Finding a balance with compromise

Compromising is a part of our daily lives. It’s a part of how we relate to others with care for their differences and needs. When in balance compromise aids our relationships with others and the world around us. It shows we are open and that we are willing to factor in their needs because we value them and their presence in our lives. Part of showing we are loving and considerate individuals is through compromise.

A healthy amount of compromise shows respect, but over-compromising ultimately reflects a lack of respect for ourselves. If we constantly over-compromise to please others we are not deeming our own needs important enough. Over time this can lead to burn-out because we are not feeding our own needs and tending to our own self-care enough. It’s like adding wood to everyone else’s fires to keep them warm and not saving enough logs for our own.
If we over-compromise to please others, because we don’t want to ‘upset’ them in some way, we are again neglecting our own need for self-care. We can become stifled and may even start to resent the person we over-compromise for. Over time it can lead to feeling trapped, or forgetting our own ‘spark’ and feeling drained.

Compromise is something to be considered carefully. In many ways it can build bridges and connections between people. In this way compromise can open up doors and opportunities we might not have otherwise. Over-comprise is when we put our own needs and values too far down the list and go against what’s right for us. In this way compromise closes us down and becomes restrictive.

Balance is key. Compromise is vital for navigating this world in a responsible and compassionate manner. BUT over-comprising is not being responsible and compassionate for ourselves and our own needs and values. We need a certain amount of compromise, but not when it means we stifle our own Truth of Self and our ability to self-care.

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, She Holds The Bowl, 2018


Shadow work – being willing to scrape the barrel

If we’re willing to really scrape the barrel and look at the dregs then Shadow work can open up whole new levels of realisation and understanding. In looking at the least palatable things we don’t want to see or own in ourselves sometimes we can gain crucial insight. This can allow us to finally free ourselves from deep-seated conditioning.
It’s not pretty, and its not fun, but it’s worthwhile when we finally feel that shift as we start to integrate and work with this new understanding.

Even the darkness can be beautiful. Claim it as your own, hold it close, give it the love it so desperately needs, and it might just reward you.

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, She Holds The Bowl, 2018

New Year inspiration: ‘You Can Choose’ by Rochelle Schieck, founder of Qoya

You can choose to say Yes.

You can choose love.

You can choose to stay in.

You can choose to go out.

You can choose to quit the job.

You can choose to stay in the job.

You can choose to complete a cycle.

You can choose to begin a new cycle.

You can choose a lot of things.

The most important thing is to consciously choose. 

– Rochelle Schieck, founder of Qoya (from the December newsletter)

Taking a break

Hello everyone. I will be taking a little break from She Holds The Bowl.
I feel the need to reassess what I would like the blog to be as I move forward. Writing here has been so beneficial for me, and has helped to keep self care and gratitude in my awareness. These things are still very important to me but I would like to step away for a little while and see what She Holds The Bowl holds for this next phase.
I’m not sure how long I will be ‘away’ for – perhaps only a week or two – but by doing so it will mean I can look at what I would like the blog to grow into. It also gives me more impetus to really look deep and self-care in the mean time.
I look forward to sharing new things with you soon,

Creating lasting change: break it down and INSPIRE!

When we feel overwhelmed by thing going on in the world it can be all too easy to feel like shutting it all out. This is where we face humanity’s Shadow and we have to decide if we’re going to step up to the plate and take action/ make a change, or if we’re just going to shut our eyes to it/ pretend it’s someone else’s problem/ hope for the best.
The Shadow is often made up of the most wounded, damaged or repressed parts of our psyche, but it can also help to make us aware of where our values lie by showing what we react to the most strongly.

