As we approach a new academic year, Fiona Cook, one of the Directors of Physis Scotland ponders how tricky it can often be staying in the moment, rather than worrying about the road ahead. Fiona talks about the courage it takes to embark on something new and encourages us to talk about how we feel, embracing the here and now together.
September is a time of academic beginnings and a new year of studying and teaching which for some of us can be quite daunting. We, at Physis Scotland, love this book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charles Mackesy. It is full of beautiful pictures and truths and this one is no exception.
It can sometimes be hard to stay in the here and now, be in the moment, when we see everything ahead of us. We have two new Foundation year groups starting out on their journey with the 2 Fionas and Sheila Beare as their Core Tutors, a full Advanced Year 1 with Ronen Stilman as their Core Tutor, a full Advanced Year 2 group with Susie Hewitt as their Core Tutor and a full cohort of the Diploma in Counselling Supervision with Bev Gibbons and Ronen Stilman as Tutors.
So, there is a lot to do and much to consider for tutors and students alike. Assignments to be worked on and completed, teaching plans to be refined or created. New groups to be part of. It can be overwhelming. COVID-19 has not helped as all teaching continues online for the moment as well.
So how do we stay in the moment and in the here and now so we are okay with the overwhelm? We are all unique and different and how we manage the conscious or unconscious stress at this time is also different. So we will all manage it in different ways. Those with winning scripts will engage and perhaps manage their excitement /scare in positive ways; those (like me!) with losing scripts might procrastinate and engage in passive behaviours.
Whatever our script process, it’s good to talk about what excites and scares us about the upcoming academic year and not ignore it. It takes courage to start something new and regardless of the year groups, there is something new for all to embark on. It will be different. When we do different things, different things happen. How can we reframe fear to excitement so that we can enjoy the new and not be worried or concerned about how we will manage?
I found a quote I liked about worrying – see what you think. ‘Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength’. We do need strength to be in the here and now, which is all we really know about our reality. The rest is uncertain. So, let’s face the future in the here and now together.