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  • Writer's pictureKirsty Macdonald

Patterns and Reflections

I hope that 2024 builds on all the positives you've experienced over the past year and also brings in a fresh breeze of whatever it is that you need to experience more of in your world. The positive, directed intention in itself brings a certain clarity and ease in finding solutions to what you no longer want or need in your life, so do make sure you are harnessing this for yourself amidst the darkness of winter and as the year turns.

A candle lit for personal and collective peace as we head into 2024.

Learnings of the Year

Over the past year, I have noticed a few themes emerging in sessions with my clients and also a continued deepening in my own understanding of so much that I teach and share. As a therapist and a coach, I am always very much on the lookout for emerging patterns, so I thought I'd share some of them here with you in the hope that they might give you food for thought over the next few weeks as we move into the new year.

Pattern: I am noticing new clients coming to me already more aware of their emotional state and having a larger vocabulary around how they feel, but conversely, these people are experiencing far more anxiety and symptoms of burnout. This highlights the fact that consciously, from our intelligent mind, we can 'know' all sorts of things, but if the unconscious mind and the body are not in agreement or alignment, we will still get very stuck in unhelpful patterns.

Solution: Go to the source of the problem. The solution is not in greater understanding but in a deep somatic and unconscious mind shift. It is difficult to do this for yourself so this is somewhere where you find a modality and practitioner that works for you and work through what is needed.

Pattern: There has always been turmoil in the world, but our relationship to it has become much more immediate. News stories have become far more graphic and are increasingly focussing only on the more negative stories, and social media gives us upsetting personal first-hand accounts. People are feeling this deeply and it is even affecting mental and physical health. Our natural human response is to want to do something about the things that create fear in us (or we bury our heads in the sand - but that's another story..!). When we can't influence events such as climate change or war to any significant degree, we experience a feeling of being out of control and in the hands of others. Feeling out of control can feel unsafe and so our bodies and minds go into a stress response.

Solution: Know that what is out there is also in here. We do have control over what we do and even how we think. What we see outside of us is very much related to how we live in the world as individuals. Why follow the crowd if the crowd is going in a particularly mediocre direction? Work on your life, your relationships, your choices. Know that what you do and who you are is important. Your decisions as an individual make up the world we live in and who we all are collectively as communities and nations. With this in mind, how will you choose to live in 2024? What small changes could you personally make that will both contribute to a happier you and to a more beautiful world?

Pattern: Running faster to stay still. So many of my clients are having what I would describe as reasonable reactions to difficult situations. To react physically and mentally to having too much on your plate is not a therapeutic issue; it's a practical one. But how do you navigate a workplace culture that has boundary issues? How do you carve out the time you need for yourself when the cost of living is rising ever higher? What do you do when the tendency, under stress (and the bad advice you will see all over social media), is to do still more and more to try to feel better? Our bodies and minds haven't evolved as fast as technology and the demands of highly capitalist societies. If you are feeling this, you are certainly not alone.

Solution: The only place to start is with space. But how to do that when the very nature of the problem is that it dissolves personal space? Spaciousness can come in short bursts and at times when you might not expect it. It also exists in ways you might not have yet considered. Start small and work your way out from there. Think of spaciousness as something you find in your body/mind when you get quiet inside, even for a few minutes. You might find it when you're listening to soothing music, when you walk or swim in nature, when you're not giving your body toxins to process, when you're making a decision not to pick up your phone. What else do you already know about how to do this? And then, from these small moments of spaciousness, you can know so much more about what else you might need. What conversations, what habits, what decisions, and what boundaries need to happen for you to begin to create a life that is at your pace, and on your terms?

Does any of this resonate with you?

We all have our own experiences, but what of these do you know or feel for yourself? What do you see your partner, colleagues, or children, experiencing? If you were to journal on these patterns, what would you notice for yourself and what could you create as small goals to begin to change things in a really healthy way? In this case, change may begin with letting go of something rather than doing more. What do you think?

Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to work into any of what comes up for you. It is a far more inspiring and exciting journey that we can explore when we know how to let go of these deeply held patterns, and it is my absolute passion to help people to do that.

Happy new Year!

With love,


Kirsty MacdonaldTransformational Coach, Therapist and Embodiment


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