Resilience is a practice, it’s a muscle that gets stronger the more you exercise it.

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Recently I was catching up with an old friend I haven’t seen in years. As I talked about how I feel more comfortable in my skin than I ever have before he looked me dead in the eyes and said: “I hate those zen people. I don’t trust them.” Ouch. In the years that have passed since I last saw him I’ve had a lot of therapy and started training as a psychotherapist. I’ve dedicated my life to self-realisation in my, initially misguided, pursuit of happiness.

Yet I understand where he’s coming from. I have people in my life who…

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In a recent post, I wrote about why some of us struggle to connect with each other. Spoiler alert; it’s essentially because we don’t love ourselves enough to love others in turn. What I didn’t say, though, is how I’m learning to love myself. Note I didn’t say ‘how I learnt to love myself’ in the finite? That’s because loving yourself is a practice. To use a well-worn cliche, it’s about the journey, not the destination. So, without further ado, here are some of the steps I took on my ongoing journey to love myself. …

And Why Hearing People Say They Love Themselves Might Piss You Off

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Have you ever struggled to connect to the people around you, while at the same time yearning to be seen for who you really are? Longing to connect in a way that feels truly meaningful? As I sit here, alone and in quarantine, it occurs to me how many of us have been quarantined in our minds for much longer than covid-19 has been floating around.

Connecting with others isn’t a physical thing. Many of us are familiar with feeling deeply lonely in a room full of people…

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Kindness is the number one trait I value both in myself, and in other people. You can be smart, inspiring, powerful, passionate, hard working, fun (the list goes on), but if you’re not aware of the needs of other people and you can’t show compassion to your fellow humans beings then I probably won’t have much time for you.

For the most part, however, I believe that humans are decent and kind, and we’re all just rubbing along together the best we know how. The thing is, we don’t always know how. Life can be hard. Humans get troubled.


How therapy helped me start living and how it can help you too

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It took me 16 years to really admit to myself that I needed help. For many of my teenage years, and my entire adult life, I soldiered on through a mental to-do list, never really stopping to properly admit to myself that which so plain for others to see — I was miserable.

Yet, if you didn’t know me, I hid it well, as many of us do. From the outside in my life may have even seemed pretty rosy. I left the rural town I grew…

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I think it started when I was around 11 or 12 years old, the lie I began to tell everyone. The lie I still struggle with each day.

I didn’t even mean to say it, nor did I know how firm its grip would take hold. The way most lies do, I suppose.

And as I guess most lies do too, it started as a fib. A cloak to draw around myself and protect me. An armour to save my loved ones from the worst of me.

From there it just grew and grew. It got so big that sometimes…

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Recently I’ve had an earworm of a song stuck in my head. It’s played a lot at my gym so I constantly find myself nodding my head and humming along. The song? “Cute but psycho”. The bit that gets stuck in my head? “She’s cute but a psycho, a little bit psycho.” In some ways it’s a bit of a banger. It’s catchy AF. But the more I hear it on a loop in my head, the more I feel uncomfortable with it.

It’s just a song though, right?

Perhaps. But it’s still bothering me.

Have you ever found yourself…

Personal development has been high on my list of priorities in 2018 so, almost a year into my latest leadership gig, and inspired by my boss’s most recent post ‘Tell me your leadership tricks and tips’, I’m going to reflect on some things I’ve learnt in the past year. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on what works for you, so I can give them a try myself.

Feeling is thinking

Over the years I’ve met many a feeling-skeptic and had to answer to many a higher-up who refused to accept my gut instinct as a sound decision making…

Humaning is hard. Here are a few things I’ve discovered on my own, very human journey.

Feeling defensive can be useful. We all feel defensive from time to time and the best, relevant, advice I’ve heard on this particular brand of hurt is: Don’t get mad, get curious. Admit you’re feeling defensive (even out loud if it helps) and then ask yourself why. You might just learn something.

Respond, don’t react. There’s a huge difference between reacting and responding. Reacting has your thoughts/feelings/needs at the heart of it. Responding brings the other person into the conversation too. Reactions are combative…

Being a ‘leader’ can feel like a huge responsibility and it’s not too difficult to fall into the trap of overthinking how to ‘be’. But that’s at direct odds with both my personal ethos (be authentic) and the culture at Distilled where we say (and believe) that ‘communication solves all problems’. And that’s why I decided to tell the whole company I’d cried at work. Here you can read the email I sent in its entirety.

Subject: I have a confession

About 2 weeks into my new role, I cried in the office.

It was a Friday afternoon and I…

Jess C

Accidental leader and aspiring therapist, just trying to human as best I can.

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