When I reflect on the choices I make daily in my life, I am reminded of one of my existential heroes, Sartre, who said that ‘Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself’. We are the choices we make; from simple decisions like whether to wear shoes or boots to complex ones which have more far reaching consequences, such as whom to marry. (Generally I have found both, that is footwear and marriage, equally intresting dilemmas!) We may make those choices in relation to the world round us, but we can decide on which window to open, where to cast our gaze and fundamentally what kind of person we wish to be. I can choose how to shape my future. I am not determined by my past. What motivates me is forward looking, I imagine how I want my day to be and my actions fit with this image. If I want my life to be fit, healthy and active I make the choices about what to eat and how much to exercise. And because I ‘own’ that choice, it is exciting and encourages me without feeling like a chore. Likewise if I make the choice to write a blog piece rather than take a walk in the sun I don’t feel I am denying myself because I have chosen where to direct my energies. I have learnt along the way what stimulates me most, what I value in life, and use that knowledge to influence the choices I make. I may not always take a route that others would choose but that’s part of the fun. It’s my way. When I take full responsibility for my actions I am excited by all the possible paths available to me. Yes there will always be things I can’t do but in focusing on the things I can my life is filled with immense joy, passion and purpose.
Shine counselling doesn’t offer us the option to sit around and ponder a cure for our ills, or wait until we are ‘actualised’; it asks us who we want to, be then inspires us to make the most of every day to become that person. To engage with life, to value and cherish every moment, every encounter along the way; to value our daily struggles and chaos with a smile on our face.
Shine counselling focuses on what is good with your life. The basic starting point is that we are all well-whole-balanced beings; we don’t need to be fixed. We have all the internal resources we will ever need but along the way they may have been mislaid or buried, we merely need to find a way to reconnect with them in order to be our most authentic healthy happy self.
The Shine ideology encourages a positive focus and emphasises positive emotions. It takes an essentially humanistic and existential viewpoint that what we experience is fundamental to who we are. The moment-to-moment flow of consciousness, feelings, perceptions and relations to the world around us is basic to our sense of self. It also stresses the choices we have in how we see our world and the responsibility we have for that position. It looks at the admirable strengths we all possess and how we can develop those attributes to increase our happiness and flourish.
Counselling in general involves change:
· Change in the way we see ourselves or our world
· Change in the way we think about ourselves or our world
· Change in the way we feel about ourselves or our world
· Change in the way we behave
Sometimes we need support when we make the decision to implement change, when a new client contacts me I ask "How can I help?"
Clients come to counselling for varied reasons but often with a specific goal, a challenge or focus for change. They make the choice about what they want to change. Often they find that the process of discovery spreads out into other areas of their lives leading to new enriched meaning and purpose. Shine sessions act as a breath of fresh air, clearing out accumulated debris, making room for renewed energy and bringing an experience of the essence of ‘who I am’; a unique, distinctive being proactively engaging with the world, who can choose to stand up and SHINE.