Counselling Conversations
...turning things around

Email us or call
0131 225 4596

My mother loved food and cooking, it was one of her passions and she spent much of her retirement refining her skills, which gave her great pleasure.

In some senses cooking was her religion, cook books were her bibles and, as in a religious community, you could set your watch by the comings together for breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and supper. It provided a daily rhythm to life at home, while her jam making and preparations for Christmas helped set the seasonal rhythm.

Over morning coffee and afternoon tea there was a great deal of catching up as to each other’s days and wideranging discussions about what was happening in the world and in the family and, inevitably of course, food. The rhythm established would be hard today in a world which is ever more demanding of people’s time. Where smart phones intrude, for some families and couples, 'together time' is becoming a disappearing into different respective virtual worlds, diminishing the time for getting to know each other and impoverishing relationships.

Knowing each other is an ongoing process that can become fatally arrested in a couple, who after an initial bout of getting to know each other, settle into a routine of assumptions about the other, rather than a voyage of continuing discovery, as each changes through living what is hopefully  a meaningful life. Of course the former is all too easy with the increasing demands of work and if a couple has children then their needs are nature’s great diary organiser for life, making it hard is to put aside time for each other and for oneself.

Time for oneself to really stop and think, time for each other, including time for love making, are all too often what people sacrifice in the face of demands on their time. Such time is now often construed as a luxury rather than the necessity that it really is. When it comes to time for oneself, it is time to develop the relationship each of has with ourselves. The first step in this is to stop and not allow ourselves to get ‘distracted from distraction’ by flitting around online and frittering our time away. As we stop we can become aware of our habitual thoughts and attitudes and learn to separate from them, clearing a space for what is emergent of our selves. If we go deeper we find our own deep rhythms of muscle, air and fluid to discover a relationship with ourselves where can really start to learn to know ourselves.

I always come to this need to stop and have a relationship with myself in order to find my way forward. The practice of stopping is foundational to the Alexander Technique and is basic to all other approaches of developing and growing where there is an awareness of the need to breathe, be mindful, as well as coherent and thoughtful in living. Alexander Technique at this level is so basic that it can be taken into all other approaches, allied with them in ways that enhances them, illuminates them and allows them to be better explored and understood by their practitioners. This contention rests on the understanding of use, mechanics of co-ordination, movement, breathing and relationship that underpin the Alexander Technique and the development of constructive conscious control in our relationship with our selves and others.


I will be elaborating Magic Time in a short series of blogs in order to look at how the small-scale actions that we take set up the conditions for how our lives unfold and carry implications that are of major significance years ahead, implications that we can miss in the moment when we take them and yet establish the habits that determine our lives.

Conversations for IndividualsConversations for Couples