Accepting Support

For as long as I can remember i’ve liked to do things my own way. Even on our home videos I would say to my mum ‘I can do it Helen!’ when she tried to help me. When my mum tried to teach me how to tie a shoe lace I refused to listen and had my own complicated method that took twice as long, I was stubborn then and still am now!!

When I was nineteen I had my daughter Holly and was fiercely independent about being a mum, I felt I had to prove to those people who said things like ‘ah what a shame’ when I was pregnant (yes people actually said that!) and to myself that I could do it on my own and that I could do it well. I moved into a flat, just the two of us and those first two years of Hollys life taught me so much about myself, my strength, determination and will power. I am still extremely proud of my strength at that time and the mother/daughter bond that we have.

However, this has meant that I sometimes find it extremely challenging to accept help and support in more recent times and somehow feel like I’m failing if I allow people to help. This past year has given some great opportunities to work on shifting this attitude. Collaborating with other therapists has been a brilliant opportunity to join forces and create something really rich, something that one person would not be able to do on their own. It has been a time to reflect on my own strengths but also to acknowledge that there are somethings that I’m not so good at, like making a website for example, and that there are people around that can help.

Two weeks ago I collaborated with the wonderful Kate Larkin of Natural Wellbeing, we pulled yoga, mindfulness and creativity together to form a nourishing day retreat for a group of amazing women. The support I felt on this day from everyone involved was tangible, from working with Kate, Jo at Happy Yoga for providing the beautiful space that felt like a sanctuary in the middle of Newcastle and from all the women that showed up on the day. There was a moment when everyone was lying in Savasanna and Kate and I looked across the room at each other with big smiles because it was all going better than planned and everyone looked so happy and relaxed, a really magic moment that would not have happened if I’d been doing it on my own. We’re already planning our next day retreat for Autumn.

13422287_1019690188121667_8945903085700985466_o Making mood boards at the last retreat

In yoga I am really enjoying using props such as blocks, straps, double mats and blankets during my practice for the extra support that they give my body, they help me work in a way that feels struggle free. Working in partners has also been a fun way of accepting help, a favourite at the moment is in handstand having a partner put their fist between my ankles, then squeezing the ankles so that its easier to balance away from the wall.

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Yoga in the sun for donation based day organised by Shanti Bee

I feel so excited about the different collaborations ahead, the many things I can learn from people and being able to utilise the skills I have to give in such creative way. I also feel I can take a HUGE sigh of relief because I don’t have to do it all on my own!

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