There are a lot of opinions and messages we hear and read right now. I've been feeling this heightened sense of information-overload myself, and I know many others I've spoken to, who are feeling this right now. I've also been a little lost at times, with not what it is I believe in saying, but feeling a little more vulnerable in doing so, in not wanting to add to the noise, not wanting to add to anything for my own sake really, but only as something that might add support for another.
But then, everything we express as our truth is always from some kind of need within isn't it. Expressing ourselves is a very healthy thing, and when we hold ourselves back, hold things within, or feel we shouldn't or can't speak our truth and what's on our hearts - that's not a healing thing for ourselves either. I know that feeling very well.
What I choose to be mindful of, always, is my deep passion for not only compassionate support that is a fierce way of being for me, in all the ways I am, and how I work with others - but for my deep desire for us all as part of humanity, to feel into our ways of expressing. Our ways of being in togetherness, ways of being in dialogue and communication with each other, and our choices to do so, with the deepest of consideration. Consideration - a word that is so very powerful and can be the difference between words felt as harmful or healing.
I have been asked by a few people this week especially, how I am personally choosing to engage or disengage, and how I feel within it all, right now. And I thought I'd share some of my own thoughts here, from my heart today.
As someone who knows through uncertainty and change in my own life, that to be discerning, is a very wise thing, and my deep belief in the power of silence. In less being more. And my reaons why I very much stay in my own lane, and walk my own path. And by that I mean, I take care and consideration with everything - it's a strong value of mine, and a way of being.
In these changing times that we all feel in our own ways, to me, care and consideration feels even more important than ever. Especially in how we talk about health and wellness and vitality, and the words and language we choose to use. The ways we can generalise things. Our words do have the power to heal or to harm. They have the power to add to anxiety and fear, or to add to compassion and understanding - which I believe comes with sharing with deep consideration and all the layers of what this means.
You may not feel as others do. None of us feel the same about anything. We may not agree with things being expressed. Those closest to us might share things that we feel a little rattled by, or we have a slightly different opinion to them. But if we have open and honest conversations, and we deeply respect and have love for each other as human beings - if we don't agree, or feel the same way, we don't need to shut them down, or feel shut down within ourselves.
Consideration can be the key that's missing. Not only in the context of considering each others perspectives and ways we all see and live in this world - as there as so many starkly different experiences and we can be so removed from some and closer to others. But also considering the impact of our words and thoughts, and if we express these, then our willingness to have open and compassionate dialogue. Not a right or wrong attitude or belief that we so strongly hold onto - and can be quite fierce about if our passion is high. But knowing that we can feel our own truth deeply, and express this freely. But if we really want to make a difference, to add to positive change, to more healing and compassion as part of our collective, then we can do so with more consideration.
I've been speaking to a lot of people feeling very affected, and often fearful, not just by the news or mainstream media. But by social media. In many ways more so than any news. There's a lot of striving and achieving and succeeding through these times. There's a lot of messages around looking to opportunities and possibilities. There's a lot of questioning around health and wellness. A lot of strong opinions about what it means to be healthy and vital and well. A lot of truth, as well as a lot of general and sweeping statements too.
I don't mind all the different opinions, I don't really mind if someone is a critical thinker or a curious thinker, or whatever labels we place around ourselves and others. I don't really care about any of that. I respect others truths and their desire to express. I am open to it all.
What concerns me, and I can't deny, as my own truth, is what I feel is missing. The ways we express our opinions and 'truth', that can lack consideration. And how we may all perhaps consider this - our duty of care, our follow up, our compassionate support for our communities with whom we share with. I just feel this is important. To not share and then become defensive or righteous and expect others to take our words as gospel, but to consider the impact of words and how they may be felt by others, and ways we might take care and consideration to be more open to follow up, and to have honest diaologue. As some of the thoughts being expressed can be pretty hard for people to take in, and can make others feel even more anxious. It can perpetuate a fearful and reactive cycle. We can share instead in ways that don't add to that.
I think we can all forget the impact of our words, or perhaps more so, how or where they might be received by someone. The different ways we all already see and perceive our own thoughts and beliefs and the world. And also our own situations and circumstances as to how information we take in, makes us feel. We might feel stressed about something and another person doesn't give it one thought. We might feel anxious and fearful about something we read, and someone else doesn't feel that way at all. Some of us live with others or have people to talk things through with, and others live alone, or are just more isolated and lonely, and don't have those people to talk to. And we might speak about something or share something we feel so passionately about. And we're just not aware of the impact it's had on someone. They might feel really anxious about what we've said - and where do they go with that, who might they turn to, what might be the impact on their mental health - if we don't also have the care and consideration, with follow up, to be there, with support.
