Tip one for people with hectic lifestyles who want to make positive life or career changes

icons for campaign monitor_6

Covid Panel

In response to Coronavirus (Covid-19), I am offering telephone, online counselling and CBT sessions via Zoom and WhatsApp.

More Details Here

Do you have a hectic lifestyle and want to make positive life changes but precious little time to make them?

Does any of this sound familiar?

For goodness sake, get a grip, woman. Don’t you know how lucky you are? You have zero right to be unhappy. Thousands are being murdered in Syria and you can’t even get out of bed, you self-indulgent cow. What happened to that fitness regime you promised you’d start, eh? No self-control, that’s your problem. And you haven’t replied to Jane’s texts. Jane must think you’re a crap friend. And she’s right. It’s a miracle you’ve got any friends left. Get up! You’ve got a to-do list which stretches from here to Loch Lomond. Pack the boy’s bag for camp, check Twitter. The plants on the patio are dying in their polystyrene coffins because you haven’t had time to put them in pots. Poor plants must hate you. Better check those watched eBay items. You don’t want to miss out on that incredible vintage (aka old, smelly and broken) deckchair, which is going to transform your life and usher in a new era of relaxation. Oh, dear God. I’m supposed to have handed in my review of Ruby Wax’s book to the paper. Gah! What are you going to tell them, eh? ‘Sorry, I was too stressed out to review the book about anxiety and stress?’”

Well the good news is you are not alone in this very common dilemma even the high flying journalist who wrote this article feels overwhelmed, stressed and rubbish sometimes too……

Or perhaps:

• Work takes up most of your life and you constantly feel like you are chasing your tail
• The joy has gone out of your life and you feel like you have lost your spark
• You can’t remember the last time you took a day off
• You feel like a hamster trapped in a wheel going round and round
• Been too busy is something you perceive as a sign of success or of a flourishing career
• Often you eat in tandem with other tasks and rarely take a lunch hour
• Days are so crammed full that you literally dread even starting them
• You’ve recently noticed that you are consistently more tired when you get up in the morning than you are when you go to bed
• Looking for car keys, phone, wallet, jewellry, eyeglasses, and documents become part of your daily routine
• There is so much to do that you can’t even shut your mind down when your laying in your comfy bed
• You put work first and leave everything else to the last minute such as loo breaks and GP appointments, parents’ evenings etc
• Traffic jams signal the beginning of phone meetings for you
• You continually feel like you are missing out on family life
• Often you feel guilty that you’re not there for your kids or your partner as much as you’d like to be
• You wish you didn’t feel too tired or busy to enjoy your social life

It doesn’t help either that this fast paced, quick fix, target-driven, celebrity and social media obsessed Society we currently live in  is remarkably effective at brainwashing people into believing they should look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain someone, when in reality every single one of us is different. Society pigeonholes people and wants you to believe that you have fewer rights to be happy because you do not fit an idealistic lifestyle. This toxic pigeonholing’ happens because it keeps the consumer tread mill in business, continually filling up the pockets of plastic surgeons, BMW and Mercedes, banks, estate agents  and pharmaceutical companies who prescribe so called “happy pills”.

Life can be relentless, frantic and exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

With the continual interruption of texts, emails, facebook and twitter messages, there is no time to rest, relax and to consider how we really want to spend our lives and what conditions we need to create in order to make this happen. That said, some of us intentionally keep busy in order to distract ourselves from the bigger deeper questions about our existence on planet earth.

We all have a unique life purpose and plan. But contrary to this understanding, there still appears to be a, “template” and timeline that society reinforces us to follow. For those of you reading this and living in the West, I am certain that you are familiar with what that template is. We go to school, get our education, find a job, meet a partner, get married or live together, have a family and continue to support our lifestyles and pay our bills. This template may work for many people, but it can also be a trap in making us believe that life is a one size fits all kind of deal. What about those who dare to be different and choose to follow an alternative path? What if we aren’t meant to have our life roll out in that exact order and fashion? Does that mean we should feel down and out about ourselves?

