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Dear Aude and Bruce: Can you help? I want to change my life but I don’t know where to start

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I know I’m supposed to be using this global pause to slow down and reprioritise but it’s just not happening. Though I’ve been working from home with more time to myself, I don’t feel I’ve changed or developed during COVID-19. How can I use this time to grow? STUCK IN DB

BRUCE:
What a difference four months has made both here in Hong Kong and globally. Thinking back to the beginning of the year, we were just starting to
hear rumours of a virus outbreak in Wuhan, but life continued as normal. Our daily routine stayed the same, flights and holiday plans remained fluid, and we were optimistic that this was just another blip. Fast forward to the start of April and life as we knew it changed dramatically. Trying times to say the least.

But looking at the positives, this pandemic has brought out the best in us (Clap for Carers, social distancing, global healing meditations etc). And you are right, dear reader, it’s also given us an extended moment to pause and reflect. You ask how you can best use this time to grow. Well, where there is adversity there
is opportunity, let us give you the tools to find it.

AUDE:
What we have here is the chance to turn inward and really evaluate where we are and where we are going. Deep introspective work is called for… But how do you do that? And just as importantly, what is holding you back?

BRUCE:
Firstly, don’t put yourself down. I’m sure you’ve already grown from this experience without realising it. Simply by working from home, without meetings or a lengthy commute and so on, we have all begun to define a new work-life balance.

AUDE:
By slowing down, and taking some time out to rest and recover, we have begun to see what was out of balance in our lives, what was draining us, and making us sick, tired and stressed. This is clearly a positive but it can also be frightening. Deep introspection can raise difficult questions; it can raise issues that we’ve been determined to avoid.

BRUCE:
Going into these tough discussions and realisations, and uncovering more about ourselves and our needs, can indeed be frightening. But in these moments, take heart and ask yourself a simple question: ‘What am I still holding on to that no longer serves me, my greater good and my higher self?’

AUDE:
The easiest way to get some answers to this question and create change in your life is to sit in meditation. You don’t have to contort yourself into the lotus position and chant ‘Om,’ just sit with your back straight, relax and breathe slowly and fully. Once in that still space, ask yourself the question Bruce posed above…and then wait. Wait for a minute, or a few minutes, and if nothing comes, ask the question again…and then wait again. Eventually you will begin to hear the answer, or you may ‘see’ the response. In time, the path you need to take will become clear, and therein lies the beauty of this global pause.

BRUCE:
Indeed, and with that truth you will gradually be able to shed any discordant activities, people, memories and traumas that you are holding on to. There is nothing to fear here as you are only going to go as deep as your ego allows. Whether you are taking baby steps or bigger leaps, your conscious mind will be your guide. Just trust, sit, relax, ask and witness.

AUDE:
You can sit in meditation alone, with your partner, or as a family. Taking the time to do this is well worth the effort as it will help you shed past issues, find a new space to exist and establish a new balance.

BRUCE:
So how can readers who’ve never meditated before, either individually or as a family, make a start with this?

AUDE:
First, take time for yourself. If you can find 30 minutes to sit and reflect, that’s fantastic. To meditate as a family or with your spouse, set a time to unplug, detach and find individual space; aim to sit together for five to 10 minutes. This simple practice has real benefits, at the very least you’ll soon feel a renewed sense of calm and balance.

BRUCE:
So, let’s say you’ve set your intentions and you are working on your meditation practice, the next step is to dive deeper into what presents itself. If something uncomfortable comes up, perhaps something that your partner or children did that you haven’t resolved yet, you need to talk openly about it. Open
dialogue, free from accusation or blame, is the way forward; it’s the way to help resolve these tensions.

AUDE:
When raising these issues, you need to find a way to express how you feel without going on the attack. Talk about how an action or event (rather than a person) made you feel. Make it clear that you aren’t blaming anyone but you would like to be heard and to have their help in resolving the issue.

BRUCE:
As you talk through these issues, you are freeing yourself up from past resistances. A lot of good can come of that. During this act of introspection, you might also ask yourself questions like: ‘What am I super passionate about and how can I turn this into a side profession?’ ‘What have I always wanted to explore/ learn/ accomplish that I could start on today?’ To get some answers, simply ask the question when you are meditating, and wait for guidance.

AUDE:
You are figuring out how to craft your best life, which is fantastic but be aware that fear may present itself again here. After all, the lives most of us lead are blighted by self-imposed limitations; we’ve persuaded ourselves that we aren’t courageous or worthy enough to follow our dreams. If and when this fear comes back up, breathe through it, and realise that the greatest fear any of us ever faces is fear of the unknown.

BRUCE:
COVID-19 has forced the whole world to hit that pause button, stop and take a breath. So, take that breath, face the unknown, and start walking towards a life that you dictate.

Aude Garderet is a Practitioner of Psychotherapy and Bruce Taylor is a Reiki Master Healer, both are DB residents. You can contact them at A and B Therapy, [email protected], www.aandbtherapy.com. For more on Aude, visit www.brieftherapyhk.com; for more on Bruce, visit www.brucechi.org.

 

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