Counselling in Wokingham – Out in the Open

Paul Cockayne – 07791

Welcome to my counselling blog. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links at the top of this page

When I got up this morning the kitchen was a bit of a mess – I hadn’t tidied up after dinner last night – and I thought “ugh” – not a great way to start the day.

open2I was reminded of my mother, who hated to be greeted in the morning by an untidy kitchen and used (this being the days before dishwashers) to stack the dirty things in the cooker to get them out of sight. Quite what the logic of this was, I’m not sure. Maybe if we were burgled the burglars would think better of us for having a tidy kitchen.

I have never repeated my mother’s method for ensuring a tidy kitchen in the morning, and I suspect if I did I would forget about the dishes in the cooker and get a very nasty shock a few days later when I next came to use it. Anyway, I was met this morning with a messy kitchen, and thought “ugh”, but I opened the back door, and the sun flowed in, and it all felt rather better. The kitchen got tidied, I made a cup of coffee and while tidying I had decided what to blog about today.

That moment when I opened the back door and the sun came in changed my feelings about the task at hand, and indeed about the whole day. There’s something about being in an enclosed space that can be quite depressing. Opening a door, stepping outside can change that.

open1I was talking to a friend yesterday who was talking about a big change at work – a change of office and with it a move to more work “in the field” – a much less desk-based culture. Through there were many aspects of the change that worried her, she was excited about getting out and about more. I was speaking to a lorry driver earlier this week and he said something similar about being on the road – about feeling free, not supervised, his own boss, able to relax.

I am reminded of a client from years ago, a climber, who didn’t talk much, certainly not about his feelings, until he described the experience of standing alone on a mountain top and seeing the world spread beneath him. For him there was a sense of freedom, and also of awe. He became aware of how small he was and how huge the world – and his problems seemed to become much less significant.

Open spaces are incredibly powerful. The countryside, the sea, the stars – they can all have that pull. And on a much smaller scale too – I have become aware that after each paragraph that I type, I pause, and take my eyes up from my laptop to look out of the window in search of inspiration. There isn’t really any inspiration there, just my car, but I think refocusing my eyes and taking in a different view enables me to step away from the detail of what I’m writing in order to think about the overall theme.

open3And what has all this to do with counselling? I don’t actually stand on top of mountains with my clients, or even go for walks (though that may not be at all a bad idea), but I think that for many clients, coming to counselling provides that same sort of experience. It gives them a different place to think and talk, which can help to change their view of themselves and their lives.

Blog done. Next – my tax return. I think it will need more than opening the back door to make that seem an attractive proposition….

About Paul Cockayne

Counsellor, musician, iPhone developer, games-player, cheese-lover....
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