I’m sitting here by the river as I write this and I can hear in the distance, an aeroplane, probably from one of the military airbases nearby. To the left of me there seems to be some sort of wasp nest in the ground, I keep seeing quite a large wasp or horsefly buzzing around me and going in a crevice in the bank.
The reason for me being here today, is about relaxation, it’s about calming myself. Yet whilst i’m here relaxing, nature is fully at work around me. The wasp however, is far from relaxing. The wasp is working, going out to find nectar and pollen, and then going back to its little hidey-hole to do its job. Even the birds that I can hear nearby are calling to other mates or going out and finding food for their offspring. Even under this slowly moving water on the River Swale, there are fish hunting around gathering food working stay alive.
When do we stop? When do we take time to stop and stay still? For me I find staying still quite difficult. I find that I need to have my senses occupied all the time, whether that be by listening to the radio, listening to a podcast, or watching the television. It is only when I’ve made a plan 24 stillness upon me that I am able to slow down and relax. Right now I’m watching the tip of the cane rod, waiting for it to bend, to move, to show some sign of action. Around that I can see the river, the top of the river is moving fairly slowly ,the ripples are quite hypnotic, and when I focus on those ripples, when I focus on the surface of the water, I can feel myself getting quite relaxed and still.
I know that I need to find these moments, to have these moments in my life, this opportunity to be still, to be quiet and to be unoccupied with my thoughts and feelings as they are on a daily basis. On a day-to-day basis I have so many automatic thoughts rushing through my head, so many plans and I need to bring to fruition that I never make that time my daily life to be still.
I often feel that when clients are in the room they’re trying to find still this in their life something that takes them away from their difficulties from their preoccupation. It’s not a surprise to me that when a client first comes for counselling, they nearly always start to fill the space with noise, with their story, with the difficulty they had get into the session. They might talk about the issues of work, or with the difficulties of their relationship, they often found that they don’t have a moment to themselves. It’s at this point that I remind them that this moment right now, is a moment for themselves. It’s a moment and an opportunity for them to not talk, but to feel and to allow themself the quiet, were they can sit with an emotion, with a memory that evokes a feeling, and that can be quite powerful.
I was with a client who was discussing the relationship with their parents, and as they made a comment about a recent telephone conversation, they caught themselves for a moment, and stalled. The emotion which had been so carefully and conveniently suppressed came up to the surface. The client immediately tried to push the emotion back down and I challenged them to stay with it, to allow the emotion to rise up and if need be, to overflow, and the client did, and the client cried. I stayed silent and just let the client have that time, that moment to experience this emotion. Within the emotion was abandonment and hurt and pain.
Sometimes it can feel like we spend our whole life running away from our emotions from our feelings. Like we don’t have the time to sit and indulge, like we don’t have the time to stay and explore, and allow our bodies the opportunity to hold any emotion and begin processing them.
Thats why for me, fishing is like counselling. An opportunity to experience space, to experience a series moments from the past and the present in order to find purpose.
So I guess it’s important for us to find opportunities to be still, whether that be in the counselling room or the bank of a river. Whether that be in our front rooms, or in a coffee shop, or in a church. An opportunity to stop and take stock and where our life is lead us to.
Counselling isn’t for everyone and everybody who reaches and in passing their life needs to go and seek therapy, however as our world becomes more and more like a fast food restaurants, the McDonald’s drive through, where we are working 24 hours a day, just trying to function, trying to get through the day.
Giving yourself an opportunity to find a still point in your life to reflect on your past and afford you the opportunity to look forward to what direction you going to is a gift to yourself.
A Thirsk Counsellor