We have an obligation to look after ourselves and create systems that support us in our profession, whether we're working in private practice, or within an organisation.
Systems can be organisational systems, support networks, however, a meditation practice is just as important and is a system to support, nurture and ground you when you're working with clients.
Meditation and feeling grounded and calm starts here.
The word seems to conjure up all sorts of feelings for people.
They try it and it doesn't 'work'.
People have a go at meditation and they want to empty their mind of all thoughts, this is an extremely difficult thing to do. When that doesn't happen (and it usually takes years and years of practice) they believe they 'can't meditate', they give up and don't bother.
Here's the thing, meditation really just means setting aside some quiet time every day to sit still.
Yes, that's what it means.
What you do during the 'sitting still' can be up to you.
Some people just focus on being mindful of their breathing.
Some people count their breath, hold it and then exhale.
Some people use a prayer or an affirmation and say it in their mind.
Some people use a Sanskrit mantra to help the mind to stop whirring.
Some people will look at a candle flame.
Some people will listen to music and lie down/sit in a chair/on the floor.
It will be different for everyone however the gem of meditation is finding the time and setting this aside as part of your daily practice.
One of the ways that works well to soothe the mind is to choose a particular mantra or phrase.
Saying this over and over to yourself, you'll find that you may suddenly remember an item for your shopping list! if you do, say 'thank you' and return to your mantra/phrase.
If you remember that you need to call a family member, say thank you and return to your mantra/phrase.
Meditation is an accumulative practice, it builds up within your body, mind and spirit and you suddenly find, after a month of doing it, that if you miss one day, you'll miss it.
Mantras to help you:
I am feeling Calm
I am feeling Confident
I am feeling Courageous
So Hum (Sanskrit for I am )
**Google 'Mantras' and you'll find a plethora of Sanskit and modern day phrases.**
Why does it matter?
We will take responsibility for our own well being as essential to sustaining good practice by:
a. taking precautions to protect our own physical safety.
b. monitoring our own psychological and physical health.
c. seeking professional support and services as the need arises.
d. keeping a healthy balance between our work and other aspects of life.
Whether you choose to meditate every morning before your day begins, or whether you begin to meditate in between client sessions having 3 minutes of quiet stillness.
You will find your own way.
The way you treat yourself is the first step to becoming a counsellor.
You can't be non-judgemental and have unconditional positive regard for your clients if you're judging yourself, fostering negative self talk, or not looking after yourself.
Looking after your own emotional self and physical self is a priority.
Being negative to yourself, judging your own behaviour and criticising your own self will reduce once you begin to look after yourself and be kinder.
Making the space to meditate every day will build good practices into your day.
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