Linguistics

From being someone who spent most of my education working with numbers rather than words, I now find myself enamoured with the beauty of language.  From our choice of words, tone and even the delivery, to the non-verbal communication of body language and energy flow.

It’s easy for me to become lost in the power of language and how the simplest expressions like “I’m sorry” or “I don’t know” can hold far more depth than what we experience on the surface.  Linguistics can be incredibly complex or unfathomably simple, yet in any composition it has meaning.  Meaning that can be completely different for each individual.  Leading to misunderstandings and conflict, or clarity and connection. My work is fundamentally about conversations, therefore linguistics is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle that I am gradually putting together.

Masking

Right from the start, I’ve been drawn to working with clients on recognising and connecting with who they truly are.  It always felt like this was the root of their concerns.  Yet, as I’ve continued my explorations, I’ve discovered that not knowing who they are is only part of the issue overall.  Another significant aspect is the act of masking ourselves in an effort to fit in and feel safe in our environment. 

For most people, masking is a learnt behaviour created in childhood.  As adults, we measure the risk of sharing our authentic selves with others, and if the risk is too high we mask the aspects we feel won’t be accepted, or worse, will be rejected.  We predict how others will respond and then choose the approach that is likely to minimise the negative impact on ourselves.

It all makes logical sense, but I feel this has led to a world where people struggle to make real connections.  A place where maintaining the mask is more important than living our lives, and those who dare to share themselves are attacked as their behaviour makes others feel uncomfortable.  This appears to be a whole lot of people hurting beneath the masks they individually wear.  I’m feeling a deep connection to healing all this pain, and at present that’s one person at a time.  Until I find another way to reach more people with an authentic connection.

Inner selves

For a long time, I’ve been aware of archetypes and inner gremlins, and a few years ago I started to develop my understanding of, and approach to working with, inner selves.  My view of the concept has evolved based on learning about how others interpret this idea and my own client work.

I went from only recognising a small group of potential internal beings based on archetypes and tarot, to considering the potential for an internal landscape of beings, objects, nature, sounds, colours, light and anything else my clients would notice (or I would learn through my personal experience).  Now, as my perspective continues to develop, I’m learning about how these different elements relate to each other, and the potential impact of each relation on this internal landscape and the client themselves.  My approach has also evolved in working with internal systems beyond individual selves.

Systems

When I first began working with clients I would get caught up in their experience.  Unpicking the various elements, and working with the patterns of thinking and behaviour, as they related to the client’s outcome.  Although this produced incredible results, and still plays a significant role in my work today, I’ve become interested in the systems my clients and I operate within.  And those that operate within us.

What are the external influences on our experience that we simply accept?  How do our own systems relate to each other?  How do systems between two or more people relate?  What is the impact of all of this on the client? Can we create our own systems?  If so, what would we create?

Honestly, I feel like I keep looping back to the start of this exploration, no matter how much I explore.  This is developing into an incredibly broad perspective.  I’m not quite sure where I’ll end up, or if I’ll even manage to answer all my current questions.  I wonder if that’s simply part of accepting that the systems themselves are continually evolving.

Time

I view time as a human construct that now has significant influence on how we live our lives.  Time is fully ingrained in how we operate.  We have alarm clocks to wake us in the morning. Business hours during which we work (or used to anyway).  We even mark our journey through life by an annual celebration of our birthday.

As we take this further, we can consider that time exists within each of us.  We do not exist without the past that made us the individuals we are today, we are constantly passing through the present, and yet we need to have some view of the future to be able to step into it.  And the instant we do step forward, that momentarily becomes our present, and quickly the past.

What if we shifted our view of time?  What if it simply became a concept of how events, people, objects, and in fact any element, related to each other?  What if the element itself became more important than when it took place?  This is a relatively young idea for me and I’m still playing with it.  Yet, I can already see how it’s shifting my client sessions.  Especially how I support clients to reimagine their experience in different ways, without being restricted by the logic of time.