That slightly embarrassing moment when you suddenly recognise a need to take some of your own excellent advice?
I recently launched a new session called “Wellbeing for Practitioners” which I intended to be a support for carers, healers and helpers of all kinds but with an initial focus on counsellors and psychotherapists, whose obligation to maintain their own wellbeing is enshrined in the guidelines of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. As one counsellor friend said to me, “This is so needed – it’s so easy to lose energy, without even realising that it’s happening.”
Have you ever pushed on through, just that little bit too far? Because somebody vulnerable, perhaps a child or someone elderly and frail, needed you to be strong?
That’s exactly what I did last month.
Despite years of exhorting Reiki students to prioritise their self-Reiki practice and years of encouraging clients to set and hold healthy boundaries, I managed to forget to follow my own excellent advice. (In my defence, an elderly friend’s sudden illness proved quite a distraction.) I say it’s excellent advice, because not following it closely brought me to a (mercifully brief) standstill for a couple of weeks. No major health or emotional dramas, luckily, just a lingering virus and knowing that I had pushed myself a bit too far for comfort. It can be so difficult to “draw the line” when you know that somebody really needs you, can’t it?
This episode was a sharp reminder to prioritise more self-Reiki and clearer boundary-setting in future – but I also think I could do with a bit more fun! So, yesterday I treated myself to an afternoon at a local complementary therapy event where I loved catching up with friends, listening to the Harp Therapist’s playing and also being a client, for a change. And I’ve arranged EFT and Reiki session swaps for myself next week, which will be both relaxing and restorative.
What makes the timing of my mini-lapse all the more embarrassing is that my guest blog post for Lisa Barber, which focused on the need for self-care for the self-employed, was published last week. (Find it here – do go and visit. There’s lots of good stuff on the blog about marketing authentically, without being pushy or sleazy.)
When I wrote the post, I knew it was important; it flowed from my keyboard with passion and clarity, demanding to be written and full of sensible, practical advice. What a shame I wasn’t paying closer attention at the time!
And this echoes something else I discussed with a colleague this week: the importance of listening closely to what you find yourself saying to clients… because you probably need to hear that, too. It can be so much easier to see the structure of somebody else’s situation but if you keep spotting the same patterns over and over again, it’s definitely time to look in the mirror and check it out there, as well.
So, this episode provides yet more support for the truth of my belief that we are all that “work in progress”. Always learning (sometimes the hard way), always growing – and definitely not perfect!
Have you learned a useful lesson recently? Do share your views in the comments below.
And if you’d like to discover some good techniques for self-care, drop me a line to arrange an initial conversation or book a session. But do remember, you’ll need to actually USE them to feel the benefit!