Some of the biggest problems in our world persist because people don’t want to admit they exist, because they think it’s someone else’s ‘problem’, or because they can’t see the bigger picture. Another reason is that while the larger solution is identified it is impossible to implement on a one-person level. It can be all too easy to become dejected and feel like our efforts won’t make a difference when faced with this ‘bigger picture’ kind of view.
When you set goals you have the ‘bigger plan’ view, but you also have to break it down into smaller goals, steps or even micro-steps. One of the things I’ve had to learn through chronic illness is pacing. This means breaking down my goals into smaller and smaller, more manageable steps. Factoring in changes, setbacks and improvements is also important. Pacing, in this interpretation of the word, would be a perfect example to use for breaking down the ‘bigger plan’ view. You can’t implement it all at once, and it may mean delegating or getting help, or changing the plan as circumstances change, but it does progress. You have to allow for the ‘plan’ to evolve – like illnesses that fluctuate the ‘bigger picture’ is constantly shifting and changing. Sometimes there will be setbacks so you reassess and plan differently, or sometimes you’ll progress and can move on a couple of steps further. It’s all about being flexible and working with what already Is.

It’s similar when faced with the larger problems in society and the world – when faced with it all at once many people get overwhelmed; they throw their hands up and and they feel like there’s nothing they can do to make a difference. But if we look at things from the, “What CAN I do?” level then things start to shift. Now we’re in the one-person level of assessing; now we’re breaking the ‘bigger picture’ down into something more realistically achievable. On a one-person level we can identify micro-steps and -goals that can contribute to the bigger whole. And depending on our resources or skill set we can factor in what we CAN do. And the more people who do this, the more people taking micro-steps and coming together, is one bigger step on the path; one step closer to wider change.
Perhaps you have limited resources of your own but you’re great at organising events and can raise awareness or raise money. Perhaps you are an artist or photographer and can portray imagery that captures the mind and heart. Perhaps you’re a wordsmith who can help people see things differently and inspire them to be a part of the change. Maybe you’re a teacher and can educate the next generation on better ethics, responsibility and environmentalism. Maybe you can change to a more conscious way of living, or sponsor good causes or petition for change.
Whatever you do please try to inspire. Whether it’s leading by example, educating and raising awareness, helping people see, feel or think differently, make sure you inspire. Nothing turns people off quicker than feeling like they’re being lectured, being told they’re ‘wrong’ or inconsiderate, or made to feel like the problem is just too big or overwhelming for their contribution to make an actual difference. Inspire!
Facts have their place, but bombarding people with them doesn’t often elicit an inspired response. Outrage and anger are also not helpful as they only incite more negativity (see my post Reclaiming Sacred Anger – Leave Behind the Rage).

What people need, if enough are going to come together to bring about widespread change, is inspiration, motivation and encouragement. They need to know there are things they can do on a one-person level. They need to know that by doing these things they are doing good in the world. They need to see how, where and why they are helping. Spread the word, tell the hard stories, but do it so people are inspired and motivated, so they know there is something they can do. Show them what they can do. Show them what you do, give easy steps to start making changes; break it down for them.
Some may say this is spoon-feeding, but just as all children must learn to adapt and build up to bigger things so must we. Break it down, keep it simple and most of all, inspire. Inspire the change you want to see created in the world, and be a living example of it.

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, She Holds The Bowl, 2017

Our choices lead us to where we are now

Purple-blue nebula_01_our choices lead us

Our choices lead us to where we are now, and by taking responsibility for our emotions we can make better-informed decisions going forward. We understand that our actions lead us down the path we are on, and our reactions are also a choice. As we become more aware we make better choices for us, for our needs, for our wellbeing, for our boundaries and integrity.

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, She Holds The Bowl, 2017

The Attitude of Gratitude – week 21

These are the things I’m grateful for from the last week:

Monday: Picking Dandelions with mum to make a tincture.

Tuesday: Doodling with metallic pens on black card. Very relaxing.
Wednesday: Salt scrubs and hot showers.
Thursday: Going to Lincoln and treating myself to some goodies – love Lush’s Each Peach & Two’s a Pair massage bar.
Friday: Being able to express myself through poetry.
Saturday: Spending time catching up on Sleepy Hollow with dad.
Sunday: Messages of encouragement.