Hildegard of Bingen on finding our own way home

“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”

Hildegard of Bingen

“Selected Writings,” (Penguin Classics, 2001)

Deeply person-centred reflection….

Here’s the book link:-

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling Exeter since 1994

Posted in actualizing tendency, autonomy, awakening, consciousness, empowerment, external locus, fear, human condition, internal locus of evaluation, meaning, organismic experiencing, perception, person centred, person centred theory, self, self concept, trust | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Change the World Enough – Alice Walker

To change the world enough
you must cease to be afraid
of the poor.
We experience your fear as the least pardonable of
humiliations; in the past
it has sent us scurrying off
daunted and ashamed
into the shadows.
the world ending
the only one all of us have known
we seek the same
fresh light
you do:
the same high place
and ample table.
The poor always believe
there is room enough
for all of us;
the very rich never seem to have heard
of this.
In us there is wisdom of how to share
loaves and fishes
however few;
we do this everyday.
Learn from us,
we ask you.
We enter now
the dreaded location
of Earth’s reckoning;
no longer far
or hidden in books
that claim to disclose
it is here.
We must walk together without fear.
There is no path without us.

Alice Walker


Here’s a book link. Not sure if this one is in it, but there will be many other treasures if not:-

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling in Exeter since 1994

Posted in 'evil', civil rights, cultural questions, equality, ethics, fear, human condition, interconnection & belonging, love, paradigm shift, political, power and powerlessness, shadow, violence, vulnerability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love

The late, much missed Leonard Cohen, doing what only he could do.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling Exeter since 1994

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John O’Donohue on The Call To Live Everything

John O’Donohue on diving into our wild depths of aliveness, and not settling.

Here’s the text for those who have difficulty seeing Facebook links:-


One of the sad things today is that so many people are frightened by the wonder of their own presence. They are dying to tie themselves into a system, a role, or to an image, or to a predetermined identity that other people have actually settled on for them. This identity may be totally at variance with the wild energies that are rising inside in their souls. Many of us get very afraid and we eventually compromise. We settle for something that is safe, rather than engaging the danger and the wildness that is in our own hearts. We should never forget that death is waiting for us. A man in Connemara said one time to a friend of mine, ‘Beidh muid sínte siar,’ a duirt sé, ‘cúig mhilliúin blain déag faoin chré’ – We’ll be lying down in the earth for about fifteen million years, and we have a short exposure. I feel that when you recognize that death is on its way, it is a great liberation, because it means that you can in some way feel the call to live everything that is within you. One of the greatest sins is the unlived life, not to allow yourself to become chief executive of the project you call your life, to have a reverence always for the immensity that is inside of you.

John O’Donohue

John O’Donohue in conversation with John Quinn’

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling in Exeter since 1994

Posted in actualizing tendency, awakening, consciousness, creativity, cultural questions, Disconnection, dying, embodiment, empowerment, fear, flow, identity, immanence, internal locus of evaluation, meaning, mindfulness, natural world, non-conforming, organismic experiencing, perception, physical being, presence, rewilding, risk, self, self concept, vulnerability, wonder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The descent experience: metaphor for serious illness – Sheila Joshi

The descent experience: metaphor for serious illness

Click on the link above to visit Monica Cassani’s wonderful, resource-rich site, http://www.beyondmeds.com, for this piece by Sheila, exploring descent myths in the context of serious illness or distress.

‘In the Fall of 2010, Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., psychologist and Buddhist monk, spoke at one of The Red Book Dialogues in San Francisco. In discussing Jung’s descent, and descent experiences in general, he said your worst fears are the gateway to your enlightenment. You must face them, you must suffer, yet you must not get lost in the experience either. You stay present to your fears, you wait, you listen. It can take a long time. If you can trust the desert, at some point, it rains. Then, you find out what your gift, your contribution to the world is, “some new extraordinary wholeness appears and that’s who you really are.”’

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling Exeter since 1994

Posted in acceptance, actualizing tendency, awakening, consciousness, cultural questions, emotions, empowerment, encounter, fear, identity, immanence, Joseph Campbell, Jung, loss, meaning, metaphor & dream, Monica Cassani, power and powerlessness, presence, psychiatric drugs, psychiatry, psychosis, sacred illness, sadness & pain, schizophrenia, self, spirituality, surrender, transformation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kristina Kuzmic on valuing & offering our gifts


We like this. There’s a lot of positivity/law of attraction stuff around which seems unhelpful or even toxic – implying that, of we cannot feel better or improve our lives, we are somehow deficient or not trying hard enough (with its coda that we ‘should’ be suppressing ‘negative’ emotion). Kristina does not do that here. Instead, she makes a distinction between feeling our feelings, and the narratives/stories we weave through them. It is possible to be desperately sad or scared, without turning that into a cognitive commitment to narratives of despair, cynicism and hopelessness.

We also like her focus on whatever apparently small things may be possible, in the dark times of our lives. Whether that is making and cradling a cup of tea whilst wrapped in a soft blanket, or inviting strangers to supper, it is through experiences of offering ourselves and others something of value that we are most likely to find our ways through – the expansion of gentle and supportive encounter of self and other, rather than the contraction of suppression or overriding/forcing ourselves. Generous relationship – be it with self or other – nourishes us, and makes more possible.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling in Exeter since 1994

Posted in actualizing tendency, community, compassion, core conditions, creativity, cultural questions, emotions, empowerment, encounter, gratitude, interconnection & belonging, kindness & compassion, love, power and powerlessness, presence, relationship, resilience, risk, sadness & pain, self, self concept, self esteem, vulnerability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tomas Hunt on Navajo Dance


Click on the link to visit Facebook for this lovely little film about finding aliveness in dance, moving through experiences of bullying and racism, and using dance to connect with people, ignite sparks of creativity and joy, and share the Navajo culture.

“When I dance, I feel alive. I feel excited to do something that makes people happy. When I dance, I forget all my worries. I forget all the troubles that I have, and I’m just in that moment.” 

Got a bit of a dance theme going here in the past couple of weeks. There’s lots of evidence about the power of dance in supporting well-being, presence/mindfulness and holistic growth. We are a talking therapy service, although we also have therapists with substantial experience in creative ways of working – such as sand tray – for people who want that. A couple of our therapists dance as part of their own well-being practices. Dance offers a wisdom which informs their talking therapy work, and gives them the context better to support clients wanting to give energy to a more embodied experience of being alive.

Dance offers more than the potential for an experience of joy and aliveness. Just as with other creative ways of working, such as making art or sand tray, dance offers a means of connecting more deeply with ourselves, including what is more difficult in our experiencing (for example, grief or trauma) and – literally – moving through that in a supportive and helpful way….

Tomas’ piece captures some of the well-being aspect of dance, and more besides.

Thank you, Tomas.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling Exeter since 1994


Posted in bullying, consciousness, creativity, cultural questions, Dance, embodiment, empowerment, encounter, flow, growth, mindfulness, movement meditation, physical being, power and powerlessness, presence, sadness & pain, scapegoating, self concept, self esteem, surrender, trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment