It's harder than one might think to simply let feelings well up in their fullness, as they come. Try it for a day: let your consciousness wash over your inner being as you wake up, make coffee, see your loved ones at breakfast, greet the bus driver, check Facebook.
Why psychotherapy, why now? Six small answers to two big questions.
I was having a coffee with P in a shopping mall café. A woman in her early twenties walked in and sat down a couple of tables away. She was wearing a flimsy green dress that barely covered her breasts, no bra. It was so intentional that I studied her face, thinking how young she was and wondering whether she needed help. She looked back at me with feigned indifference, took out a book on physics or something, and pretended to read, sitting up very straight, breasts pert and at attention.
Writing is a strange business. When life is particularly full, providing all the material that will eventually find its way to these pages, not a word comes out. Putting a blog together now is like harvesting swallows' nests, drunk.
There can never be too many good books on the go at any one time. The only rule is to make sure they treat different subjects, or at least offer different viewpoints, so that there is a proper foment of ideas going on. A conversation takes place between them, and the reader gets to listen in. Exhilarating.
Being stuck at home with the flu has one major advantage: there is no impediment to reading as much as you like.
The train sped further into the night. H and I sat in the restaurant car, hunger sated and the wine warming our veins. We spoke of the way centuries of poverty had sculpted the country around us, and how the techniques that had been developed to survive the hardships of a rural society and a harsh natural environment still affected our lives today.
Before we pull ourselves up for the last desperate battle to regain our willpower, or begin to beat ourselves up over our lack of it, it might be time to look at the hidden reasons we made those resolutions in the first place. Trying to understand a bit better what we were actually seeking with “the new me” might help the next resolutions to become reality, and help scupper the useless ones right up front.
Loneliness and solitude merge and oscillate. Neither of them is a constant state. But with practice, loneliness gives way to solitude more and more often. With it, we gain a bit of distance to our reactions, and realise that loneliness also teaches us how we don’t want our lives to be. We begin to grasp the golden ring, turn our eyes and hands to our dreams.
It was the summer of 2016. We were driving along a quiet country road in Alentejo, talking about how nice the shops are in Lisbon. There was a line of trees ahead, and suddenly I realised I was pushing on the brake pedal with all my might, having passed two intersecting lanes of traffic going at well over a 100 km/h.