What does that mean for you? It means that when I host events through Soul Knit Grow or send out my monthly newsletter “Light Thinkers”, you can also be notified of that. You can always unsubscribe at the bottom of the emails if you’re no longer interested in staying in touch. So sign up to stay updated.
I also wanted to let you know as there’s quite a lot of new things happening lately, that I’ve been remiss in updating you about.
Counselling training’s not for the feint of heart! I’m just going to jump straight in to this stream of consciousness entry, because that’s just about my speed today.
I think it’s normal for the second year of a degree to ramp things up a notch. It’s normal. It is also unexpected just how much of an impact that’s having on me in the context of lockdown single motherhood.
I am throwing myself into training, triads and the experiential elements of my course, and into personal counselling. It’s quite confronting, facing yourself again, and again, and again, week after week, being face to face with so many facets of yourself, and also getting on with the day to day of looking after myself, my children etc.
I have to believe that I have within me, all that I need to get to the places I’m heading to. I choose to believe it. It’s both a possibility and a necessity.
So it’s been a while since I’ve written about knitting. It teels like I talk about it so much in my day to day life, but slowing down and taking the time to write about it? It’s been a moment.
The other night I picked up a project that I started at some point during lockdown. I’d put it down for a while, left it untouched in its organza bag, figuratively, but not literally, gathering dust. There was something inside me calling me to that project.
As I sat slowly adding stitches to my project, I thought about how my knitting has evolved. When I first started knitting I had that Finished Object bug. I looked forward to that trill of satisfaction, knowing I had a FO in my hands. Eventually, as I learnt more and more about knitting, about its mindful and healing capacities, I made a conscious decision to enjoy the process. Where before, I was antsy and impatient, preferring smaller projects that I could finish quickly (hello the year of baby booties!), now I would slow down, feel the weight of the yarn in my hand, the texture, as I used my fingers to wrap yarn around my needles. I’d enjoy they rhythmic click, and the smooth slide of bamboo needles worn smooth by friction. It soon came automatically, whenever I picked up my knitting needles, I’d be reminded of the importance of enjoying the process.
One of the things I wrote in my UCAS statement and interview/ application form was about my desire to further research about the healing properties of knitting. I really believe there’s a way that knitting can be a facilitator of releasing trauma, and stored emotion in the body. I’ve had a couple ideas around what I should focus on for my final year research project, “the father wound, “the impact of racism and undressed bias in the counselling room”, it’s almost like i forgot that I had my dissertation topic all along. I’m definitely still curious about how to also unpick racism, something that the knitting community as a microcosm of wide society is not free from, and over the past years I’ve witnessed many attempts to delve into/ unpick and unpack that.
All that said, I feel like I’m consistently being reminded to slow down, breathe deeply, really be connected to the life I’m living in this instance, in all it’s facets. I’m curious, if you engage in any craft, what has it taught you? I feel like when we slow down and pay attentions, there are a lot of things we learn that may have cross applications to different areas of our lives.
Do you remember being a child and waking up happy? You weren’t happy at anything in particular, you just felt a joy in existing, a perpetual hopefullness that today would be a day that something good would happen.
I want to reconnect with that state, of delight, and joy, and hope.
Of noticing the small things. Really slowing down and noticing how the sun is golden, in a pinky blue, early morning sky. The way the birds sound, trilling back and forth in conversation with eachother as I walk along a tree coseted path, their leaves creating a shimmering whistle in the wind.
I want to notice the tread of my feet on the earth, the rise and fall of my chest, the air in my lungs, and the steady beating of my heart, even the thrum of my pulse below my ears about my next.
I want to notice these every day multitudinal blessings and feel the utter bliss of each of these moments.
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