When I’m not helping clients at my hypnotherapy clinics in Richmond and Twickenham one of the things I love to do is run along the river. The other week I was running one afternoon in the wet and cold and came back along the river from Kingston to Richmond and as I crossed the bridge I realised that because of low tide it looked very different. A completely different perspective from the one I normally see. I stopped running and took the time to enjoy how different it looked. Boats that normally were floating were now stuck on the shore, unable to move freely. And then I thought about how we can find ourselves at ‘low tide’; life no longer quite so easy to navigate, everything looking slightly different and feeling that life is just that much more difficult to deal with.
And we might not be aware of what it is that has us feeling this way. We wake up and somehow we just feel low, what excited us the day before now provides no joy. Some of us choose to have a ‘duvet day’ and remain under the warmth of the sheets or the quilt and ride it out that way. Others have their own coping mechanisms – isolation, cigarettes, plenty of coffee, etc. – for others they just grin and bear it and just try to get through the day until it passes. Hopefully the next day the tide has risen again and the world look and feels ‘normal’ (whatever that means for you).
Having trained in Cognitive Hypnotherapy doesn’t stop me from all the normal feelings and emotions that we experience, and nor would I want to. I do have increased resilience and I have tools that allow me to work through what I’m feeling and my reactions to them. I no longer immediately head for that glass of wine after work for example, which was something I used to do to reward myself for getting through the day.
But for me the most important change is being able to look at what is happening and how I’m feeling and not just take it as bad news, or a negative experience. Everybody, myself included, is presented with challenges in all areas of our lives. One of the major changes I’ve undergone is how I deal with those challenges. As you might have read in some of my other blogs, especially this one, I don’t always handle things brilliantly. But I do get to learn from them. And I get to choose how I respond to them.
I trained as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist under Trevor Silvester and he introduced me to a wonderful book by Ryan Holiday called ‘The Obstacle is the Way‘. And in this book I was shown how events that were seemingly just negative were in fact also opportunities, no matter how strange that might seem at the time it’s happening. I highly recommend having a read of it.
So the next time you find yourself at low tide perhaps ask yourself what is new about that perspective, what is being revealed that isn’t normally available for you to see? And what can you learn from that new angle, that new view? Perhaps something special, a new strength or resource is being revealed that is normally covered up. We have all the tools you need, we just misplace them sometimes.
And if you find yourself experiencing low tides more than you’d like then perhaps consider discussing what the reasons might be for this and what resources and tools you’ve misplaced that together we can help you find.