Category Archives: Newsletters

September New Moon Newsletter

Women’s Circle of Reflection and Connection Circle

 

Extra Evening Sessions Added
Every Tuesday @ 7.30pm (AEST)

I have had a few requests for the Reflect and Connect Circle to be held day or evening, so I have added in a Circle at 7.30pm on Tuesday nights commencing 14th September.

These circles are for 45 minutes and focus on a reading which is sent out 3-4 days prior to Circle, followed by a sharing Circle.

We will do the readings that we have completed in the Wednesday morning circle, including:

  • Courting the Wild Twin – by Martin Shaw;
  • If Women Rose Rooted – by Sharon Blackie 
  • Burning Woman –  by Lucy H Pearce
  • Sacred House – by Carolyn Hillyer
  • Belonging – by Toko-pa Turner
  • Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore…and more

My hope is that we can be inspired together and connect with each other through sacred listening and that this will stimulate and support each of us to bloom in our creativity and spontaneity as we continue through our days and weeks.

This Circle has been working well on Wednesday mornings with a “closed” group of the same women coming regularly every week. We may have that in the evening group, or there may be an open group (people pop in and out as inspired), time will tell. 

Regardless, numbers are limited to 10 (including me) and I need to know if you plan to come so I can send you the reading and the links.

The online weekly circle on Wednesday mornings is fully subscribed. If a place comes up, I will notify you of that in my newsletter.

Payment will be on a “Pay-What-You -Can” basis- from $0- $10AUD.

Registration and expressions of interest are essential by emailing me:katherine@katherinecounselling.com

Image: Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash


This is a path of grief and hope

I sometimes find myself saying to a person who is staying in a grindingly unhappy relationship* (often abusive-except when it isn’t, of course) that “hope is a great deluder”.

I wondered today if that means I am cynical? Certainly I have been in relationships* for far too long because I hoped the other would change. I hoped the other would eventually “get it”.

Maybe if I loved them “enough”, or tried “harder”…

I like to think I am reaching my wisdom years – a small chuckle tells me that wisdom simply means that I am prepared and eager to learn more…To understand more.

There is never stasis in wisdom. Maybe acceptance and peace – but never stasis.

If I stop hoping I will grieve the loss of hope. The loss of the dream of what could be. Now, “what could be” is a pretty amazing thing – and can lead to an immense amount of awesome creativity. And my capacity for hope and dreaming must be honoured.

How do I honour this amazing gift?

Discernment. Honing my skills of discernment. On which particular altar of relationship will I place my hope (and my grief)? Who will honour my dreaming in the way my dreaming deserves? 

Listen to your voice of discernment.
Locate it. (Mine is at the back of my neck – go figure!).
Listen.

Most days now I go down to Witches Leap (Leap being the Scottish term for waterfall and the witch being a face in the rock- (see image above) and say hello. I don’t usually say it out loud, (well…ok, sometimes), because my discerning voice has some reservations about being put in a straight jacket or burnt at the stake (oh hang on – there’s a difference between discernment and fear – there’s that wisdom again)…and I listen to her, in this place of my belonging.

She reminds me that hope is (or should be) always tempered and informed by ‘what is’. And what is in this moment, at this time has many layers of joy and pain and beauty and aloneness.

Listen to ‘what is’ and be discerning about the threads of hope you decide to follow (that is the witch speaking as I listen to her).

We are in a place of great learning

My hope at this time says to me that we are in a place of great learning. It’s not easy – in fact, a lot of it feels f***ing impossible (my apologies to those of you who do not know that I can be quite sweary at times).

But, relationships only work if we allow ourselves to love and hope and tolerate difference. And, to be discerning about what aspects of difference are “dealbreakers” for you.

There is a spectrum of tolerance for difference.

Where are you on that spectrum? Are you at the….

  • I want everyone to be and think and feel the same as me” end?
  • Or more towards the “I love and accept everything and everyone no matter who or what they are” end?

I encourage you to wonder (wondering being another exceptional wisdom tool, a close friend of curiosity) where you might stand (or sit or lie or dance) on this spectrum.

And what has formed this place? What brings you here? And how do you feel and respond to others who may stand (or sit or lie or dance) at a different spot on this spectrum?

Can you be with ‘what is’ and hold hope and grief in your heart (and soul)?

Please wonder, and move forward with hope and discernment gently.

*a small note about what relationship means: it might be with an intimate partner, a friend, an acquaintance, a group, or a workplace. It could also be with trees, plants, animals and rocks…it’s all about relationship!


Images:
Witches Leap – Katherine Howard
Bird – Hayley Melrose 

What time of day is your most creative time? – July 2021 Newsletter

Friend, what actions will you take today so that you become the ancestor of your future happiness?

(paraphrase from notes taken when listening to David Whyte in webinar)


What time of day is your most creative time? I realised some time ago that early morning was mine-which perhaps coincides with Day 3 of the New Moon-(as I write this, it is a Day 3 New Moon and also happens to be my Natal Moon). As we begin, so we continue.

Women’s Circle of Reflection and Connection

I will be holding a weekly Women’s Circle of Reflection and Connection commencing online (Zoom) from Wednesday 21st July at 7am*. These circles will be for 45 minutes and will focus on a brief reading (a poem or perhaps a short excerpt of writing which will be sent out the day or so prior to the Circle) followed by a sharing Circle.

