This morning during meditation I set my intention for a daily early morning practice of a meditation followed by a simple yoga routine. I have learned from my break thay breaks are important, simple I know, but it's amazing how we forget. My meditation incorporates different aspects that work well for me. We are all different and there is much to choose from to help guide you if you want that. For those interested, below is what helps me sit and be 🔽 For meditation I start with setting some intentional meditations before moving to a free flow mindfulness. I tend to begin with a maitri (loving kindness) meditation to help me meet all that comes up with love and compassion and gentleness, whether that's joy or pain. I then pay attention to grounding deeply then work up through each chakra point up to the crown, this creates rooted safety, connection to myself, to the greater universe, and helps energy flow less hindered. Once compassion, safety and connection are set, I move to just being and sitting with whatever arises, whatever it is that I can learn from, with a light mindfulness on coming back to the breath. When any difficult feelings come up as they do for all, I know that being able to sit with difficult feelings helps our mind, brain and body understand that it can be regulated and tolerated, neurons get busy making positive new pathways with old painful narratives, and over time we learn equilibrium where it is needed. Peace. I am grateful for getting older which has made mornings naturally easier to get up in than they used to be! ☺
The autumn season brings to the fore more speaking for me in the psychology field about what it is to be human and have a role in a mental health. How we understand psychological pain and what we do with it. The narratives out there about experiencing psychological pain as a professional and how they help or hinder healing, meaning, learning, growth and affect acceptance in certain groups. How others meet our experiences of pain.
I am grateful for the opportunities to speak about this in my own way. Having been out of clinical practice now since my breakdown in 2015 it's a very organic understanding I bring to how I talk, that this is wished to be heard is humbling.
I am grateful for those who have joined in2gr8 to be a part of setting a tone of acceptance, meaning and belonging amongst those of us who identify as having experienced mental ill health...psychological pain...isn't that all of us at some point to differing degrees? For different reasons as individual as the next person. I hope we help others go forward to speak their truth within their profession. And that's never about just helping the individual, that's about helping organisations to think, the truth work must be in parallel, or upon what kind of land are these seeds falling?
And then it comes back to the self, the core, whether via mediation or yoga or therapy or sprituality or religion or friends or mentors or teachers or carers....because there must be balance in energy, between what is expended out there and what is nourishd within. Whether in professional practice with others or not, we can't pour from an empty cup, no one can. So look after yourselves to look after others.There are self kindnesses we can practice individually, and there are ways organisations can provide benign, nourishing environments to help ground and contain those who provide the emotional labour to help others. It is a symbiotic relationship between the two, one without the other will hinder being able to flourish and work to ones best ability, or provide a team who can enjoy doing their very best.
It is in our interests to bring together organisational and individual understanding to access the reflection and resting spaces necessary in order to breathe deeply in our work and find the ground under those trusty feet of ours.
It is necessary to accept that all humans can move through periods of wellness and difficulty for many reasons. Structures and systems in our Western world must continue to learn and move with this, rather than impose a way of being that seems to prefer we remain emotionally dissociated from how we are and 'get on' if struggling. Our emotional selves are indistinguishable from the rest of us, and we of course bring all of ourselves to work, and if we can't thay can make for more difficulty. When organisations begin to pay more attention to the emotional wellbeing of their staff, they will profit! It's not the 'soft stuff' that can be ignored bjt the heart of the matter.
Emotional wellbeing in mental health work means being given time and space to digest and reflect, to think, to share, to be praised, encouraged and guided, to learn, to be supported, to be shown compassion and hope when worried, and to be offered opportunity for growth, creative and forward thinking.
Perhaps this morning's meditation set more that my own personal intentions for what helps me, but also a readiness to come back to the work this autumn from a summer break.
Thank you for reading and wishing you well on your path.
Dr Natalie Kemp