Practicing detachment in relationships

I recently ended a marriage of 13 years. This even was a shock to me. I was hoping we would get to old age and be grandparents together. My parents are still together so that has always been my model. I don’t have a blended family model or a single parent model etched deeply into my consciousness. I just knew it was over. Run its course. All that. And a huge part of me is totally okay with that. Ending it has made me realize I was too dependent on this relationship for too many things. And since I have started dating I’ve had to learn that detachment is really important. Because during this process you never know if it is going to be the last date, or the last text or whether you will ever hear from or see that person again. This experience helps you separate out your happiness from what others do and to simply receive the gifts that they give you from that interaction. Let things flow in and out without gripping on. This has been a great exercise. This could also be transferred into longer term relationships as a way to really prevent taking the other person for granted – they could be out the door tomorrow. Likewise it stops you relying on them too heavily emotionally or otherwise.
I ‘ve realized I personally need lots of outlets and sources of fulfillment so I don’t get too dependent on any one thing or relationship because who knows how long it will be around. And then there are the nights where you have to sit with the aloneness. Sometimes this is beautiful and welcomed and other times it feels really deeply ,sucky. I think I’ve been afraid of loneliness but I’m realizing it passes and it is so important to tolerate it to be a self -fulfilling person. I’m also just constantly amazed by people – each and every one has so many gifts to offer.

Illusions in life

I’ve come to realize lately that there are a lot of illusions in life. The illusion that security can be found in relationships and jobs etc. and that we can protect ourselves from pain through living a comfortable life with a steady job and a long term partnership. Even if we live comfortably, underneath this comfort, there may be dissatisfaction with the lack of passion.  Or some life event may hit us out of left field and blow all our ‘security’ apart – something like a breakup, an illness or death etc.   Or things simply change and they don’t fit together well any more.

The only real way to live is passionately and wholeheartedly, and humbly and a lot of the times more vulnerably than we may comfortably like to.   And sometimes things are so frickin’ painful it is unbearable and we don’t know how we will ever get up again.  And it is this feeling we try to avoid, but in reality we really can’t. It is true though that life can feel so incredible at times and at others it feels too painful for us to handle.  But I think the truth is – that LIFE. That is the reality underneath all the illusions. Don’t you just wish someone had told you that right from the start? How huge the highs and lows of it all can be? Don’t you wish someone had just told you the TRUTH!!

So as a psychologist I can tell you how to cope better with lows but at some point it is up to you to understand this and find your own way through it because no matter how well you function psychologically there is pain in life. There are also and anxiety and fears.  These are realities we can’t avoid.  And no one can really, truly tell you how to cope. You have to find your own way.

This brings me to the concept of control – we all love to feel in control but the reality is we can’t always be. There are a lot of situations where we don’t have nearly as much as we would like and it can be a real challenge to sit with this.  However if we can there is real beauty in that.  It opens us up to the spontaneity of life and the sense of adventure about the possibilities that can open up to us.


An article about passion, sex and vulnerability


I’ve been thinking a lot about passion lately. It all started when I went to this business training seminar that was designed to help participants unlock their inner magic and communicate that with the world. Well for me it really worked. By going through the processes I felt more aligned with my destiny than ever before.  It was like a light bulb had been turned on inside my whole body and I was on fire. I thought wow! This is what people are missing out on in when they trudge away at the grind.  That’s really sad.  This passionate energy that was unlocked I have to admit was fairly overwhelming because it was so strong.

Honestly I did not really know how to cope with it and realized it’s not really something any one talks about.   I was lucky enough to have some great conversations with people about it and they felt inspired by my honestly and vulnerability in opening up to them about it. The thing about passion is that it is also sexual energy and that’s where all the taboos still are. It is funny that even in this day and age there as still so many of us that aren’t open about sex. I feel society has such strict proscriptions about how we should express this energy and to veer from this engages extremely harsh judgement which makes it so difficult for people to be honest about what they are experiencing or struggling with sexually.  So if we can’t talk about sex how do we talk about passion? And fulfillment? And reaching our destiny? As I believe they are interlinked.What I realized was that what I was experiencing was purely and simply the life-force.  Which kinda seems to me to be what everyone should be experiencing if we are truly living?


Why are we so afraid to be vulnerable with others when that is where true connection lies as we show our real humanity?  Why do we all wear the mask? To stop being hurt? But when does the mask change from being a protector to a self- made prison? We need to take it off sometimes to experience intimacy with others.

I know I have a wild self; it’s a part of me that needs to run naked through the forest and howl at the moon sometimes. It can be hard to give that part of me an outlet in this clinical, technological culture.  We all have that part of ourselves whether we realize it or not.  Once we tap into it we tap into an incredible power within ourselves which can feel overwhelming as we are not taught how to handle it or channel it.  We are all fundamentally animals with deep and primal parts to ourselves. It needs positive outlets which I think will be unique to each person.

What about you? Are you in touch with your wild, passionate self? Or would you like to be? Let me know you’re thoughts…email me on and we can have chat.


The top 6 obstacles that keep women stuck in a rut

Did you know that there are a few really common mistakes women make in terms of thinking and behaviours that really keep them stuck and get in the way of their happiness in life? As a psychologist that works predominantly with women I see the same issues arising again and again. So here I am going to tell you the top 6 mistakes women make with regards to their psychology.