My hope is that we can be inspired together and connect with each other through sacred listening, and that this will stimulate and support each of us to bloom in our creativity and spontaneity as we continue through our days and weeks.

Payment will be on a “pay what you can” basis- from $0- $10AUD. Registration is essential by emailing me: katherine@katherinecounselling.com

*If you can’t do 7am or would like a Circle that is not women specific, please also email me and let me know your preferred day and time and preferred composition of Circle, and I will see what I can do.

Here in the Winter of the Blue Mountains workshops are cancelled and postponed

Continue reading newsletter

The Wisdom of trauma

I spent some time over the last couple of days watching a movie called “The Wisdom of Trauma” which featured the wonderful Gabor Maté.

I was struck by many things he said including “we don’t respond to what happens, we respond to our perception of what happens” – but more than that, I was struck by the man himself. He is immensely kind and loving. He is not afraid to touch and hug. He is vulnerable and creates true encounter with others. He says “meet people where they are and don’t try to change them”

I felt that the majority of what was spoken was not new to me, (the notion of the patriarchal domination of Mother Earth). What it actually bought home was the truth of the statement by J.L. and Zerka Moreno (of Psychodrama) that “IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIP”
Gabor Maté says, trauma may not be so much terrible things happening-but more to do with being alone with the hurt.
Making relationship is the most important thing that any of us can offer or create. It is certainly the most useful aspect of any therapeutic work. Making relationship is a skill. I encourage us all to continue to hone this skill with all that we are.

May Newsletter

Have you ever had the feeling of being so excited to step out there and be seen, and then afterward you crash with thoughts like “oh dear, there’s too much of me, I am too vulnerable, what will people think”?

In groupwork theory it’s the finely tuned balance between disturbing motive and reactive fear – what pushes you forward and what holds you back. Some of us are forever oscillating on the edge, sitting on the edge of our chair. My psychodrama teacher, Max Clayton, would say this is the perfect position from which to do the work. Often that is the position people are in when they start counselling.
Some of us (like me with my recent photo shoot) go with the disturbing motive and then sit with the feeling of (oh no) exposure and judgement (mostly my own!)

At this Full Moon time of peak energy and blooming, I offer one of the photos from this shoot. It was a magical day.

April Newsletter

You might know the feeling when a bright memory from your past drops in to visit. This morning when I was sitting with my journal, there was a moment when I had a crystal clear memory of being on the Sacred Isle of Iona. Iona is a magical (and very small) island off the west coast of Scotland. I was a part of a residential workshop there back in 2014 with the wonderful Kathy Jones of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple.

I heard these words during a time of silence and meditation: “I am a Teacher, I am a Healer, I am a Wayshower.” These words have been my touchstone ever since. And nudge me gently to keep sharing my work.

Have you ever heard the words of your calling/purpose?

March 2021 Newsletter

Last week I was walking along Cronulla Beach. Right on the edge, where the water rushes up sometimes as high as my knees, and we walk a little more briskly to save from getting our clothes wet. The tide wasn’t especially high and the ocean not especially wild. Fully clothed, hat and sun glasses, shoes in hand. Ambling to breakfast at the café at Wanda Beach.

This place is home to me – I grew up here, and although never a bikini clad beach babe (as in Puberty Blues) I have a long love affair with the ocean.

On this particular morning, at a certain point, some confluence of the ocean currents managed to create a whopping great wave-only about one metre wide and taller than me-and I didn’t see it coming.

December 2020 Newsletter

Hi There

Although I have trained in many psychotherapeutic modalities since the 1980s, over all that time, the modality I kept going back to was Psychodrama.

Psychodrama is a group psychotherapy action method which was developed by Dr Jacob Levy Moreno (1889-1974) last century. The method is also used in one-to-one and relationship therapy these days. Psychodrama is also a developmental theory comprising of a theory of personality and development, called role theory. It is a sociological theory comprising of the science of sociometry: the measurement of relationships and connection in groups and community. 

The reasons I love psychodrama in particular and why I chose to train as a psychodramatist (which took 12 quite intense years) are many. 

– It’s ALL about relationships
–It involves engagement and development of thinking, feeling and action (the 3 components of role), which few other psychotherapies do.
–Creativity and Spontaneity are the cornerstones of psychodrama
–It works

A note on the length of training: I completed my training (through AANZPA) relatively quickly. The training is not comparable to other education systems. It is based on role development, and progression through the training is driven by the trainee to a large extent. It also involves extensive personal development work. That is, my thesis and practical assessments were done only when my roles had developed adequately for me to step forward and say I was ready. 

Here is a quote I love from Zerka Moreno (in “The Quintessential Zerka” p.43). (She was J.L.Moreno’s wife) 

“Moreno’s vision was so comprehensive. With him, one worked all the time because life was constantly presenting itself to us. Everything was about relationships-ours to each other, extending to our near and far social atoms.”

November Newsletter

Here in the southern hemisphere Beltaine came last week (8th November) and we are still glowing in its’ aftermath – we are heading fast toward summer time. Last year we had horrendous bush fires, however it seems much damper this year in the Blue Mountains. 

I spent a wonderful 5 days off grid with my oldest friend Annie during this past lunar cycle. We have been friends since I was 11 and she was 12. There is such extraordinary value and pleasure in being with someone who has a long and close connection. Nourishment – which is one of my ongoing commitments to myself.

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