Especially if we are in support roles as coaches, practitioners, healers, teachers - I just feel it can be wise to remind ourselves of our duty of care to our communities, when we share something that might be hard or difficult for others to hear. And to think about our words and the power of our words to harm or to heal, to connect or to disconnect, and how the difference may just be ... consideration. The ways we share. The ways we express. Our intention for doing so. And the ways we are willing to still have open and honest dialogues about things that for some, may feel really difficult. Our willingness to be there with follow up, to sit alongside someone if they feel anxious from something we've shared.
There are a lot of general statements around everything in our world right now too. A lot of generalisations that can be articulated around health and wellness and wellbeing. There's a lot of truth and there's also a lot of messages that can create anxiety. And even create feelings of lack, of unworthiness, of judgement and shame. I've felt this a lot over the last 15 years working in the wellness space. None of this is new to me at all. It's just, as everything right now, feeling heightened.
There are many things I've read these past couple of weeks especially around health and wellness and vitality and some very firm beliefs that these can only be possible and achieved with the absence of any dis-esease or di-sharmony. And being a firerce wellness advocate myself, and someone who deeply is passionate about holistic wellbeing and alternative health, and as someone who lives with a heath condition of my own, I have spent a long time considering and redefining what wellbeing means for me, and for others. What it is that I personaly believe to be true, with compassion for us all. What empowers me, what liberates me, the ways I have been and am able to see myself as not only my physical body or what I may live with, but as far greater than that. And how this is for everyone. No one is their condition or the label they place around themselves, or that others may place on us either. We are all far more than whatever we feel defined by. And whilst this belief can only come from within ourselves, I understand the barriers that can enhance this, from being part of this wellness and self improvement space for so long. The feelings of judgement and even shame. When the reality is at times, that one minute we may be living a very 'vital' life as we once knew it, doing everything right, and the next, life is changed and 'vitality' as we once knew it, takes some coming to terms with, can take a lot of acceptancee and surrender, and honestly, at lot of courage. And a lot of strength to know and re-define what vitality is, what wellness is, what health and wellbeing truly means. And consideration for ourselves is eveything, along with consideration for others.
Not everyone creates their dis-ease. This concept that we all create our reality can be taken out of context. Don't misunderstand me here, as in so many ways I lean into this statement these days, now, and I believe this to be true. I do create my reality on a daily basis. Especially living with a health condition of my own, I have been able to continually create my new reality of supporting myself and empowering myself, and others, in all the ways I can. I make a choice every day to create my reality and take self responsibility for that, with a lot of self compassion too. And I feel empowered and liberated in these choices. But when I read general statements that 'everyone' creates their own illness or dis-ease by poor lifestyle choices, or living toxic lifestyles, or eating bad foods, or thinking bad thoughts - this just isn't true - and the impact these words can have on some people is devastating. It's so disempowering. It lacks compassion. And it certainly lacks consideration of the journey and everything someone may have been through and is so resiliently carrying themselves through, every day. With a lot of courage, I will say, and a lot of wisdom that comes through it all.
I had a very dear friend and colleague pass away from cancer just two weeks ago. She, like me, was passionate about holistic health, and had to make some very hard decisions in her journey and life to choose medical treatments and interventions as well as natural therapies. That choice is difficult to make. The emotions she - and others like myself, in various circumstances - go through to make some very hard choices with illness and conditions, are very challenging. None of it is easy. And my dear friend - like myself and so many others - didn't live a toxic lifestyle, she didn't eat any bad foods, in fact, she was someone who did everything right, and she had one of the most open and loving hearts I knew, and I doubt she ever had toxic thoughts or negativity to anyone. And still, she had cancer. And she was not so-called weak or unintelligent or not educated with her choices. She wasn't just reliant on the medical system and not seeing past that. Quite the opposite. To make choices for ourselves to have to choose medical treatments, alongside our passion for alternative health, is so very difficult. And it's only felt worse when there is judgement and shame from the wellness industry we work within. There is lack of consideration. Lack of care with how we choose our words in all the general ways we may write and share them. Lack of putting ourselves in someone elses shoes, and even our own clients shoes. Some of the most healthy people can unfortunately still get diagnosed with conditions and illness. They didn't consciously create their reality. I think it can be so considerate for us all to just reflect on this, especially if we are in support and caring roles, where compassion for others is just so necessary, as part of healing.
