If you’ve ever watched a tortoise moving in the summer you’ll know it moves surprisingly fast. In the winter, before or after hibernation, it’s slower. Much, much slower.
Last month I posted an Instagram post about tuning into our ‘inner tortoise’. And tuning out the ‘hasty hare’. As February slowly thaws I’m reminded of this. January was long. Finding that slower, endurance pace for ourselves was easily noted by the length of the month. With snow and ice outside now I notice some are all moving tentatively through this month too.
There are lots of messages around about how important consistency is in eating, exercise, work, sleep and even self care. Inconsistency becomes the byword for letting ourselves down, or in some way not being good enough. I want to challenge this.
Much like the tortoise, perhaps these slower days when we ‘achieve less’ are in fact what we need. Given the challenges of the enduring nature of the pandemic, could it be that, like marathon runners and tortoises, it is entirely appropriate that we slow down, contemplating change? If we’ve been sprinting so far, for so long, perhaps running out of puff, pace, enthusiasm, being less consistent is entirely consistent with the traumatic situation we are facing. Being inconsistent can potentially offer the opportunity to think about what we need, even if that’s just to acknowledge what’s going on for us, and reflect for a while. The challenge maybe to enter into this without judgement.
Often when I listen to people begin to tell their story they come with a frustration that they want to get rid of anxiety; they’ve had it for so long and wish it would stop plaguing their life. It might feel inconsistent with how they view their life, or somehow it’s judged as a disproportionate response to something they view as a trivial hiccup along the way.
On closer reflection, together, it’s often found that an inflection point in life has had a huge impact. Counselling & Psychotherapy help explore this through compassionately listening and enquiring into what you are saying. Together we can explore why a particular experience in your life, that may have been insignificant to others, is really very important to you. Your beliefs, values and experiences are all intertwined in a unique way. Exploring these, alongside your relationship with your self and others, we can come to understand what you make of your life and how you wish to live from now.
Slowing down helps create space. To see things differently. Counselling might not be something that you do consistently throughout your life, but it can help to pause and look at things in a new light with someone new.
To find out more about how I can help you please get in touch