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Gateway Counselling and Therapy Leicester

Safe Professional Counselling and Therapy in Leicester

My Blog


Permission To Be ...

Posted on November 29, 2013 at 5:16 AM Comments comments (15)

What would you add?

Make Your Own List.

The Chicken and The Eagle

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 7:54 AM Comments comments (3)
Adapted from James Aggrey's 'Parable of The Eagle' and James and Jongeward's 'Born To Win'.

Once upon a time, while walking through the forest, a certain man found a young eagle, only just from his mothers nest. He took it home and put the baby eagle in the Barnyard where he kept chickens. So it was that the eagle learned to eat chicken feed and behave as chickens behaved. Perhaps it's behaviour was so changed that the eagle believed he was a chicken and not an eagle.

One day a Naturalist passed by the farm and asked the owner why the eagle, who was now grown, was confined to live in the barn with the chickens when he should be free to fly and be who he really is? 

The owner replied: 'I have fed it on chicken feed, and it has lived its whole life believing it is a chicken, and now it has never learned to fly, never learned who he really is. He is no longer an eagle because he does not know he is an eagle. I have persuaded him he is a chicken.'

The Naturalist disagreed, seeing the hidden potential in the eagle. 'He is really an eagle' said the Naturalist, 'but he has been so confined his whole life, given the wrong messages, not allowed to be who he really is. But I believe he is still an eagle, and if we give him the freedom to discover and the chance to fly, I believe he can break free of those limitations and fly.'

The same day, they took the eagle to the forest, and the Naturalist held the eagle up gently and said to the eagle 'you have been lied to. You are not a chicken, You are an eagle. You belong to the sky, and to freedom. Stretch out your wings, do what is in your own nature and fly.'

The eagle however was confused. He did not know who he was. He was afraid to spread his wings and fly (even though he desperately wanted to). So it was that he returned to the barnyard and ate chicken feed. It was all he had known.

For the next few days the Naturalist took the eagle to the forest, to different places and challenged him to fly. Each day he would say the same thing: 'You have been lied to. You are not a chicken, You are an eagle. You belong to the sky, and to freedom. Stretch out your wings, do what is in your own nature and fly.' 

And each day the eagle who wanted to fly was afraid and returned to the barnyard and the familiarity of the lies he had been told about himself.

Then, one day, this day, now, the Naturalist took the eagle and held him high above his head. He said: 'You have been lied to. You are not a chicken, You are an eagle. You belong to the sky and to freedom. Stretch out your wings, do what is in your own nature, and fly.'

The eagle trembled, looked up into the sky, looked back at the farm in the distance behind him, and stretched out his wings. He let out the cry that only an eagle can cry, and took flight. It was an amazing sight. He flew, and then he soared. 

It may be that the eagle still remembers the chickens. Maybe he looks back and wonders why he ever believed the lies he was told about himself. Maybe he regrets not flying sooner. Or maybe he just flies and soars and does not look back.

We Believe What We Tell Ourselves

Posted on October 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM Comments comments (4)
This, I think, is one of the most important points in counselling and therapy for people to grasp.

What we tell ourselves has a huge impact on the way we think, how we feel and what we do about our lives.

Even more so, the stories we tell ourselves and keep retelling ourselves have a huge impact ... those stories we also keep telling to other people to justify why we feel the way we do or why we do what we do.

Imagine ...

A person who constantly tells themselves they feel useless, convinces themselves they can't do something, reminds themselves of all the times they tried and something went wrong or others made fun of them, even tells others those stories as if in jest, but they're not really joking ...

What's going to happen to that person?

And what about the person who feels that life isn't worth living ...

They remember all the struggles, the pain and hurts which are incredibly real and actually happened, they have a list in their heads of every bad thing that happened, and probably a list of who was to blame for it. They may even have convinced themselves that they are to blame somewhere buried inside. They have a 'yes, but' for every time someone tries to convince them life is worth living, a story they recount as if to prove their point. They retell all those stories, not just to others but to themselves over and over again (and by default ignore all the reasons people give them for why life is worth living, because those reasons don't fit what they want to believe).

What is going to happen to that person.

And finally (for now) ...

What about the person who says ...

  • Things will get better (because they have to ...)
  • I am important (because I am alive and I am here ...)
  • This too will pass (because all things do if I can just persevere ...)

and so on.