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The Confident, Calm and Connected Woman

When you enter therapy you might feel miserable, desperate and alone.  There may be a sense of failure that you have to do this. But you are in for a pleasant surprise, because although the journey through won’t be smooth sailing, the benefits you will experience will be incredible. Not only will you feel so much better about everything in your life and within yourself, you will learn so much! And this learning is something you can use to help others for the rest of your life.  You will be able to connect to others in a way that you couldn’t before because of how you have changed and what you have learned.  Instead of being stressed and anxious so much of the time, you will feel at peace with things and confident to take the steps forward and to do the things you want to do in your life.  Also if you see the process through to completion it is unlikely you will need medication such as anti-depressants or Valium.  You’ll be able to live a drug free life which is so much better for your body.

A message for young girls about self esteem and body image by Honor Newman

The teenage years can be a self- conscious time and we all want to look our best.  It also seems like the prettiest girls get all the fun, opportunities, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, invitations etc.

I agree that it is good to spend some time and effort on grooming and looking good. It can be really fun to read through fashion magazines and try out different looks. I still do and its one of my favourite things!

However when its stops becoming fun and starts being a constant stress or even an obsession then something has gone wrong. Worrying too much and obsessing over our appearance is a really miserable way to be.

And here’s the thing – other people notice a lot more about what is going on inside you than you might think.  You can’t cover these insecurities up with clothes and make up unfortunately.  How we feel inside affects the way we come across to others  and how they react to us.  People generally respond positively to positive, confident people and negatively to insecure, negative people.  It is that rule  – like attracts like!

Over my life so far what I have seen is that the girls and women that come across as the most attractive and receive the most – invitations, relationships, friends etc are the ones that know how to tap into their feminine/girl power – and that means having  high self -esteem.  As a rule of thumb most people generally find people with high self -esteem irrestistable.

So what is high self -esteem for a girl?  I believe it is a combination of qualities and actions.

Firstly, I think it is about looking after yourself in terms of eating well, exercising and saying no to things that don’t feel right. It is also about  supporting  friends when they are struggling,  giving compliments to others, having your own hobbies and fun things to do, being able to have some alone time and enjoy that, and having some goals you want to achieve in life that you work towards.

It is not about dropping everything to be with a potential love interest or saying nasty things behind people’s backs – they generally find out you know!!

The personality qualities that I think makes a girl/woman beautiful are:

Compassion: showing kindness to a person who is suffering.

Poise – good manners and good grooming. Staying calm and keeping a level head in stressful situations.

Mystery – not giving too much away too fast, before you know people well and not dumping every problem on people all the time. Intrigue and less information is very attractive.

Confidence – looking after yourself, not putting up with poor treatment from others and walking with pride.

Good health – radiating that healthy glow!

Intelligence – having your own mind and opinions about issues

Assertiveness – speaking up when you need to.

These qualities radiate an incredible glow around a girl that makes her extremely attractive to others. And the good thing is – they are in your power to work on.  You can give less away about yourself in the beginning of a relationship, you can hold off on having sex in a relationship for a while, you can cultivate your mind through reading books and current affairs and looking at the arts in galleries, plays etc  you can look after your health, you can show compassion to others. Your beauty is in your control.

What’s not attractive/beautiful:

Going along with the crowd no matter what,

not having your own mind,



obsession with the superficial

I know you probably want to be the best looking girl in every situation but for 99% of us, there will always be someone better looking, so what about stepping out of the competition and loving the unique you? There is no one else like you and that is so special.

I wrote this letter to my 16 year old self to tell me what the now me would like to say to the then me. I thought I’d share it with you:

Dear me,

I know it’s a really tough time right now, you really like this boy but you don’t know if he likes you back. Your parents don’t understand you and other girls can be really mean.  But you need to remember that you are wonderful.  You have so many amazing qualities – you see people for who they really are and you have compassion for their struggles. Things that seem huge right now are either things you will get through and won’t mean anything in a few years or they will define you for life.  It’s all part of the experience of life.  And sometimes when things are tough it is just about putting one foot in front of the other and moving through the grey time until the clouds pass.

You are going to have amazing experiences in life with travel, university, lovers, and then you will get married and have beautiful children. They will be so beautiful they will make your heart explode and you will wonder how you existed without them.

 Yes there will be pain and heartbreak along the way, but so many of your dreams are going to come true because you are the type of person that has the courage to pursue them. Never forget you are unique and special to the world because of that. You have gifts to offer the world that no one else can offer in the same way, because they are not you.  You will meet people who can see the beautiful light in you and those are the people you keep in your life.  Those are the people that love you. Demand that others treat you with love and care.  That is the most important thing,  that self -respect.

 I love you,

 Enjoy the journey,

Love me.

The power of a changed mind

Before I went on holiday I admit I was stressed.  Weighed down under the weight of business, chores, errands, finances, family, and work.  I think I’d lie awake most nights stressing about everything and wondering how I’d gotten to this point with all I know about psychology and self -care etc. Luckily, my holiday was like the intervention I needed.  The distance from my life situation helped me to see and decide that I didn’t want to continue living this way and then I realised that I had a choice about that.

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