In this month’s blog post Fiona Cook, Director of Training at Physis Scotland shares with us her reflections at the start of the academic year, as we consider the uncertainty of our new ‘normal’, inviting us to embrace the future through a different lens…
Another blog, another post at a critical time of the year. Everything is starting up again. The nights are drawing in, leaves are changing colour and it is definitely colder – I’ve got my socks and boots on again. I might even have put my heating back on. Autumn is here once more.
There are some things about this time of year which we can predict and can be certain of because we have experienced them in the past, but there are others that we have not experienced yet and so are not sure how we are going to be with them and we have to step into uncertainty.
For all of us we have spent 18-19 months in COVID lockdown, not going out, separated from family and friends, working from home and becoming more and more isolated as we kept abreast of guidance and legislation. Vaccinations have meant that restrictions can be lifted, and ‘normal’ life can be resumed. But what is normal, and can we ever go back to where we were BC (Before Covid)?
Our normal continues to be very uncertain and yet we must lean into it. COVID has not stopped the world spinning or the seasons changing as they always do. But things are different.
Reflecting on life, there are a number of things that we have no control over and that we can’t change. Our past for one. Other people for another. However, we can consider how and where we are right now in life’s journey and how we would like things to be for us. Taking stock and making decisions for the future. That means taking control and doing something intentionally, perhaps even differently, no matter how small. Could the fear of doing nothing be worse than the potential failure of doing nothing? I wonder what our lives would and could look like if we did do something different intentionally, gave something a go that would help us with any lagging passivity hovering? What is that old adage – better to have tried and failed than never to try? Now we don’t want anybody to ‘fail’ and for many of us, making a change in our lives can be very tricky and anxiety provoking. From our Adult ego state when we process pros and cons and the possible consequences of doing something or not, we are more likely to make decisions which support us moving forward than not. Ironically though there are times I know we would still rather stay in our uncomfortable places because we know them well, rather than stepping out into a new future that we don’t know as yet. But how do we feel when we do this?
For the Physis students and staff this is a time of doing something different intentionally. Starting a new year, considering a career change, moving up a year, starting with clients for the first time, thinking about writing assignments, thinking about marking assignments, handing in all the documents required, doing Diploma exams, finding money to pay for training, therapy and supervision and for many making this a priority- the list is endless and goes on.
However certain the future is, it is also uncertain and yet that can be exciting. Seeing uncertainty through a different lens can be mind blowing. It can bring opportunities that we never experienced before. What stops us from facing the future differently? What would help us face the future differently? We all think, feel and behave in different sequences. I know if we change just one of these concepts, they all change in time.
Give it a go…. practice doing, feeling or thinking about the uncertain future differently and we could all transform how our future looks and the potential shape of the things in life we do have control of and how we would like things to be. For the things we do not have absolute control of, can we practice the art of being comfortable with being uncomfortable, and at least know we have tried?
Have a good start to the beginning of the academic year.