It's so on my heart right now, with so much going on, that if we care and have compassoin for humanity, perhaps we can all also be more considerate. And just pause and reflect on the power of our words. The power words have to hurt and to heal. The power to create more harm or to be beautiful and empowering.
If we want to share our truth, and it may be something that's difficult to hear, perhaps we may do so with more consideration and compassion. Think about others experiences and situations, think about the impact we have, and the way our words can be taken in by another. Share, but also be willing to be there there alongside, to follow up if someone feels concerned. Be there to sit with someone, respond to their questions, understand their fear or anxiety, be willing to have more conversation around the hard things we might be sharing. Because soemone might be sitting there with their IG screen, reading our words, and feeling very lost and alone, and just not having anyone to reach out to. And to me, speaking our truth is one thing, but not considering our impact on others, in a more considerate way, is another.
For a few years now, alongside my own business and work with clients, I've worked as a crisis counsellor, taking calls and talking to people in my community. We get calls from people who read things online, or hear them from someone, and they don't have someone to follow up with or to talk to. The impact of everything that we share is very real amongst one another. We all have an impact on each others mental health and emotional wellbeing. It's very easy to forget this at times.
I've had messages from friends and clients this week, asking me how I personally feel about things being shared. I had someone message me this week asking if I would be willing to talk with her. She told me she'd tried to question something of the person sharing, and their reaction was defensive and dismissive. Almost along the lines of, if you don't agree, just unfollow and don't tell me. The thing is, she wasn't not agreeing, she just didn't understand, and felt fearful about what she was reading, and what might happen and what is actually true. And I understood completely how she felt. She was me two weeks ago, going down that rabbit hole too. But she didn't want to unfollow this person. She wasn't disagreeing. She was just wanting some care and considerate follow up as to how she could process these words and take this message in. And she just wasn't encouraged or even allowed to do so.
And it really made me sit and reflect on how how we do all seem to need each other to agree with us. And how this might change, how we might be less separate, and feel more together, if we shared and understood with more consideration. Duty of care. Compassion. If we value our communities, our social media platforms, our followers if we have online businesses and we think of these people as our community - if we truly value meaningful and quality connections - having consideration can only deepen this. And I think it's worth us all reflecting on this, with honesty and heart.
As part of changes we so long for and to see, how I would love this to be part of it. To feel more compassion than ever before. Not to feel this separateness that's coming up right now, that in some ways, can feel greater than ever. To feel togetherness through these times and even more willingess to put ourselves in others shoes. I actually think so many people come from the same view point, but with different ways of expressing things. We all have our beliefs and perceptions, and often I think the missing piece is more simple than we may realise. It's consideration. Truth always, and free expression and differences of opinions, but also the opportunities to respond and to have conversations with kindness, honesty and trust. Especially when we have roles in support spaces, with clients and our communities. Even more so if we see ourselves as leaders, in any way.
This world isn't all a bad place to be. It's not all a negative. Nothing is present that hasn't always been here. There's always been this uncertainty. It's just that everything is feeling heightened and questioned and turned inside out. You may read this and toss it aside. Or you may read this and take it in and something resonates. Perhaps just to reflect on this powerful word - consideration - and what it means to be more considerate, how it feels to show consideration, and in the ways we may be able to do so and cultivate more compassion - and certainly, more understanding and healing collectively, amongst us all. We need this more than ever. I believe so, anyway.
I have such a fierce passion for compassionate support, and for consideration. For us all to feel empowered with what we live with, and live through and to feel truly liberated and free. In all the ways that create and cultivate more togetherness, greater consideration and always more compassion. And if you'd like to continue a conversation with me about any of this, or anything you read or take in that troubles you, then I welcome you to connect with me. I am always here.
With love x
I love supporting clients through all kinds of change and transitions - to feel empowered, liberated and to make powerful changes in their hearts and lives. Working with my clients one on one, supporting through meaningful and compassionate conversations, is my very favourite thing x
I welcome you to connect if you know you would benefit from and love support right now - https://www.katiejanewellness.com/working-together.html
Katie Jane is a Holistic Therapist, Life Coach, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Meditation teacher, writer and author. Katie has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years, in private practice and online, and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes, to feel calm through uncertainty and change, to embrace self care as a way of being, and to thrive through life transitions.