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By Julia Jenkins, Dec 23 2018 01:11PM

Three Wise Monkeys? Don’t you mean Three Wise Men?

This little ornament of the 3 Wise Monkeys is in my consulting room. I found it on Ebay and the listing said it was made of wood. It was a very odd looking thing, which seemed pretty grubby but I planned to scrub it down and paint if some funky colour.

When the item arrived, I was rather upset that, it was broken in several places as it was not wood but some sort of resin. It was consigned to the pile of stuff in the Utility Room bound for the dump, but I just couldn’t get it off my mind. After a day or so I retrieved the pieces and began the task of sticking it back together. Although you could still see some of the cracks and missing bits, I was really pleased the results and I realised that is represents so much about Counselling and my practice with my Clients.

There is, of course, the obvious and the original ancient significance of the Three Wise Monkeys, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. But, I am mindful of the way that things that are said (or not said), heard (or not heard) and spoken (or not spoken) can cause such dreadful pain and problems for people, perhaps “breaking” them in several places just like the ornament. I work with clients supporting them while they retrieve the pieces and stick themselves back together again.

This time year can be very difficult, especially when it comes to relationships, and some people are dreading it. Perhaps you may be struggling with grief and loss or entertaining a difficult friend or relative. If you are, could I ask you to think about the broken monkeys? I took all the pieces which remained and worked at putting them back together to the best of my ability and in the way I wanted. There are still gaps, bits missing and visible cracks, it far from perfect and it will never be how it used to be. But, there is still something special and unique about the ornament, the breaking of it has helped me reflect on its damaged beauty and its deeper meaning and that is just perfect for me.

By Julia Jenkins, Nov 13 2018 05:59PM

I was speaking with a friend earlier and he shared how he was having a struggle with the recent change of the clocks, travelling back and forward to work in the dark barely seeing daylight and how much he feels this is affecting him. It’s true we are some way from the 21st December, the Winter Solstice, but it seems many people are already longing for a break from the greyness.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD is a type of depression which results from changing brain chemicals. The change in light throws our internal clock out of sequence and the levels of Serotonin and Melatonin (brain chemicals) drop and leave is feeling tired, lethargic, find it difficult to concentrate and irritable. Surprisingly, people affected by SAD may have problems in the Summer too.

It is important to find what works best for you, and this might take a couple of attempts, which is frustrating when you are feeling so flat and tired.

The main ways of helping with SAD are: -

Get as much natural sunlight as possible, if this is difficult get hold of a special lamp for some bright light therapy which stimulates sunlight.

Make exercise part of your daily routine.

Measure your stress levels, perhaps try some mindfulness.

Book a few sessions with a Counsellor for some talking therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Visit your GP, who may prescribe medication and help you draw up a treatment plan. St Johns Wort has show to be helpful, but you must check with your GP or pharmacist that it will be suitable for you, particularly if you are taking any other medications.

By Julia Jenkins, Aug 3 2016 10:07AM

It was a wonderful group of people who came along to the Sound& Gong Bath last night, amazing energy and such beautiful warm and open individuals.

There is something about the Gong and sound, it draws people together with love and openess, a celebration of life for the spiritual and the not so spiritual, as both find it to be an incredibly deep and effective way to switch off.

It is amazing what a little regular "switch off time" can do for you., it can give you space and take the sharp corners off life stresses. I jumped in the car this morning to go to an meeting in Kings Langley. but when I got there I found out the person I was meeting was not coming in to the office as a situation had arisen at home. Unfortunately, no one had let me know and my journey was wasted, but walking back to the car I managed to connect to the feeling from the Gong bath last night, all the lovely people, the calmness, the connection and I felt instantly balanced

By Julia Jenkins, Dec 10 2014 03:27PM

It was one of those mornings. After a night of broken sleep I got up feeling tired and grumpy. I made my usual early morning phone call to my Mum whilst still half asleep and immediately the adrenalin kicked in when she told me she was not doing too well. A quick splash with a warm water, a tooth brush and a squirt of moisturiser and I was in the car on my way, banana in hand....... going no where fast...... into a traffic jam.... damn you M25!

As I sat in the queue of traffic I was then 'delighted' to hear the petrol warning noise and my wonderful german car asking me if I wanted to know where the nearest petrol station was. As I was at the end of my road and know the area very well, I found myself telling the car, out loud, that it was too early in the day for sarcasm.

After about 30 mins or queing, I reached the petrol station. I must admit to feeling rather stressed as I stood filling the tank. I was surrounded by cars,vans, diesel and petrols fumes, and lots of noise, full of worry, a little panic and a growing feeling of being overwhelmed by it all. But, as I stood there my eyes were filled by the beautiful winter sunshine which was pushing its way up through the trees, over the aquadrome, glimmering over the fence and even at this time of year lightly warming my face with its rays. In an instant I was transported into many memories of sunshine, holidays, happiness and love. I took just a few extra moments to breathe, just one breath at a time taking in calmness, energy and beauty and exhaling the f eelings of panic, anxiety and stress. It was magic, what a feeling.

By the time I got to Mum's house I was ready, calm and focussed. A trip to Wycombe A&E, some tests which. thankfully, went really well and we are now at home.

That moment of connection with the sunrise and my breath, really helped me focus and clarify my thoughts and consequently I was in the best state of mind to deal with what was happening. This is a great time of year to connect to good memories and goods things, maybe to use them in stressful moments or just to help you feel a little more connected and in control with the lunacy of the Christmas arrangments on everyones mind. Go on, give it try, find a feelgood moment and use that positive feeling.



"If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."

Maya Angelou