Holidays and challenging the Past

Christmas and the holidays are upon us again. A time of good cheer and joy?

Many find it a time of pain and disenfranchisement. This article explores what is happening and how to manage the Holiday period.

This time of year can be particularly stressful for people. Not everyone comes from backgrounds where there was no domestic violence or aggression in the family. Many have experienced it before. The statistics are high for those who have experienced domestic violence to be in a relationship with another partner, repeating their earlier experience. If we grow up in a divisive environment and one of disharmony, being in the presence of those who do experience happiness and joy can feel very uncomfortable and unfamiliar. The awkward and the familiar can seem wrong. But this is where you need to challenge this. To challenge the desire for the past pain. To start a new path, it is necessary to challenge it.

So what do you need to do? Make sure if you are not seeing a therapist that, you start to see one. I suggest that you fake it till you make it. Even if you feel like hiding away. Or if you usually get drunk, say awful things, and then don’t remember what you said. Work on being nice. Being decent with others. If you disrespect others, then regret and guilt will turn around, and no change will ever happen. Shame and guilt have an annoying habit of not permitting adaptation to occur. Drink far less or not at all. If you don’t drink. Note if you disassociate and zone out to cope with the stress. Then work to look at what is happening around you. What people say and do. There are some decent people and, of course, some very unhelpful people too. It is essential to be present to experience what is real or not.

Therefore I ask you to go out. Be there with others. Take some time out if you need it. If your Past has been abusive, you will need to work more on changing it. But it is possible. You are not alone. One step at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time and one year at a time.

I wish you a truly and really authentic Happy Holiday.



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Fake news, Fake thoughts and moving to a Real New Year……

Fake news.jpgThere seems to be a lot of fake news around. Fake news exists when people use emotional reasoning.  Emotional reasoning is a cognitive process by which a person concludes that his/her emotional reaction proves something is true, regardless of the observed evidence. Emotional reasoning can be like fake news – we believe it because we read it or even think it.

An example is – “my partner is losing interest in me because they are spending a longer time then usual reading the newspaper at breakfast” to concluding “He must be having an affair”. It would be important to see if the person having these thoughts about their partner also has them at other times too and in other relationships. Whether the person the thoughts are being directed at, does have a history of affairs. Or whether the news in the paper may actually be particularly interesting today. So many other thoughts are possible. But if the thought is untrue and the actions of the person thinking it are not in line with what is really going on – life can be one big upside down bubble.

If the thought is untrue and the actions of the person thinking are based on the untruth; then it is very possible for the reactions and behaviors of the person thinking them to then be dysfunctional unhealthy responses. The person could break-up even though there is nothing to substantiate the thought. But this ‘fake-news’ confirms that their own paranoia and beliefs must be true. So many other thoughts are possible. Not everyone has affairs. Most do not. Most are too busy to earn a living and make it from day to day. But fake-news and fake thoughts really camouflage what is really going on. I tend to make sure to see the source of the news I read. To look at established papers and then to question what I do read.

Fake news and fake thoughts can camouflage what is really going on. I tend to make sure to see the source of the news I read. To look at established papers and then to question what I do read. In the same way, I also filter and vet my own thoughts too. Life is complicated enough with real thoughts let alone fake thoughts also coming into the equation.

I wish you a Happy New Year with real news and really useful thoughts…….

©2016 Yasmin

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Brandgelina, separation, divorce and forming new patterns.

couplesBrad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may be getting a divorce. I am sad about that. The dream couple and family. I think that is sad.

I often talk about warning signs with my clients.

In show-business, it often does not pay to make films together especially if the movie they are in is about a relationship. No matter how far apart a relationship may be from their own, it is inevitable for their own relationship to seep into a film and vice versa. Relationships that lasted a long time in the industry did so when they were not in the same business.

Children: No matter how much money a person has – time is at a premium and children will take time away from the couple. If both have busy careers, it is best to have fewer children.

Their parent’s history: Did their parents have a happy marriage? Did they ever divorce?

What is their relationship with their parents now? How are they with their parents? With others?

What is their history? Did they have a happy childhood? How did they spend their time?

People often bring their own past with them into their intimate relationships. If it was bad, when stressed this will come out and haunt them even more unless they have done some work to look into it.

