The sound of you

New Year, new you! 1st of January... boom it comes right at me... plastered all over social media... I pretend to ignore it but already I feel like Alice in Wonderland - I have followed my pursuit of happiness and am now falling down the rabbit hole.


"Be a better person, partner, parent, lover, friend. Be fitter, thinner, successful, better at everything you're currently bad at."

The pressure is one and I am getting caught up in it. Where are those voices coming from?

Some I believe are parental. Instructions on how to navigate my life responsibly. Others are more from my child/teen self. Instructions on how to get as much fun out of life as possible.. seize the day, you only have one life!

Then there's the voices of culture. The culture of being a citizen in the UK. The culture whose headlines read that you're 'perfect how you are' but would like you to ignore the small print that reads 'if you act in a way that is acceptable to us'.

So I tumble down this rabbit hole at the start of the new year wondering when and how I will land at the end of it... hoping I will find my legs to land gracefully at the end of 2022. Whist inside holding a deep longing for rest and space.

I Google 'Head Space'. I find apps. I find retreats with nuns, I find spas where I can be covered in warm mud... eat things I found in the forest after my personal session with a yoga instructor who has one thought a day and clothes that smell of sunshine.

The problem is, I don't have that kind of cash, time or childcare to go and do something like that. The apps look ok but then they become something else to do that I am not doing and need to do better.

So what do we do? The ones that are falling down the rabbit hole?

I think we breathe.

Because what I know for sure is that peace cannot be bought from some extravagant action, but from starting to ask extravagant questions.

What do I need in this moment?

What makes me feel safe in this moment?

What brings me joy in this moment?

What helps me cope with this pain that I'm feeling in this moment?

Life, I believe, is a series of moments. They have equal value and worth. Some moments are so beautiful and amazing while others are so painful that we internally recoil, longing for some respite.

Starting to get curious about your needs is not a promise of eternal happiness, but it is bringing a new voice into the conversation. A voice that is intelligent. Funny. Interesting. A voice that has been with you all your life and will be with you until your last breath.

My hope for you and for me today is that you will have an opportunity to turn down the sound on all those other voices and have the chance to listen to that wonderful messy imperfect tone. 

What's the sound? It's the sound of you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Sheffield S35 & S7
Written by Charlotte Tipping, Counsellor/therapist
Sheffield S35 & S7

Charlotte Tipping is a cousellor working adults and young people based in Sheffelid

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