Being “wired and wildly busy” provides us with a sense of importance and that we must be in demand. Of course, this may infact not be true. On a physiological level, most of us experience a rush each time we speed through work tasks and our to do lists. This can sometimes result in people getting hooked on that feeling and often becoming an adrenaline junkie. For some, speed is an ecstasy fix. Put simply we get off on speed and busyness so our bodies and brains end up yearning for it and then beginning to demand it.

21st Century life pressures us to feel like we can be everywhere and do everything and it gives us quick fix, magical tools that strengthen this false belief. Witness today’s super mums juggling the schedules of their children, work, bills and me time, how was this possible before mobile phones, email and social media? Though she is pressured, she is not bored. One part of her feels like she is indispensable consistently receiving praise for completing such a difficult task.

So, what’s the cost to our health and well-being?

It can be exciting and thrilling pushing ourselves to and often beyond the limits of how much we are capable of. That said, doing too much too quickly can be exhausting, uncalled for, and potentially dangerous, for example, phone calls whilst driving.

In our relentless overloaded world, we often feel depleted and more tired when we get up in the morning than when we go to bed. Our productivity levels and the quality of our work depreciates with speed. The quicker we approach tasks the more likely we are inclined to make errors. When we feel up and high, we ride our hectic life like a high performing surfer in the flow of a great wave, but when we’re down often we wipe out, burn ourselves out and can’t seem to overcome exhaustion. Most importantly though this has long lasting and detrimental consequences for our health and well being.

What can you do about it?

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the mindfulness, self help and personal development techniques and tips that helped me to:

• escape the corporate cage, that is, my well-paid secure job and hectic lifestyle in London
• move from  London to live in the idylic countryside and do my dream job as a successful Psychotherapist, Coach and Mindfulness Teacher helping 1000s of clients at my Liverpool Street and Harley Street Practices and  nowadays at my online, Bristol and Somerset Practices sometimes advising film Directors, such as Mike Leigh, on the authenticity of film narratives.

Though I am now doing my dream job, living in a delightful Somerset village and have many tools at my disposal, life is occasionally still tough so I’ll also send  you some tips to help you remain motivated, and focused when you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, lost or you are falling victim to ”l’m too busy and don’t have enough time” and procrastination trap.

Tip for week one

Practice the three minute mindfulness breathing space meditation not cross legged on a mountain in the Himalyas at your desk or sat upright in a chair at home, in your business hote or on the bus or tube if you live in London.


Tips for the 3 minute breathing space mindfulness practice

Whilst listening to the 3 minute mindfulness breathing space, just allow your thoughts to rise, plateau and fall and imagine that they are part of a film/tape or actors in a play coming and go or clouds in the sky and that you have the option to press the stop button at anytime.

Most importantly, remember that thoughts are not facts and are only your own interpretation of emotions and feelings and other people’s actions and so when you next experience a negative automatic thought write it down and ask yourself what evidence is there to support this thought and what evidence is there against this thought.

1. Regardless of what happens (eg if you fall asleep, lose concentration, keep thinking of other things), just do it! These are your experiences in the moment. Just be aware of them.

2. If your mind is wandering a lot, simply note the thoughts (as passing events) and then bring the mind gently back to your breathe

3. Let go of ideas of “success “,  ” failure “,  ” doing it well “, or   “trying to purify the mind “. This is not a competition. It is not a skill for which you need to strive. The only discipline involved is regular and frequent practice. Just do it with an attitude of openness and curiosity.

4. Let go of any expectations of what the 3 minute mindfulness breathing space will do for you. Imagine it as a seed you have just planted. The more you poke around and interfere, the less it will be able to develop. So with the 3 minute mindfulness breathing space , just give it the right conditions – peace and quiet, regular and frequent practice. That is all. The more you try to influence what it will do for you, the less it will do.