At the first level, (once we have grown up and left home) we have a relationship with ourselves. At the second level we have a relationship with our significant other. How we are with ourselves, we also are with others.

When in love and or lust, when we meet someone we like, the chemicals overflow and our brains and minds just drown in it. We are unable to think clearly. It is at this time we usually ignore the warning signs. In time reality can set in, and the person we think was right at first, may not be right. Some can tell if a person is right for them on first meeting them. But usually, we need some time to find this out.

In my work with clients, I help them figure out the relationship they have with themselves, then to next work out their relationships with others. From then on, we look to make new patterns. This will take time. It has taken us a life-time to make the patterns that we use now. In a much shorter time, we can change them and set new ones.

We are complicated as individuals and as a couple we become something even more complicated. Before getting into a relationship – start to notice the warning signs. Don’t ignore them……

I am still sad though….and wish warning signs did not exist….

©2016 Yasmin

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Change; Brexit and Bremain

Parlia pic dark flag right P1040219

What times we live in. So much has changed. So much has happened. In a time of change what can you do to minimize the upset? The trauma of it all? Does it have to be dark?

We have Brexit and not Bremain. Changes are going on. A completely unexpected change. Or is there? Is there really going to be change? I often find people do not like change. Do not like movement and usually do all they can to avoid it. We often hope others can change but not ourselves. The thing is we often have to change. Change ourselves, change how we respond, change what we do. Whether we like it or not; we are changing all the time and those around us are also changing too. Every second of every day we are changing, aging, moving. There is nothing we can do to stop it no matter how much we may try.

Before Brexit, I would ask clients to imagine Brexit actually happening. The unimaginable. Then to imagine themselves being OK. The world not ending. Them adapting and then being able to manage. The world not exploding into riots and currency not being devalued so much that pound notes would need to be carried on wheel barrows in order to buy a loaf of bread. The thing is to go to the place in your head you do not want to go to….and then go. It is amazing what you can imagine if you want to. Then imagine managing. The world still going on. You being OK. The world being OK. Usually the worse we imagine is not as bad as others tell us it will be. Fear usually drives many of our decisions. Going to the fear can free us.


©2016 Yaz

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Elections – Stay or Go Anxiety


One of the biggest elections we have ever had in the UK will be today. Its not just an every four year general election. It is something that decides whether we are to remain or leave Europe. I have not yet seen cogent, coherent argument by any one side as to whether to stay or leave. So many people are undecided. It has been very odd. Usually people know what party to vote for in an election. This one seems very different. I wonder if it has been because of all the emotions being thrown around. It certainly brought alot of emotions up to the fore.*Cameron

I have put some of the adverts that have been around during the pre-election period. There was the Farage poster of the queue of immigrants which brought up alot of vitriol. Some like the “Wipe the smile off their faces” made me smile…..

Such an election brings up separation anxiety. Some find it hard to separate under any circumstances. Some find it hard to form relationships and find it hard to stay in committed relationships.To stay or leave? To commit further or to separate. Both seem very difficult.

The point is to work out whether it really is a separation or if the relationship is worth committing to. Various people have said it is important to stay or leave. This has been a referendum without clear policies and statements as to what advantages or disadvantages really come from leaving or staying in Europe.

Then as in all CBT sessions it also comes down to emotions. What decision leaves you with the least distress? What are you more able to live in the long-term with? What do you notice yourself personally leaning towards? Not what the posters say. Not what personalities say. As they do not give  a full picture. Its sound bites and snippets. What sits best with you and your own personal worldview. Then you have an idea where of where your vote will lie. Then mark the ‘X’.

©2016 Yaz






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Throwing out our rubbish & garbage

Bins IMG_8805

In many parts of the UK the rubbish/bin collections have changed. Pick up times have been moved from weekly to every other week. So every two weeks we get our rubbish picked up. Outside my door are the two sizes of bins. The small green ones which I pack with rubbish for the weekly pick-ups and the large blue and green bins which will be for the every other two week pick-ups later on in June. It seems a silly topic to blog about.