What will happen to the person who remembers the times they succeeded (even though there were times when they failed), reminds their friends of the better times as well as the worst, chooses to look at the beauty in the world (even though there is plenty that is not beautiful).

It is not an easy path. It is easier (and often more popular) to look at the crap that happens to us (and let's face it, it happens to all of us and there is no shortage of examples)

But maybe it's time to let go of those stories and find better ones.

The choice, as always, is our own, yours and mine 

Garry x

Reflections On Beauty

Posted on October 3, 2013 at 8:14 AM Comments comments (6)

I'm Only Saying Because I Love You ...

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 9:14 AM Comments comments (17)

Really ???

The Best Advice ???

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 8:54 AM Comments comments (38)
This was a Facebook question posed by Sungazing, the answers (or at least the best answers in my own opinion) appear below (unedited). What do you think?

The Question:

What Is The Best Piece Of Advice That You Could Give To Somebody Right Now About Life and Love?  

The Answers:

  • Don't worry about finding the right person. Worry about BEING the right person. (:

  •  Don't look for love, it will find you. Focus on you and figuring out who your are, because if you don't truly know who you are how can someone truly fall in-love with you. 

  • Put your phone down.

  •  If you've been with someone for a very long time, and you feel like you want to give up on them, think back to when you fell in love with them. Think of why, and how you felt, and who they were that made you fall so deeply. Think of that, and think of you together with them, that way. Those are words of advice from my 87 year old Grandmom, and I will never forget those words, or what it taught me.

  •  Forgive

  •  If you want unconditional love ..... get a dog ...

  • Never re-act when you are angry or hurt! Wait at least 24 hrs, you will always re-act differently!

  • What's done cannot be undone, what's said cannot be unsaid

  •  One of the best advice I read was from this poem...WOMAN WITH FLOWER: especially with my Children as they became adults making it on their own...
        I wouldn't coax the plant if I were you, 
        Such watchful nurturing may do it harm.
        Let the soil rest from so much digging 
        And wait until it's dry before you water it.
        The leaf's inclined to find its own direction;
        Give it a chance to seek the sunlight for itself.  
        Much growth is stunted by too careful prodding, Too eager tenderness.
        The things we love we have to learn to leave alone.

  •  You can choose how you feel in this very moment. Happy or miserable; it's 100% up to you. You are creating your reality in your head, create it wisely. Find the positive in even the most difficult of situations, and life will start to get better simply because you're shifting your focus. Love: Don't expect love to be easy 

And at this point I decided this was such a brilliant idea and such a long post, I decided to make it into a permanent page on my website, which you will find on the menu under the title 'Best Advice?'. (The question mark is very important).


Posted on September 16, 2013 at 7:03 AM Comments comments (5)

Life or Death

Posted on September 13, 2013 at 4:47 AM Comments comments (14)
Life or Death

This is from one of my Tumblr contacts called The Angry Therapist. Sometimes I think he talks alot of sense:

"It’s really simple.  If you strip everything down, you are either living or dying.  

You are obsessing about the future, dwelling on the past.  Holding onto expired relationships.  Eating like shit.  Feeding addictions and unhealthy patterns.  Not sleeping.  Weighing yourself.  You are assassinating people’s character, taking hostages (making other people feel bad because you’re not happy), dreading work, getting annoyed by everything and everyone, exuding negative energy, fighting everything, verbally vomiting, taking, see life as a prison.  You are filled with anger instead of hope.  You are deteriorating.  You are dying.  You are dark.


You are creating, building, investing in yourself as well as others (relationships that are meaningful to you).  You are drawing healthy boundaries.  You are allowing yourself to be heard.  Expressing your truth.  Dreaming.  Facing fears.  Not judging, expecting, or labelling   You sweat, stretch, eat real food, drink lots of water, and make sure you get enough sleep.  You love hard and forgive often.  You stay in today and try to seek joy in what and who is in front of you instead of chasing images and material objects.  You don’t tie ability to worth.  Think different.  Breathe.  You are regenerating, evolving.  You are living.  You are giving.  You are light. 

When you are dying, the world gets very small.  You lose your vision.  Everything gets heavy.  When you are living, the world gets very big.  You have nothing but vision.  Everything is bright.    
You wake up every day and you have a choice.  You can either live or die."    

- Angry

I think that's very cool.
You wake up every day and you have a choice.

From my Facebook and Tumblr Today:

Posted on September 7, 2013 at 7:31 AM Comments comments (47)