5. Try approaching your experience in each moment with the attitude: “Ok that’s just the way things are right now “. If you try to fight off unpleasant thoughts, feelings and body sensations, the upsetting feelings will only distract you from doing anything else. Be aware, be non-striving, be in the moment, accept things as they are. Just do it.

Watch out for Tip 2 in the next few weeks!!!

You can book your appointment here or you can contact me on  (044) +7950 751352 for outside the UK or 07950 751352 inside the UK.  Alternatively  by email: karen@karendeeming.com.

X Factor, Dunning- Kruger and counselling

x factor singer

Covid Panel

In response to Coronavirus (Covid-19), I am offering telephone, online counselling and CBT sessions via Zoom and WhatsApp.

More Details Here

Most of you will be familiar with X Factor, a British television music competition show which began in 2004 to find new singing talent, contested by aspiring singers drawn from public auditions.

The majority of the general public would argue that it is an amazing show because it provides an ideal, equal and fair opportunity for people from all walks of life and from different socio economic backgrounds to become a celebrity.

However, what’s often not discussed is that X Factor is one of the key pioneers of this progressively unhealthy celebrity, facebook, twitter, botox obsessed society we currently live in. Furthermore it’s generating an increasingly common epidemic “social comparison” that is sweeping the world, an extreme envious, keeping up with the Joneses and it’s causing burn out, anxiety, depression, addiction, low self esteem, envy, procrastination to name a few.


Another negative feature of X factor is a strange psychological phenomenon, “the Dunning Kruger (DK) effect”. Named after its founders, the DK effect argues that the more you know about a subject or idea the more you realise that there is to know and to understand.

In other words, as you are constantly aware of the gaps in your knowledge base, you continually strive to enhance it or beat yourself up for not knowing everything.

Contrarily, the less you know about a topic, the less you are aware of what there is to know about it.

So what’s this got to do with X Factor then?

A major consequence of DK is that, on many occasions, uninformed people will rate their ability noticeably higher and educated people will rate their own ability far lower.

Put simply, the educated expert thinks they only know as much as the layperson whilst the layperson believes they know as much as the expert. That’s why cocksure, overconfident contestants on X factor often deliver dreadful performances whilst the more self-conscious, humble contenders are usually more talented.

Over to You

If after reading this blog you realise that you need support to help you overcome low self esteem that may have emerged because you underestimate your abilities and are often crippled by procrastination,  perfectionism and feeling overwhelmed with distractions and negative thoughts you are not alone in this very common dilemma. So don’t panic or give up just yet.

On line coaching, counselling or a personal development or mindfulness course can help you. So, if you need a bit of extra support and encouragement and a few on line coaching or counselling sessions why not contact us at The Being Practice to arrange an appointment with Karen Deeming for a short free introductory chat on 07950 751352 or by emailing us on karen@karendeeming.com

What’s more as it’s only 20 days until Christmas and you are probably more broke than usual needing to pay for Christmas presents and parties or for a ski or winter sun holiday, we are offering reduced counselling and coaching rates for a limited period only!!!

You can book your appointment here or you can contact me on  (044) +7950 751352 for outside the UK or 07950 751352 inside the UK.  Alternatively  by email: karen@karendeeming.com.

Bonfire Night, Al-Qaeda and collective shadows

Covid Panel

In response to Coronavirus (Covid-19), I am offering telephone, online counselling and CBT sessions via Zoom and WhatsApp.

More Details Here

Today, the 5th November, it’s bonfire night typically celebrated in the UK as an annual event dedicated to bonfires, fireworks and celebrations. It is also associated with the tradition of celebrating the failure of Guy Fawkes’ actions on the 5th November 1605. Nowadays, bonfire night’s sectarian significance has mostly disappeared, it is now usually just a night of revelry with a bonfire and fireworks, although occasionally an effigy on Guy Fawkes is still burned on the fire.

Guy Fawkes – a short history

So who exactly is this Guy Fawkes character and why is he historically important?