But its like life. We often have to throw our garbage out. We have to erase and wipe out some part of our own hard drive (our mind) and make way for the rewriting the new and informed information we might now have. Information has to be ‘informed’ and not rubbish or garbage. Some people just go on and on with the rubbish being brought up back again and again – like an old awful boyfriend/girlfriend who should have been given their papers ages ago. Instead some rubbish is there right in the forefront rather then moving it away down the chute and then out and disposed of. Why is that? Why do we love our rubbish? Bring it up, open it and go through all the used and rotting food – again and again. Maybe even swim in it. Some of the times we even walk through and drink the bin/rubbish juice. Eugh. Maybe it needs recycled. Maybe it really needs thrown out. But certainly much more then the once every two weeks that the bin men are now going to do in my street. Our own personal bins should be looked at more regularly…..

©2016 Yaz

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Exercise and Aging

Brain IMG_8532

In therapy sessions, I often talk about the need for exercise and movement. Anything cognitive can only do so much for our minds….after that we need to work also on our body and spirit too. These areas so often integrate and make the individual and the whole work well together.

Research at The University of Miami among a sample of 876 people starting at an average age of 71, and carried out over 5 years; showed that the brains of non-exercisers looked 10 years older then those who did moderate exercise.

Memory loss was also reduced amongst those who exercised. The benefits of exercise are thought to be better circulation and vascular health.

Exercise can be walking regularly and even carrying y0ur shopping. But other pieces of research have shown how movement with different exercise movement also helps. Chi Gong, Tai Chi, Swimming and Yoga are examples of exercise where there is stretching and movement that is different. Dancing with variations in movement have also been shown to be effective.

Exercise and movement helps us to also age well not just physically but also mentally.

©2016 Yaz


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Glass Half-full and Glasses Galore


I was watching a bartender make drinks at a restaurant last weekend. It was really interesting as to how the cocktail was put together with such accuracy. Everything was measured. The ice was shaken in a cocktail shaker for a set number of times. The drinks were mixed and poured to the exact droplet.

It made me think. Why all this fuss about the glass being half full or half empty? Why not have many glasses? Let us have more than tap-water. How about different kinds of juice? Sparking water from the Himalayas? Why not a long tall and swirly glass? Why not pieces of fruit in the glass? Why not more? We really need to think abundance and not just whether the glass is half full or empty……

©2016 Yaz

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Life returns and tax


Along with millions of other people in the UK. I was preparing my tax returns for the 31st of January deadline. Other countries have a different deadline. It is a sobering experience preparing the accounts. Putting them together. Looking and dragging out old invoices, statements and receipts. Dredging through old emails and files. Adding them up, clicking and cutting and pasteing.

The reality of adding up the figures of what is or is not there. Every year we can put this together and get an idea of how much into the black or red we are. Such a clever way of finding out where we are numerically. Such a clever way for the government to add to their coffers. Who owes what and how much?

In some ways we need to have such a system to measure how far we go in our own lives. Are we just stuck or moving onwards or downward? How do we measure how we are moving? What parameters do we use? Just the black and white of figures? Our vices? The place we live in? The car we own? Our dogs? Cats? Our partner or the one we found or lost? Our children? The articles, books we have published? The jewellery we now have or lost? These things and more can be added and subtracted in our own personal tax year. Then what about the lies, untruths, deceptions – not only to others but also to ourselves? How do we tally these up? What about large corporations that do not pay tax? People that avoid it? Do they avoid life too? Or do some also have their cake and eat it? Continue reading

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Positive Intentions for a Good New Year


Intentions and Coming New Year

In anything we do; conscious or unconscious – comes an intention. Intentions can make the year as poor or even better then it could ever be. We are so powerful. Our ability to change not just the weather is also our ability to change our own feelings and mood.

We can feel a little ho hum about something. Indifferent, irritated – but we can change it and adapt the feeling and make it even better. We can wake ourselves up from a state of sleep to one of movement and joy. Its funny peculiar how no one comes to see me because they are too happy. Instead people come to see me when they are feeling sad, depressed or anxious. Happiness takes time and effort. It does not always come naturally. A good new year will also take effort and with every hurdle we have to jump higher and higher. I wish you a good new year and one where the road rises up to meet you. The winds always be at your back. The sun shines warm upon your face…..and most of all – that you feel like it does.

May you have a Wonderful New Year

©2015 Yaz

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