How do you advocate for yourself?

Welcome to our April Newsletter. I hope this email finds you well.

This month, I am asked a lot about taking up the space we deserve and protecting it with firm boundaries – advocating for ourselves and getting our voices noticed, especially when our energies are low. One of the exercises I offer is to imagine a circle around ourselves and invite the idea of lighting it on fire – a healthy, warm, protective fire. I want to share it today, a week after burning the last actual allotment fire to prepare for spring gardening.

When our energies are very low, life feels challenging and just doesn’t slow down; we need to protect ourselves first before we can serve others. Now, this experience will depend on the culture and tribe you are in. In an individualistic culture (like the one I live in here in the UK), this will be considered a healthy exercise. However, in more collective cultures, it may be seen as shutting off or even disrespectful.

So, if you are doing this in that context, it may be helpful to be clear and communicate with your tribe that this is what you need right now to come back to them. You are taking some time out.

It’s interesting just to entertain the thought and this circle of fire metaphor. Fire can burn, but it also gives us energy and keeps us warm. It requires tending and an incredible amount of respect. Respect we all deserve as humans. So when you tend to the fire of your circle and your boundaries, you are honouring the connection with yourself.

Something really important to include in this way of thinking is risk. There is a risk, especially in individualistic cultures, of cutting ourselves off from the co-regulation with fellow humans and other living beings. So please, be careful just how far you step back, how much you look into the relationship with yourself and how long you stay in your circle. If you stay too long, you are risking social isolation, and the impact of it is incredibly harmful to your wellbeing.

So, to nurture connectedness with nature and with humans, I invite you to factor in some socialising while maybe still internally practising a bit of a personal retreat. As long as all those movements from people towards self and vice versa are in balance, you may find a bit of playful, metaphoric work helpful.

At Voxel Hub, we are busy. I am so busy, in fact, that this newsletter is coming your way at the very end of the month. We have been supporting the start of an incredible eco-therapy group in the Bristol area and building up a wonderful private counselling practice, which is almost full now (if you need therapy, please get in touch ASAP).

I have now qualified as a certified and licenced Geek Therapist, as well as Narrative Exposure Therapist for PTSD – you will see those two new services coming to our online channels soon.

We have been invited to the 2024 Conference of Narrative Therapy and Community Work “Journeys and Hope” in Liverpool this summer, so if you are planning to be there, please let me know.

Have a good and restful spring!

My favourite topic this month

This month, I am exploring time and how we relate to it:

Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock by Jenny Odell 

Ten Thoughts About Time by Bodil Jonsson 

Walking: One Step at a Time by Erling Kagge

Come Of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble by Stephen Jenkinson 

Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind by Nancy Kline 

If you have any recommendations on the topic, please let me know! Thank you!

Resources & Offerings

I was asked for this video a lot this month, so here it is again; here are the results of my research on liberation psychologies published last November as a video.

Thank you for reading our Newsletter. Talk to us online, check out our blog and let us know what else you want to see here in the upcoming months.

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Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

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Senior social media and digital wellbeing consultant, coach and counsellor. Founder of Voxel Hub.

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