On 5 November 1605, Guy Fawkes a member of the Gunpowder plot was arrested while guarding explosives plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords with the intention of killing King James 1. Fawkes, a stanch Catholic and his fellow plotters, planned to assassinate Protestant, King James 1, in order to restore a Catholic monarch to the throne.

A bit of biographical background, like myself and Henry VII1, Fawkes is from Yorkshire, except he was born and educated in York and I wasn’t and I don’t plan to blow up the House of Parliament like him. His father died when Fawkes was eight years old, after which his mother married a recusant Catholic. Fawkes later converted to Catholicism and left for the continent, where he fought in the Eighty Year’s War on the side of Catholic Spain against Protestant Dutch reformers. He travelled to Spain to seek support for a Catholic rebellion in England but was unsuccessful.

Given his childhood experiences there may be various reasons why Fawkes decided to commit such an evil act, however, I just want to focus on one potential underlying psychological reason, Carl Jung’s theory, “collective shadow.”

Collective Shadows

For those of you who read my last blog you will recall me talking about individual shadows. A short recap, according to Carl Jung, the shadow alias “the other side” is an archetype, meaning that it exists in all of us. The shadow contains everything denied and despised, everything considered sinful and everything we find awkward or unnerving. Key negative emotions often pushed into the shadow include rage, jealousy, shame, lying, resentment, lust, greed, suicidal/murderous tendencies and so forth. Positive shadow traits encompass infantile parts, emotional attachments, neurotic symptoms, underdeveloped talents and gifts.

What’s this so called “collective shadow” then? To help you understand this,  in non-psychobabble speak hopefully, let me firstly define the word projection. This is a psychological term to describe aspects of ourselves that we have pushed out of consciousness or have not yet become conscious of, which we tend to attribute to others. Simplistically, this means that we rely on other people to carry the projection for us, specifically, to be what we think they are. Shadows are often categorised as mechanisms we use to express our unconscious projections. Since some of us will deny or ignore our shadow side, it is likely that we will project it onto others. Some unconscious projections from the shadow whose recognition meets the most obstinate resistance generally prove almost impossible to influence.  Instead of acknowledging their shadow some people will unconsciously see it in people they encounter or even concepts, objects, ethics or groups. For example, some people may find that they despise certain characteristics of a specific person for no apparent reason. Where this hatred is emotionally obsessive, an irritation or an overreaction, where the emotions take control whenever this person is in close proximity, then it is likely they have stumbled upon parts of their own shadow. Given that it is unconscious, we are only acquainted with it indirectly. Quintessential representations of group shadow projection are scapegoating and the Nazi’s intensive hatred towards the Jews and more recently, today’s militant Islamist group Al-Quaeda projecting their hatred on to those of us in the West. The latter is an example of an “in group projecting its collective shadow qualities on to the “out” group. Jung stated that when you are in the grips of the shadow archetype, you don’t have it, it has you and this certainly seems to the case with Al-Quaeda.

Over to you

If after reading this blog you realise that you or a close relative or friend needs support to help you overcome feelings that can emerge via your shadows such as low moods, anxiety, stress and feeling overwhelmed with distractions and negative thoughts you are not alone in this very common dilemma. So don’t panic or give up just yet.

You can book your appointment here or you can contact me on  (044) +7950 751352 for outside the UK or 07950 751352 inside the UK.  Alternatively  by email: karen@karendeeming.com.

Saying no nicely – Part One

Covid Panel

In response to Coronavirus (Covid-19), I am offering telephone, online counselling and CBT sessions via Zoom and WhatsApp.

More Details Here

The act of saying no is simple it takes a second. It’s not saying no that bothers you it’s the consequences that concern you.

You can do this by using words and phrases such as:

Thank you for asking me

That sounds interesting

I’m honoured to be asked

That’s really kind

avoid using but as it carries negative connotations and instead use words like and however.

Continue reading